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TMJ/Multiple Symptons

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Kalo, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. Kalo

    Kalo Well known member

    Hi All,

    I know Dr. Sarno talks about the Sympton Imperative, but I am getting other symptons on top of my original TMJ..

    The symptons will move around...But the TMJ is the worst...

    Recap: My Mom died four months ago, I was unfairly fired from my job 2 months ago and I am having trouble finding a job...

    I go on interviews and have been getting passed by which I am starting to think cause of my age. In the meantime...I am socially isolated, I have never been married....My only friend lives in Florida...

    My fear is getting the best of me from thinking, I have an autoimmune disease to disc displacement because I hear Popping, grinding, and pain in my left jaw...

    I am afraid to go to a doctor because I am not sure what they can do...I already know from TWO years ago I have degentrative jaw in my right jaw...I NEVER had pain like this...

    Something so harmless like chewing gum which I have done many many many time before....

    Now with my Mom gone, I feel lost for the first time....

    Any advise would be helpful...

  2. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Oh Kalo, I’m so very sorry to hear about your Mom. Grief can be overpowering. On top of that you're dealing with job anxiety. No wonder you hurt.

    My most horrific round of TMS occurred two months after my Dad died, when my job was in jeopardy due to statewide budget cuts. Unfortunately, it took me two years to discover that the pain was TMS. You are way ahead of the game there!

    A few suggestions: If the symptoms move around and you are convinced it is TMS, try working a different aspect of the program than you've used before. If you've worked through the SEP, try Alan's Pain Recovery Program. If you've read Sarno's books, try Claire Weeks or someone else. I find that different approaches work for me at different times.

    If you’re unsure whether the pain is solely due to TMS, don't let fear keep you from consulting a TMJ specialist. I find that I can't work the program well until I’m confident that the pain is TMS.

    Consider contacting a grief counselor. I saw one (more than 20 years ago) for only two sessions, but she taught me skills that I still use today. There were days back then when I experienced grief as a physical weight pressing down on me, but I learned tools to get me through that.

    On days when you feel isolated, immerse yourself in an online community—such as the one! Words are powerful, and we can support each other with them. There are a lot of caring people here.
    Blessings on the journey,
    BruceMC likes this.
  3. Kalo

    Kalo Well known member

    Hi Gigi, Thanks for you response...Well, I have a bit of sciatica that in that past I got rid of (Again all started with STRESS), I also have thumb tendonitis..That is what it feels like...
    The pain will got to sciatic for an hour then go to painful thumb pain but TMJ is constant....

    I am pretty sure this is TMJ, but, the constant popping, click, grating noise, plus pain makes me FEAR jaw disc problems.....

    I don't know why I fear it because TMJ.org says that LESS is more and there is no scientific treatment for disc displacement. They claim that surgery has failed and caused more problems.

    They also state that lots of people disc displacment with no pain or noise and no jaw opening problems...

    If I just had TMJ muscle pain I wouldn't care but it is the things that are going along with the pain...The worst is I am starting to clench because of the pain which doesn't help.

    So between the TMJ, sciatica that comes and goes, plus this thumb pain...Its all keeping me focused....

    Thanks for your kind words of encouragement and you are correct this online TMS community is wonderful...

    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
    Lizzy and Gigi like this.
  4. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member


    My first bout with chronic pain was TMJ. It happened after I was laid off from my job and my mother passed away a few weeks later. Like you, I felt lost. Without the distraction of a job, anxiety took over and I unknowingly began to clench my jaw. As I was reading your post, I realized that I had a piece of candy in my mouth. I would have never chewed candy or gum during my TMJ days! I limited myself to soft foods with minimal chewing for many, many months. You will recover from this! Try to be cognizant of relaxing the muscles in your jaw as often as possible during the day. You probably clench your teeth when you sleep. Before you go to sleep spend time visualizing. Visualize what your perfect life would look like.... then go there in your mind. Remember how we used to daydream as children? We forget that as adults we still have the capacity to daydream. There are also beautiful guided meditations on YouTube that will help to soothe your system before going to sleep. TMJ is TMS, and therefore it can be overcome.
    Gigi likes this.
  5. Kalo

    Kalo Well known member

    Thanks HattieNC,

    The problem with me is I feel my TMJ is structural because back 2 years ago when I had Trigemenial Neuralagia I had an MRI on my right jaw and they found lots of degenartive osteoarthritis....I didn't think of it at all....My TMJ started right after I got fired and was chewing gum...I felt pain after I spitted it out...My jaw was semi locked and when I opened it it POPPED and shifted. This has been going on for 3 months...I have a lot of crepitus sound as I am chewing as well...

