1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Splitting headache

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Mala, May 10, 2014.

  1. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    I have been working quietly, reading The Great Pain Deception, writing down thoughts & increassing my physical activity. I even went on a two and a half hour hike. The urinary burning issue felt better but yesterday the neck pain caused a major headache. It was after I had a Korean meal. It was so bad I threw up 3 times & then finally took some paracetamol which I perhaps should have done earlier. I still am feeling the aftermath of that now. How does one ignore a headache like that or go about behaving normally? Its just not possible. I try to go about with the neck pain but some days its harder.

    Any wise words? Thanks

    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Mala. When I look back over the last year I can clearly remember days that the pain was just too much to do anything but try my best to get through it somehow. Most of those days involved a headache which I think is one of the most difficult pains to ignore. I remember feeling moments of panic "what if the pain goes on like this? How will I be able to endure, to survive?" I am sure the fear made it worse. Fortunately those really intense times did not last more than a day or two, and right now I can't remember the last time I had one. I personally think when you have a super intense pain day like that it is best to not try and resist it or read too much into it. Do your best to get through it any way you can, remind yourself frequently that it is not a sign of something more dire, and move on. As you progress with your healing they will get less frequent. I had terrible, constant, neck and right occipital pain for well over a year and now it is gone. My head and neck feel normal again! You are on the right path. You can do this.
  3. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Anne thank you. Yes the fear is the worst thing. I have been in one pain or another so long that sometimes it feels it will never end. The headache was one of the worst I ever had & it is so debilitating that it's terrifying . I really thought my head was going to split. The hangover feeling is with me today.

    I kind of expected something to flare up during the process as the brain tries to hold on.

  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Mala. That bad Korean meal must have caused your headache.
    You should have just attributed to the food and not worried that it was going to give you more pain.

    Aren't headaches a real bummer? I get a fullness feeling in my head and hate it, but just tough it out
    without an aspirin or Advil. I just try to think of pleasant things or laugh it off. Deep breathing also helps
    the headache calm down or go away.

    I read a video library entry yesterday called "507 -- The Magic of John Sarno and Gay Hendricks,"
    a video in which an urologist talked about TMS and pain. I'll be writing about it later today in
    the video library subforum and hope you can take a look. He doesn't get specific about urology
    and pain but attributes most pain to being worried or angry about something in our past. In his case,
    he had years of back and other pain which finally went away when he realized it was caused by
    repressing feelings about his marriage. When he changed his worrying about that, his pain left him
    and his marriage became a happy one and still is.
    Mala likes this.
  5. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Thank you Walt. I have never really been able to get rid of a serious headache just by breathing or focussing on something else. I try to tough it out as you but usually pay the price when it gets out of hand.

    I have see the video and yes Dr Robbins comes across very well.

    I am doing things despite the pain but i'm finding it very difficult.

    Every time I up my physical activity I pay the price for it. I aggravate certain parts especially my neck by simply doing yoga.

    The humidity here has been almost 100% for the last week.

    I can't take my mind of the pain. Its there all the time & my focus is on it. Today I went to a movie but most of the time I was worried about the headache. As soon as the head feels slightly better, the urinary burning starts. Then yesterday night I woke up drenched in sweat with a stomach ache. I sometimes feel like there is someone poking pins into different parts of voodoo doll of me.LOL

    I do have a physical problem & that is my fibroid. Its growing even after menopause which is a no no & drs have recommended they take it out but I am dilly dallying on that one. Could the pains be a result of that I wonder sometimes.

    I am very lucky not to have many stressors. No kids, no money worries, great spouse. But the pain has made me very sensitive & depressed.

    I really need a breakthru of some sort- I have been at this so long that I don't even know any more whether I have TMS. Yes the doubt does creep in especially when I don't have any real official diagnosis.

    Thank you all for listening.

  6. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member

    Hi Mala

    Headaches and migraines were and still are on the odd occasion, my worst TMS symptom. I also had unrinary burning some years back, but it subsided after I had a cystoscopy. This was before I knew anything about TMS, but I'm convinced the cystoscopy acted as a placebo, because with the benefit of hindsight I can now tie the episodes of burning to specific emotional events.

    Over time I have concluded that the following works best for me when a killer headache strikes :
    1. Don't panic
    2. Try to identify why it started
    3. Self talk - tell yourself you know why you have the headache, but it's not necessary thanks all the same
    4. Try to relax into it. I know we're not supposed to focus on pain, but I find it helps if I close my eyes and just follow my breath and explore the sensation - however bad it is. This works to dispel my fear of it.
    5. Then I just try to stay calm and focus on something else.
    6. If the above doesn't work, you mustn't beat yourself up about it. Remember to be kind to yourself, just go and rest and pamper yourself until it subsides.
    7. I'm quite anti-medication after having exprienced severe side effects and withdrawals, however when I feel a headache may get out of control I take a cocodamol (vicodin) and try to sleep it off, which usually works. Don't try to be too brave, I've found it makes me even more tense and prolongs the pain.
    I used to be terrified of my headaches I absolutley hated them. I've done a lot of work on losing the fear of my symptoms, which has really pushed me forward. I constantly tell myself it's all just chronic tension, so the more I can relax the better I feel. I practice mindfulness meditation every day and try to get some exercise, to keep tension in check. I have quite a stressful job, but my personal life is relatively peaceful.

