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Structured Program

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Forest, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    I'm in the middle of a fear relapse. Allowing it to wash over me isn't having the same profoundly strengthening effect that it had yesterday.

    Do any of you other TMSers constantly suffer from this OCDish, "something is terribly wrong with my body and I just can't put my finger on it" vibe that you constantly get? I'm trying not to think physical...but it's hard to imagine how fear, inadequacy, and questions of self worth and other psychological principles can make the large joints in my body "snap", "crackle", and "grind" so physically!!! While my neck and lower back have been hurting for weeks, months, and they snap and crackle a lot, I am convinced that they are 110% TMS. My right thumb and left ankle often hurt for no apparent reason, but even then I think TMS. But it's my shoulders that R>L grind and grate and snap, oftentimes loudly, and at odd moments, that I have trouble chalking up to a mindbody process.

    I feel like a major let-down to TMS authorities (including Dr. Schechter) everywhere. Why can't I just kick this?!?!? I am so frustrated and scared. My life has come to revolve around feeling better for months now.
  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    :( Sorry you're having a tough time.

    I've been told that cracking is just air in the joints and nothing harmful and I haven't noticed it having to do with pain that I have. Sounds like you are still working with Dr. Schechter?--can you give him a call and see if he thinks this sounds like another TMS symptom or something else that needs to be looked at?

    You're not a let down, I think most of us have probably felt that way, I know I have. It just takes a while sometimes and I don't think patience is one of our TMS personality traits :)
  3. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    It's hard for me to think past the anatomy and the tendon structure and all that. :(
  4. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    I can see how that would be tough.
  5. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Happens. So don't worry. You aren't going to kick this in a day. I've had many moments where I know things are better, but then many more when I realize: I'm still in it.

    This sounds more like GAD or Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It's an anxiety where you constantly worry. Take one little thing and play it out to the end - usually a horrible end. OCD is different in that you need to keep the same routines, do the same things in the same order everyday. Or if there is something "out of place" it drives you nuts. And yes, anxiety is common with other TMSer's. Including me.

    GAD seems more like what's going on. You experience a lot of fear with the natural popping sounds your body makes. My dad's knees always popped and cracked when he did a knee bend. We used to laugh about the horrible sound but he said it didn't hurt and that they had always done that. Well guess what? Mine do the same and there is no pain associated with it. I have no fears that my knees will give out.

    You say two things here. One you feel "inadequate" because your body is making noises? Why? Why would you feel inadequate and have fear because of some natural noises? Fear, I can understand. You think because you are moving on "as if" and then your body is doing the same things it did last week that you are going to have more pain. Not true. And you have somehow carried this over into your daily life - classic GAD.

    Try simply "noticing" these strange pains and then not reacting. I really think you'd benefit from a psychiatrist who can get you on something for the worry. Then the rest might fall into place.

    And it is the same with many here who struggle to get there too. I can understand that you are frustrated. Are you still writing in a journal everyday? Are you doing one thing you love everyday? Are you ending your day with things you are grateful for? If you turn your thinking to something else, just for a few minutes a day, I think that you'll start to feel better. You won't be so focused on your body. Also there is a lot out there written about GAD. I'm going to look for a good explanation and post it here.

    Hang in there Phil. Try and remember today - what you felt yesterday. That guy is still in there, he just got caught up in the fear.

  6. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

  7. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Hi Beach-Girl,

    Didn't mean to get into a semantic argument. To me OCD means a worry getting stuck in the "on" position and having to exert a great deal of mental energy to get unstuck--which I think happens a lot to us TMSers. I do agree there is a huge GAD component to me. So says the former Psych resident portion of my brain. Then again, I think I need to realize that when I'm the subject, I need to turn off the psychiatrist in me! In any event, I've been on Cymbalta at a low dose for many months (for depression/anxiety/OCD and supposedly for pain too). LOL.

    Plus I didn't mean inadequacy leads to shoulder sounds. I just meant I just can't see how mental stuff translates into stuff that seems very physical. Pain, yes; and that's why my painful neck and lower back are easier to see as TMS. The thing that puzzles and scares me is that I tend to link TMS to these sensations because prior to developing my TMS, I didn't have these sensations and sounds before (if I needed to use my shoulder, I just used my shoulder and I didn't notice anything amiss). So there has to be some link somehow. Yet the TMS work isn't making the sensations and sounds go away at all and I brood about what they are (herein lies the obsessiveness). So my mind gets "stuck" and frustrated because I fear the sounds and sensations.

