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Update - most chronic pain gone, but need help with symptom imperative

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Jules, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    Hi all,

    I wish my post was a permenant success story, but alas, not yet. I thought I would update you all and see if I could get some advice.

    I posted a while back about how I’ve been dealing with digestive and bowel issues and a nasty headache, alternating between the two. All of my other chronic pain has largely dissipated, yay! Anyway, whenever my bowels act up, which is anywhere from every 10 to 14 days, I get nausea and very soft bowels, but hardly ever diarrhea. I don’t throw up either, although, I feel like it. Yes, the symptom imperative is at play here. (Sorry about the tmi) What’s also weird is that when I have a nice, soft BM, sometimes it burns, and after, my bowels are inflamed, so I know something acidic is causing the issue.

    This has been going on for at least a few years now and I attributed it to TMS; however, all the same work I did with my other chronic pain doesn’t seem to be making a dent in this. I have cancelled my GI appt 3 times already, thinking I just need to get my brain to accept this is TMS and move forward. However, my regular routine for dealing with TMS isn’t working. It doesn’t help that whenever I eat something spicy, acidic, or fried, it does a number on my stomach. I’ve already missed some days off work because I felt so sick. I finally had to tell my boss I had IBS, just because it’s a chronic condition that he would understand and accept.

    It bothers me because I have lost 17 lbs in the last year - not saying that’s bad because I do exercise and have cut my calories, but it’s all because I don’t eat a whole lot either when I have my flare ups.

    My hubby keeps wanting me to take the Omperazole, since he takes it for his GERD, but I am scared to, because of the side effects and of course the reinforcing to my brain that I indeed have a disease.

    I’m stuck here. And, what’s funny is that I KNOW it’s TMS, because for days I will be fine and then it hits out of nowhere, and then it moves from my head to my stomach and back again. I rarely have the rib or shoulder/arm/wrist pain, so that’s good, but my brain knows my stomach is my weak spot now since I have emetophobia. Sometimes I will the other pain to come back since I can deal with it better than I can the nausea and bowel issues.

    So, not sure where to go from here. It’’s hard to say, fuck it and do it anyway, when I go to work and feel sick all day, and can’t concentrate on my tasks, which starts a loop of anxiety and stress that then exacerbates the sickness.

    Anyone dealt with this and have suggestions?
    TrustIt likes this.
  2. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    This is all you need to fix. And you do not know that eating something acidic is causing bowel irritation. That's a theory.

    Seek out help through a shrink or books for this anxiety loop and stress. This should be your focus while KNOWING the pains are TMS. You will notice the pain jumping around or not making any sense as your mental health improves. You'll get to that extra .01% convincing sooner or later if you just stay the course. Then the day comes were you laugh at the pain. You can do it.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  3. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    I appreciate your comment, but I have been seeing a therapist for the last five years, and I still am having issues with dealing with things that are TMS. I have read pretty much every book there is on TMS, but for some reason, it won’t let go of me completely. And yes the pain jumps around all the time, as it has since I started doing this work. Most of my chronic pain has gone, except for every once in a while I’ll get some of the old pain come back, but it’s not bad. It’s just these two symptoms left that I can’t seem to get rid of.

    Trying to figure out what emotions I’m still repressing, but wonder if this is just conditioning after 22 years of chronic pain.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
    Balsa11 likes this.
  4. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    It IS possible you are doing everything right and must be patient. None of us wants to hear that, but keep it in mind. Best of luck.
  5. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Have you considered that this last vestige (i.e. stomach issues) of your TMS that you're experiencing may not be due to repressed emotions, but could perhaps be due to a general tension/strain that you're not consciously aware of, a habitual strain and tension as you go about your daily activities? Ace1 (who is a doctor who recovered from his own TMS) wrote some guidelines ('keys' he called them) for what helped him recover, which were very much to do with this notion. I mentioned these 'keys' in another thread, which you can see here (third posting down from the top) https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/cant-figure-out-my-suppressed-emotions.22451/#post-115908 (Can't figure out my suppressed emotions)

    I also suffer from 'IBS'. I had a full-blown painful attack yesterday evening (in my case intense lower left-hand side gut pain near my belly button) and instead of reaching for a hot water bottle (I'm a Brit and we love our comforting hot water bottles!) I silently (in my head) 'talked' to my gut (bearing in mind that it's been proved that the gut has its own kind of brain https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/ (Think Twice: How the Gut's "Second Brain" Influences Mood and Well-Being)). I just told it to 'relax', 'release', 'be calm' etc., over and over again and for some of the time I did some deep breathing and gradually the pain subsided to a much more tolerable level and this morning the pain's gone.