    I've had tons of different symptoms and I've still got the last remnants of a couple, which alternate with each other from time to time like your burning and headache scenario. I know it's very frustrating but just stick at it and one by one, sooner or later your symptoms will give up on you, as all the stuff I no longer experience did.

    Allow yourself space to be you, don't see developing TMS as some sort of failing like I did, it isn't, love yourself back to health.

    Big hugs (:)joyful:))
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have a doozy of a headache today but am pretty sure I know why. I think about the why and do deep breathing and
    tell myself the reason is really not all that important on a scale of things. And I also keep in mind that the cause of the
    headaches will go away and so will the headache.

    I know we're supposed to live in the present moment, but hey, the present moment is a headache.
    I'd rather think about two days from now when the cause of the headache could very well be resolved.
    I'll do a "Futurethink." Herbie says he likes that idea, too.

    Cancer patients or others with similar life-threatening problems can heal by thinking themselves being cured.
    That's a combination of living in the present and the future. Accepting the present, but believing in the future,
    with God's help.
    Mala likes this.
  8. happygal

    happygal New Member

    I had a period in my life about 10 years ago where I got a lot of migraines. They mysteriously subsided as mysteriously as they came on. Looking back, I think it was all TMS. It was a super-stressful time. I still now occasionally get a whopper of a headache. I had one this morning actually. I will admit that I pop a few advil just in case they might do something, but generally do what Mermaid listed so clearly (with the exception that sometimes I don't even bother to try and figure out why it started).

    Like Mermaid has said she has been able to do, I am mostly trying to learn to not fear my symptoms and that makes the biggest difference. The more I get wrapped up in the fear cycle, the worse everything feels; the more I try accepting that this is what is going on with me today and not fearing that this pain will be with me forever or that I have some fatal, yet undiagnosed condition, the more quickly the pain resolves. Simply trying to ignore it doesn't help me because I then get frustrated that I can't ignore it - it is too consuming. Living with it, but a lot of self-talk to keep me out of panic mode seem to be key. For me, headaches are one of my infrequent symptoms, and I think it is easier for me to overcome them than my more frequent symptoms since they generate less fear.

    I know Dr. Sarno advocates a lot of repressed emotion/anger as the cause of TMS; but for me, I think my propensity is more towards anxiety and fear perpetuating the pain. The more I can counteract my fear, the less symptomatic I become. I have had a ton of different symptoms and some days, I feel like a pinball machine, where the pinball keeps triggering pain in different places.
    Mala likes this.
  9. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, we can feel like a pinball machine with pain bouncing around. We just have to
    tell ourselves strongly that it's nothing to fear. It's just something temporary.

    Distractions can help get rid of the fear. Find things that we enjoy doing or that make us happy.
    Mala likes this.
  10. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Thank you Mermaid, Happygal & Walt. There seems to be a lot on trying to pinpoint yr emotion or think about what is causing the pain. I am unable to do that . Can you give me some examples of things that you think may be a trigger for yr pain?

  11. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Mala, I usually know what causes my headaches or pain.
    It's whatever I worry about the most.

    A new bill in the mail may trigger my financial worries.
    A phone call from someone may want another pound of my thoughts or energy.
    A email from someone wanting me to do something I'd rather not get involved in,
    which triggers my "goodism" personality and if I decline, I feel guilty.
    The computer quits before I finish an email, or post reply, like it just did.

    I try laugh at all these and other things and breathe deeply and distract my mind
    with pleasant thoughts.
    Mala likes this.
  12. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Mala,

    After about a year of discovering and working on my TMS, I am happy to say that I did finally get rid of the migraines I'd had since 4 years old, and the chronic pain diagnosed as fibromyalgia that I'd had for 20 years. However, I'm still dealing with the TMS equivalents of allergies, insomnia, depression, and fatigue, so I still have much work to do.