    Anyhow I wrote an e-mail to Dr. Schechter today and he's out of the office until Monday.

  8. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    ...I meant tomorrow (Tuesday).
  9. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    I think that you, like me, need to reread Mindbody Prescription. He talks about this in the book and can explain it better than I can. This statement is kind of the core of TMS. Our minds (huge subconscious) are giving us messages through the pain we're having in our bodies. Overload=pain. Unresolved issues=pain. Job Stress = pain. It's ALL connected. Try and wrap your mind around that OR reread the book. It's on my list of things to do.

    You have probably had TMS your whole life. It's when we get into Grown-Up Hood that we start to show symptoms. In MBS, he talks about all kinds of odd ailments that are TMS. This popping is probably something you may have had before, or your body is discovering another clever way to distract you from the REAL issue. And fear is classic GAD.

    And herein lies the answer: instead of worrying and getting "stuck" - you could write down these feelings. Here or in your journal. We've touched on a lot of things that it could be. Job. Parents. Fear of not Making the Grade this time. All kinds of things that TMS feeds on. The point is to not engage these feelings, but find distractions that are going to make clear to you that this is TMS, that is NOT HARMFUL, and you need to keep working at it. I'm not nearly done yet. But I'm not giving in to my symptoms since I know they are in my head.

    Why do you want to write to him? He's going to tell you things you already know. A wise person once told me: "If you have to ask the question, you typically already know the answer." True?

  10. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Well, then I guess the work continues. :(
  11. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Don't look so down trodden Phil! Think of how you felt yesterday. See if you can recapture that feeling....

  12. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

  13. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    So...Dr. Schechter e-mailed me back to suggest 1. a particular TMS therapist and 2. new MRIs with dye of both shoulders.
  14. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    "I need to write while the pain is still fresh and the emotions are still raw.

    Felt like a massive failure this morning when I e-mailed Dr. Schechter and even worse this afternoon when he e-mailed me back suggesting that I go through with TMS therapy AND repeat my MRI's of the shoulders (both now!) Felt repugnant with hatred b/c I had "failed" at curing TMS entirely through my own efforts and I felt like Dr. Schechter was giving up on me and consigning me back to the physical realm with the MRI's. Walked around the hardware store after work for a while to clear my mind and all I could come up with is, no matter chronic pain or not, somehow or other the only think that would give me peace and acceptance was closure. Whether I had to deal with permanent pain forever was a repugnant reality, but almost incidental to the need for closure since I have been trying SOOOOO hard.

    And so after getting home I was in an exceptionally low mood and full of self hatred. After dinner, when I began talking with Ma and Pa about life, I mentioned how succeeding--or failing--at residency now somehow needs to take a back seat to the CLOSURE on the issue, regardless of positive or negative outcome.

    And all of the sudden it came out. It doesn't even matter if they terminate me or not--and they haven't given any indication they will--because in my mindbody, I've already terminated myself. I've convicted myself based on past betrayals of my trust and now nobody could possible be as punitive to me as I subconsciously am to myself. In my mind, those attendings back in Syracuse and Stony Brook have already proven to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a failure. So that no praise any attending could give me now could hold a candle to the self condemnation that I feel.

    And I wept. I cried it all out, and I hugged Mom and Dad and Bear. And now I have some post-breakdown peace."
  15. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Wow. Sounds like a break through. I hope you are feeling better today. It sounds like your parents were supportive too?
    I hope you're feeling better today.
  16. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    What? You feel you've failed? Why? Don't you remember that Rule Number One is to make sure there's nothing physically wrong with you? I think it's a good way of reassuring yourself and your TMS doc that you are indeed suffering from TMS. IF there's something wrong with your body - YOU didn't fail. And even if there isn't you haven't failed. You simply aren't there yet.

    Man Phil. You can really go to town when you're down on yourself! Congrats! I've rarely seen anyone who can flog themselves like you do. I do it too. It's why I'm not over the finish line into pain free land either. But I certainly don't hate myself or feel I've failed. I have worked hard too. Very hard. And yet the dots aren't connected for me either. Doesn't mean I'm a colossal failure, it means my subconscious, like yours, is still hanging on to this pathway. And the pathway from the subconscious to the body that feels pain is a message. Not a sign of anything else. Good or bad. It's simply a message. And we need to de-code the message and tell it to stop.