    I wish it was just the pain and no popping, shifting and crepitus...Too top it off I now have thumb pain and sciatic groin pain...I am scared and I am alone for the first time in my life with no family, or friends....

    I do feel angry, I did all I could for my Mom and even scarficied having to get a full time job...Now, I feel abdonment issues...

    I don't know if I should have a CT or MRI of my jaw...I am certain they will find degenarative osteo, plus disc displacement in my left jaw...They say surgery fails and makes it worst...

    Out of all the TMS symptons I have ever had and believe me since my Father had died four years ago and was throwned into the roll of caregiver, I have had TONS of TMS symptons, but this one is by far the most scariest of all of them...

  6. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member


    I'm not trying to impose more fear, but my cousin had the TMJ surgery 10 years ago and it was a disaster. She went to Duke Medical Center (supposedly one of the best in the country). One side of her beautiful face is now permanently paralyzed. When the surgery didn't work, Duke dropped her like a rock. She was going through a difficult time in her marriage when TMJ manifested. I wish I had known about TMS back then. Perhaps, she could have been saved a lot of misery.
  7. Kalo

    Kalo Well known member

    Hi HattieNC,

    You aren't imposing any fear and I appreciate your response...I have read many TMJ horror stories as well...Truthfully, most are in the dark when it comes to TMJ and what I read even if my disc did become displaced, it is said that it is a common thing and normal resloves on it's own....I don't want to go down the medical modality because they haven't heard about Dr. Sarno....

    I am going through so much in a short time with my Mom and being fired from a job and lots of other things....

    I hope I can heal with TMS knoweledge...There is too many things going on with my body....Thumb pain, groin and TMJ all at one time...I didn't have this 3 months ago....

    Thanks again for your help!

  8. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member

    Sending healing thoughts to you. If you get a chance, read my story. I had a myriad of symptoms that began with lower back/buttock pain and then spiraled completely out of control.

    I look forward to the day you post your TMJ success story. And, you tell us you've landed your dream job!

    PS- The job I have now is even better than the one that I lost in 2011.
  9. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi. You know the reason things move around or a new symptom appears is that the original pain is somehow loosing its power to fully distract you. You may still have the TMJ symptoms but part of you is beginning to believe that it isn't structural, perhaps it is just TMS. The new pain reignites your fear, and recaptures your focus. This is a good time to calm your fears and move forward best you can. I learned a technique recently from my somatic experiencing therapist that is really helpful. It is called orientating. When you notice you are feeling fearful and agitated, focus on your breathing and calmly look around the room. Think about and really notice what you are seeing and tell yourself that you are safe in this moment. That does not mean you have to convince yourself that there is no potential danger in the future or that you have not experienced things in the past, but in this moment, looking around, you are safe. I used to always close my eyes, as if I was meditating, and focus on my breathing to try and calm myself. The reason it is important to look around the room is this is what animals do naturally to calm their flight response and convince themselves that they are safe, they do not need to run. Fear will always perpetuate TMS symptoms. Fear can be your friend if you are in some life threatening situation, it can move you to action and save your life. But unfortunately, this fear response can also keep us stuck in pain. You actually are safe in this moment.
    suky, BloodMoon, Lizzy and 1 other person like this.
  10. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member

    Hey Anne,
    I just tried this orientating exercise and noticed that almost every personal item in my office was given to me by a loved one. A friend or family member. I felt such love and safety as I looked at each of those gifts and remembered the person. Some of those loved ones have passed or are in the throes of serious illness, but their kind expressions of caring are all around me. This is a wonderful exercise. Thanks for sharing.
    Anne Walker likes this.
  11. Kalo

    Kalo Well known member

    Hi Anne & HattieNC,

    Today was really bad...

    I don't know what to do and I am scared....

    I have continual creptius in my ear from my left jaw...It is the one that is popping and my left jaw shifts. The creptisus is annoying...

    I do have degenerative arthritis in my jaws...My pain isn't in the jaw muscle it's in the joint itself...And yes, my jaw muslce will spasm...

    Out of all TMS symptons I have had (I have had sciatica, neck pain, back pain, trigeminal neuralgia type 2) this is the most scariest..

