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TMS Update

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by SME61, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. SME61

    SME61 Peer Supporter

    Hello All
    Over the last week, I seem to have made considerable progress over my TMS that had been manifesting itself in my leg, hip and piriformis muscle. I think it might be,almost gone. However, being a TMS sufferer and exhibiting the classic TMS symptoms I find myself searching for the pain sometimes and worrying that it will come back at any time.

    Is this normal?

    I have completed 25 days of the SEP and I should probably finish it up, any advice on this?

    Thanks
    Steve
     
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Steve. I would continue the SEProgram and finish it, but since you are experiencing such pain relief, I would not spend any time worrying that pain will come back. I think it is normal to worry about that some, but it is much more beneficial to focus on feeling free of pain and being happy. Enjoy each day to the fullest and keep as active as you can. Maybe practice a positive mantra such as "I feel great!"
     
  3. SME61

    SME61 Peer Supporter

    Dear Walt
    Thanks for the helpful comments!
    I have something very personal to share and I hope it is okay.

    I was in Atlanta visiting family until Tuesday of this week for 5 days. My dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor and stage 4 lung cancer and he is hospitalized. When I was in Atlanta visiting family and my dad in the hospital, I had no pain it literally disappeared! He's hanging in there thank heavens!
    Upon returning home Tuesday night and into yesterday and today, the pain and stinging in my leg has started again. I feel that I have regressed.

    The good news is that I am positive beyond a reasonable doubt that I have TMS, I have all the proof now. If there was something physically wrong with me the pain would simply not disappear and reappear.

    Once again though the question becomes when and how will it go away, I thought I had it beat!

    Thanks
    Steve
     
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Steve, and I am very sorry to hear about your dad. Don't worry about sharing here, this is a safe place to do so, and having been through it now with both parents and a sibling, I can more than empathize, as can many many people here. It's part of life, after all.

    The bouncing back and forth of your symptoms makes total sense. When you're with your dad, the emotional requirement of just being there is a distraction in itself, and your brain doesn't need to distract you with your own symptoms.

    Your dad's precarious position in this life is no doubt a trigger for your own feelings (fears and rage) about your own mortality, as well as the possibility that he will abandon you. If not soon, certainly eventually. Mortality and abandonment are two core issues that human beings face - they are part of the reality of life, and we have deep rage, usually deeply-repressed rage, about them. And the repression leads to physical symptoms.

    When your symptoms arise, as they will, first of all don't judge yourself negatively for having them. The symptoms are a human mechanism, they are totally normal, and they will continue to try to find a way to distract you! The key is to develop a completely different relationship with them, and then "change the message". Find a quiet space to contemplate the negative messages that your brain is giving you in those moments of pain or other symptoms. And see if you can change those messages.

    This is one of the things that has helped, and continues to help me the most.

    All the best for you and your family, Steve.

    ~Jan
     
  5. SME61

    SME61 Peer Supporter

    Hi Jan
    I really appreciate your detailed response. I am not quite sure what you mean about "changing the message" do you mean thinking about other things?
    I am spending tine journaling and going through the SEP but probably not spending enough time on this,
    I am working on many levels to relate to my inner child that feels abandoned and alone.

    It's hard for me to grasp that I was literally pain free for 5 days and just like that the pain reappears. I now have complete belief in TMS but am frustrated that I can't get rid of it.

    Thanks
    Steve
     
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great question. Once you've identified how your brain is giving you negative messages (or I call it negative self-talk) the idea is to talk back with something more constructive.

    A simple example of the negative messages might be when you feel pain in your hip. If you stop and really listen to your thoughts, you might "hear" your brain telling you "oh no, here comes that pain again, what if there's something wrong with my hip? Should I be walking? Shouldn't I rest? What if it keeps hurting, what if the bone is falling apart, what if I'm getting arthritis, what if I need surgery, what if I'm going to be disabled, what if I can't do (insert activity here) , what if, what if..........................!!!"

    Once you really hear this, you can counteract it with something more constructive. Such as: "There's nothing wrong with my hip, I've been checked out, and I'm fine, and in fact I can exercise, and I can walk, and by doing so I'm going to strengthen the muscles around my hip so that I can keep exercising and walking and using it normally for many years to come!"

