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Day 1 Time to face this head on!

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Wolf24, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. Wolf24

    Wolf24 New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I am 35 years old and my story with TMS has probably been my whole life (at least what I remember), with symptoms such as anxiety, IBS, plantar fasciitis some back pain, etc. It really starting to manifest into significant pain in the last three years though (upper neck/back pain really kicked in), with it becoming debilitating in the last year. In August 2016 my lower back goes out. Bed ridden for three days but get adjusted and get some relief. Fast forward to after Halloween it kind of goes out again and I can't get any relief this time. Around the weeks of thanksgiving, neck and back are so bad that I can't even type an email without grimacing, lost 20 pounds in two weeks because I can't eat, slept about an hour or two a night for two weeks, have blurry vision, sensitive to light, you name it. Start walking dog around neighborhood and knees start to hurt, so can't do that. Quads and hamstrings are so tight they feel like they are going to snap. The worst of it seems to go away after thanksgiving but still in pain all the time.

    For the next year or so I deal with all the same symptoms but not as significant. I have run the gambit of the medical field just like a lot of those I have seen on this WIKI: Orthos, PTs, Chiros, Acupuncture, Holistic, Neurologist, Nutritionist, Massage therapist, Rheumatologist (diagnosed with Fibromyalgia), Nephrologist, etc. I even joined a Concierge Primary care practice hoping to get more one on one attention. $10k+ later I have nothing to show for it.

    This brings me to November 2016 and the discovery of the book Healing Back Pain. I had now started to add debilitating tendonitis to both arms that pretty much prevented me from typing. It got so bad I was at the point of telling my boss I need to go on disability and felt that my life had once again hit rock bottom due to my health. I went ahead and scheduled an appt with another Ortho who had previously done my second shoulder surgery for rotator cuff tear (I know now this was just TMS). He orders a nuc. Bone scan and prescribes what must be the 10th different anti-inflammatory for me to try. He also gives me a piece of paper about herniated discs and scribbled on the top in the margin is something about John Sarno and the mentioning of “Healing Back Pain”, but he doesn’t say anything to me about it. I don’t think much about this piece of paper and go home to deal with my nightmare of pain. Out of desperation one day I decide to look up what he scribbled. I come across Amazon and the reviews of the book. I start reading through them after reading the book summary and start to get a feeling of hope. I quickly order the book. While waiting for the book I start to do a little research online about this TMS and seem myself in every aspect of it. Fast forward to getting the book and I have it read in just a few hours. My life will never be the same. I see myself on every page like so many of you and I can’t tell you how emotional it made me as now I felt I had the ability to get my life back. While the book did not completely heal me it did give me the recognition I needed to start healing. My tendonitis backed off significantly, I could now type again. I had a business conference in Dallas the following week that I was sure I could not attend but because of this book and recognition I was able to do it and sit all day every day for an entire week! It was not without pain of course but that would not even had been possible before.

    Since then I have read The Divided Mind, read things online through this site and others and have started to see a Therapist to try and deal with emotional issues. I still have a lot of pain that I am trying to overcome and have good days and bad days. While I am not rock bottom I am still not near 100% which brings me to today. I know now that I have to take this more serious than I have and give my all if I want to overcome this, thus the start of the SEP program. I know now that I have to focus on this each and every day, not just the bad ones. I am not saying being obsessed about it as I know that is no good either.

    Other relevant info: I fit the typical TMS personality to the tee. I am a perfectionist (can’t even paint a room because of stress of seeing flaws) goodist (stress myself out trying to get someone the perfect gift, etc.). I have high expectations of others with none being greater than myself. I worry all the time about everything. I have been successful in my career but very unhappy. Pain really picked up with birth of first child in 2013. Also decided to buy a fixer upper that same year, which still needs fixed up. Birth of second child in 2014. We have two boys 21 months apart. In fall 2015 Dog dies. She was our first child as we had her since college, so even though she was old I took it much harder than I would have thought. Also was laid off around same time but found another position internally before employment ended. I love my wife dearly but we have completely opposite personalities and fight a lot. She is very laid back and messy and I am high strung and neat. It has caused a lot of conflict over the years with it becoming worse with kids. I had good enough parents growing up but they could be critical and have high expectations. I really in a lot of ways was left to teach myself everything. I love my dad but we don’t have a close relationship. Same with my brother but we are not close either. I have always had a hard time with stress but seem to look for it. I have also had trouble with anger. I am highly critical and when a person doesn’t agree with me I take it personal and for lack of better term mope about it.

