TMSHelp Forum
TMSHelp Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ | Resources | Links | Policy
Username:
Password:

Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 TMSHelp
 TMSHelp General Forum
 Unsure about TMS
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Next Page  
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 2

DrewMartin

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2009 :  16:08:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am currently in extreme pain and would like to ask the community for advice.

Here is the background on my case. I developed severe leg and lower back pain 8 years ago, which gradually got worse over several months. MRI showed a heriated disk l5-s1 and I ended having a micro-discetomy. I recovered about 85%. On and off leg pain persisted.

Then a year ago, after laying rolls of grass sod in my back yard, my back soreness developed into severe leg pain again. I was unable to stand, and my neurologist put me on Prednisone. I recovered after three weeks and was 100% - totally pain free.

Now I am having a third attack, this one much much worse, set off after weekend of skiing. A colleague referred me to Dr. Sarno (I am in New York), and I wrote my $1300 check and had a consultation and attended his seminar. That was five agony-filled days ago. It takes 4 10mg percosets to dull the burning pain and prickly numbness in my leg enough to allow me to sleep. The journaling and reading the TMS literature does not seem to have had any effect.

I saw my old neruologist as well, but the prednisone he proscribed does not appear to be working this time. I mentioned I had seen Dr. Sarno to my neuro and he almost spit out his coffee - he is not a fan.

The question: Is it possible this is not TMS? Sarno diagnosed me with TMS after a cursory 5 minute physical exam. I have tried to have a follow-up with him but he is hard to speak to. I am beginning to this he may be mistaken and he just sees everything as TMS, sort of like how to a hammer everything looks like a nail. None of the people I spoke with at Sarno's seminar had anything like the severity of pain I have.

Thanks,

Andrew

ukeboy

10 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2009 :  16:29:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What did you neuro-doc say? I have leg/back pain and have no herniations what so ever. Had 3 MRI's and all came out negative. However, leg pain/numbness has shifted from one leg to another, so now its in both leg. Currently applying Sarno's theory, no success yet. But what other options do I have? My neuro can't give me a diagnosis.
Go to Top of Page

marsha

252 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2009 :  18:17:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Drew,
I have no doubt that Dr. Sarno is correct. If you had a structural problem it would not disappear at times. It would never stop hurting you. I have known people who have had surgery for chronic pain. Some improve for a while and then the pain moves to another spot. Some never get any relief.
I saw Dr. Sarno In October of 2008 for the second time. You can have a relapse. The first time I saw him was in 1999. I was pretty much pain free for 7 years and about 3 year sago had a recurrence. This time I am having more difficulty getting over my TMS attack. I have improved but still am having pain. Actually today was pretty ****ty but I went about my day as if I had no pain. That helps but is exhausting. (I also take some ADVIL when I need it).
Everyone wants a quick fix myself included. Life doesnít work that way for some TMS sufferers. Like any illness I wonder sometimes if having TMS might not be curable. After all it is a real and painful thing. BUT, it isnít structural.
I am surprised that Dr. Sarno took a short time with you. When I saw him in October my appointment was about an hour and I found him to be very thorough and sympathetic.
There are no guarantees. If you do not believe that TMS is the culprit you have no chance of success. Take the study guide he gave you and work it. Read THE DIVIDEDD MIND and keep an opened mind.
Donít spend every waking moment thinking about your pain. I think sometimes that makes it more difficult. Try not to be too hard on yourself because that will definitely make you pain worse.
Take care...
Marsha

Go to Top of Page

DrewMartin

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2009 :  18:45:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the replies. I should be clear - Dr. Sarno spent an hour with me and was very understanding and compassionate. The physical exam itself only took 5 minutes.

My neuro said that my disk has re-herniated due to physical exertion. I would actually consider it a good thing if the pain moved around, as it would support the thesis that the pain is psychologically triggered.

It's hard to understand the interplay between physical events like overdoing skiing and psychological processes like TMS. I am guessing in my case that my brain takes the physical soreness and uses it as 'cover' for a TMS attack. I am sticking with the Sarno program as well - I will check out The Divided Mind. Once the pain dies down it will be easier to focus on the program.

Thanks,

Andrew

Go to Top of Page

mk6283

USA
272 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2009 :  21:21:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DrewMartin

I mentioned I had seen Dr. Sarno to my neuro and he almost spit out his coffee - he is not a fan.


Doctors like that make me very angry. Especially when all they can do is give you more steroids or refer you to a back surgeon anyway. If pain remains your primary complaint, then I'd stay away from him for a while. He's one neurologist I'd never refer a patient of mine to.

