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Update on Back Pain and Pregnancy

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by COgirl05, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. COgirl05

    COgirl05 Peer Supporter

    I am back on the forum again. I'm 9 months pregnant currently and experiencing some SI joint pain. I have posted about this several times before. It's come and gone for a few months now and I'm pretty sure it's a combination of pregnancy related things and TMS. I am really angry at some family members right now and I've been journaling about it. Over the past year or so, I've worked hard to achieve outcome independence and eliminate my fear and preoccupation with the symptoms (when I first started working on this, the pain had been on the opposite side for 18 months). When I got pregnant, it moved sides. Anyways, I find myself becoming more fearful that the pain won't subside when I have the baby (as it should) due to the anatomical effects and that I'll be in pain forever. I really want to train for a 1/2 marathon (I used to run them all the time) in the next year and I find myself doubting that I'll be pain-free and be able to. I know these are the TMS thoughts that are creeping in and they are trying to scare me. Any thoughts?
  2. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    COgirl, good to hear from you.

    You must be quite excited now that u r so close to yr due date. My thoughts & prayers r with u & the baby for a happy & safe delivery.

    May I suggest u take one day at a time, one step at a time & just enjoy the process & the anticipation of delivering a beautiful & healthy baby & spending quality time with him/her.

    Running ahead of yr thoughts & negative thinking will not do any good whatsoever at this stage. There is no way u or anyone else can predict anything with regards to anatomical changes in yr body- good or bad. No one can say that u will be in pain forever & remember there r millions of women who have had babies with no issues whatsoever. That is just yr fear speaking, the same old train of negative thinking that gets hard wired if u r not careful but u want to make sure it doesn't become a habitual way of thinking.

    The same goes for yr marathon training. Think of all the reasons why you will be able to train & complete the 1/2 marathon rather than not. Like u said, u used to run them all the time. And so u will run them again.

    Stay in the moment, enjoy the different sensations of yr body as u prepare for the big day. Relax, breathe, be mindful & gently blow away any dark or pessimistic thoughts that enter the mind. Stay focused & don't let yr mind stray. Journal if u think it helps otherwise don't let other ppl take away from what must be a very important, happy & defining moment in yr life

    Take care

    Lizzy, Ellen and Anne Walker like this.
  3. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Mala has given you excellent advise. When I had chronic back pain and surgery over 20 years ago I worried all the time if I would ever be able to have children or not. I could not lift anything heavier than a phone book. When I finally started having children several years later(they are 14 and 16 years old now!) I had no pain in my back. I could lift them and double strollers up five flights of stairs. My back never bothered me. I did suffer at that time from panic attacks and anxiety. Then later I developed chronic neck and shoulder pain. The point is, I wish so much that I had realized that it was TMS. I went through a lot unnecessarily. I ofter ponder why those of us prone to worry, spend so much time propelling our fears into the future. I call it the "what ifs..." Once a therapist told me that I do it so that I can somehow prepare for the worst, and create some kind of predictability and control. And it is natural when we are in pain to worry that it won't go away. But this is a distraction, this is TMS. Not only does this kind of worry not protect you, it fuels the TMS and pain. When I notice myself falling into "what if land", I make a conscious choice not to go there. I now tell myself that I will cross that bridge when I get there. You'll be able to run the marathon if that is what you really want. Just try not to pressure yourself too much. Sometimes things seem bigger when we are in pain or stressed or tired. And when you have had your baby and are feeling better, training for a marathon will not seem so challenging.
    Lizzy, Ellen and JanAtheCPA like this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    This feels so true, Anne. Do you think it's part of our primitive survival mechanism? To go along with fight-or-flight? Whatever - if we can become aware of this tendency, it's easier to let it go!
    Anne Walker likes this.
  5. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    It well may be a kind of survival technique indeed @JanAtheCPA & so ingrained that it may be hard to let go. Its taken a lifetime to think that way so its going to require a huge amount of effort to change & not go down 'that way of thinking' route.

