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Would love some support

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Friendlygal12, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. Friendlygal12

    Friendlygal12 New Member

    Hi gang,
    First off, I will say I tried posting this on the other TMS forum but have had no response- must have gotten lost in the shuffle. If anyone here has the time or inclination to offer some support, that would be wonderful :)

    I have been a classic TMS-er... my symptoms have run the gamut from knee pain (the original and most persistent), back pain, ankle pain, RSI (wrists), acid reflux, tendinitis, shoulder tendinitis, tooth and jaw pain... After finding Sarno and Schubiner I have improved to where I can generally function with little pain (truly a miracle for those who knew me in my worst days).

    Most recently, since starting my PhD in fall 2012 I have dealt with jaw pain and wrist pain (as a result of yoga, and which eventually went away despite continuing to do yoga). For about 2.5 months now I have started running, dancing avidly, and doing yoga about twice a week. I got into the routine of doing fairly intensive exercise most days.

    Last week, however, my knee began to act up again like it has not in a long, long while. I tried to get it under control over the first few days by reading Schubiner and SteveO, but for some reason nothing I do seems to help. I have also recently gone off my anxiety meds, so I suspect I am having a harder time coping this time around partially due to that.

    Stressful events that might be contributing include waiting to hear about a huge scholarship, juggling two jobs, the upcoming deadline for my dissertation proposal, and the (self-induced) pressure of wanting to complete my first 5 K in three weeks time.
    I have stopped training as it hurts to walk and I cannot imagine running. Sad for me even to type that as I had been doing so well up until last week.

    This knee problem has been the most enduring; most everything else I can talk myself out of within a few days or so. The reason is because it FEELS physical- my leg tightens up, the knee clicks and grinds...etc. But logically I know it can't be because "injuries" cannot last for 10 years. Even though I know this... I can't help but think maybe I "overdid" it with all my zealous exercising.

    From reading almost all the old knee posts, it seems that there is generally less of a consensus that these problems are always TMS, but mine does fit the criteria- diagnosed as patella femoral syndrome/chrondomalacia, had surgery for meniscal tear, resurgence of pain with no precipitating incident, doctors mystified as to origins of pain...

    Would love any thoughts, help, or reassurance.
    Apologies for length!
  2. Sheree

    Sheree Well known member

    My advice would be to ease up on putting pressure on yourself. The fact that you have already improved so much makes it seem that it is all TMS. Take some exercise - but purely for pleasure without setting goals. Be kind to yourself.
    Karen likes this.
  3. CMA

    CMA Peer Supporter

    Hi there
    I have myself requested support for my anxiety issues :) its funny you say its hard to ignore physical pai , me on the other have been thinking foot pain was so much easier Atleast i knew i couldn't exercise but I went to work and all.. This anxiety and mental health stuff is killing me not able to focus on anything.
    Anyway..ooks like your pressure to do the 5K is acting in the form of knee pain.. Do you agree? Can u try again the tms principles?? You have come such a long way just hang in there try to continue... Many good wishes to tou
  4. Friendlygal12

    Friendlygal12 New Member

    Hi Sheree and CMA,
    Thanks a bunch for your responses. It's funny- I got so disheartened after a day has passed and no one has responded to my message on the other TMS forum. It's amazing how personally I take these sorts of things.

    I think you both have noticed the main issue-- which, incidentally, I added only as an afterthought-- which is that I have been putting a fair amount of pressure on myself about this race, I suspect to "prove" to myself that I am "better." I guess it sort of backfired, eh? Maybe all the self-induced pressure was my undoing.

    And you guys are right- I HAVE come a long way. I gotta keep that in mind and focus on the successes. I am trying so, so hard to keep the TMS principles in mind but I definitely find myself slipping into thinking physical instead of thinking psychological. Any suggestions on this bit would be greatly appreciated! thanks
  5. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    I agree with Sheree and CMA--it sounds like you are putting too much pressure on yourself.

    If I were you I'd go back to walking, maybe short distances, saying to yourself "It's only TMS" if the pain is there. As you notice a decrease in the pain, increase your time/speed. I have found that putting pressure on myself to achieve goals within certain time limits only slows down my recovery.
  6. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    Reminders are coming back at me left, right and center since my pain started acting up again. The perfectionism, the beating myself up, the competition to look like you've made it in life and biggest of all understanding that I am the only one who can change my mind about 'situations' and look at everything from a different perspective. It's hard to do when one is a natural worrier and control freak like myself!!

    Always goes back to that simple serenity prayer we said for years........
    ''Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and to know the difference between what I can change and what I can't''. That always helps me.

    Best wishes for you! Hug!
  7. Friendlygal12

    Friendlygal12 New Member

    Hi everyone.
    Thanks again for your kind and reassuring words. Last night, much to my surprise, my old friend back pain started up again! (has probably been 8-10 months with no problems). I say... bring it on! Classic symptom substitution. Seems like I've got the pain on the run ;)
  8. Dee

    Dee New Member

    Hi there:

    Just want to let you know that you are not alone and to not give up. I have had pain issues similar to yours, and I would say I am 95% cured. But I also have run into flare-ups when stressors have entered the picture. I had excruciating knee pain that came seemingly out of nowhere last fall. There were several things going on in my life at the time that I didn't think were that stressful, but my brain did. I am a very active person and had been running again for the first time in 8 years. I had gone on a couple of longer runs, so I convinced myself that the pain was a result of that and I had pushed myself too hard. I was completely freaked out and very upset because I thought I was on the path to health for the first time in years and that I would be able to run again (albeit short distances). Sure enough, after several major events were over with, including a trip overseas, my knee pain disappeared. I went from having pain with every step (simply walking) to no pain at all and running again. The stressors you mention above are big. And your brain knows it. It also knows you are looking forward to that 5K and is probably trying to distract you and scare you.

    One thing that I have found helpful is to get out my journal and make a running list of things that have me worried, mad, sad, or anxious. I just write a stream of consciousness. "I am mad about X." "I am sad about Y." "I am anxious about Z." This has been helpful to me whenever pain crops up. That way I tend to identify many things that I may not have even realized were bothering me. It also helps me to see on paper that I have a lot of worries and that is the cause of the pain - not something physical.

    I have been working on this for a year now. I have made tremendous progress. I've gone from only being able to walk and ride a stationary bike to taking yoga, zumba, running, and spinning. And in the past month, I've started taking Pilates on the Reformer, which is extremely instense - and scary - for someone who has been told she has back problems. But I feel great and in control of my body again for the first time in a decade.

    Much like you, I tend to forget about the successes and only focus on what I am not able to do or what I haven't accomplished. I've also used my journal to make a list of the accomplishments I've had since I read Sarno's book in February 2012. When you see it all on paper, it helps remind you how far you've come.

    Hope that helps. Best wishes! I am planning to sign up for a 5K this summer. It will be the first one I've run in 10 years. I'm nervous, but hopeful that I can do it!
    Sheree, CMA and Stella like this.
  9. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Yes. Why do we do this?

    Great idea!
    CMA likes this.
  10. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    I would be journaling about my FEELINGs about the things going on in my life (like you had listed in the original post).

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