    Level of Acceptance and worries: I feel that I have accepted TMS and tell everyone about it but am worried about the lack of progress. I know for some it takes a lot of time. I think I struggle with the repressed emotions as I have always felt that I wear my emotions on my sleeve and don’t bottle things up. I know that acceptance should be enough but feel I may me missing something. Having pain everywhere and symptom imperatives as well, I know I have a significant case of TMS. This surprises me as I was not abused as a child or had any significant trauma to that degree. I got the belt a few times and some verbal lashings but that was about it.

    At the expense of rambling too much and the desire to put my perfectionistic touch on this post I will quit now. It does feel good to just write and not be too concerned on structure, although I will say I couldn’t help but fix some things. :)

    Thank you to everyone on this site as you all have helped and supported me without ever speaking to one of you. Your stories and successes have been very meaningful to me. I look forward to ending this TMS once and forever!
  2. Cara

    Cara Peer Supporter

    I also did not have a bad childhood trauma. I also was not instantly cured and am still working on dealing with the TMS as life comes at me, but I have seen definite progress! I think for some it's a long journey, but one well worth taking. The people here are so supportive!

    One thing that helped me as a perfectionist/goodist/parent who didn't have past trauma is beginning a meditation practice. I read Mindfulness by Williams and Penman and committed to the eight-week practice. It wasn't a cure, but I don't think any one thing is. It's made my life and my pain better. Just a suggestion. The other tip I have is to not beat yourself up about not making yourself better immediately. Allow yourself to be human and to feel pain. This is life, after all, and it's messy. Let yourself be messy in it.

    Best wishes on your journey!!
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Wolf24, and Welcome to the Forum and SEP,

    I like Cara's support.

    I might also mention you might do the TMS Recovery Program first for a few days, and then go back to the SEP. The Recovery Program -also at the Wiki teaches some great attitudes to develop and skills.

    I recommend you continue to read Dr. Sarno's work, some every day, repeating areas you have questions about, or doubts, and posting those questions here. The last book he wrote, The Divided Mind somewhat addresses your question re "why so many painful areas, with no trauma?" Dr. Sarno, when he reviewed his files, found that the main contributor to TMS, of the three (personality, life stressors, early childhood) was personality. The way we treat ourselves, moment-to-moment is very important. This is also an easy thing to access as you observe yourself, and inquire into your behavior and the way you treat yourself. Remember that none of it needs to be fixed. Just seen for what it is, the reality of your inner relationships, and connecting this to your symptoms. When you know the real cause of symptoms, the remaining doubts fade, and the work becomes more successful. In its own time.

    In any case, each person is unique, and it is by following your own path in Dr. Sarno's work, the things which really resonate with you, that you will be successful, in my opinion. Keep questioning, inquiring, reading...

    Andy B
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Wolf. Your twin destructive personality traits -- perfectionism and goodism -- must be the main reasons you have pains. You're a young man (I'm 86) and can consider yourself fortunate in having discovered Dr. arno and TMS. I didn't learn about him and his book Healing Back pain until three years ago. I journaled in the SEProgram and discovered repressed emotions going back to my boyhood when my parents divorced. In your case, with no bad childhood memories, you can focus on your personality traits. You don't have to change totally, just try to modify them. Lighten up on yourself and others. Live in the moment, without thinking about the past or future.

    Happy Holidays to you all.
  5. Wolf24

    Wolf24 New Member

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words and advice. I have tried meditation to some degree in the past but am not very good at it as of yet, but know it will click for me soon. I will definitely look into the book "Mindfulness". I am starting to realize that my personality and the way I treat myself has a lot to do with it. Through therapy and my own exploration I have discovered I am not a big fan of me. I have always had low self esteem and confidence to some degree. I know that I am too hard on myself and others but am still struggling to change it. With it being so ingrained I know it will take time though.