If Dr. Sarno diagnosed you with TMS, then you have TMS. If, perhaps, you had some severe spinal stenosis or something along those lines and you were not improving after sticking with the program for a while, then maybe I'd entertain the possibility that something else might be going on. However, your case is so textbook TMS that I would confidently stick with the routine indefinitely as I am fairly certain it is your best bet toward regaining a pain-free life.

Good luck!

Best,
MK

Edited by - mk6283 on 03/28/2009 21:22:07
Go to Top of Page

ukeboy

10 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2009 :  21:37:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah agree, the so-called top doctors in the US were unable to help me. And I'm an example of a person that has no structural explanation for my pain, however its stil there.
Go to Top of Page

pandamonium

United Kingdom
202 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2009 :  01:27:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If Sarno has diagnosed you, then it's TMS. As Marsha says if you don't accept the diagnosis you have no hope of recovery, it is in your power to recover but TMS is a tricky thing; it can some take time and trying different strategies to banish it. 5 days of journalling and reading are a good start but for some of us it takes a long time. I have gone from being in pain nearly all the time to being 90%+ pain free in a year but I could see the progress gradually happening.

As for the skiing setting it off, I'd either assume 1) conditioning 2) someone's advised against physical activity like skiing or 3) something emotional was going on at the time that you hadn't realised.

Go to the success stories on here and read as many as you can, when you read of other people recovering from similar symptoms to your own it really helps.

Check out the tmswiki.org for other tips and links back to symptom-specific success stories on here. This page is a good one to start with http://tmswiki.wetpaint.com/page/So+You+Think+You+Might+Have+TMS
Go to Top of Page

DrewMartin

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2009 :  09:50:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It is great to get such helpful responses.

I have been digging through the success stories on the site and it is clear that others have had pain and other symptoms as bad as mine or worse and they have been cured.

I am really going to attack this. No mercy for TMS. I am mad at my brain for causing me such pain. I am also astounded to think that I am one thought away from being pain free. If there is nothing physically wrong with me, I could be pain free right now.

Andrew
Go to Top of Page

bestcaddy

27 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2009 :  10:56:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Andrew,

Just remember this, what helps most for me is to do the one thing im most scared to do in regards to hurting myself. I was so afraid of running, so I just tried running as hard as I can the pain got worse then all of a sudden it all went away.

The minute I finished my exercise I said to myself I just proved the pain wasnt real.

From there I couldnt stop myself and cured it.

Unfortunately you have to deal with several conditions in your life.

TMS should solve most of them.

Thanks,

Ethan
Go to Top of Page

mizlorinj

USA
490 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2009 :  14:38:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
DrewMartin:
Dr. Sarno told me cancer would not hurt as badly as the pain I was having as I laid on his office floor unable to sit or stand. I remember when he said to me "you will be sitting sooner than you know." I believed him. He spoke with conviction (and had lots of experience to boot). Journaled. Read the Treatment plan daily. Oh, and I got a script for vicodin. Did nothing so I stopped it after two days. I recovered quickly after that. (see success story)

Regarding "reherniated"--not sure that's even true. But it doesn't matter to me as I don't plan to get another MRI to check if the herniated (and empty) disc went back in! I have no pain and that's all that matters! :-)

I trust that Dr. Sarno knows what he's talking about. I remember when he pressed those points near the "large herniated disc". It hurt equally on the left side and it was herniated to the right. Why would that be? TMS.

Best wishes. Don't give up. You do need to believe it's TMS for full healing though.

Edited by - mizlorinj on 03/30/2009 14:42:43
Go to Top of Page

DrewMartin

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2009 :  08:37:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello All,

Here is a quick update on my situation. I was hospitalized for three days due to the pain and an inability to urinate. I was essentially screaming in pain with no possible position that could make me comfortable.

The docs put me on a large dose of dilaudid, which worked. I had an emergency MRI which showed a slight herniation impinging the s1 nerve. My neuro said it was not a surgery situation. He was pretty much out of ideas on what else to do.

I was released yesterday and went into pain spasm once I got home and the narcotics wore off. In dispair, I talked to Dr. Sarno again who assured me that it was TMS, that a slight disk herniation would not cause this kind of pain (as posted above) and that I should not let the docs in the hospital convince me otherwise. His voice was full of conviction and he said I can overcome this.

Last night i ran a hot bath and laid down on my back in the water. This gave me enough relief to be able to start to read the Dr Sarno's book The Divided Mind. I started to cry.

