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That old TMS is back...

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Guseman, May 28, 2017.

  1. Guseman

    Guseman Peer Supporter

    Its been a little less than two years since I've posted on the forums. And I've got many of my TMS symptoms coming back in the last few weeks, so I thought it would be good to return to this community.

    A little history:
    2 1/2 years ago I moved across the country with my then-husband for a job that I got on the east coast (after spending almost my entire life in western Washington). I had full-fledged panic disorder and TMS kick in the exact day we left, and battled with that for about 1.5 years. I found Sarno and the TMS Wiki about 6 months in and that helped tremendously. It felt like I had every symptom imaginable over that time: Started with back pain, then frequent panic attacks, chest pain, left arm pain, plantar fasciitis, dizziness/lightheadedness, brain fog, headaches, face pressure, acid reflux, heart palpitations, leg weakness. I was convinced I had all kind of diseases (from heart disease to brain tumors, classic hypochondria). I did the SEP 1.5 times (didn't get all the way through the first time), and they were very helpful, especially towards the end of the program. And then I was pretty much normal again and being fully involved in my life. I've continued to keep TMS in mind, and not freak out with pains here and there, but in the last year or so I've become more and more lax with journaling/meditating/keeping TMS principles in mind.

    Currently:
    Starting several weeks ago I started to get some of the head-related symptoms back (dizziness/vertigo-like, face and head pressure). And these are such familiar symptoms to me, probably the ones I'd had the longest and most recently, so I wasn't letting them get to me much. Now in the last week or two, I've started getting more of my old symptoms: chest pain and arm pain. And boy, has the TMS been doing a number on me this time. Instead of remembering I've had these EXACT symptoms before, I've been working myself into a frenzy about heart disease (which I have no personal or family history of whatsoever). I'm about 95% sure this is TMS, but the doubter in my head is really pushing this 5% worry into a panic. But I keep reminding myself they have all the hallmark signs of TMS:
    They go away when I exercise/run.
    They go away when my mind is fully occupied by something.
    They seem to be worse when I'm sitting and/or quiet and thinking.
    They move around. They come and go.

    I also have ALL KINDS of reasons that TMS would be flaring up like crazy right now. About 7 months ago my husband cheated on me and left me without warning (complete surprise to me and everyone that knew us). My aunt died in April and my uncle is doing poorly. Another uncle committed suicide two weeks ago. I still live in the same town as my ex-husband, with few friends, and I don't like it here anymore. I reconnected with and old friend back home and while that has been positive, it has it's own stresses. I'm an academic post-doc and I'm at the point in my job where I have to start thinking about the next job (its a temporary position), so the need to push myself to get more done and have a strong resume is getting higher. While I love my dogs, taking care of them solo has been very stressful. And all I want to do is fly home and spend time with my family and friends.

    So it surprised me that TMS was able to sneak up on me. But at the same time I still have strong moments of doubt, and I'm trying to work through that. So here I am :)
     
    Kerrj74 likes this.
  2. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    They go away when I exercise/run.
    They go away when my mind is fully occupied by something.
    They seem to be worse when I'm sitting and/or quiet and thinking.
    They move around. They come and go.

    I also have ALL KINDS of reasons that TMS would be flaring up like crazy right now. About 7 months ago my husband cheated on me and left me without warning (complete surprise to me and everyone that knew us). My aunt died in April and my uncle is doing poorly. Another uncle committed suicide two weeks ago. I still live in the same town as my ex-husband, with few friends, and I don't like it here anymore. I reconnected with and old friend back home and while that has been positive, it has it's own stresses. I'm an academic post-doc and I'm at the point in my job where I have to start thinking about the next job (its a temporary position), so the need to push myself to get more done and have a strong resume is getting higher. While I love my dogs, taking care of them solo has been very stressful. And all I want to do is fly home and spend time with my family and friends.


    ...and you are ONLY 95% sure it's TMS? ROTFLMAO....

    Most of my 'relapses' have been triggered by something really close that has to do with Mortality (suicides, aunt dying, all remind us of the fleeting nature of life) Work Crap (Phd, getting jobs, changes...anything to do with supporting myself) and responsibilities to others (dogs, Family,etc.)...Sarno even said when it comes out of 'nowhere' to look really close for your answer. Your sensory acuity and intuition is unusually refined here... I expect you'll recover soon.

    In fact, the only thing on there that might sneak UNDER my TMS radar would be your husband cheating on you. Usually in my experience, stuff that is super emotionally painful and OBVIOUS doesn't make a symptom because the Rage is too CLEAR to hide by some symptom... but we are all different.

    I am gonna step out here, no PHD needed. "Yes Virginia, this is TMS!"

    I don't know about all of these new-fangled ways to deal with TMS. I just get out my old copy of Healing Back Pain and read it from the forward to the end. I scribble notes that are relevant as I go through and the symptoms are usually gone by the time I am done (or before).

    It always goes away when we return to the three R's. Refute the diagnosis, return to activity and reconditon your mind. You already seem to have a handle on number one.

    be well!
     
    Ellen and nick like this.
  3. Guseman

    Guseman Peer Supporter

    Thanks, this was a really encouraging response! I would say 100% of my logical brain is fully on board with the TMS conclusion. Its just the tiny little doubting voice in the back of my head thats whispers "yeah, but you might die if you don't go to the doctor". Ugh. But I'm getting better at shutting that voice down!

    Its interesting with the divorce/cheating stuff because I definitely got a lot of anger and sadness out in the very beginning, but it was so sudden and so fast that I was moved out into a new rental and attempting to move on with my life within a month (lots of travel and conferences took up a lot of energy and attention). I'm starting to wonder if I didn't really let myself grieve over losing that huge part of my life (we were together for 11 years). Thats the way I think it might be symptomatic. I'm getting back to journaling though, so we'll see.

    And thanks for the suggestion of reading the book. I pulled up my Divided Mind copy last night and started reading. I think that'll help too, as I go through see myself described throughout the whole thing!
     
  4. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    "yeah, but you might die if you don't go to the doctor".

    That's interesting... also consistent with everybody I have ever met with tms. If it's job is to distract us and we are intellectually 'on' to it, it tries some fear instead....mental distraction

    I assume you are some sort of academic...e.g. you use your head for a living? I use my Body for a living. I noticed our symptoms aren't quite exact. I get less of those headache/stomach things and more of the shoulder/neck/back things. It's need to distract us is imperative. Remember, it's only job is to protect us from those perceived unbearable emotions. I always call it 'an over evolved coping mechanism'

    I tried going to school once. I got terrible migraines. I have never had them since. I also never finished school (LOL)

    I am in a 12 step group. We HAVE to review our resentments , anger, fear as part of our program. We have a very organized format for identifying them. I have NEVER had a TMS symptom when I have been regular with it. That would include Wife leaving me, GF's cheating on me and all of that other painful stuff that is part of life.

    I am certain you're going to get well fast...
     
    Guseman likes this.

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