    I don't know if getting an MRI and seeing the worst will help...I know they will find degenerative arthritis, but, I am also sure they will find disc placement in my disc as well....

    I am still out of a job, and my support system is very low in my family as I am single and have never married...I really miss my Mom...

    I might just have to go to my doctor and see what he thinks...After 3 months of this (just buy chewing gum) I can't believe that would make my jaw this bad...

    I really want to believe this is TMS, but, damn it feels very structural. Not the kind of muscle pain, but even if it is structural they say surgery may not help and makes it worst...

    Thanks for all who have contributed...

  12. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member


    I am sorry you lost your mom. The job worries too. A TMS storm.

    I want to clarify something. Did all your TMJ symptoms start at once? Had you been told previously you had arthritis, but had no symptoms? (This is how I understood it) If that is the case, I would think of it like arthritis in the back, Dr Sarno considered it grey hair, totally benign.

    I hope you are able to do that either way. Anne Walker's suggestion about eyes open and animals was a light bulb moment for me, I hope for you too.

    All the best,
  13. Kalo

    Kalo Well known member

    Hi Lizzy,

    I found out I had dengerative arthritis in my right jaw when I did an MRI for Trigemenial Neuralagia..That was two years ago. I did have tight jaw muscles because I was clenching but all of it cleared up.

    Three months ago, is when my left jaw started clicking and popping (I couldn't open my Jaw wide) after chewing gum for an hour. Now, I hear lots of crepitus (grinding sound) still get popping if I open my jaw to wide...And when I am stressed, I get more pain...

    Lizzy likes this.
  14. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    I am, of course, no expert. However, I have seen people on the wiki say that the TMS experts say the jaw noises are benign symptoms of TMS. I think you can safely proceed with this as you have your previous symptoms. No need for the fear. Haha, your brain will argue with me about that.
  15. Kalo

    Kalo Well known member

    Hi Lizzy,

    Thanks for the word of confidence. I truly feel so overwhelmed in life. I a blog from Donna Jackson Nakazawa about how woman who experienced life long trauma from childhood have a twice as high rate to develope autoimuune disease and a hole sleuth of other scarey things.

    It's horrible and the book doesn't offer any advise but slight to how to reverse those diseases. It is depressing or at least to me it is...

    There is so many paths of healing it is all so confusing. I can go to a shrink and talk all I want about what happened to me in my childhood and I had many TMS symtpons, but, that isn't going to change anything. I have journaled to the cows come home....

    How I lived my life for Mom and Dad and now they are gone...I am the abandoned child who feels so overwhelmed and fight or flight right now...It's just not now either...I have always been in fear mode....

    How do I get out of fear mode??? How does my body go back into homeostatis??? None of these TMS specialist have a clue...One says to journal and keep journaling...The others say to go to talk therapy? This list goes on....

    But deep down we are programmed with beliefs, and many other things that is been reprogrammed....

    I have also read about Bruce Lipton Epigentics and truthfully it all sounds awesome and then when you go to his website...He starts selling SNAKE OIL BS....Like Special K therapy that sounds so BS worst than going to a chiropractor....To me I start wondering if he Epigentics isn't BS also....I know I am sounding negative....I am not trying to be.....I am just in a rut....

    Lizzy likes this.
  16. Celayne

    Celayne Well known member

    I don't believe there's one person or one program or one thing we can do that will cure our TMS, or anything else, for that matter.

    It sounds like you are looking at, and possibly trying, a lot of different things. This may sound crazy to some people but you are in the first step of healing. By doing all these different things, you are finding out what does and does not work for you. You may find just one little nugget on Bruce Lipton's page, or any other page, that helps you just one teensy bit. And that is a start.

    Most TMS healing is a series of small steps. While you are going through it, it can feel like nothing is changing and you are not getting any better but one day you can look back and see how things have indeed improved. You can even look back in a couple of weeks and hopefully you will see some change, minor that it might be, that cheers you and bolsters your hope.

    For me, the number one thing that dispelled my fear and anxiety was a mindfulness practice. I started off with three minute sessions, and not every day either. I couldn't see sitting with my own thoughts without distraction for that long. Long story short, after a year I am regularly able to sit for a 20 minute guided meditation. My mind is clear and I actually look forward to my daily (yes, daily!) sessions.