    With my deep breathing I simply say to myself the following:

    "Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out." This is from the book 'How to Relax' by Thich Nhat Hanh https://www.amazon.com/HOW-RELAX-THICH-NHAT-HANH/dp/1846045185/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

    All good wishes,

  6. westb

    westb Well known member

    I feel for you dealing with this. My story with IBS and acute rectal/bowel pain is very similar and I have had mixed success in applying TMS principles simply because my mind and body in the past have gone into very acute anxiety and panic mode almost automatically. I've had all the necessary medical tests and checks. including a colonoscopy last year, and all they found were some diverticular pouches which is not uncommon in someone of my age (70).

    I had a bit of an epiphany though when I read this thread yesterday https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/the-fear-and-how-to-get-over-it.22516/ (Day 22 - The Fear, and how to get over it). The sentence "Overcoming the fear and anxiety attributed to your symptoms is the key to recovery". That is so far away from where I am, mind and body. when the flares hit that it really stopped me short. That word "key" is powerful. I must have read the sentence before but yesterday it really registered.

    So I don't have a complete success story yet, but I am encouraged to keep on at it. I have an appointment later this week that I was thinking of postponing because I've been so scared of the symptoms flaring on that day. But I won't do that. I'll go, even if it's difficult and awkward and painful . The person I'm seeing my counsellor, knows about the IBS issues so I won't have to explain. I'd already retired when the IBS issues started up, and I've often wondered how things would have gone had I still been working.

    I really like @BloodMoon's experience just above on how she managed her recent attack. Very helpful and encouraging.
    Balsa11, TrustIt, JanAtheCPA and 2 others like this.
  7. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    I think you hit on something. I have noticed that when I'm stressed, even just a little bit, my stomach is tight, same with my shoulders or head, etc. I have to manually get my body to relax, which I have noticed for quite some time now. It is a habitual strain and tension that I have to mindfully be aware of. Sometimes, it feels very random and I can't figure out the trigger, which is frustrating. Other times, I can do the same things and not be triggered. It's the weirdest thing ever. I am now reading a great book, called, The Power of Neuroplasticity, which is helping me really get to the heart of the issue. I really believe my brain is so conditioned to feel pain after 22 years of chronicity that it just takes more time than someone who has only been in pain for a few years or so. Like I said, my chronic pain is mostly gone (rib, shoulder, back, hip, dizziness, nerve, panic, etc), but my stomach pain and nausea is persisting. This is more of a struggle, even though it's taken me years to even get to this point.

    Thanks for your comment.
    Balsa11, TrustIt and BloodMoon like this.
  8. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    Damn, I just tried posting my comment and had to sign back in again, which just erased my comment! Grrr...

    Anyway, I had an endo and they only saw minor inflammation. I also have had numerous tests, exams, and procedures for all my other pain, but for scar tissue, which is what I'm confused about and an issue I've had for 24 years (after a c-section, hysterectomy, and bladder repair surgery), there's no way to know if you have it, unless you get laparoscopic surgery. However, all of the symptoms I've had in my pelvis and bowels seem to indicate it's built up scar tissue. But, I don't have pain all the time and it seems random as well. It's weird and I just want a definitive diagnosis. I have been seeing a therapist for five years now and she has helped me process a lot of my traumatic memories, so I'm not sure what to do now, except to keep going back to TMS principals. It would still be nice to have the pain subside and go away permanently.
  9. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    And I'm reminding people that current affairs are not helping ANYONE these days. I find that my daily journaling often includes a lot of invective against certain people (no details, please) but that if I'm being honest with myself, it also includes the personal revelation that I feel like I should be doing more about the issues that concern me, beyond what I try to do just living my life consciously, and by donating to the causes I believe in. I look at what others are doing and I feel like I haven't accomplished anything. And if THAT isn't a good source for TMS symptoms, then perhaps I don't know what is. View them?

    And, oh yeah - now there's that virus thing, with all of its implications for the future of human health...
    Balsa11 likes this.
  10. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    Fear-mongering is the worst, isn't it? I had to quit reading the news and get on some social media channels, because there is so much negativity going on in the world. You would think we were all going to die soon with all the fear. It doesn't help us TMSers, right? I do journaling, which does help; however, as long as I just talk about daily things and don't go deep, I tend to do better. I've gone down the rabbit hole so much that I think it just comes down to conditioning.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
    Balsa11 likes this.

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