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Day 4 worst thing a doctor has said / fear of recurring and moving symptoms

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by bennet, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. bennet

    bennet Peer Supporter


    Like probably most of you, I’ve seen a lot of medical practitioners over the past year. Most of them have been very disappointing, leading me to feel scared and discouraged-- more fuel for the pain cycle.

    My worst experience was with a spine specialist at a pain management clinic. I was having "lower back pain" which no one could really figure out. I had a very slight herniated disc but doctors were saying it didn’t seem look bad or fit with the pain I was having. After trying PT and getting and MRI, I was sent to this specialist.

    The specialist was really rude to me. She kept saying, “You’re so young. It really shouldn’t hurt so much,” in a very dismissive tone. (I was 23). As though I were making it up. (Doctors were always telling me, “You’re too young to be having back pain,” and not figuring out what was hurting, much less why it was hurting. And then telling me to relax before sending me away.)

    After after a few minutes of yanking me around asking “Does this hurt?” (yes, it did) my stress and pain was increasing, and her interest in me was obviously decreasing. I very clearly could tell that she didn’t know why I was in pain and wasn’t interested enough to figure it out with me. She told me that I would need an injection in my hip, and that in the meantime, I “shouldn’t baby it” (again, in a very dismissive tone). I was limping from the pain in my SI joint and at that point could hardly walk 1/3 mile. No sympathy, no encouragement, no enlightening information, and no interest in working it out.

    I left there so upset that I could barely walk back to the car. I did not go in for the injection because it sounded very scary and I still did not know what parts were actually hurting (I am so glad I made that decision), but I ended up paying a large copay for that awful appointment any way.

    Before I discovered TMS, a chiropractor was the most helpful. She was kind, empathetic, and supportive — she made me feel cared for. She also figured out which muscles were acting up, giving me a the clarity I’d been looking for for a year. (Muscle tension in the left psoas was pulling my left hip out of place around the SI joint. Why? Probably stress and muscle memory.)

    The muscle work and adjustments she did progressively did help me to feel much better, but did not get me all the way there. Her caring approach was probably helping to alleviate my stress and temporarily correct my muscular issues, with some placebo effect thrown in. Still, I eventually felt discouraged when the pain just kept recurring, and also moved to my neck and shoulders, which her treatments were not helping at all. I kept looking for answers, which is when I discovered TMS.

    I do feel that the chiropractor was an important step in my recovery. She helped me to feel some more confidence in my body again. It was like transitional training wheels. I don’t know if it should be recommended to anyone else suffering from TMS, but since it’s what I’ve already done, I’m choosing to view it as a helpful stepping stone. I did learn a lot from her care, even though it was not going to end my TMS symptoms.

    However, that chiropractor did say one unhelpful thing that I am having trouble shaking. She said, “It’s likely that your body probably will always act up in this particular pattern, but it should be less intense over time, and you’re learning to manage it well. I think you’ll build up some resistance so that your hips have a tendency to slip out of place less and less. You can always come to me again for help if it gets worse.” That is a better scenario than living my life entirely around pain— but it’s not what I want. It’s definitely what I was afraid of— that I would always have to be a bit careful. That I would have to factor in my fear of hip pain when deciding whether to sit in an airplane or go for a hike.

    I think I’m still a bit afraid of that, even though I am secure in the TMS diagnosis. TMS can keep coming back, and I am having so much difficulty getting past the neck and shoulder pain (which is now the primary TMS symptom.) What if I beat this and something new just pops up? What if it’s something harder to live with, like IBS? I am so comfortable with my hip again that I can exercise and I expect it to be fine, but I am still very worried about TMS just getting passed around so that I always have to learn to cope with a new symptom. I'm not one of those people who read the book twice and was totally cured in 2 weeks. I've been working with this knowledge for a few months now-- I worry that I will be doing this forever.

    I’d love to hear something encouraging from anyone who’s had similar concerns.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Bennet. It looks to me like you just need to increase your belief that your symptoms are from TMS and are not structural. They move around because your subconscious has not yet "gotten it," that you have discovered the emotional reason(s) for your pain.

    You are letting your "inner bully" worry you that you may have IBS. Worry is a common cause for upset stomachs and bowels.

    Also, I urge you not to worry that TMS thinking is going to be a lifelong thing. There's nothing wrong or harmful in TMS belief. On the contrary, it is lifesaving knowledge.

    I think it would help you if you did some daily meditation, if you haven't yet. Or maybe you are not meditating in the most helpful way.

    Meditation is a time-honored way of relaxing the mind and relieving anxiety, mental stress, headaches, and even physical pain. There are many ways to practice meditation, but many consider the most successful to be a technique called the Relaxation Response (RR).

    It is a wonderful way to practice TMS Mindbody Healing because it changes harmful thinking in the subconscious mind which Dr. John Sarno says causes pain in many people.

    The RR, practiced daily for a few minutes has a profound positive effect on the subconscious mind, relieving or curing everything from inflammation and pain to headaches, stomach problems, insomnia, high blood pressure, to even aiding in recovery from cancer.

    RR is like Transcendental Meditation which is taught by TM specialists who charge hundreds or thousands of dollars. But the RR is free and you can do it yourself.

    It is done 20 minutes once or twice a day, before a meal, and works best if not practiced within two hours after a meal. I do it in bed before arising in the morning and again in bed before falling sleep. Often, I only do it 5 or 10 minutes and it works to calm me and put me to sleep.

    Just sit in a chair (or lie in bed in the morning or at bedtime), close your eyes, don’t listen to any music, and try to avoid outside noises. Let your mind think of a word such as "One " which has no real meaning or association. Or say a calming word such as “Peace,” or add the faith or spiritual element by saying a favorite religious word. Breathe in through the nose, hold the breath for a few seconds, then say the word when you exhale.

    Say the word silently over and over. At the end of the 10 to 20 minutes, picture and feel yourself as you were when you felt your best, and in a place where you felt that way.

    When distracting thoughts arise during the RR, as they will, just tell yourself, “Oh, well,” and go back to repeating your chosen word. Transcendental Meditation teachers will charge hundreds of dollars to give practitioners a word, but the word you choose yourself in the RR works just as well.

    There are several free videos on Youtube about the Relaxation Response. I especially recommend these two by Dr. Benson:

  3. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Hi Bennet, I remember reading in one of the Mindbody books that if a doctor is empathic and caring the likelihood the patient gets better is higher. I had that experience with my acupuncturist. She was a godsend. She helped me so much. She would listen and would give me great advice. Most of the time it was from a point of view I would have never thought about. I don't know where I would be without her. Well.. I know, I would be on about 8 prescriptions.

    BUT.. you have to remember they don't believe in TMS (same with my chiropractor. Great dr. very knowledgeable and helpful). They believe in mindbody but they also run a business on the belief that structural problems are the reason we suffer from pain. Your chiropractor believes that subluxation and correct posture will make your pain go away. Like you said above, you know it's TMS so that can't be true.

    I'm having that dilemma with vitamins right now. I have so many and have spent so much money on them but all the books say that it's just a placebo. But, I think that it's nutrition in an efficient form. How can it be bad? So, I take them but I know it will not cure me.

    I think you don't have to worry about worse TMS symptoms coming up once you beat your pain. I think that once you start practicing thinking psychologically/emotionally and stop repressing and are aware of how the pain starts you can beat other symptoms that pop up faster and that's only IF they pop up. Don't worry. You are being a perfectionist by worrying about the future and something that most likely will not happen. But, I know.. easier said than done right?

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