    In journaling for day 2 it was asked what makes you sad…for me one was that life is passing me by and I am not living it. I never really have lived it to the fullest because of worry, stress, etc. but with the pain it is really now just flying by. I see my kids getting older every day and I feel that I am missing out on a lot of that enjoyment. The sad thing is that I probably would have missed a lot had TMS not struck me due to being absorbed in work, etc., taking for granted the precious years I have with my boys before they grow up. Day one had the journal question “What would a life without TMS mean to you?” My answer as I wrote it down “LIFE!!!!!!! The ability to live again. Maybe it was a mixed blessing that this happened. Right now it does not feel that way but it has given me a better view of my life to date and changes I need to make. Once I Heal, as there should be no doubt that I will heal, I must commit to living again. Don’t be afraid of life, live it to its fullest!

    Day 2 was rougher than one and as I write this it is day three. Been a rough morning but I am committed to ignoring the pain and making it a great day. One thing that has always helped me when it gets rough, since I have discovered this WIKI, is getting online to read a success story, as it always seems to motivate me and to help me push past the pain and not let TMS and my mind get the best of me.

    Thanks and happy holidays!
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    1. Hi, Tom. Thanks for sharing this information. I'm surprised that Big Pharm hasn't shot at it because it reportedly works and is not expensive. Cancer patients ought to ask their doctor about it before trying i
    1. Thanks Walt, I've been taking diclofenac (generic; Voltaren, brand name for a few months now for my Hip "arthritis", and found it beneficial to improving my functioning. I posted a report about it when I got the google alert about the meta-study, finding this older NSAID to be the best out of the rest of them, Tylenol, Alleve, Advil, Motrin, etc. I got an rx for it the same day from my physician's assistant and been using it two a day. It costs me about $9 a month. I just called a friend who is dying of cancer and told him about it yesterday and asked him to tell his doctor about it.

      I have been surprised and shocked to see that diclofenac has gotten no traction since the meta-study out of Berne, Switzerland (all the best studies are out of Europe aren't they) was published in the Lancet, a reputable medical journal. The problem probably is that it's old, gone generic, and there's no new money it it for the drug companies. The info is probably sitting in that three-foot high stack of journals that every doctor has on his desk. I don't think the drug companies will expend any of the valuable marketing time of the good looking sales ladies handing out note pads and pens to doctor's offices on this inexpensive drug that's OTC in some countries. Like TMS, until the fake media puts it above the fold, it won't get any traction, just too much stuff for PR people to tout that has money to back it. It would be a good one for John Stossel, the libertarian pundit, who did a great piece about TMS that's archived here--but unfortunately, he's just retired from his regular program on the FOX Network--but did leave the window open for special assignments. Walt, you know better then I do how news is manufactured, do you have any ideas on how the word can get out on things like this, that show promise, as well as TMS, for which searches on Dr. Sarno on the internet have been in decline?



    Walt OleksyBeloved Grand Eagle

    1. Hi, Tom. Thanks for the new post about Diclofenac because it turns out that I use its generic equivalent, Voltaren. The lady who cleans my house has a lot of back ache and her doctor recommended Voltaren gel. She gave me a tube and I can happily report that when I have any back ache, I rub only a small amount of the gel on where the hurt is, and it goes away really fast.

      Maybe it's TMS stress of the holiday and it being the morning of Christmas Eve, but I had some stabbing lower Back Painthis morning, below my belt line. I just now rubbed a little Voltaren gel on it and the back ache is gone. That area now feels warm and relaxed. Really!

      As for spreading the word, you can use my experience as an example. Magazines, newspapers, radio and tv are all reluctant to hype medical products for fear of being sued. I'd say the best way to let people know about Diclofenac/Voltaren is from posting on Facebook and Twitter. Look at how far Donald Trump went by getting his campaign out via Twitter !

      Hope you have a real Happy Holiday. God bless you and Voltaren.


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