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The Symptom Imperative?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Tms_joe, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    Ok so I hope this all makes sense. In some serious pain at the moment.

    Long story short to get to my question, I finally fully accepted my condition with my hands and forearms in relation to typing as TMS and not RSI. It was really just the past few days I got to 100% acceptance. I had failed in the past. My activity on the computer isn’t quite what it used to be due to being unemployed, but it’s significant, and I am convinced. My hands feel much better! Maybe 75% better already. My issues result from being extremely type A. I’ve pressured myself immensely to be as much of a provider as I possibly can to my own detriment over the past 6 years or so. My job made me miserable. I stayed for the money.

    Now the bad news. I do believe I’ve siffered the symptom imperative. Yesterday my lower right back ached so bad. A 5 of 10. I had an injury there months ago that healed up maybe a month ago. I might have tweaked it just the smallest bit, but there was nothing to justify the pain yesterday. It was literally 100% gone today. So unexpected.

    Then today while using the phone for 30 minutes my bicep just ached so bad. It was very odd. It did eventually pass, but I knew it was tms.

    Then this evening I decided to workout. Nothing strange about that. Did some squats with no weight to loosen up. Then added a little weight. It wasn’t heavy at all for me. Could do it all day normally. First rep I felt excruciating pain. Dropped the weight. Fell to the ground. It’s at a level I’ve enever felt in my life. I have to say it’s a 10. I layed on my back and rested. I’ve tried to stretch. I used a heating pad. I’ve taken a muscle relaxer. It’s nerve pain, and it’s crazy. Not sure how I could possibly sleep. I’m hunched over on the couch right now and pain is still a 3 like this.

    I’ve had injuries to my back in the past that healed up normally. It’s been years. This pain is not just inconvenient. It’s debilitating. Could it be TMS? I had a moment about 15 minutes after the pain started where I told myself it was. I managed to stand up straight and walk around for 5 minutes. Pain went down to 4-5, but it came back strong.

    Look forward to insight. I plan on sharing my whole story wasn’t things are more clear.
  2. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    Pain is severely reduced today. I still can’t stand up, but I can get around hunched over. It’s just like it was 6 yrs ago when this first happened. Still would really like to hear any opinions. Thanks in advance.
  3. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Because you could stand and walk for 5 minutes lets you know that you didn't really damage your back.

    It seems like your unconscious is very worried about what might "come up" if you aren't focused on physical symptoms.

    Can I ask, do you write about your emotions or think about the underlying reasons for the pain.

    The Symptom Imperative will try going to an old injury if you're not focusing on your RSI.

    Since you "walked" with it yesterday, perhaps relax and decide you can "walk it off" today.

    Sending good thoughts.
  4. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    It sounds like many TMS "attacks" here and in the books. Does't sound like you could have done anything to injure yourself to create such debilitating pain. Dr. Sarno said TMS pain was as painful as anything caused by real structural injuries. If you haven't already, read Steve Ozanichs' TMS book, "GPD". He describes his TMS pains as bad as yours that he fully recovered from, there's an anecdote where he has his ex-wife beat him on the legs with a baseball bat and one where he's at the golf-driving range slumped over his car in pain and a little kid comes over and encourages him to basically "Just do it mister!", this account is on page 105 of "THE GREAT PAIN DECEPTION".
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  5. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    Thanks for the feedback. I have been journaling just the past week or so as I fully accepted the TMS. I decided the typing would reinforce that my hands were fine.

    I’m open to this back pain being TMS. It’s just so severe, and I can’t think of what might be bothering me. I do have some stressors at the moment for sure. I am unemployed and not happy about how it is going to affect my finances, but it’s not some dire situation. Prospects are good for landing another job. Lots of time on my hands to dwell on things. The ironic part of that is that I needed to to leave that job to address these issues. I hated it and pressure myself to stay for the money.

    I listened to the entire audio book of The Divided Mind. I’m a textbook case. I believe in it. I just can’t wrap my head around this back pain. It happened to me 6 years ago the first time. The way it happened made sense.

