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What are "serious conditions"?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by LauriK, May 7, 2013.

  1. LauriK

    LauriK Peer Supporter

    I keep reading where they say you should make sure you've ruled out any "serious conditions". The medical folk I've been talking to rank collapsed discs as a serious condition. What actually is a serious condition?
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    It could probably vary, but when I think of "serious conditions" I think of something like cancer, nerve damage, infections. To be honest, I don't really think about those very much, so this question is kind of over my head. A good doctor should be able to rule anything serious out rather easily.

    I would add that worrying about whether you have a serious condition is the TMS distraction at work. Focusing on the worst case scenario is preventing you from thinking psychologically about your symptoms. This isn't to say don't see a doctor. If you think you may have a serious condition, get a check up, but keep in mind that your unconscious wants you to catestrophize in order to keep you from accepting the diagnosis and thinking psychological.
  3. LauriK

    LauriK Peer Supporter

    I just need to know since I'm going for the MRI on Monday and I don't have a TMS doctor here and will have to make decisions myself.
  4. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Laurik, I'm not a medical professional, but all the information I've come across about collapsed discs is that they are primarily the result of aging, basically the result of the war with gravity. The research I've found (TMS and non-TMS doctors alike) seem to use the term interchangeably with "herniated", "ruptured", or "bulged". Either way, even the non-TMS doctors agree that it would only cause pain if it were pressing on a nerve. And if they were to take it a step further and actually look at what would happen if it were pressing on a nerve - the nerve would not be compressed for very long before it would actually stop sending a pain signal to the brain (because compressed nerves don't live very long) and before it died it would cause a lot more than just pain.
  5. D. R. Martin

    D. R. Martin Peer Supporter

    Earlier this year I was struggling with GERD/stomach pain. The symptoms could have been related to TMS...or stomach cancer. An endoscopy showed that I was basically okay, no "serious condition." That's why you have to check out certain symptoms with medical pros. I'm still working through with knee pain--which the TMS shifted to after the endoscopy.
  6. Eddie

    Eddie Peer Supporter

    I am a bit worried about my Doctor's reflex test on my left leg (the leg with sciatica symptoms). I didn't have great reflexes and he was quite worried. Could this be nerve damage? I really don't want to treat it as physical but I am worried and don't really want to go back to see him as he dismisses TMS as none sense. Did anyone else have this happen with their sciatica and lower back pain?

    I am currently treating it as TMS and have been for quite some time with some great success but also some relapses. Currently I am seeing a therapist but my pain has gotten a lot worse recently. I do have a lot of emotional stress and turmoil and can recognise this as a cause of my symptoms.
  7. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    If you haven't read The Great Pain Deception yet, you might want to check it out. I'm reading it now and I just finished a section where Steve Ozanich (the author) was recounting his experience of having been at the doctor and having his knee hit with that rubber hammer and there was no reflex action. He also talked about sciatica, lower back pain, and about 100 other symptoms and issues he experienced (unfortunately) that all turned out to be TMS.

    Since you're working with a therapist it seems logical to me that your pain might be getting worse. The therapist is likely not letting you off the hook in certain areas that you might have avoided on your own. Your subconscious is going to resist that and try to distract you with pain. I discovered TMS because it was suggested to me by a "physical" doctor that there might be an emotional component to my pain. When I consulted some professionals in the psychology field to find out whether such a thing was even possible, not only did I get a resounding "YES", but I also got very straight-forward warnings to be prepared for the pain to get worse before it got better as I underwent the emotional healing. They were not wrong!!
  8. Eddie

    Eddie Peer Supporter

    Hi Leslie

    I also realised that working with a therapist may bring back the symptoms experienced at the start of my TMS identification. What I didn't realise is that the levels of symptoms would be very intense. When I did the Structured Education Program I must not of identified all my turmoil and repressed emotions. It helped a bit but not fully. With the therapist sessions I hope to completely identify everything affecting me and my symptoms.

    Thank you for posting the information from the Great Pain Deception as this knee jerk reflex was worrying me quite a bit.
  9. LauriK

    LauriK Peer Supporter

    I've had the MRI. Apparently my disc has collapsed into the same passage that the sciatic nerve passes through to my right leg. Should this be considered a serious medical condition? My doctor says the pain will only stay or get worse without an operation to remove the disc material. I'm to see the orthopaedic people now. Is this something Dr Sarno would say is serious or TMS? I'm all confused now and after 5 weeks of being nearly confined to my bed I'm losing hope.
  10. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Lauri

    I couldn't possibly say whether Dr Sarno or any other TMS doctor would consider this is serious or not, nor could most of us. I can certainly understand why you would feel confused and probably quite worried.

    Today I was reading on another thread how Alan Gordon advised someone in Europe to seek help from one of two TMS doctors in the U.S. I copied the link to the forum post as well as the sections on the wiki for both doctors.


  11. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    I know the orthopedist i saw thought the herniated discs I had were pressing on a nerve and that was causing my pain. They were "mostly extruded" if I recall correctly.
    I remembered reading in Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Healing reading about someone who had multiple shattered discs. I thought if he got better with Dr. Sarno's program, surely I would. And I did! Why not try the TMS approach? You have nothing to lose but your pain!

