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Two steps forward, one step "back"?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Friendlygal12, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. Friendlygal12

    Friendlygal12 New Member

    Hi everyone,
    I just wanted to post an update about what's been happening over the past couple of weeks. I first posted that I was having some pain from an old knee problem and was having trouble working through it. Since then, the pain has "spread" to my left ankle (old ankle sprain sites) and my back (old injury site diagnosed after car accident as "degenerative disc disease" with possible disc bulge).

    Once the pain spread from the original knee site, I knew it was a flare up of TMS, but I cannot seem to get it under control through re-reading the books and my usual things. I guess also I had been doubting whether the knee truly was TMS, since I have been reading in a few of the books and in some wall posts that depending on the diagnosis knees can veer more towards the structural side of things. So perhaps once I doubted that diagnosis the rest of the house of cards fell?

    In any case, I listened to Schubiner's meditation CDs tonight on my drive home and I felt somewhat more relaxed, but I am having trouble not veering towards hopelessness. I can't imagine living my life with all these ailments again, and I am letting the fear take over and severely restricting my movements for fear of making things worse (when only three weeks ago I was running and dancing several times a week). I just re-started my anxiety med so hopefully within a few weeks it will kick in and I will start to feel more in control mentally. I am praying for a respite from the depression right now, and have an appointment to see my psychiatrist on Thursday.

    I also pulled out my old MRI reports in hopes of reassuring myself and lo and behold.... normal, normal, normal... two MRIs on my knee over the course of many years both said no joint effusion, yes to meniscal tear- and the knee specialist wrote that he didn't think the tear was causing the pain, instead citing tendonitis. Same with the ankle doc (even though there was evidence of a possible small tear he also diagnosed tendonitis). So it seems all around like tendonitis, which I KNOW is TMS.

    Would love any thoughts or reassurance. Thanks everyone
  2. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi gal,

    I wish I could assure you about the cause, but frankly that is impossible. I can only try to give you some tips which I hope are useful to you.

    Don't fear. Try to accept the pains as reminders you have some mind work to do. Welcome them and don't fear it, slowly the mind will find out the pains are not having the effect it is aiming for. Sounds easier said than done, but it is essentially what you should try.

    I have had the knee pains (both knees :) ) and was also worried sick about it. The physiotherapist was able to reassure me I should not let it put me down, slowly it started to disappear but I got other symptoms in return. Shifting pains, I love 'm because it assures me it is TMS.

    Try not to punish yourself for having doubts about whether it is TMS. It is normal and healthy to be wary once and a while. Try to live in the now and don't worry about the future, therefore it won't able you to feel hopeless. Don't worry about what ifs... what if it is structural? what if I will feel like this for the rest of my life? Well, you don't know and the only thing it does is drain energy and keep you from becoming happy. Take it by the day and put that worry-energy in other things, like journaling, doing stuff that you can focus on and make you forget the pain for a while.

    I really hope you feel better soon.

    Take care
    gailnyc likes this.
  3. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Hi. I will tell you what Dr. Sarno told me about what I thought was an old injury. THE BODY HEALS. Your brain will target that area to make you THINK it is related to your old injury, but that is a distaction.

    I was told I have degenerative disc disease and 2 large herniated discs. Neither condition causes me pain. I had pain at those sites until I "did the work" Dr. Sarno prescribed for me. It involved acknowledging and BELIEVING that nothing was wrong with my back.

    Thinking physically will keep you stuck and in pain. It may be difficult not to think it's a physical issue at first because it is different that what we've been taught.

    What else are you doing to help yourself?
    gailnyc likes this.
  4. Friendlygal12

    Friendlygal12 New Member

    Hi both,
    Thanks sincerely for taking the time to reply.
    Lori, you ask an important question ("what else are you doing to help yourself?"). This is exactly what I am trying to get to the bottom of. I have been reading Sarno, SteveO, and working on Schubiner's workbook (I am on week two of a four-week plan).

    I have been in therapy for years (more of the cognitive behavioural kind) and have just started psychotherapy that might get at more "deep-seated" issues, but overall my life is not too stressful right now so I am having a bit of a hard time understanding the reason for the symptoms.

    Perhaps it was related to the original pressure I was putting on myself to run a 5K that started the flare up of symptoms a few weeks ago that caused me to doubt the TMS approach and then things spiralled from there?

    Today and yesterday my wrists have started up, and I wish I could say the back pain has abated but nothing yet. It is actually somewhat of a nightmare if I think about it too much. However, my anti-anxiety/depressant has kicked in and I am feeling more calm and even restarted yoga again this morning. So I suppose those are good steps.

    Any thoughts or insight greatly appreciated, as always!
  5. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    If you put all my wiki responses together, one word would be repeated most: journaling. Dr. Sarno had me make a list of issues that I found bothersome. Any issue that causes you any type of feelings and/or conflict should be on this list. then I made my way through the list writing about each topic separately. He called it essay writing. I would write the topic at the top of the paper and sit with it until feelings (not thoughts--very important to FEEL this) came up. then I wrote. I feel angry . . . sad, etc. Some things I thought would be a one pager turned out to be pages long. Once I started writing, feelings usually spewed like a geyser. And I can tell you this brought up other memories for me that I wrote about. VERY therapeutic.

    Important to end all journaling with a positive statement. I even sometimes felt a shift in my body when I hit the statement that felt right. It would be something like This was many years ago and it is now time for me to heal this [event/hurt/etc.] and move forward in my life. Or craft what feels responsive to you. Takes practice.

    This worked wonders for me. I still journal occasionally and always feel better afterward--like a load off my shoulders sometimes!

    I encourage you to give it a try!

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