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Whack-a-mole with TMS & Nerve Issues

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by eightball776, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. eightball776

    eightball776 Well known member

    Hi All,

    I need some advice - I will try to be brief, but my history is long.

    Age 6 – diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, yrs of meds & procedures follow - happy childhood in spite of it

    Age 14 – 1st onset of persistent back pain, beginning with injury to lower back after falling on a driveway

    Age 23 – endured 2yrs of terrible back pain as I was finishing college. Eventually connected the dots and realized the pain showed up immediately following my recovery from panic disorder with the help of Dr. Sarno himself. Banished the pain completely in 2-3 weeks after reading books and attending lectures. Changed my life.

    Mid-30s – a few more bouts of back/neck pain, following injuries of various types, car accident, softball, etc...all sorts of diagnoses ranging from arthritis to degenerative disc disease. Drs frequently blame Crohn's and proclaim I will have low back pain forever. Suffered from terrible TMJ; still break my teeth from the grinding.

    Last 2 Years – suffering mightily with chronic lower back pain. Limiting every part of life. Replaced workstation and mattress – no more sitting for hours. Multiple facet-joint steroidal injections (2 out of 10 provided relief), chiro, accupuncture, physical therapy, name it – I've tried it.

    Present Day –peripheral neuropathy; feet get numb and 'fall asleep' and are difficult to 'wake up'. Numbing occurring in left hand as well. Trying Cymbalta.

    Here's the thing...I KNOW TMS is responsible for the lion's share of my pain. I can't convince myself that it is the sole cause, which, as you know, perpetuates the disease.

    I had an epidural on Friday and my pain is 75% better. I firmly believe it is not a placebo effect. Yet the cycle of flare-ups I have been experiencing seem to have no psychological cause/effect pattern. On pain meds most of the time now. I do hate my job with a passion, but it allows me to work from home, which is absolutely mandatory at this point.

    So on to my question – now that I've had some clear evidence of nerve involvement...how do I figure out how much of this is due to TMS and my perception of pain? My TMJ started when I was a toddler – how much repressed stress could I have had when I was 4? I have been through extensive psychotherapy and have a solid understanding of my subconscious – but I am at the end of my rope here. I just cannot 'turn off' the pain the way that I did when I was 23. That is also what is leading me to believe there is an underlying caused based on trauma.

    Any advice would be VERY MUCH appreciated.
  2. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    This ... this has been part of my quest, as well. If my rib rolls out (and it does), the pain is tremendous. From a kind healer, and from my own experimentation on my body, I have learned how to re-nest it into its home slot. The lingering pain afterwards then mingles with the TMS pain. Where does one stop and the other begin? Every pain does not seem to fall under the single category. As I sit here typing this evening, my left jaw and part of my back is numb/tingling/burning. TMS? Likely. The random nerve firings, yes, TMS. My jaw remains in a partially dislocated state. Sometimes it shifts further out. That same healer taught me how to ease it mostly back into place. Are joints that move inappropriately TMS? I am not thinking this to be so. The pain is immediate when they move from home-base, and eases when they settle back in.

    I cannot advise, but I can empathize with your question. Perhaps we both will benefit from some the wonderful source of experiences that those on those on this forum so generously share.

    with grace and gratitude,
  3. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I suffered from lower back pain for many years. This was after I had surgery. After a few years when I had sort of come to terms with the pain, meaning I was finding ways to live my life in spite of the pain, it moved to the back of my head. In hindsight now, I can see that all of the various conditions I suffered through and focused on over the last 18 years, were all related and caused by TMS. Since I became devoted to TMS recovery about nine months ago, most of the conditions I suffered through in the past have resurfaced, my anxiety increased, and new symptoms as well. Its like musical chairs. I also have numbness in my hands and feet and an MRI that shows multiple ruptured discs in my neck. The thing is, if it was truly something that was caused structurally, why does it move around? I can tell you what I did, and although my progress has been slow, I can tell that I am getting better. For months and months I was in an internal panic over how I was going to cope and was I ever going to regain any real quality of life. That is no longer a question for me. I know that even if I never get any better than I am today, I can enjoy my life and be happy. Hopefully, I will continue to improve, but it is no longer an obstacle to living. In terms of the structural versus TMS, I examined all my options and considered whether there was any life threatening need to act now. Could I afford six months to take any physical treatments off the table and focus on the TMS? The answer was yes. Anytime I started to think about getting a test, going to the doctor, exploring some alternative treatment or worrying about my body, I redirected my thoughts with "I'll see where I am in a few months." After a few months, surgery or visiting a neurosurgeon about my MRI was off the table. I felt very confident that it was not necessary. Previously I had felt tortured in doubt. My right hand is very numb as I write this, but I know there is a good chance I will wake up tomorrow and it will be my left hand, or perhaps my hands won't be numb at all and my vision will bother me or I'll have a pain in my ribs....something. But now even though there is still usually something going on, it is all more in the back seat. I am thinking more and more about the things I like to do and what is going on around me. I know if I could have somehow jumped to the being 100% confident and sure it is 100% TMS and there is nothing to worry about, that I would heal much faster. But for whatever reason I could not just decide to believe and be sure. It didn't work for me like that and I spent a lot of time banging my head against the wall feeling desperate and sad that I couldn't. My somatic experiencing therapist says that you can't expect to just relax when your body is this tense. Its too much. She says instead, think about how to make it a little less. Just a little less, a little more manageable. That has helped me a lot. I think instead of being discouraged that the same strategy you used when you were 23 isn't working now, be encouraged that you know you have the ability to heal. Its just that the TMS is a master at creating distractions and keeping us focused on our bodies. It is frustrating because we want to be able to just figure out the cause and it doesn't always work like that. Trust that if you start exploring, writing, find ways to focus on your life, not the pain, then relief and discoveries will come.
    westb, Sheree, Ellen and 1 other person like this.
  4. DB26

    DB26 Newcomer

    email me dovber26@gmail.com
  5. eightball776

    eightball776 Well known member

    Thanks for all of your replies! I've started Adam Heller's "Zero Pain Now" program, and I think I have finally turned a corner. I reached a point where I just became fed up with the doctors I was seeing. Their complete lack of interest in anything they might not understand or know about just made me crazy. I had the first big breakthrough in 6 years with my back pain. A massage therapist produced SIGNIFICANT relief after only working on my abdomen, providing the first real link to the inflammation in my gut to the pain in my back. 3 doctors - PM, PCP, and gastro - either interrupted me mid-sentence, dismissed it immediately, or just completely ignored me. That was when I really saw how interested these people were in making me feel better. 88% of people with chronic pain have gastrointestinal problems. I am feeling better with every chapter I read. I think this was the final push I needed to truly accept that my pain is rooted in psychological causes ONLY - not partially...that was the myth that was keeping me sick - that my unconscious rage, etc. was only causing some of the pain. Now it's moved to my neck and I have it on the run.​
  6. DB26

    DB26 Newcomer

    I am so happy for you.......
  7. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I can't speak to the rest of your post, but I do think that a child at 4 may have a traumatic emotional experience that was not noticed by his/her parents. It is possible that you have a more sensitive nervous system than average and have a harder time coping with stress and trauma than average population. Just the slew of the TMS symptoms that you had in the past makes me think that it is another TMS in disguise.

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