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Surgery with mesh implant and TMS

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Tom_tms, Feb 26, 2023.

  1. Tom_tms

    Tom_tms New Member

    Hi everyone,
    First of all I am so grateful for this community!

    But I have profound doubts that my symptoms are TMS related.

    Two years ago I had an umbilical hernia repair with mesh implant and since then developed severe symptoms (gas, bloating, belching, ibs, shortness of breath, stomach pain, head aches, eye burning, allergies...) no specialist can explain. They suppose the scar tissue and the lack of flexibility due to the mesh implant could irritate my vagus nerve, which could influene my parasympathetic nervous system. But a mesh removal would cause to much new tissue damage.

    You should know that I have a TMS personality and before surgery my belly has always been my weak point. I underwent all standard medical procedures with no outcome.
    Whats your thoughts on such surgery related issues which implants?
    Thank you so much for your help!
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    You've been thoroughly checked out, which means this sounds like the perfect breeding ground for TMS! So welcome,@Tom_tms, because if you're willing to do the emotional work, this is the right place for you to be.

    What do you know about TMS so far and from what source?
    Tom_tms likes this.
  3. Tom_tms

    Tom_tms New Member

    Thank you so much for your answer, JanA, and your kind words.

    I have begun journaling, but find it quite challenging to make a routine out of it. I've read a lot, i.g. the boom of Alan Gordon and Nicole Sachs and also listened to some podcasts of her, and of Course read a lot here in the Forums. So again, I am very grateful for your reply.

    My biggest concern is that all my symptoms are related immediately to moving and in this way bringing physical stress (pressure or tension) to my belly and the core muscles which are grown together with the mesh. This is medically intended, but the mesh feels so tight and even low pressure on it unleashes the symptoms. When I am in complete rest mode for a few days my symptoms go away. But coming back, when cycling, moving to fast, having a walk or eating/drinking to much (because this leads also to sense of strain to my belly).

    Because of this obviously structural limitations I am not fully convinced of having TMS. There are so few cases here, who underwent surgery with having implants.
    The last two years I lost track and hoping so much to recover. I know that every time when I consider a second surgery to remove the mesh, I dwell on These thoughts and all the ruminating starts the fear cycle and my condition worsens. Also job related stress amplifies the symptoms.

    I feel that radical acceptance and self compassion/love could be wholesome for me, but I find it so difficult to adopt that on a daily basis...
  4. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Does the idea that the mesh implant can irritate the vagus nerve have any scientific basis in reality? I have a mesh sling holding up my bladder. There is a great deal of scar tissue in there but I have zero symptoms. It sounds like the doctors are grasping at straws and there's no causality with the implant and your array of symptoms.
    Tom_tms and JanAtheCPA like this.
  5. Tom_tms

    Tom_tms New Member

    That is a good question. There is no scientific basis for this theory and just some explanation attemps by the surgeons I saw. Thank you for this perspective.

    I met some other patient via Facebook groups who mentioned similar symptoms after having mesh implanted and get rid of the symptoms after removal surgery. This bewilders me, cause it makes a surgery more attractive, even if this procedure can be highly dangerous for me and is no real option. But I also know, that every patient is different and maybe some just experienced placebo effect and of course I don't know whether symptom imperative strikes back in these cases.

    One particular trigger is really weird and makes it very hard for me to believe it could be TMS. Since having the surgery it is only possible for me to sleep on the back. Lying on the side provokes the symptomes. So when I roll to the side by nights I wake up the next morning having severe stomack pain. I wonder how does my brain know that I am lying on the side when I am asleep. Is the brain capable of producing TMS when it is in an unconscious state when sleeping? I don't know whether I explained this issue understandably.
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is a good indicator to try adding therapeutic breathing and meditation to your new practices. Breathing is easier for most of us. The key is to become mindful of your state of muscle tension and simply breathe. Look up diaphragmatic breathing and the vagus nerve for the science and specific techniques.

    It's funny how similar questions seem to occur in waves. This one (TMS while sleeping) has been asked a LOT lately. The answer is that of course it can! And it does. ALL the time. Think about it logically - dreams alone are proof that our brains are not at all unconscious during sleep, right? They are incredibly busy processing your emotions and experiences, and of course you know this. Thinking that this isn't the case is a completely irrational thought created by your extremely tricky and skilled TMS brain in order to keep you in fear and doubt.

    Don't be fooled!

    I have personal proof of the power of conscious thought upon the sleeping brain - basically by taking control over my TMS brain. I discovered Dr Sarno and this forum and "did the work" in 2011, coming up on twelve years ago this fall. Not much later, probably in 2012, after a decade or more of using a nightguard every single night for teeth clenching, I decided to use my new TMS knowledge and techniques to get rid of it. All I had to do was a quick little bedtime meditation/visualization/self-talk session in which I instructed my brain to leave my jaw unclenched and my teeth not touching while I slept. I don't remember how many nights I did this, but it wasn't even all that many before my brain had given in and not clenching became habitual. I haven't used the nightguard since, and my dentist is just as happy as when I was using it (at some point I told him what I'd done, and he was 100% on board - he sees a LOT of mindbody outcomes in his practice - both negative and positive)(I also used TMS/mindfulness to relax a WHOLE lot more for procedures, resulting in fewer pain shots when work is needed - unfortunately as we get older, more work is needed to keep our teeth in our heads as long as possible).

    I use the same technique for all kinds of symptoms that are bothering me when I go to bed. Stiff neck muscles is an example - "before Sarno" I used to get disabling neck spasms and related sick headaches, but I haven't had anything that even comes close to those experiences in the eleven years "after Sarno".

    Absorbing knowledge is great, but I would strongly urge that you do one of our free programs so that you have some structure in which to do things like writing exercises. I get it - it's hard for me to stick with healthy practices unless I'm accountable to something or someone other than myself. We've got the Structured Education Program (SEP) on the main tmswiki.org, or Alan Gordon's Recovery program here on the forum.

    I'm a huge fan of Nicole Sachs (love her podcast) but the best quick advice I've seen for so-called journaling is Dr. Hanscom's short article about what he calls expressive writing. I like that phrase because to me, "journaling" connotes a permanent written record, which initially prevented me from being totally honest during the writing exercises. Once I gave myself permission to throw out my writing immediately, I stopped editing it - which provided a major turning point in my emotional path and healing. Turns out this is what Nicole and Dr. Hanscom both recommend.

    Keep us posted!

  7. Tom_tms

    Tom_tms New Member

    Jan, you are a blessing. Thousand times thank you, so far. I will go through your statement again and again, you gave so many helpful hints.

    Have a great day!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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