1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Sissy, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. Sissy

    Sissy New Member

    I am a new member of the forum although I have been reading it for several months now. This is my first experience with forums or anything resembling support groups- thus if this actually gets posted I will be surprised- and proud of myself frankly.
    There is no doubt I have TMS and have had it perhaps my whole life in various forms including fibromyalgia. After months of ankle pain from an alleged sprained ankle in October 2013, I finally turned ( again) to Dr Sarno's books. More than two decades ago - either while in graduate school and before law school or at the beginning of law school ( I cannot remember) - I suffered from horrible back pain for years ( this fact I remember clearly). I read mind over back pain and literally was cured by the time I finished the book. I continued to have "fibromyalgia" symptoms in my limbs but learned to ignore it for the most part.
    This new bout of TMS began - as mentioned above- in October, guised as an acute ankle sprain I suffered while playing golf. ( crazy I know). Looking back to what was going on in my life, despite the fact that they were events that were all positive ( I have a lot of guilt) it is clear I was primed for a bout. I had just retired from a successful law practice at the age of 50 because I no longer enjoyed it
    ( hated it) and am very fortunate financially having married a man who exceeded my dreams on so many levels. Also we were doing a lot of traveling and remodeling homes ( pathetic problems I know ). In addition, we had just sold the home I owned before my marriage as we no longer needed or wanted it. Part of me looks at the retirement and selling my old single life home as giving up the former me totally for the new me and says aha maybe this is why you have a new bout- so I have reflected a lot on that. However I neither miss that home nor my law practice. So hmmmmm. I do stress out with overseas travel. I read in one Of Dr Sarno's books that he too felt this way so I reflected upon that a lot. Despite all my 9 months of reflections, my journaling, my endless list making of childhood issues ( and I have my share), current issues and personality traits ( having a classic TMS personality with my need to be liked dominating most of my life) I have foot and ankle pain that controls my thoughts. Additionally I have been to a TMS doctor and a lecture and been told by some of the top ankle/ foot doctors on the east coast that I'm ok. I have resumed working out which is and has always been a priority in my life rarely missing a day. I have resumed wearing heels and I have resumed my life- yet the pain continues. In fact, the reason why I am compelled to share now- with the hope of gaining some additional wisdom from one of you- is the part of my ankle foot that has hurt for 9 months seems to have subsided and a new symptom in that same foot won't go away. I have had my share of moving around of the pain/ symptom imperative and have beaten each and every one of them over the last 9 months BUT this one is different. I know why it is different. It's because my MRI showed a problem in that tendon. Despite the MRI issue and doctors being concerned ONLY about that spot it never hurt before until now! In fact while at doctors offices they each said your sprain is healed time to move on but I am concerned about this tendonapathy in your inner ankle. I invariably asked them not to talk about it knowing the power of suggestion and knowing it didn't hurt YET! I get it that maybe it's the last spot my brain has to distract me - having tried every other old injury without success. It's been weeks now and I am back to obsessing and focusing despite all the tools in my arsenal to combat it.
    I guess I'm wondering if anyone can share their similar experience namely the moving around in same body part and resistance like this. I know I have tms.i have also read that foot pain lingers. I know the troubled tendon never hurt until now but I have been doing a lot of stair master and other not so low impact cardio so I'm doubting and thinking maybe I have really hurt this tendon- woke it up so to speak. Ugh and thank you!
  2. Ryan

    Ryan Well known member


    Welcome aboard and i know the feeling of symptom imperative being very frustrating. It can instill so much fear and now it's got you thinking you really have a problem now. You need to stop worrying about your physical symptoms and be aware of how you are emotionally and psychologically. Awareness is a big aspect of my recovery which in turn will allow you to start putting the pieces together of how you are reacting to things in life.

    Fear is a big part of my tms and my life in general. I never realized at how much i feared and worried. It is a constant battle that will take some time to change. It's easy to stop the original pain but the symptom imperative shift takes time. Perseverance and faith will go a long way. You have to believe and trust in yourself deeply that everything will be ok. The tms will latch on to any doubt and fear you have. You may also think you accept the tms diagnosis consciously but your unconscious may not just yet.

    You are on the right path, go live life and enjoy each day. Live in the moment and try not to give your pain the attention, I know lot easier said the done. Try to do some meditation if you don't already to calm your mind to get out of the fear mode. this may take time just keep at it. I to struggle with what people think but you are a great unique person in your own way. We each have many great attributes and faults, it's part of being human. Don't know if you spiritual person but god is here to help you, so cast your worries on him and ask for acceptance is very helpful for me. Look at the positives in your life and be greatful. bad times will come but if you accept them instead of constantly fighting them, will be beneficial. Good comes out of everything, it's pain and suffering that people grow and change for the better.

    Other books I can recomend are "Great Pain Deception", "Hope and Help for your Nerves", and "God does not want you to be in Pain". Hope this helps hang in there, things will get better. Go enjoy life and find your purpose, we all have one, best of luck.

    Ellen likes this.
  3. Sissy

    Sissy New Member

    Thanks Ryan for taking the time to read my post and for your insight and kind words.

  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Sissy. Ryan has given you excellent advice to forget the pain and live and enjoy life and live in the present. You have a lot going on
    in your retirement and need to just enjoy it. Let go of the past and enjoy every day. I also like living positively in the future, at least a little,
    having good things to look forward to. In journaling, count your blessings. You have a lot of them. But you must also have some
    repressed emotions that are keeping your ankle hurting. Think about them and you will probably remember events or people who gave
    you emotional distress when you were a girl (most come before the age of six). Then forgive them. Put yourself in their shoes
    and you'll probably realize they had TMS themselves and passed their anxieties on to you.
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle


    I'm struggling with the symptom imperative now too. One thing I have learned is the first rule of the symptom imperative is that one will always first believe that the new symptom is physical/structural and not psychological/emotional. It happens to me every time. Our unconscious brain is very good at this apparently. Hang in there.

    And welcome to the Forum! We are glad you have joined us. Keep us posted on how you are doing.
    Anne Walker likes this.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    These posts prompted me to read again Steve Ozanich's thoughts on the symptom imperative in his book
    The Great Pain Deception. He quotes Dr. Sarno in saying, "The symptom imperative is a psychological condition
    that requires continuing symptoms."

    Steve writes that an imperative is something that demands attention or action. The conundrum is that the consciousness
    within us knows that it is being observed -- and so it changes how we react to shifting symptoms. As long as there is
    unresolved conflict, the mind will continually shift symptoms to keep fear alive, as a purposeful distraction. The symptoms
    bounce around in the body to keep you feelingthat you have suddenly developed a 'real pain' or a 'real injury.'

    The brain scans the body until it finds an area or system that you are most fearful of -- and then it induces a symptom there
    and lingers, waiting for your response to it. If you don't fear that area as much or don't pay much attention to that
    particular symptom, it will then shift to another area until it can grasp your attention again somewhere else,
    all in an attempt to keep you from tending to your emotions. The symptom imperative is a hunter -- preying on fear.
    There it stays -- until you realize you've been fooled by your own brain, and then it quickly shifts again -- repeatedly --
    as long as the underlying psychological conflict remains. "

    This may be a little heavy to grasp, but is worth the time and effort. As Ellen has posted, the main thing is to firmly believe that
    the symptom is caused by TMS and is not structural. I believe that is the number one thing in healing.
    Ellen likes this.

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