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3 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2008 :  05:40:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just discovered this board and am grateful for the support that is on it. I "injured" my back last fall and it gradually got better but after the holidays I had this nagging pain in my buttock that would not go away. My PT kept massaging it which made it worse. I saw an orthopedist who ordered and MRI which showed 2 bulging discs and an annular tear. He told me I should never run again which was devastating to me. As Dr. Sarno predicted, my pain worsened significantly after that and developed hip pain which was diagnosed as bursitits. More PT and more back and forth with the diagnosis and whether or not it was really SI joint dysfunction. I discovered Dr. Sarno on a website and read Healing Back pain which helped quite a bit. However I keep getting other symptoms which I believe are symptom imperative.

Several months ago I developed numbness and tingling in my hands which caused me panic because my mother has MS and that is how her symptoms started. I went to a neurologist who reassured me it is not MS but said I had carpal tunnel and told me to wear splints. I was dubious of this diagnosis because I don't do much repetitive work with my hands and have since become even more doubtful after reading Dr. Sarno's book.

The problem is that my knowledge has only gotten me so far. I did resume exercising, including running, but I still have the fear of pain worsening.

My body seems intent on reintroducing new pains and sometimes ramping up the severity of back pain or hand numbness on any given day. My left hand actually throbs with the numbness and it gets very uncomfortable. With this pain I have developed a nagging depression which really isn't like me.

Some of the hints that my pain and numbness are TMS are that they do vary in intensity and the pain sometimes moves around.

I have so many of the personality attributes of TMS, ie the perfectionism, the goodism, etc. I have stress of changing a jobs (which is a good thing but anxiety-provoking nonetheless), planning my high school reunion which is in two weeks, and planning a surprise birthday party for my husband. Of course, I want everything to go perfectly! In addition, I was already struggling quite a bit with symptoms when my cat disappeared a week ago and now I feel incredibly sad and helpless that we cannot find him.

I was wondering if anyone has experienced a similar series of events and what sort of conditioning tricks you used.



272 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2008 :  08:51:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Smells like TMS to me. Also, having been cleared by a neurologist, I see no reason why you should not approach it as such. Stop worrying NOW! The fear-symptom-fear cycle can have very powerful physiologic and psychologic effects. The longer you allow it to persist, the harder it will be to rewire/recondition yourself once you are truly prepared to accept the fact that you are healthy.

Get on with your life. Try and forget about your pain and other symptoms as much as possible. Don't suppress the things that are bothering you, but rather approach this as a grand opportunity to not only better your health, but your life. Sometimes knowledge of the process simply ISN'T enough, change may very well be necessary. I made some significant changes in my life following my bout with TMS and I am so happy with what transpired that I now view my TMS as one of the best things that ever happened to me. I hope you can one day feel the same. Best of luck!

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1397 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2008 :  11:35:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
sometimes ramping up the severity of back pain or hand numbness on any given day. My left hand actually throbs with the numbness and it gets very uncomfortable. With this pain I have developed a nagging depression which really isn't like me.

The fact that the pain and numbness vary in severity day by day, without really getting worse over time, is a really strong sign of TMS.

As far as the depression, two things are possible: 1) pain is depressing, so you're sad and frustrated because you have pain, or 2) you really do have some emotional stuff to deal with and it's starting to come up in the form of depression. It sounds more likely to me that you are experiencing point #1, but if you find that the depression sticks around or intensifies, you might need to do some more serious consideration of what's going on for you emotionally. As MK says, this can be very rewarding in the long run. I am a much, much happier person since recovering from TMS and my associated depression.

What were you expecting?
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United Kingdom
41 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2008 :  14:11:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Jaycee. I am new to the board as well and in the early stages of recovery. I just wanted to say that I too have had the symptoms moving around, and also manifesting as anxiety. The things that seem to help me are to say in my head to the pain/symptom that I just don't believe it any more. I know it's not a physical problem, but a psychological process causing a physical symptom. I just keep saying that I just don't believe it any more. At the same time, I accept that I might have the pain/symptom for a while and try not to be disheartened if I can't make it go away, though after following the advice in Dr. Sarno's books I am finding that I do have some degree of control over it. The other thing I've noticed that helps me, is that when I start to feel stressed I ask myself what exactly it is that is making me feel so stressed or angry. Sometimes it isn't the immediate thing you're dealing with that is actually causing you emotional pain, but something else relating to that situation. For example today I was annoyed at my husband for something he was saying, but I was feeling very stressed and my "back symptoms" started to creep in. When I stopped and thought about it, I realised that I was actually still angry with him about something else from a few days ago, and it was this that was causing my stress. I wrote down some stuff about it, and spoke to him about it and it helped. I intend to do more work on recognising and dealing with emotions, I really think that helps.
I am a cat lover, we have two, so I understand how you feel about yours' going missing.
I wish you good luck in your recovery. Thousands of people have done this before us, I'm sure we can do it too!
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268 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2008 :  14:15:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, you have classic psychosomatic symptoms. I prefer not to refer to it as 'TMS"; even Sarno would insist that it is not 'TMS' but an "equivalent". As the others have noted, your fear is the main impediment to you getting better, and getting rid of that fear is going to take some work and probably some life changes.
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