    But perhaps my experience in eliminating TMS pain will be helpful to you. I found that it decreased in layers. The first decrease came from "knowledge therapy" after discovering the concept of TMS. Even though I never doubted I had TMS after reading about it, I still was far from pain-free, though there was a marked decrease. The next layer of pain released as I discovered the psychological issues behind my TMS through the structured journaling program in Unlearn Your Pain. But still I was having flare-ups from a conditioned response to changes in the barometric pressure. It took awhile but I was finally able to rid myself of that conditioning. Still, I carried around this low-level chronic pain in my neck and shoulders that I knew was tension-generated. Finally, I became aware that I had this habit of hurrying through everything in my day, and that it was creating this chronic tension. I wasn't particularly busy at this point in my life, but I realized it started during a time when I was very busy, and was fed by my perfectionist tendencies. Then it became even worse when my TMS was severe, as I was hurrying through activities I had to do so I could have time to rest at the end. Once I became aware of this habit, I could catch myself and purposefully stop and sink into the moment, do some deep breathing, and try to do the activity mindfully for as long as I could. This broke the habit and my last bit of chronic tension and pain finally left. I would have never been able to achieve this without mindfulness meditation, as it led me to have the awareness of habitual patterns of behavior and thinking.

    I hope something in my post will be useful for you. I know how frustrating it is to be working hard on TMS and to feel that you're not making progress. I have felt that way many times, but eventually a breakthrough comes that keeps you going. Wishing that for you, Mala.
    Mala and Anne Walker like this.
  13. happygal

    happygal New Member

    Hi Mala,
    I usually don't know what is the specific origin of the cause of my pain. I have been dealing with intermittent pain and TMS symptoms since my early teens so going on 30 years now and am sure that there have been a myriad of reasons at different times.

    I think that nowadays, it often is has in its roots exhaustion and anger at not being able to just do what I want to do. I have 3 little kids and I decided to be a full-time stay-at-home mom, so almost all of the time, someone wants me or needs me. And that is pretty much at odds with my personality, which re-energizes with time by myself. And not too mention, I am no Martha Stewart and no fan of the kitchen, where I seem to spend most of my days. We have also moved to the suburbs for a better life for our kids (the typical - more space, more yard, less-expensive and good public schools) and most days, I long for my past city and career-oriented life, so there is definitely ongoing conflict for me with that. Combine all that with no time or energy (or desire!) to actually think about what is going on with me and I think it is inevitable for pain to emerge.

    Pushing forward with some kind of activity - no matter how small - is really important for me, though. Last night, as an example, my stomach was really churning and hurting and I started to get fearful (a few years ago, I had incessant, incapacitating stomach aches for a year, which I eventually figured out was a TMS symptom for me). I wasn't feeling that great at all and could have just laid down on the couch, but instead, asked my husband if we could walk around outside the house and talk about what we needed to do for spring gardening (an activity that I love). It was a really small thing to do, but definitely manageable and I knew I could do it even with my upset tummy. And by the time we got back inside 15 minutes later, I realized my stomach ache had gone away and I felt completely fine again. The distraction is really helpful because otherwise I focus on the pain and fear and everything gets worse.

    For some reason, though, I have to take the attitude that I am going to do something "in spite of the pain" and not try to distract myself for the purpose of getting rid of the pain. If I take the latter approach, it doesn't work. When I do the former, it is usually much more successful. If you have read Dr. Claire Weekes, it seems kind of in line with her describing accepting, rather than fighting your situation.

    I hope something is helpful here. I feel like I have rambled quite a bit. Praying for relief of pain for you today!
    Ellen and Anne Walker like this.
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Happygal. That walk in the yard with your husband, planning the garden, what a wonderful distraction
    from your upset stomach. You relaxed and it went away. The way you did it worked... taking the walk
    despite any pain, not to get rid of it.

    Mala, you've come a long way in TMS knowledge and practice and will overcome the rest of your symptoms.
    I think a steady progress toward healing is better than a "quick cure," because we learn more about ourselves.
  15. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Amy thank you I have also posted a reply to your response to my post 'The last 3 days'. I get what u mean by doing something' in spite of the pain' as opposed to something 'to get rid of the pain'. Your example of taking a walk in the garden & not lying down when u had the stomach pain is how I try to deal with my pain. By not giving in, but this also means I need to ignore it to a certain degree. Do u see what I mean? Ignoring is a form of distraction for me. Does that make any sense or have I got it wrong?

    Ellen I think a lot of my pain is tension generated or at least exacerbated by tension which of course is due to worrying. I can relate very well to the 'hurrying' thru ativities. I have done this since I was kid. Getting thru stuff so that I could sit & read my book or listen to my music. I didn't think there was anything wrong & I must admit I was also never sick- not for the 1st 40 years of my life anyway. Now I am aware of this because I want to do things quickly coz I am in pain & not enjoying it so much. I have to consciously bring awareness to my actions & slow down but it it difficult. I know it will take time & practice.

    I am pleased to hear that you are so much better. It gives me hope too. Thx so very much for yr response


    Last edited: May 21, 2014
    Ellen likes this.

Share This Page