    A constructive or positive message doesn't mean you have to go all happy-face and try to cover up your fears - it means facing the fears head-on and answering them with logical counter-arguments. The argument that "there's nothing wrong" is a powerful one. People often recommend saying these things out loud if you can. Writing them down also helps. There are many writing exercises which recommend writing down your negative messages and then writing down the logical counter-argument.

    ~Jan
     
  7. SME61

    SME61 Peer Supporter

    Jan and everyone
    Thanks for your comments, it's great to feel supported here. I have been writing things down and saying to myself there is nothing wrong with me for a little over two months now and working on the SEP too (although too slowly). I had hope when my pain went away for 5 days, but know I am beginning to become concerned again (as in will this ever end). How does one regain their positive attitude that the pain will eventually go away/stop?
    I fully believe that I have TMS but i am not sure I can banish it!

    Any advice always appreciated!

    Steve
     
  8. SME61

    SME61 Peer Supporter

    Today, I really got in touch with my repressed feelings meeting with my therapist.
    I was talking about the fact that I felt helpless and alone because I was not able to deal with the pain I am having (I can and do run a mile most days). When I was asked when I first felt helpless and alone, I talked about an event when I was 8 years old. When I could not figure out how to do the obstacle course in gym class and all the kids laughed at me. As we discussed it and I was asked to go back in time and be there, I literally broke down crying for quite some time.
    My therapist says that is perfectly normal when dealing with repressed emotions and that it will eventually help me make peace with my inner child and help me stop having pain.

    Does this make sense, has anyone had a similar experience while trying to overcome TMS?

    Thanks as always
    Steve
     
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  9. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Quick response from my phone...
    Yes, discovering very old memories of childhood emotions was definitely part of my process, and very helpful to understanding how I deal with fears and emotions as an adult. Perhaps more importantly, I felt empathy for myself as a child, really feeling my loneliness and longing to be nurtured and protected - something that was lacking for the oldest of four kids.
     
  10. SME61

    SME61 Peer Supporter

    Thanks, Jan. Did it help you rid yourself of the TMS pain?
    I guess it is part of the process?

    Thanks!
     
  11. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yep, I believe that part of the process is learning to love ourselves, and that includes getting in touch with our much younger inner child, and learning to love and nurture that child. It's a process of softening our emotions, and understanding our fears rather than fighting them all the time. When we fight our fears and repress our emotions, we also tend to beat up on ourselves. Letting go of that dysfunction leads to emotional and physical healing. It all goes hand-in-hand with listening to our negative self-talk.

    In my case (and let's not forget that everyone's experience is different) I got rid of a huge % of my symptoms (both physical and mental pain, plus neuro and digestive symptoms - you name it) shortly after reading The Divided Mind. The longer process of digging emotionally deeper (doing the SEP) helped to maintain my recovery at the 80% level or higher most of the time. I have setbacks, as we all do (because TMS is a normal brain process in humans), but my turnaround time is much quicker, I don't have anxiety attacks or depression anymore, and as I like to say, my relationship to symptoms when they occur is totally different. Instead of fearing them, I know that I need to stop and listen to my inner bully, and to turn around the negative self-talk. I find that journaling is still a valuable tool for this, five years "After Sarno".
     
  12. SME61

    SME61 Peer Supporter

    Hi All
    I haven't written in quite some time, as I thought I have been making really good progress. I have been dealing with my emotions since my dad passed in early November. However, now my father in law has severe dementia and my wife took a leave of absence from work. This has caused some stress, but up until yesterday (Jan 1), I was dealing with it okay with my pain level not more than a 1-2 and sometimes no pain.
    However, yesterday I went to the gym and I did my stretching (core stuff) and cardio (elliptical) i do this 3 times a week normally and I cleaned out my closet.
    Ready for this!
    This morning at 3:00 AM I woke up to terrible pain (4-5) that hasn't subsided much, the pain is burning like it was when this whole thing started 17 months ago!
    Needless to say, I am really worried and can't think of much else.
    Hopefully, I have just hit a bump in the road to recovery.

    I have fully embraced TMS and completed the SEP, but now am having some doubts. I am also working on the inner child with my therapist.

    I am supposed to see my orthopedic doctor for a routine check up on Wednesday (scheduled 6 months ago), I was going to cancel......

    Does anyone have any advice at all?
    Have you had back/leg pain almost go away and then come back again?

    All the best!
    Steve
     

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