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Stuck in doubt

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by mc1986, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. mc1986

    mc1986 Peer Supporter

    Hi, I have been lurking here for about a year on and off. I have been distracted chasing a physical cause to my problem with no success. I have ups and downs but my pain has been basically 24/7 for about a year and a half now. I have not had a moment of relief in the last year.

    I have a pretty typical TMS personality. Although I would not consider myself a perfectionist when it comes to tasks or other people, I am beginning to realize that I demand perfection out of myself. Not exactly when it comes to projects or a clean house or anything like that, but more so when it comes to being a good provider, good husband, good father etc. I need to have control over a situation and don't know how to let things go. I am realizing that I more or less believe that if something isn't going right in my life it must be because I am doing something wrong and if I work hard enough I should be able to fix it. This attitude worked great until the pain started.

    I injured my back about 18 months ago lifting weights. My symptoms started about 3 weeks after the initial injury and have basically been constant since then. I was initially diagnosed with an very obscure nerve entrapment syndrome because I never connected the dots between the back injury and the nerve pain. After a year of treating this misdiagnosis I decided I would take a break from treatment. It was during this time that I found out that I did not have an entrapped nerve but the pain was coming from my spine. I have spent about the last 8 months treating my back with physical therapy, chiropractic etc. with little to nothing to show for it. So I am back to learning about TMS.

    I am almost ready to take the plunge but have a few doubts. I am hoping some more experienced TMSers can help me out.

    1. I have palpable nerve inflammation around my lower abdomen and buttock area. I have been told that this is from the nerve being mechanically irritated. I basically have lumps of tissue that are somewhat similar to trigger points but are not in the muscle. They are in the fatty subcutaneous area. So my question is whether tms can cause inflammation or is this just from the nerve firing from the tms process? Has anyone had any experience with inflammation?

    2. When someone presses on what I have been told is my L2 vertebrae, I feel the referred pain to my groin, buttock and pelvic area. I have no back pain at all. I just have the referred pain that has always been reproducible if someone pushes on that area of my spine. This has been a big hang up for me for whatever reason. It also hurts and reproduces symptoms when someone presses over the nerve as it crosses over my pelvic bone and drops down into my pelvic area. I guess my question regarding this is whether tms can sensitize these nerves to the point of them being sensitive to the touch?

    Thanks for any input, I am ready to change... ready to move on with my life
     
    David88 likes this.
  2. David88

    David88 Well known member

    1. Yes, TMS can cause inflammation. It's a mindbody condition, meaning that it creates real changes in the body. I think inflammation is one of TMS's more common tricks. I've also had it cause muscle spasms and swelling. TMS symptoms are most certainly not 'all in the head'.

    2. Yes, TMS can sensitize a nerve so that it's painful to the touch.

    That doesn't mean that all pain is caused by TMS. A doctor should examine you to rule out injury, tumor, and the like. But TMS can make almost any part of the body hurt.
     
    MWsunin12 likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, mc. You may need more medical advice than I can give. David's suggestion is good, to have a doctor examine you to see if your symptoms are structural. But keep in mind, as David says, even if something structural does show up, its cause may be psychological, so TMS emotions may be giving you the pains.
     
    Boston Redsox and David88 like this.
  4. mc1986

    mc1986 Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the responses. I have been to a ton of doctors. Basically, what they have all said is that I have a chunk of my spine that doesn't move properly which is somehow irritating nerves. They have all found the same spot that is producing my pain without me telling them exactly where it is. They say the joints are stuck in the wrong positions but No one can tell me why. I am beginning to think there is a psychological process that is causing the muscles to guard around that area.

    I have recently started running again and lifting weights. This actually seems to help my pain and it certainly helps my mood. It would seem to me that if there was some mechanical compression of nerves that exercise would make the problem worse, right? I have been treating this with conventional medicine for over a year with no real progress. The more I read about TMS the more I think the pressure I was under prior to my back injury and the series of events that took place afterwards are affecting my pain much more than I thought it could. I have always been an obsessive thinker and have been told I "live in my head". Perhaps the initial injury was real but tms took over after the initial injury had healed? I know that my spine is not moving properly but I just don't think it matters anymore. After all, my wife's neck looks to be in pretty bad shape but she doesn't have pain from it.

    Thanks again for your help
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
    David88 likes this.
  5. David88

    David88 Well known member

    That's very possible. I've had that experience several times. I broke my leg five years ago, and it still hurts sometimes despite the fact that x-rays show it's completely healed. I've had other injuries were the pain lingered long after physical healing.

    An old injury site is a very sneaky place for TMS to create pain. It's naturally convincing.

    It sounds like you're on the right track. It's great that you can run and lift weights without problem. That's strong evidence that it's not a physical injury.
     