    Like I read somewhere or perhaps it was a TED Talk I can't remember but 'negative thoughts stick like velcro & positive thoughts like Teflon'. We r more prone to think negative thoughts & hold them than good ones. That's why its so important like you said to be aware, to pay attention, to be mindful of what is going on in our head. Its so easy to go down that slippery road of 'what if' & negative thinking.
    Anne Walker, JanAtheCPA and Lizzy like this.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Take it from a bachelor who has never been a father, giving birth never hurt me. haha)]
    For mothers, I understand that it goes away.
    Think of the joy of being a mother to a darling baby. Good luck and think happy thoughts.
  7. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think no amount of journaling would help if you still angry at someone. It is the same as holding red hot coal and asking doctor how to stop the pain. You have to let go of that red hot coal first before doctor can treat your burn. You have to forgive, forget, stay away, or keep them away and don't think about them anymore before any mind body treatment would work.

    If Your mind is in the future all the time, it is very difficult to solve your present pain. You have to keep your mind at the present. You have to be mindful of what is right now. The future will come soon enough. Enjoy the NOW. Count your blessing NOW and thing will get better.
  8. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Balto, I understand what you are saying and yet I do think it is really beneficial for some of us with TMS to allow ourselves to think about and process the anger through journaling. We need to allow ourselves to truly feel the anger. This was a big thing for me and still is. Its very difficult for me to give myself permission to be angry. I was afraid of it and felt that it was unnecessary and destructive. A huge part of my recovery has been about learning how to feel the anger without turning it on myself in some way(beating myself up for feeling angry).
  9. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Anne, I didn't say she should not journaling, I think she should try to get rid of her anger at her relatives first. Journaling may help (if you do it right) with pass, repressed emotions. Her anger at her relative is current, it is at the present, and no amount of journaling will help. It is the same like I fight with my wife then I go into my room to journal trying to calm my anger, the go back out and fight with her some more, then journal again.... I think it's not going to work. With negative emotions that are current, I think we should try to solve it right there and then so it don't become repressed. Compassionate, peaceful solution, forgiveness, understanding.... whatever we can use so we can go to bed that day without any negative thoughts about what just passed.
    Talking about journaling, I've seen lots of people what they do is they just re-live those horrible memories in their past. I am one of those people that think re-living past bad memories, feeling those past negative emotion through journaling is a bad idea. Personally I have never known of anyone who got better doing that. I have seen people who did that and they keep going back and back to the same therapist without getting any better.
    If we approach journaling with a compassionate mind, ready to forgive then it may help. Or at least we are ready to tell our mind that those past situation although terrible it can no longer hurt us. We are strong and confident now, we are not that vulnerable and help less person we once were anymore. Or we are in a safe place now, whatever in the past can never hurt us anymore, there is no need to be bother by it anymore... we have to approach it in some manner similar to those. If we go into our past just to re live it, just to feel it, I think it would just prolong our suffering.
    That's just my thought. I personally don't know of anyone who get better by "feeling" past emotion. Scientifically it just don't make sense to me how can you get to a better state of mind by re feeling an anger you have toward someone in your past.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    My mother always told me and my older brother and sister: "Never let the sun set on an argument." It was very good advice even though she didn't take it herself when it came to disagreements with her two sisters, who were two of my favorite aunts.

    I think Mom was right in that forgiving is very important in TMS healing. Even if you know the other person did you harm or gave you stress, forgive them. It doesn't have to be in person. You can journal about forgiving, write the person a letter and then toss it out, or forgive them mentally.
    I always add a prayer, asking the Lord to bring them peace.

