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Struggling to Make Progress

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by rcal43, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. rcal43

    rcal43 New Member

    Hi All,

    I have been hard a work on accepting my TMS diagnosis for about 2 months now. I am lucky to live in the NYC area so I have actually been in for 4 appointments now with Dr. Rashbaum, Dr. Sarno's protege. Typical the the TMS personality type I pursued appointment scheduling vigorously and completed the diagnostic appointment with a firm TMS diagnosis and the following three lecture appointments.

    I have read all three of Sarno's books and Steve Ozanich's book. I constantly listen to what few interviews I can find from Sarno on YouTube and I bought the Sarno lecture DVD. I spend at least a half an hour a day reading or somehow pounding in the TMS diagnosis, but I have found little physical relief. My upper back pain has improved slightly and I am pushing myself to get back into the gym and lightly lifting, but my lower back pain has not improved. I consciously try to repudiate the structural diagnosis, but I have made such little progress that I am finding more and more difficult to convince myself-- I WISH MY BACK WOULD JUST GIVE ME AN INCH SO I COULD MENTAL MAKE THE NEEDED LEAPS TO TAKE THIS MILES!

    I realize that about 20% of patients need pyscho therapy, which I am happy to go to, but it is expensive and I am just out of college and trying to juggle many expenses. I would obviously pay anything to progress out of this pain, but I worry that I will not progress even this this therapy. Dr. Rashbaum assures me that there are TMS therapists in the area so it should be possible to find one, but at some cost I'm sure.

    I am sad and frustrated that I am not improving. The TMS diagnosis is a god send. I had given up on improving dramatically without any surgical intervention or otherwise.

    I can only imagine that I have to reverse 6 years of doctors confirming my structural diagnosis and this is why it is taking me so long. My pain coincides so well with the damage shown on my MRIs that i believe there is a part of me that still cannot accept the diagnosis. As I said earlier, my lack of progress has reinforced this and I am stuck in a real catch-22 with my pain eroding my confidence.

    I am not sure what anyone can say to help. I guess I just needed to get this out. I have studied TMS intensely for the past two months and feel as though I could deliver Sarno's lectures now by heart, but I am stuck and demoralized.

    Thanks for listening-- this forum has been a source of comfort to me.
    Karen likes this.
  2. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    Thanks for your post rcal. I can understand your frustration.

    I've made progress in my situation with RSI hand problems, but still am at times impatient to heal completely. I think you might consider the first line of your post "hard at work", this sounds pretty intense and probably would cause or contribute to tension. I have a similar personality and want to follow all suggestions, and in my case do them perfectly, (back to the dreaded perfectionism!), but I think that intensity is a big part of my body not relaxing easily.

    This Sarno quote really applies to me "In the long run, fear and preocupation with physical restrictions are more effective as a psychological defense than pain." and, "As long as he (the sufferer) is in any way preoccupied with what the body is doing the pain will continue." Of course it's one of those tricky things. the more I try to not think about something.... guess what happens?

    So for me what helps is when I do fun things and I'm able to forget about TMS and my symptoms for a while. I've noticed on hikes when this has happened there is no pain but as soon as I "check in" with my TMS, discomfort comes back. Also thinking of others, calling them, doing something for them can take me out of self obsessive thinking.

    Wishing you the best, and praying that you'll soon see more progress.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    rcal... It's not easy to tune out doctors who say your pain is structural, but that makes you doubt you have TMS 100 percent. Steve Ozasnich says it has to be 100 percent... "All or Nothing." I learned that the hard way, unable to believe my back pain was 100 percent TMS. When I finally did, the back pain went away. Keep at trying to believe and also to find ways not to think about your pain. Not easy either. We all know that.
  4. rcal43

    rcal43 New Member

    Thank you Msunn and Walt. Your encouragement is greatly appreciated. I will work hard a relaxing. haha. But seriously, I believe you are correct about stepping through this more patiently. Again, this forum is a huge comfort and I have found success stories to be most beneficial of all, so hearing of your success is helpful!
  5. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Hi rcal. It's always frustrating when we don't recover at the rate we'd like. Keep doing what you're doing. You're on the right track!
    Even though I've had a lot of physical recovery in the past 6 months, I still fall into destructive behaviors and the pain returns. Today I'm upset with myself for the way I handled a work situation. I need to let it go before it translates into pain. But I'm comforted by the fact that this program WORKS! Hang in there. The journey is such a worthwhile one.
  6. rcal43

    rcal43 New Member

    Thank you very much Gigi!

    I appreciate your confirmation that the program works. I need all the reinformcement I can muster.

    Thank you again!
  7. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle


    You didn't mention in your post if you are doing any of the structured programs for TMS healing that are available--the one on this site (SEP); Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain (the one I did); or Alan Gordon's (also on this site). For me this was an essential part of my healing and I still use several of the techniques I learned on a regular basis to stay well. Though I know some people are able to heal through just reading Sarno's work, it isn't enough for many of us on this forum. I had to take a more active role in my healing. The structured programs are a lot of work and emotionally painful at times, but it has truly changed my life in so many positive ways.

    Welcome to the forum, and I wish you the best on your healing journey.
  8. rcal43

    rcal43 New Member

    I will begin one Ellen. Thank you for your recommendations.
  9. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello. In reading your initial post I recognized so much of the frustration, anxiety and worry that I used to focus on ALL THE TIME. And I still have my moments and days! It is so frustrating when you consciously know what is going on and you want to skip to your body cooperating. There is not a consistent timeline, there is a lot of back and forth and jumping around, some people seem to find instant relief, and we are not 100% convinced that this is the solution or that we will ever be pain free. I remember the frustration and the desperation so very well. Take heart, you can't just start with relaxing. That is a tall order for any body suffering chronic pain. Look for was to make it manageable, just a little less. If you lay on your bed, breathe, and listen to a meditation tape, does it take the edge off just a little bit? The more you think about when it is going to happen or how much pain you are in, the more it prolongs healing. I know that is so much easier said than done! So look for little ways to make it a little less, draw your attention to anything that you enjoy and that is reassuring, pay attention, think, write about your emotional life whenever you find yourself thinking about the pain, and most importantly be very patient and kind to yourself. It will get easier.
  10. rcal43

    rcal43 New Member

    Thank you so much Anne, I have been tried to make more time to relax and it has been helpful. Again, it is so encouraging to hear that you have made progress. I feel that if I can make some progress, I can really begin to travel in the right direction.

    Thank you!
  11. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ha ha. If you travel in the right direction, you will begin to make progress! Patience and persistence and you will get there. And you don't have to be 100% pain free to feel so much better. Today I am having a bad pain day and yet it bothers me 20% as much as it used to. I can still work, laugh, and I know there is a very good chance I won't be in pain tomorrow.

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