  6. missy1979

    missy1979 Newcomer

    Hi

    I do not have back pain, but I have had many conditions that cause real, measurable inflammation that I know are TMS caused now. I think personally that TMS oxygen deprivation can cause that area to to be inflamed because of the lack of oxygen. Lack of oxygen is the beginning of disease in the body in any place. I even have blood in my urine and tons of testing to prove their is something actually wrong with my body. That does not mean that the underlying issue is not stress or TMS. I know it is now, I doubted this for MANY years and have done tons of things to heal myself. I am back because I know in my heart and spirit this is the cause. Only you can decide that for yourself. Keep reading up on it and look for clues!
     
    David88 likes this.
  7. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    MC, sounds like you have a good understanding of TMS theory and practice. But you've been handed some major NOCEBOS about your spine by allopathic docs. You said you "injured" your back while lifting weights. Dr. Sarno said "If it's too heavy to lift, you couldn't lift it."

    The docs found an obscure anomaly on your imaging reports. This may be what the Good Doctor calls GRAY HAIR OF THE SPINE--a normal anomaly due to ageing. Maybe the docs are having trouble finding something substantive so are fishing for something obscure. I don't know, I'm only a tennis player, who's also lifted a lot of weights in the past. I once helped a guy out who was bench pressing without a spotter, he couldn't get the bar with 225 lbs. off his neck. I saw him in trouble and helped him out. He's still very much alive but not a heck of a lot smarter--he's a pot smoking Republican--seems like a conundrum.

    So, my bottom line is : Get a work-up by a TMS physician for an objective opinion, there's a list of them at the home page in the side-bar under TMS Physicians and Practitioners
     
  8. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    MC, sounds like you have a good understanding of TMS theory and practice. But you've been handed some major NOCEBOS about your spine by allopathic docs. You said you "injured" your back while lifting weights. Dr. Sarno said "If it's too heavy to lift, you couldn't lift it."

    The docs found an obscure anomaly on your imaging reports. This may be what the Good Doctor calls GRAY HAIR OF THE SPINE--a normal anomaly due to ageing. No one's x-rays are perfect--except for maybe Taylor Swift's. Perhaps the docs are having trouble finding something substantive to hook their structural dx on, so are bottom fishing for something obscure. I don't know, I'm only a tennis player, who's also lifted a lot of weights in the past. I once helped a guy out who was bench pressing without a spotter, he couldn't get the bar with 225 lbs. off his neck. I saw him in trouble and helped him out. He's still very much alive but not a heck of a lot smarter--he's a pot smoking Republican--seems like a conundrum.

    So, my bottom line is : Get a work-up by a TMS physician for an objective opinion, there's a list of them at the home page in the side-bar under TMS Physicians and Practitioners.

    G'luck!
    tt
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  9. mc1986

    mc1986 Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the comments and support everyone. I am hoping to get in to see Dr. David Hanscom soon. He is not too far away from me and I think could give me a lot of confidence to continue down the tms path.

    I do have one more question for you all. I don't have a lot obvious emotional trauma in my past. I have a good family who is supportive. I was never abused or anything like that. I am beginning to think that my tms stems mostly from my personality. My need to be perfect for everyone else and the amount of pressure I put on myself to accomplish that. Is this enough to trigger the TMS process? It seems like quite a few people around here have had some pretty bad things happen in there lives.
     
  10. Misha

    Misha Peer Supporter

    When I read 'obscure nerve entrapment' my first thought was, 'Pudendal Neuralgia' because that was also what I was diagnosed with and I too, have since learned this was a misdiagnosis (and it just translates to 'pain' near one nerve so isn't even a diagnosis - just a description of symptoms!). So I checked your other posts, and it is! I think that kind of diagnosis sets us up for a lot of doubt because the prognosis for that 'diagnosis' is so horrible creates a horrible state of fear and a downward spiral. I'm sure my symptoms got worse immediately. It sounds like the 'spine' issues you describe are quite common in TMS and in Dr. Sarno's books which is great news. I totally understand being stuck in doubt and it's something I'm working on too. Good luck :)
     
  11. mc1986

    mc1986 Peer Supporter

    Hi Sara, yep it was Pudendal neuralgia. Pretty terrifying. I later found out that it was actually referred pain and not pn at all. The symptoms I have match pn though. I didn't feel like going into detail about each of them if you know what I mean but it's quite unpleasant. They had me convinced I couldn't sit or I would make it worse. Pretty silly. I now sit as long as want. I just said f it about 6 months and started sitting normally. sitting doesn't bother me at all now. Or I guess I should say it doesn't bother me any more than any other position. I avoided sitting for close to year until I threw out all my cushions and decided I wasn't going to spend my life unable to take my kids to a movie or out to dinner. Now I don't limit myself in any way. The only exception is I am not back working on the fire engine yet. I love my job and can't wait to get back to it.

    My struggles now seem to be more about not pressuring myself too much. I am pretty good at pushing through the pain but I am now thinking that it has almost become another perfectionist trait. I think I could use a little more self compassion as times. I get pretty down on myself when I allow the symptoms to affect my mood or my ability to be a good husband or father.

    Anyway I am glad that you found out about Tms. Keep at it and hopefully we will both find some relief soon.
     