    Make the forgiving short and maybe even general. You don't have to be specific or write or think about it in detail.
  11. COgirl05

    COgirl05 Peer Supporter

    Thank you all for your uplifting messages. I really do appreciate each one and read and re-read them. I journal when I feel the pain coming back on in a strong way. I completely understand exactly what both Balto and Anne are saying. I'm not sure which is the right way to do it. I definitely feel the anger when I'm journaling, which I thought was the goal, but on the other hand, I wish I could just let it go. I have a hard time with that. This is probably a majority of my TMS. I have been hurt (like everyone else) by family members in the past and I have a hard time letting those feelings go. I think it's because it's personality traits that bother me about these people, which come up in nearly every interaction with them. For example, I feel like my sister has been a huge baby for her entire life and my mom caters to her (and honestly is scared to make her mad), so I feel like I consistently take a back seat to that. I see my mom daily and when my sister calls her daily, these feelings come back up. I'm not sure what to do about constant situations, but I know Sarno says that we don't have to change our situation necessarily, but just acknowledge it. I'm trying to do that, but I literally feel anger fester inside me toward my mom and sister which their interactions.

    I'm still really trying to tell myself that it doesn't matter whether this pain I'm experiencing is TMS pain or pregnancy pain because both are harmless and will go away. My mindset isn't the best right now, which is why I think TMS is at least partly to blame. I feel extremely uncomfortable due to the pregnancy (the TMS doesn't help) and I'm irritable, frustrated, and I'm sure there's some fear about being able to handle 2 kids. The pain has also changed places and sensations almost daily for several weeks now (which I thought was TMS) and my fear-based, "what if" thoughts have come trickling back in (which is TMS). That's my evidence sheet that this is a TMS process going on and that I must just ignore the pain sensation, acknowledge that I'm about to go through a big thing in life, and that it won't last forever.
  12. COgirl05

    COgirl05 Peer Supporter

    Walt - I have a hard time forgiving. I definitely think this is my main repression actually. I can act like things are fine, when inside of me, I'm fuming with certain people. My sister and in-laws are my best two examples. They've hurt me in the past, but also continue to do it with nearly every interaction. It's really just a difference in personality. In my logical mind, I know they don't mean to intentionally hurt me, but I still feel betrayed by both of them very frequently. For instance, both said they would come for the birth of our son and both have bailed in the meantime. How do I deal with that?
  13. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    COgirl - frustrating! Ugh, I have a sister with whom I can only spend a very limited time, and I have to watch what I say when I'm with her. This is sad, because our immediate family is down to just three of us in the last few years, and there are only a few extended family members.

    I've got two ideas of how you might tackle your situation. One has to do with your immediate reaction, and the other is a suggestion for accessing some possible deeper emotions.

    Anger is actually a rather shallow emotion. It is, in fact, sitting right there in front of your brain, firing your amygdala, and producing the equivalent of the fight-or-flight response. This is why you know it's shallow. Anger keeps you on your toes, it keeps you on the alert for danger. The emotions that your brain needs to repress are much deeper, because they are liable to distract you too much so you're not on the lookout for the sabre-tooth tiger.

    This is the first thing: your primitive brain can't tell the difference between a sabre-tooth tiger or obnoxious family members! So when you have to interact with these people, your brain responds in the only way it knows how - and being in FoF constantly, especially with people who are an intimate part of your life - who should be people that you want to love and who love you - is very tiring to your poor nervous system. Knowing this, and changing your inner reaction in order to protect your nervous system, will go a long way to soothing you physically as well as emotionally. It's all about your inner dialogue.

    This is something I've really learned the last two weeks thanks to the Mindfulness Summit!

    The other thing that occurred to me, literally as I was writing that first sentence about my own sister, is the sadness of never having had a close relationship with her. In your case, to add insult to injury, your mother is being manipulated by your sister, and I have to wonder if this combination results in a dual sense of loss for you.

    Because here is the second thing: Isolation and abandonment are really important emotional issues for us humans, and they are typically quite deeply repressed. Between your useless sister, enabling mother, and irritating in-laws, how could you not feel isolated and abandoned, especially at this very vulnerable time?

    I don't suggest forgiving anyone other than yourself. And watch out: you might have all kinds of intellectual reasons why you are not isolated or abandoned, but your inner child is not intellectual, and she needs to be nurtured and comforted!

