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Unique situation

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by FuturePilot, May 4, 2018.

  1. FuturePilot

    FuturePilot Newcomer

    Hello to all. I am new to this forum and have decided to join it because I have been recently diagnosed with TMS by a professional TMS doctor who at one point worked under Dr. Sarno. I fit all the personality charachteristics (Type A) for the classic TMSer and have read "Healing Back Pain" by Dr. Sarno so I am well educated in the matter. I also read "The Great Pain Deception" by Steve Ozanich and hold the book in a high regard. My main symptom is tightness around the vocal chords and in the muscles around the throat. This makes it especially difficult to talk and project my voice. It also makes it difficult to articulate words properly. Also I have difficulty swallowing normal bites of food and I have to chew the food longer as the swallowing muscles are also significantly tight. I was officially diagnosed with Muscle Tension Dysphonia. I dont really have any pain, I have more tightness and discomfort. When it comes to TMS, all everyone says is Pain pain pain, and I dont really have pain which makes it even harder to believe it is TMS.

    I also have many muscle imbalances all over my body. My right shoulder sags a little lower than the left and all the muscles in around the neck, superficial or deep, are tight. You name the muscle, Ill tell you its tight. But especially the right side of my body more than the left. I have trouble engaging my right pec while working out, my right shoulder, my right leg (quads and hamstrings), My right arm etc. The only muscles on the right side that are stronger than my left are the lats and triceps. I also have extremely rounded shoulders and massively winged shoulder blades. I have done physical therapy for three months trying to loosen me up and balance me out. I have also tried all the workout techniques to fix muscle imbalances (different weight distributions) but nothing has worked. I am wondering if the reason why my shoulders are so forward is because my scalenes and muscles along the side, especially deep within the neck, are solid like a rock. Again, I could do all the pullbacks in the world but my shoulders will still be forward. It is also alarming to me when I look at pictures of when I was younger and i see that my posture was terrible while everyone else had good posture. I used to walk with my hips extremely forward like my lower back was really tight. I am wondering if the TMS, which i believe started when i was less than 3 years old, found my spine and neck to be a vulnerable place to store tension and it just continued to get progressively worse. Although i have all the symptoms of scoliosis and kyphosis, i went to a spine specialist recently and ruled that out. So im wondering if thats a possibility. Or, even if i was born with a slightly curved spine which gradually got worse, if its possible to straighten it back out with TMS healing as i dont have back pain. Is it possible for all the small muscles within the spine to get tight and alter the spines physiology?

    At one point i resorted to Hanna Somatics or pandiculation and I got really good results for the short term. I plan on practicing somatics for the rest of my life as it is really beneficial and much better than stretching as it teaches the brain new muscular patterns. After learning about TMS, i stopped doing somatics as the TMSer is supposed to stop all therapy techniques. I am wondering if i should continue to do somatics throughout my recovery process as its not your conventional therapy, or if this will only stop my progress in the healing stage.

    • Other symptoms i have experienced at one point or another:
    • skin rash that makes the skin extremely itchy and red when my body starts to heat up.
    • dry skin on my hands. Sometimes even when its fairly warm outside.
    • frequent nosebleeds
    • tricep twitches
    • all the symptoms of thoracic outet syndrome.
    • heavy hands (when moving them, like when i run very fast and pump my arms)
    • achilles pain and soreness on the right ankle
    • chest pain (not a heart attack)
    • neck pain (more tightness than pain, but slight pain)
    • very clicky joints (especially the back and neck)
    • winged shoulder blades (yes, i have tried strengthening the serratus anterior and it hasnt worked. it is hard for me to engage both sides properly while doing the excercise itself as i have so many imbalances.)
    • tightness around everything in the brachial plexus region causing weaker right bicep and many other things.
    • slight spine twist (maybe its just tighter muscles on one side?)
    It is just alot harder for me to believe in the TMS process because I dont have the regular symptoms and pain that most people associate TMS with. Therefore, I would appreciate your input, whether big or small.

    Thank You
  2. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    On TYPE A, you seemed to have missed Sarno's point. He said some people with TMS have described themselves as Type A but contrary to popular Mis-understanding about what Type A Means, people with TMS are NOT type A. Type A people have NO sense of their emotional nature whatsoever (alexithymia) and tend to have Heart and circulatory issues...TMS sufferers rarely have these. True Type A's are veeeeerrryy rare, have heart disease type problems and wouldn't bother to read past page one of HBP once they realized where the text was going. I am 52 and I have met perhaps 3 of them in my life.