    I'll add that earlier that day I hurt my back I was really becoming convinced of the RSI pain being gone, and I got a lot of activity going in my job search. It made me really optimistic, and I felt like there wasn't anything holding back anymore. Then that evening the back injury happened. The pain is not what it was 2 days ago, but I still cannot stand up straight. I can barely get around the house.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  6. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    I took the advice here and specifically that from MWsunin12. I did some journaling and then made my attempt to stand upright and then to walk. It took some time, but I managed to do it, and I think it just makes me more sure of this being TMS. I couldn't have done it when I woke up this morning. Even after trying to loosen up.

    Unfortunately the pain is still there. It's just not what it was before. I did feel like it was completely gone for maybe a second a few times while I was walking. Maybe I've done what needs to be done, and it still takes time.
    MWsunin12 likes this.
  7. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

  8. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    Well it’s been a few days and the injury is healing day by day. Nothing else has popped up best I can tell. Hands feel fine typing. Great actually! I need them for my next job as well as the application process. I had to let go of the pressure I was putting on my self in relation to money and practice outcome independence with regard to getting another job. That’s just part of what was causing my TMS.

    My current theory is that it was TMS that caused the tension in my back, but it made conditions ripe for reinjury. Another day or 2 and I’ll be past this but journaling and paying close attention to any other ailments.

    My failed attempts previously were because I just couldn’t be honest with myself and accept the situation that I need to quit my job even though the next one would likely pay less. It was unfathomable. Money has played too high of a priority in my life. Now that my hand was forced jobwise, and I’m able to address these issue, Recovery is happening. I hope that is helpful to someone reading this.

    I’ll add that I coincidentally started on an ssri for the first time ever on the same day as I lost my job. Obviously it didn’t kick in for a few days. It was for anxiety. I had no clue what caused it. I do think it may have sped up the process. Logically I could see my situation was not so dire, but I had anxiety about it anyway. I would like to some day get off of the drug. I’m ok with the crutch for now.
  9. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    Well, it's been 2 weeks now. I'm a bit confused by this injury honestly. It's improved day by day like a normal, physical injury would, although it's still lingering a little bit. I don't have much doubt it will go away soon, but I'm not sure if it was TMS or not. How in the world did I stand up and walk around with the pain decreased by such a large margin right after it occurred? I wasn't able to duplicate that afterwards. I just don't know.

    I've had a little recurrence of the rsi pain. Right now in fact. It's at such a low level though. 10% of what it used to be. I'm continuing to journal and try to be aware of my emotions.
    MWsunin12 likes this.
  10. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Joe, speaking for myself, it's about letting go of the fear. (I've had days of success, but not a pro) If yo can replace the fear and the need to check in on your symptoms, it doesn't matter if it's TMS or was an actual injury, which I doubt because you could walk directly after it.

    I often say to myself, "I am 100% willing to accept that this is psychological." I repeat it until the other negative thoughts give up and quit.

    best to you
    Kevin Barry likes this.
  11. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    Thanks Marcia. I do believe you are correct. I've now strained an ab muscle just standing up. It's almost getting comical how accicdent prone I seem to be. Not focusing on the ailments and continuing to address things that cause stress, anxiety, and pressure is going to be my method going forward.
    MWsunin12 likes this.
  12. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Decide that "accident prone" isn't true for you. Don't give that power. I've been putting into practice watching what I say about myself out loud or in writing.
    I think our subconscious registers it, somehow, and then our brain expects it. I hope this makes sense.
    TrustIt and Kerrj74 like this.
  13. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    It does seem that this was TMS. The pain is gone now. It lingered for months at a lower level, and that just didn’t make sense. The body would heal by then and not stall out. As soon as I realized that it wasn’t long before I was becoming more and more convinced, and I resumed a more rigid workout routine without any issues.

    The worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life was caused by TMS. I had never felt anything like it. Wow!
  14. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    Just to really drive the point home I’m fully convinced if I was only 90% before. This insane back “injury” was TMS. I’m doing heavy deadlifts in the gym. No pain the following day.
    Kerrj74 likes this.
  15. TrustIt

    TrustIt Well known member

    Exactly...I have been closely monitoring my language as well. I have stopped calling the symptoms by names ... "my this", or "my that"...and just come up with a neutral word like "sensation" and then breathe and float with it. Our thoughts and words have so much more power to create depending on what we "own" and what we don't. Labels tend to stick to us.

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