    MWsunin12 and Misha like this.
  12. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi MC, and like you I skulked on the forum for a year before presenting myself! You've made a lot of progress whether you realise it or not. Being in a desperate state and "ready for change" is exactly the state I was in too when I stumbled on TMS. You've already been on the medical merry-go-round and have been cleared of anything else, so can start your TMS healing journey. You've already done a lot of "living in your head" - which is a good thing, because you have given yourself time to contemplate the circumstances which have contributed to and brought on your TMS. This insight alone is empowering, as you now have the missing pieces in the puzzle - something I was missing for over twenty years!

    Many of us are in your boat, where we are just people pleasers, always wanting to do the right thing. In Sarno's book "healing Back pain" he says:

    "The statistics suggest very strongly that the cause of most back pain is emotional, for the years between thirty and sixty are the ages that fall into what I would call the years of responsibility.... the period in one's life when one is under the most strain to succeed, to provide and excel".

    For me, discovering and accepting I had TMS released most of the fear I had over the symptoms. I accepted that once my tension and anxiety levels reduced that my body would heal, and it did. My first relapse was scary, as it challenged my belief, but I reverted back to my previous formula and allowed the pain; accepted it as temporary and explored events that had contributed to it. Belief in TMS is essential to healing. It is reassuring and dissipates fear. Having no fear builds confidence and accelerates healing.

    Even if I have a cold I use TMS healing techniques. Often we push through - as you've suggested yourself - but the word "push" = tension, and TMS thrives on tension. I do what Claire Weeks suggests which is simply to Accept, Float (i.e. relax) and let time pass (i.e. don't calendar-watch.). Her book is a gem.

    The important thing now is to do "the work" - i.e. spend some time each day observing your body for any tension. Do this every day and you'll find that you become aware of your body's response to daily events as they are happening as opposed to after the event. This has been the number one effective tool for keeping TMS in check, as I keep a watchful eye on my subconscious.

    You're well on the way MC. Release the pressure you are putting on yourself, and reap the rewards. Seeing a TMS doc will set you on your journey. Do read Steve Ozanich and Sarno and keep within reach.

    Let us know how you go with the doc. All the best, Colly
     
  13. David88

    David88 Well known member

    I hope others will weigh in on this, because I come from the 'pretty bad things' category, but my understanding is that you don't have to have had emotional trauma in order to develop TMS. It comes from having an overly people-pleasing personality, and too high expectations for oneself.
     
  14. mdh157

    mdh157 Well known member

    MC, I have that same expectation of perfection out of myself but never even thought abt it until after I'd heard abt TMS (which is after I developed symptoms, of course). Since then there are things I have been able to let go and it has allowed my mind to relax a bit more but I still have a ways to go. I have also been watching my dreams as thy can sometimes give us a look into our subconscious/unconscious minds. I literally sometimes still feel my life is in danger with the symptoms I have, although it has improved from the state I was originally in.
     
  15. mc1986

    mc1986 Peer Supporter

    Thanks everyone for the responses. Yes MDH I am beginning to realize how exhausting the constant need to be responsible for everyone around me is. My wife and I had kids very young so I had to become very responsible very quickly. At the time that I hurt my back (and I say hurt my back because I was squatting 300 lbs and heard and felt a loud pop) I was under a ton of strain. I am a firefighter who works 48 hour shifts and was at the busiest station in the department on the busiest unit. It was not uncommon for me to go 48 hours without sleep during that time. I remember feeling like I was about to explode with everything that was going on at work and at home. We had just had our 3rd child which at the time just felt like more pressure. Anyway, the timing of the "injury" and the chronic pain that developed afterwards makes much more since to me now as I continue to explore tms. I had certainly reached my limit and I never would have stopped pushing myself had my subconscious not put an end to it. Thanks for everyone's help and insight.

    MC
     
  16. mdh157

    mdh157 Well known member

    that is typical, we put way too much strain on ourselves whether it be physical, psychological or emotional. Our bodies aren't built for it.
     
  17. mc1986

    mc1986 Peer Supporter

    Quick question. I have started running again within the last few weeks and I am realizing how much I missed it. I am starting to use it as a way to relieve anxiety. My question is whether this is an appropriate outlet for my anxiety or is it just another form of repression?
     
  18. mdh157

    mdh157 Well known member

    IMO if you are enjoying it then it surely will give you anxiety relief, which is a good thing. Of course, if you are repressing something then it is unlikely the running will alleviate any symptoms caused by repression, you are better off working to figure out what it is and dealing with it in a more direct manner.

    Would like to hear some others opinions on this.........
     
    David88 likes this.
  19. David88

    David88 Well known member

    I agree with mdh. If you enjoy running, by all means run! It's not a substitute for whatever emotional work you need to do, but it can be very helpful.
     
  20. Misha

    Misha Peer Supporter

    In The Great Pain Deception, doesn't Steve O say that he kind of by accident used running as a 'power therapy', didn't realise it but as he was pounding the pavement he was getting out his emotions?
     

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