    Maybe this would work for you, Kalo, maybe not but if you keep looking you will start to find the things that click for you, and they will start to pile on one another and you will find yourself in a much better place than you are today.

    I've been where you are and I know it hurts. Have faith!
    suky, BloodMoon, Lizzy and 2 others like this.
  17. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Kalo. Just remember, it always feels structural. And its not like the pain is just in your head. It is physical, it is real. The only question it is, why is it there? Sometimes we get a clear answer, sometimes we do not. But the reason the pain captivates our attention is it feels dangerous, it feels as though we have injured ourselves and we have to figure out how to fix it. For it just to be something generated from our emotional and psychological states, seems too easy, too improbable, too far fetched. Oh yeah, that is clearly what is going on with someone else, but not in our case. Its too big of a leap, it feels "real", it feels structural. And yet it remains aloof, it does not show up on an xray, somehow a doctor has missed something, our fear drives our imagination wild with all the scary possibilities. And the pain becomes even worse. Yes, it is overwhelming. Yes, there are a lot of potential paths to follow. Our monkey brains have run amok and are impossible to control. All we want to do is cry and run, hide, research and sit in disbelief of how much it hurts, how much we just want the pain to go away, to be okay. Terrible cycle. Where to begin? Observe, take notes, and find a way to make it a little less in that moment. When I say observe and take notes, write down each time you notice an inconsistency with your structural self diagnosis. Perhaps the time you are so busy listening and laughing with a friend over dinner and you notice that the pain is only a fraction of what it usually is. Or if it hurts more somewhere else and the pain in the original location has subsided. Don't spend all your time monitoring the pain, but if you do notice something that doesn't fit in with the idea of a structural problem, write it down. As that list begins to grow(and it will) you can refer to it instead of Mr. Google to give yourself some reassurance. Don't feel too disappointed if this process is taking longer than you would like, but be very open to things changing. I used to wake up every morning and assess my pain level. If it was bad, I would feel disappointed, I would feel like I was doing something wrong, I would beat myself up, because of course it was my fault I was still in pain. If I was just a little better at this, I would see more progress. Can you see the kind of pressure I was putting myself under? Now, if I notice pain in the morning, I remind myself that it could change and does not have to predetermine my day. I change my focus to what is going on in my life. If my husband asks me how I am feeling, I don't lie but I don't go into detail on anything physical. That only reinforces the distraction. And then how do you make things a little less? Imagine a pot of rice boiling over on the stove. What do you do? Turn the burner down? Lift the lid? Perhaps take the pot off the burner? This is what you need to do with the stress, the internal pressure, that either is causing the pain or the pain is causing. Take a few minutes to just sit and breathe. Imagine something that you find soothing. For me its a hummingbird or a butterfly fluttering around a flower. Take a bath. Drink a cup of herbal tea. Put your feet in some water. Take a walk. Ride a bike. Meet a friend for a drink or coffee. Find a lotion with an essential oil you really like. This is my list, but you get the idea. Just the concept of making it a little less can be really helpful in finding ways to take the edge off, and as you do that, things may open up a little. You might feel like journaling and thinking about what is going on in your life a little more. You might start noticing connections between what is causing undo pressure and your pain. You might start noticing more the connections between your emotions and how you feel physically. You may start noticing you have a very strong inner bully and or a need to please others. There are a lot of possibilities. We are complex human beings. But your pain is specific to you. Your experience, how you process and react to things is unique to you.
    suky and Lizzy like this.
  18. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member


    I'm so glad we have so much support here. I am also on the receiving end of the encouragement from those who answered here.

    Many, maybe most, autoimmune diseases are mind body. Those of us who have had trauma, even most of our lives, are not destined to be ill. Those statistics have no room for prevention or recovery because most researchers and writers don't know about TMS. It is as though a group of physicians didn't know about setting bones and published a paper saying that one never fully recovers if they have a break. Even though they don't know it, they are still wrong. The right medicine must be used.

    suky likes this.
  19. Kalo

    Kalo Well known member

    Thank you Cricket313, Anne, Lizzy, Gigi, and everyone who answered my thread...

    OMG, I am overwhelmed at the great advise and wisdom...THANK YOU SO MUCH, seriously!

    Anne, you advise is so AWESOME, I will print it out and re read it....Lizzy, yes, you are right! We are not destined by our trauma.....Thank you so much for reminding me....

    Seriously, thank you for all your support..

    suky and Lizzy like this.

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