  14. COgirl05

    COgirl05 Peer Supporter

    @JanAtheCPA Thank you for your response. I definitely need change my inner dialogue when I deal with these people. Instead of pretending that everything is okay and then being really irritated and annoyed in my mind, I wish I could be become just indifferent and realize they are who they are and move on. How do I get to that point and what kind of inner dialogue are you talking about? My family is really small too and I really long for those strong connections, so I think the realization that maybe they aren't going to be what I think they should is hard for me to digest.

    I also really resonate with you when you talk about abandonment and isolation. My dad passed away suddenly when I was 19, my best friend a month later who was also 19 years old and then my other friends just kind of abandoned me when I needed them the most. I still dream about these friends that did that and I know it's a big part of who I've become in the past 12 years. When my in-laws and sister tell me they'll come visit and be there for the birth of my child, etc. and then don't show up, I think it sparks these types of feelings for me and I feel bad/inadequate of their love. Thank you again for that insight!

    Let me know what type of dialogue you are talking about!
  15. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    This has got to be your core issue, COgirl. Losing your father AND your best friend when you're only 19? Those are devastating losses. How can a 19 year old even process this kind of trauma along with the abandonment? So very sad.

    All you're trying to do here is to calm down your brain, by literally telling it that you are not in danger, you're perfectly safe, and to please calm down. This is what mindfulness is all about. Instead of replaying the annoying incident over in your head, replace that conversation with some meditative breathing, and tell yourself it's not worth your health to keep thinking about it after it's over and done with.

    There's probably a lot of specific psychological work you could do for this deep trauma and loss that you've suffered, along with learning to cope with your family members.
  16. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, COgirl,

    Jan is right-on about not letting a worry or pain become the windmill of your mind.

    I suggest anyone with that problem watch the Youtube video "Guided Meditation for Detachment from Over-Thinking."
    Michael Sealey has a very calming voice as he talks in the background of restful music with a starry sky image.
    He leads the viewer through mindfulness of breathing in the present moment. It's a wonderful combination of TMS healing techniques.
  17. COgirl05

    COgirl05 Peer Supporter

    @JanAtheCPA Yeah I worked with a TMS psychotherapist in the spring last year and it helped a lot. I actually feel like I did a lot of processing and it was a lot of the situations surrounding the deaths that were my problems (like the ones I mentioned with the friends abandoning me during that time). I had a lot of repressed anxiety that I really worked through and got the pain to move sides. I have a lot of fear and preoccupation as a result of the TMS that were my main things to work through. It's obviously quite the process and it will probably be a lifelong thing to work through when certain situations arise. I am definitely going to try the inner dialogue stuff because that's another huge problem for me. I overthink and let anger with other people fester inside of me.

    @Walt Oleksy I'm going to check that out on youtube. It sounds like it's exactly what I need. I'm such an overthinker!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  18. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I was struck reading the above part of your post when coupled with the fact that you are about to have a baby. I think there is much here to feed internal conflict that could lead to TMS. I know I found parenting very hard because I had been neglected by my mother, and so never got the love and care I deserved. Knowing this, it is very hard to give all that is demanded of us as parents. This was the hardest thing in my life to do, and I believe was one of the main sources of decades of TMS. But I didn't know anything about TMS or how this internal conflict was playing out in my life at the time. You have this knowledge and awareness, and that will give you the power you need to work through it.
    Anne Walker likes this.
  19. COgirl05

    COgirl05 Peer Supporter

    @Ellen Yeah you make a good point there. I know being a mother, I put pressure on myself to be a really good mom, feel mom guilt and also yearn for I time when I could be more selfish, so all that creates internal conflict too. I think this is TMS-fueled, but I do often scare myself with these thoughts thinking that I'm going to be stressed and therefore have lots of pain. Do you think I can be pain free through all of this?
  20. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yea, I think it's possible. Awareness and acceptance of the internal conflict goes a long way to reduce the fear and the tension that follows. Accept that all parents feel this way to some degree. It is part of the human condition to be conflicted. It's the resistance that leads to fear and pain in my opinion.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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