    The symptomology you describe around your throat sounds an awful lot like 'plum pit throat'(slt) which is an old Chinese medicine diagnosis about a constrictive symptomology which makes one feel (and can actually cause) like one is gagging on food. It is brought on by tension like TMS. I had it and almost gagged one Christmas as I was going through my divorce. Because I knew it was a TMS conversion symptom, I ignored it. It went away.It was scary as all Hell.

    http://acupuncturetwincities.com/2011/08/lump-in-your-throat/ (Lump in Your Throat? | Acupuncture Health Insights)

    I do NOT agree with their treatment, but I thought the diagnosis might let you know you're not alone and it is muscle related.
    I had it simultaneously with a fake 'knee' symptom....which was restrictive rather than painful. I re-went through the TMS work and it went away as well.

    Your detailed list of symptoms and micro-diagnosis of your symptoms seems nearly obsessional which would make me guess TMS on a first read...but only you will ultimately know. I lift weights and work at a manual labor job and I have no clue which side of my body is stronger. TMS is associated with that obsessional focus on the physical as a distraction from the realm of the emotions. I do not pay attention to these things because I am symptom free... but I bet if I went out in the garage and started playing with dumbbells I have all sorts of anomalies in strength...and if I gave it enough advertising time in my head...and the stuff in my life that is too painful to deal with flared up... I could probably touch off a relapse.

    We who have TMS know that it is characterized by a long switcheroo style of symptoms, Little or no relief from treatments (or a symptom change) and a strong obsession with those symptoms. We Recover by Re-educating outselves, Reconditioning our minds and Returning to vigorous activity . The Three R's.

    But only You will know
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
    Kira, Time2be, Lizzy and 1 other person like this.
  3. Orion2012

    Orion2012 Well known member

    Everyone is unique, but it sure sounds like a type of TMS to me. The subconscious mind can create pretty much any symptom it wants via the autonomic nervous system. I'd say you have a pretty creative subconscious, which has gifted you a very effective distraction in the form of broad range of symptoms.

    This type of nervous system dysfunction is a learned behavioral defense mechanism, and it can be unlearned. The mind is only thing with the power to create these types of symptoms; your mind also has the power to reverse them. Doubt is a normal part of the process. The process does seem to require a little leap of faith and good deal of persistent.
    Sarno and SteveO have it right: soothe your subconscious, deal with your repressed issues, keep learning, believe you can deal and then do it.
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle


    Hi FuturePilot,

    You describe and name some things I've never heard of, but they will think of a name and a "reason" for every complaint imaginable! "They" being those who do not understand TMS. So this is some support for TMS, in my opinion.

    When engaging Dr. Sarno's reading or other programs, I suggest you substitute --in your mind, any of your most bothersome conditions like "muscle tightness" in place of "pain." Many of us have to do this when we can't find our specifics in the literature. I know the importance of specific support, (I had to find some support for my specific condition, foot pain in order for the healing to really begin.) but you may have to forge ahead without it. You might use search functions on the forum or on google to find other cases. Also, you can create a thread with a title specifically referring to a "condition" in question, and may well get some confirmations.

    Andy B

    Also, I have very rounded shoulders too, and I appreciate your view that this might be TMS related, from an early age. There is no pain, so I don't worry about it.
  5. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    Hi FuturePilot,
    Similar to Andy, when I read your post I thought, "My, the big words I have learned from reading other people's diagnosis." Once again, I am so glad my gp and the specialists I saw didn't label me.

    I was drawn to reading your post FuturePilot, because it was titled "Unique Situation". I thought, "I bet it is NOT unique." I was right, you are not. Although it is true you will read every type of pain imaginable on this site, that's because people let things go on long past the tight muscle with no pain stage that you are at. So I congratulate you for already doing something about your TMS problem. Although I used to have really bad pain, most of my problems came from muscles that just wouldn't relax primarily in my neck, throat, and upper traps. Four years ago it took me forever to swallow my food. For over 4 years I have had a chronic cough which is non-existent most of the time now, but will crop up during stress. My throat is my subconscious stress barometer.
    There have been many posts on this site from people who have tight necks and throats. I think because Sarno's book is called "Healing Back Pain", we tend to think that we are unique and don't have tms until we internalize that we are not unique and tms can occur anywhere in the body. It might be better to just recognize it as the always present mind body link that regulates everything in the body including muscles and those nasty skin rashes and dry skin that you get. And yes, even nosebleeds. I used to get nose bleeds from my left nostril frequently. Also I sneeze when I'm quickly releasing tension.