Last night I began to realize that I have walled off my emotions almost completely for years. Starting with my parents divorce, which resulted in my mom disappearing and me being dumped on my abusive father, and continuing to the present day. I realized that the new feelings of love for my 2 year old daughter where the first real emotions I had felt in many years.

The pain feels a little better today. I hope I am making progress.

Thanks,

Andrew

Go to Top of Page

mk6283

USA
272 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2009 :  09:47:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DrewMartin

Last night I began to realize that I have walled off my emotions almost completely for years. Starting with my parents divorce, which resulted in my mom disappearing and me being dumped on my abusive father, and continuing to the present day. I realized that the new feelings of love for my 2 year old daughter where the first real emotions I had felt in many years.



You are so close!!! This is at the heart of the matter. Forget about the pain, forget about some stupid insignificant herniation, stop overanalyzing the physical aspects of your pain. Your brain is talking to you. Its telling you something: you can repress all these emotions and thoughts all you want, but they are still there!!! Get it all out. Write it all down. Write your mom a letter. Write your dad a letter. Remember, it is common for these things to get a bit worse before they get better so don't worry about the recent setback. It is very common in TMS patients, which you are. Congratulations on your progress (you have made incredible progress and you will realize it very shortly if you don't already) and the best of luck to you going forward!!!

Best,
MK
Go to Top of Page

pandamonium

United Kingdom
202 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2009 :  09:51:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well done Andrew, I have a feeling the healing process is about to commence
Go to Top of Page

DrewMartin

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2009 :  06:19:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is an update on my situation. I thought it might help to share my experience, as I am not sure how to interpret my progress or lack thereof.

After 2 1/2 weeks in the Sarno program I am still in a lot of pain. My leg pain has downshifted from excruciating to severe. I am able to stand for short period and I can walk short distances, work on my laptop, etc. I am still gobbling painkillers and stuck on the sofa. I am able to resume working from home, so I have avoided financial catastrophe.

Dr. Sarno has referred me to a TMS therapist, so I am starting that soon.

My journaling has helped uncover tons of emotional issues I have not actively thought about or experienced in many years. I still feel cut off from actually experiencing the feelings I am writing about, perhaps the therapy can help here. In essence, I have made a huge catalog of things that may be be at the root of the TMS problem, but I have not been able to identify the one ah-ha! issue.

It's easy to get discouraged, three weeks now of severe sciatica. At least I have made some progress, and things are not getting worse. That's something.

Thanks,

Drew
Go to Top of Page

iyusaf

USA
57 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2009 :  15:02:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Drew,

You are not alone. I just went through an excruciatingly painful bout of Sciatica that landed me in the ER. It resolved using the usual TMS treatment plus a little pharmacological assistance.

The language of your posts suggests (to me at least) that you suspect something structural may be the root cause of your pain. I have found repudiating structural problems to be a hinderance to resolution of pain. You need to know without a doubt that there is nothing wrong with you. You have had a TMS doc give you this diagnosis but it needs to sink in. Is there any doubt?I had a similar flare-up in 2004. The life pressures were different. The healing process was the same.

Identifying and feeling emotions is important but identifying them may be sufficient. I have had resolution after both identifying them only as well as identifying and experiencing the feelings. It is a lot more work to experience the underlying feelings. I think it is safe to say that most people are not able to do much more than identify the feelings, if that. You are lucky (like me) to have children since they are a gateway to your own feelings.

I also continue to like the idea of changing any real life situation that may be triggering the flare-up, if at all possible, as well as ratcheting up the soothe component of the rage-soothe ratio.

Sounds like you are doing well overall and making good progress. It always takes longer than we want yet less time than we expect for TMS pain to resolve. It is a pleasant surprise to wake up one morning without the pain. You will laugh at the pain once it has dissolved.

By the way, was your neurologist really drinking coffee during your office visit?

Be well.

-iy
Go to Top of Page

pandamonium

United Kingdom
202 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2009 :  13:56:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Drew,

2.5 weeks is still very early days but it's great you are seeing some progress. It can take time, hang in there.
I also found loads of issues in my life when I stopped to think properly and was asked the right questions, I'm not sure you'll find one thing that will be an Ah Ha thing but working through some of the issues should help (although you should recognise that some of this will be unconcious rage).
Go to Top of Page

Dave

USA
1864 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2009 :  14:35:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DrewMartin
The question: Is it possible this is not TMS? Sarno diagnosed me with TMS after a cursory 5 minute physical exam.