    I don't recall the "serious conditions" being listed anywhere in his books.
  12. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I read somewhere in one of Dr Sarno's books that it may be physically impossible for material extruded from a disk to press on an adjacent nerve simply because they're both soft tissue (i.e. they should give). Another thing that Dr Sarno mentions is that pressure on a nerve should result in numbness after a few days, rather than pain. Of course, I'm not an M.D., but you should be aware that there are alternative opinions about the so-called 'pinched nerve' or 'bulging disk' phenomenon. But it is important to keep in mind too that the pain does not originate in the disk, but in the brain. That's where the pain messages come from and that's where they can be stopped or at least slowed down using psychological techniques. I do know about the study where 100 random subjects without back pain were given MRIs and about 70% of them had spinal anomalies like herniated and bulging disks. Then, 100 patients with back pain were given MRIs and about 70% of them had spinal anomalies like herniated and bulging disks. Hard to avoid the conclusion that herniated and/or bulging disks were not the real reason for the pain. Similarly, the rather poor outcomes of invasive lumbar surgery also make you seriously wonder whether the condition being corrected surgically is the real reason for back pain.
  13. LauriK

    LauriK Peer Supporter

    I have taken a detour on my path and am back. These doctors can really do your head in, the worst for me was the chiropractor. He was such an alarmist talking about how I would soon be paralysed from the collapsed disc. I have decided I am not doing surgery. I finally accept that my pain is not physical. I'm still taking pain meds ( I don't know if that will ruin my TMS progress) but I'm going to give up the doctor who I had little faith in in any case. I realise my problem is TMS and I need to start dealing with it instead of searching for a medical cure which will likely make it worse.
    gailnyc likes this.
  14. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    We are here to help you and support you on your journey. Are you going to start the 37 day Structued Education Program?
  15. LauriK

    LauriK Peer Supporter

    I'd already started it, I'll just continue.
  16. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    IMHO: This is a standard chiropractic ploy to get you to sign up for a whole series of chiropractic treatments.

    How many patients are there in hospitals around the US who are paralyzed from "collapsed" disks, you might ask your chiro? Are they all bed-ridden undergoing round the clock care attached to life support and feeding tubes?

    Again, I'm not an MD, and, therefore, cannot diagnose and/or prescribe, but I'd rather doubt there are many patients paralyzed by spinal anomalies. Hurting all the time and running to chiropractors, yes, there are many like that. But paralyzed and on life support? 1 in a zillion.

    I remember one chiropractor in particular who told me, based on one X-ray taken in her office, that with the many "subluctions" I had in my spine, I was going to wind up like her grandmother all bent over and in constant pain for the rest of my life; that is, if I didn't sign up for a year of chiropractic adjustments once a week at her office. Well, here I am slouching in my chair in front of my computer about to get up and go down to the gym and exercise. If anything, I'm a 100% better than when I went to the chiropractor 4 years ago for a free evaluation and consultation. No crutches. No wheel chair. No back brace. No cane.
  17. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    As long as you recognize the pain meds as a coping aid while you gain confidence in the TMS diagnosis and are becoming more aware of your emotions I don't think they'll ruin your progress. I think the trouble with pain meds comes from viewing them as the "cure" or the "solution". As long as you remain mindful that they are ultimately just chemicals that are "confusing" the signals in your brain, and not performing any "healing" function at all, they're just part of the journey that will lead to healing. Giving up the doctor will probably help you make great strides in your progress. We've all had more than our fair share of nay-sayers claiming to be in our corners, any time you can evict one you're that much closer to peace and happiness!
    LauriK and gailnyc like this.
  18. LauriK

    LauriK Peer Supporter

    Leslie thanks for that. Though my husband beleives in TMS he also thinks I should just go to the doctor and listen to what he says. But I don't want to. I went once. It was just to hear from him if my condition was some crazy anamoly as the chiro had said. He said no, it was common, a herniated disc. That's all I wanted from him. Now I don't want all of his not helpful words filling my ears. And thanks for giving me a new way of thinking about the pain meds. You can't know how much that helps.
  19. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    I'm glad I was helpful. I think pain meds the same way most (the good ones anyway) psychoanalysts view anti-depressant/anxiety meds. None of them are the "solution" or the "cure", that's not their intended purpose when they're used correctly. The problem is that people tend to "feel" so much better (of course they do, they're "feeling" so much less) that the patient themselves views the med as the "cure". The trouble is that just treating the symptoms can never be a cure, in order to recover from the problem you have to treat the source. The meds are helpful in the sense that they help to make the symptoms manageable while we do the hard work (which truly might be impossible for some without the meds) of learning to manage the cause.

    Sounds like your husband is a victim of his own conditioning. He loves you and he just wants your pain to be gone as quickly as possible. It's wonderful that he believes in TMS, but his belief is also limited by his own understanding. Unless he's experienced it himself I doubt he can fully appreciate it. I know my own husband is very much as you've described yours. My husband read Dr. Sarno's book. He did it for me actually. I was such a mess, mentally and physically, when I read it, I didn't trust my own judgement. I thought it made a lot of sense but I asked him to read it and tell me if it made sense to a sane, rational person (I had serious doubts that I qualified as either at the time). He read it, reluctantly. His reluctance was that he thought it was possible if he learned about it, it might happen to him. I got him to read it by telling him that from what I understood it was quite the opposite and that if he learned about it he'd be less likely to experience it. Anyway, the point to all of this is that even though he read it, and he's been very supportive and completely believes it is the root of my issues, when it comes to himself he's not 100% convinced. Maybe you just want to thank your husband for his concern and his suggestion but let him know that right now you want to give try the TMS approach a try. Remind him that you've already tried those other routes without the desired results so right now you're wanting to try something much cheaper and most likely far more effective. After all, you've got nothing to loose here but your pain.

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