    I don't know what Hanna somatics or the other therapy is that you mention. Ask the TMS doctor you consulted with for guidance on what to do. You need an expert to examine you and tell you whether or not your posture needs to be modified or if it's just how you need to be. Every body is unique.
    Kira, Bodhigirl, Time2be and 2 others like this.
  6. FuturePilot

    FuturePilot Newcomer

    Hey everybody,
    I really appreciate your support and advice. Many people have told me that I am very lucky since I am figuring out and dealing with my situation at a very young age. I am only 18 years old but I am older in terms of knowledge and dealing with life. I am just trying to learn as much as I can about myself and about life and I know that this situation that I am going through will only make me a better person and bring out the good qualities about myself.

    I would like to discuss my situation and the possible origin from where it all began. Reading "Healing Back Pain" and Steven Ozanich's "The Great Pain Deception," I noticed that they talk a lot about early separation trauma. Naturally, my eye skipped over this as I thought that this does not apply to me.

    Then I thought deeper and came out with the following hypothesis. When I was about 2 1/2 years old, my parents had my little brother. Unfortunately, he was born with a hole in his heart and this obviously required massive open heart surgery (they did not perform this with catheters like they do now). At one point, one of the doctors in a certain hospital told my parents that there was a zero percent chance of my brother surviving. (A few years later, my parents actually sent my brothers little league baseball card to this very doctor) #savage. After many stresses and hospital transports, my parents found the right doctor willing to perform the procedure. He was the number one heart surgeon in the world at the time.

    The point is, during this time all the attention in the family (parents, grandparents and relatives) shifted very rapidly from me to my brother. My parents spent most of their nights in a hospital. It was during this time in which I developed the trait of always waking up by myself. I woke up by myself and my grandfather came downstairs and turned on the TV for me. No parents, just me by myself. I believe this is where my personality of extreme responsibility, repression, conscientiousness, and perfectionist stems from. The main growing stage for the brain is from is from 0 to 3 years old and this situation happened during that stage. Obviously I dont remember any separation trauma and I shouldn't because it is all in the subconscious. Plus, my personality would repress it anyway. I always thought I was a tough guy and I rarely ever cried when I was a kid. I broke my arm and I did not cry as it would show a weakness in myself in front of my friends.

    Anyway, looking at pictures of myself when I was a young kid, my slumped posture constantly stood out. My spine is very curved with my head tilted up and forward; classic bad posture. My theory is that the whole situation somehow enraged my subconscious and it found my postural muscles as a vulnerable place to start storing tension even at an extremely young age. Again, I never had pain in any of those areas throughout my childhood. The only thing making this hard to believe is that in all the books I read, it says that these separation traumas cause major difficulties later in life; Not that the pain or symptoms start right away. Then again, I am a unique person (in a good way) and it could be that in me the symptoms began at a very early age, almost immediately after the situation.

    Looking forward to hearing what you guys think. Also wondering if its possible to start at a very young age instead of surfacing later in life. Really appreciate the support and responses.
    Kira likes this.
  7. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    Hi FuturePilot, The dynamics you describe certainly would have a big impact on you. 'Little you' stayed brave and tried to cope the best you could when your family's life revolved around your brother. I remember when my youngest son (23 now) had an emergency health issue at age 3 months that put him in the hospital for a week, with me staying with him. My other son, age 2 at the time, spent a lot of time watching his Barney videos that he loved. It was his way of dealing with the stress and we needed the videos to occupy him. It was like your grandpa turning on the tv for you. Your grandpa needed to go back to sleep.

    You say you have read that these separations traumas cause major difficulties later in life. I see two reasons why this won't happen to you though. There are many different separation traumas. One can only imagine the different scenarios. Although your family had to be focused on your little brother, I highly suspect that there has been a lot of love in your family for both your brother and for you and that's what helps you greatly. Also, those people who have major difficulties later in life have issues simmering under the surface earlier, but aren't dealing with them at a young age like you are. You do write like a very mature 18 year old.

    Dr Sarno says in 'Healing Back Pain' that TMS is a 'cradle to grave' problem, so Dr Sarno believed that it can start at a very young age.

    Question for you FuturePilot; does anyone else in your family have the same posture as you? Your dad, mom, grandfathers, grandmothers? Take a good look at them. Ask your parents if your posture resembles anyone elses. Your posture might be a family trait.
  8. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Preverbal pain, for me, was at the core of my TMS.
    I really relate to, and understand, trying to keep it together when the adults around you are focused elsewhere and you need them.
    You are in the right place, here with us. There's a great deal of wisdom here. And kindness and humor, too.
    Stick around. And remember, the pain is like the rabbit in the magician's hat: it's not there. No rabbit, no pain. Keep it simple. Very simple. Hold that little boy safely each day. Let him have all the feelings he needs to feel, in your arms.
    Kira likes this.

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