Hi! 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.