First of all you are very early in the process. It takes time. You need to have a long-term view.

The TMS diagnosis is not made on the basis of a physical exam. I am sure Dr. Sarno asked you questions about your life to try to understand your personality type and life stresses. This is how TMS is diagnosed.

You are still very much focused on the physical symptoms, and until you are able to loosen its grasp, the symptoms are likely to continue and even intensify. Nowhere in your messages have you even hinted at the psychological aspects of your pain.

If you accept the TMS diagnosis then you must commit to following the treatment plan that Dr. Sarno prescribes. You need to recondition yourself to think about and react differently to the physical symptoms. You must change the bad habits and undo the conditioning. It takes time, focus, and belief.

Step 1 is to repudiate the structual diagnosis. Seems you're not quite there yet. Keep working at it.
Go to Top of Page

DrewMartin

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2009 :  19:36:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes Iyusaf - you are right. It is so hard to not focus on the pain when it's severe. Every time it hits now I just grit my teeth and tell myself it's emotional, not physical. It was very helpful to find this forum to learn that TMS could be just as painful as what I was going through.

When I started this thread I was in the midst of a near panic situation due to the sciatic pain. Early on I was not convinced of the TMS diagnosis. I am now - 100%. The pain is very clever - it really 'seemed' like a structural problem. The pain would appear when I did things that 'should' hurt if it were structural. Funny.

I have made a huge improvement in the past two or three days - I'm standing, walking, pain fading. I went outside for the first time in weeks and walked around. I hope to be a success story.

I think my progress is due to truly applying myself to the Sarno program. I have been digging through all the yucky emotional things that I have buried for so long. I have also been doing the affirmations and the subconscious exercises recommended elsewhere on the forum and in the Mindpower and Joseph Murphy books.

I think at some point my conscious mind told my subconscious to 'quit it with the emotions - I can't handle them'. And so it did, and the buildup of anger and sadness was so enormous that it took a crippling level of TMS pain to distract me - to basically shut me down. I'm done with that now. I am also going to make room in my life for fun and doing things I really want to do.

Thanks,

Drew

Go to Top of Page

sarita

130 Posts

Posted - 04/20/2009 :  15:18:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi,
its still very early for you. It took months for me to fully grasp the concept. And I think its not the same for everyone. Some have childhood issues, some tms prone personalities and some undergo more sress then they can handle, and much much more. Its a complex mixture of many things.
Step by step, you WILL IMPROVE. I am slowly seeing through the fog and recognizing what I think of, or feel, or fear, before I begin to feel the pain. I have also had non stop pain and wasnt able to recognize any pattern what so ever. But since I started improving, I am pain free sometimes, and that has enabled me to see through the pattern. This gives you so much power!
You will discover a lot of things. Keep at it.
Dont just read the success stories, browse through the whole site, it will help you.
I found the posts of la kevin (not all of them, I mean some of 2008) very good.
Please keep us posted.
Go to Top of Page

DrewMartin

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2009 :  12:35:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello All,

I thought I would bring some closure to this thread and take the opportunity to thank everyone in the community.

I have recovered and am now pain free. My acute period lasted about 4 weeks and was incredibly bad - no sleep, barely able to crawl around, not eating, etc. There is still some residual numbness in my foot, but that is it. No surgery, no physical therapy, just followed the Sarno program. By 6 weeks I was up and around and re-engaging with life.

Looking back, I started to get better the first time I really engaged with my emotions and started to feel things again. My emotional issues are mainly to do with my messed up childhood. There are a lot of stressors in my current life, but (these seemed more like the triggers to the attack, not the root cause.

In my darkest hours I searched this forum and read the success stories. I tried pretty much everything that people here say works. When the pain was too much to read, meditate or write, I listened to my recorded affirmations.

This forum helped a lot to show me that 1) What I was dealing with was TMS and 2)That recovery is possible. The other back pain forums on the Web are filled with woe and despair and it seems nobody ever seems to get better. This forum is a true place of healing and I was lucky to find it at the right time. As some say TMS is a 'proclivity', I am going to continue to work on many of these issues even now that the pain is gone.

Thanks again and I hope nothing but the best for you all. To anyone reading this suffering Sciatica / Back pain / TMS know that recovery is possible!

Regards,

Drew
Go to Top of Page

marsha

252 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2009 :  12:45:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great news. Posts like yours are a big help for me.
Marsha
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 2 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
TMSHelp Forum © TMSHelp.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000