    So are you saying you're quitting? You've had a big set-back. That's for sure. And we talked about yesterday that you possibly have GAD. I have it too. I see it in others. But are you wanting "closure" ( a word made up that means nothing since there rarely is real closure) now because you've been trying soooooo hard? Well I would too. But that doesn't mean giving up. Just two days ago Confident Phil was posting here and had the ticket. I assume you still have Dr. Schubiner's book. Why don't you try it? It can't hurt. And I think once you lose "Failure Phil" - your pain will dissipate as well. The workbook gives you all kinds of new ways and ideas to approach your TMS.And Failure Phil might learn to go away.

    So you want your TMS to put up or shut up? This is it? You need closure from this process? Because that's easy. You can stop writing. Stop working on the program. Stop posting here. Stop all your hard work and get "closure" which there never is any, and still be in pain. Good plan!

    Huge statement here Phil. Says to me you do get it. You don't want to give up. Because truth be told - you are the hardest person on yourself. All day everyday. That has to take work! Like finding Waldo. "What can I hate about me now?" When in reality you are a kind loving person who is in a struggle with your career, your parents, and yourself. Battling all that at once is exhausting. Plus you throw in the work on TMS, which you've been doing well at, and you have stirred the pot. Everything was going fine (not) when you could hate everyone and everything (including yourself) except when you discovered the TMS work, you found a couple things to love about yourself. Well? If the battle is still raging, and it is, then you aren't going to see results. You need to seek peace now. True peace from all of this.

    Why is this? What happened? Was there one event? Or was it in general? I take it this was your first program. There is something here Phil. Something huge that has you by the ankles and won't let you pass. It may be worth working through in a journaling style becaue THIS might be your "block".

    And wouldn't it be cool if it truly was this simple? I don't know that it is, but it's worth investigating.

    I certainly hope so. I'm so sorry you melted down. But it can be a spring board back into the game. Look. I'm not pushing you to try the TMS exercises again. I'm not advocating Dr. Schubiner's book. I'm not saying anything except: I really empathize with you Phil. You are (again) a kind soul, a hard worker, and you are simply too hard on yourself. Could be GAD. No one is naturally this hard on themselves. I am really hard on myself too. But I haven't put it out here as boldly and well written as you have. I have been trying to seek peace for myself elsewhere.

    TMS therapy isn't like Med School. There aren't any grades, there aren't any pass/fails. It's a journey. And on your journey so far I've seen progress and now you are having a "moment" in which you let it out. Good on ya Phil. Takes courage and nerve to do that.

    I'd sure like to hear how you're feeling today. Because I feel you're at a crossroad. And I hate to see you give up now, when as you say yourself: you've worked so hard at this. You have learned a lot too. So why quit the journey and go back to square one? What would that accomplish?

    Forest likes this.
  17. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    I didn't mean to be hard on you Phil. You are as I said, at a crossroads. I want you to see that you've come a long way. And with some help from others, perhaps the TMS therapist as well as getting the MRI - you can pick up again. Not start over, because you HAVE worked hard. But simply to get a new perspective. I've thought about doing this myself.

  18. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Don't leave us Phil. You truly are going to get there.....
  19. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    "I need a crash cart in the Structured Program section........"
  20. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hiya Phil,

    Personally, I think Dr. Schechter's advice is solid. Having tests done can help us remove the doubt that we may have about our symptoms. Further, seeing a therapist can help people sort through some of the emotions that come up during journaling and TMS treatment. I'm sure the person Dr. Schechter recommend is experienced with treating people with TMS, so they could possibly be a big help.

    I loved what BG said about TMS treatment doesn't have any grades. If you are not all that better yet, then who cares. It doesn't make you a bad person or a failure. It simply means that you have a little bit more way to go along your journey. There really isn't any right or wrong way to go about TMS treatment as long as you are committed to it and accept the true cause of your symptoms. If you are feeling overwhelmed by all of the emotions that come up with journaling then take a break for a week or so and just try to live your life knowing that you don't have a structural problem. I have always thought that getting back to living our life is one of the best methods to recover from TMS. Reread the Breaking the Pain Cycle article and really try to implement those ideas into your life. Also, check out Relapser's Curse - There is hope . I may have mentioned it before, but it is a really great store how Skizzik was able to recover and you may find it helpful.



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