Thursday, June 19, 2008

Here, Hold This......

I had T last night. I love my T. I talked about the pains I've been having lately. I've had severe tenderness, tension as well as throbbing and stinging pain in my left shoulder, chest, arm, elbow, jaw, neck, etc. I know it's stress. I want to believe it could be something else because then I could just take a pill and make it go away. I've also had a few episodes of....hmm. I'm not sure what to call it! It happens in my car so I thought perhaps it was some sort of claustrophobia. Except I've now pinpointed that it always happens in relation to visiting with my mother. So, it's mom-ophobia? :o) In any case, my legs & my arms get tingly, jumpy, electrical shocky, feel like bugs are crawling on me. Makes it difficult to drive and I feel like I want to jump out of the car and shake my limbs. I start to get panicky and makes it hard to breathe. I want to run around the car. T said maybe I need to release some extra energy. BWaaahhhhHahHahHaaa!! Extra Energy???? Please! Man, I'm wiped out. I have no energy at all. I still haven't even done my laundry from vacation!! I told her I feel drained.

So T and I discussed this and the possibility of (HORRORS) maybe needing a med increase. *Insert sobbing here* And she said "Listen....of course you are exhausted. It's like someone handed you this giant weight and told you to hold it. And you've been holding it now for weeks, months, years! It takes a tremendous amount of energy to hold something in that hard!" I read once that the pregnant body at rest, in the first trimester, is working as hard as a non-pregnant body mountain climbing. Even though you don't see any outside reason for physical exertion, there is SO much going on inside the body that is draining the Mom's energy. Hence the reason for the utter exhaustion in pregnancy. body is working so hard on the inside that it sucks all my energy.

We talked about the fact that the Orthopedist I saw the other day recommended I see a surgeon. I have no intention of going that route. Because I know, at the end of the day, this is something that is originating from my tension level. More specifically, my suppressed anger. We talked about different types of medical care I could pursue and I told her I'd already done chiropractic including this accupressure adjustment gun. I told her it didn't really work for me overall because my pain would cycle from one spot to another. Dr would adjust my neck, it would move to my shoulder. Adjust my shoulder, it would move to my back. And so on and so on. T gets the "Ooooooohhhhh!!!" look on her face and starts telling me about:

TMS: Tension Myositis Syndrome. In a nutshell, this is part of mind/body medicine. That there is a definite connection between psychological factors and chronic pain. Particularly, repressed anger finds its way into the body.

This is from another website:
A very consequential characteristic of we human beings is our ability to push things out of consciousness. Most people believe that if we can stop thinking about something, it will stop affecting us. We all have some ability to shift our focus away from something unpleasant.

You yourself may have the inclination to stop paying attention to something that causes you anger or fear. The problem with avoidance is that what you stop paying attention to, doesn't automatically stop paying attention to you. The analogy I would use is that you can close something down in your computer so that you no longer have to look at it on the screen. It's still there, though, hiding in memory. Similarly, emotions can hide in your body.

Some indications that you might be experiencing TMS include:
1. Moist heat relieves the pain for short periods of time
2. The pain Migrates from one place to another.
3. You're in a vicious cycle of fear and pain. (especially since you've become convinced that your body is fragile).
4. You find it more acceptable to have a purely physical problem than an emotionally connected problem.
5. You have muscle tenderness on pressure (trigger points).
6. The pain mainly appears when you are upset or under pressure.
7. You feel trapped in a situation that could make you angry, but you do not feel able to express it directly.
8. Diagnostic testing has not identified a sufficient physical basis for your pain.
9. You have a sense of responsibility and conscientiousness that never quits.
10. Each doctor you visit gives you a different explanation of what the problem is.
11. You hate it when somebody does not like you.
12. You have ongoing pressure in some important area of your life.
13. You have a conflict or extreme ambivialancy about something that just does not get resolved.

Yeah, I pretty much have 11 of the 13. T says that basically my energy, and negative energy at that, is stuck in my body. While I've done much work with her and talked about many, many things.....she says I need to physically start to move that anger out of my body. Punch, hit, kick, scream....whatever works. I said "But what if I don't feel angry?" It seems silly to do anger work when I don't feel like I have any to express. Aaah, isn't that the trickery of the whole mind/body connection? My mind isn't recognizing the anger b/c my body is holding onto it; specifically keeping it away from the mind. T says I need to just breathe and really, honestly let down into it. Find a time/place....get into the mindset of just moving body energy around. She says spend a few minutes every day. Maybe I'll make an emotional connection. Maybe not. Doesn't matter. But just try to get it moving. So there is my homework and I could not be more resistant to it. I told T that I know I need to do this but I really don't want to do this. She says of course you don't because you're going to have to feel something unpleasant. Even if it's just the physical pain of trying to move my chronically sore points, or maybe it will be the action that finally taps the vault of anger. Either way, I'm not really looking forward to it. But I will do it. I make a commitment to do it every day until my next T appointment, which is in 10 days.

Quickly, before my final topic.....I told T about being triggered at the Ortho appt and she asks the most logical question. "Well, did you talk to them about your general anxiety so they would maybe treat you with a little more care?"

Oh. Of course not. WHY on earth would I do that? Why would I potentially inconvenience or burden someone else for my own protection and comfort? Phhhffbbt. Don't be ridiculous!! I don't think I mentioned in the "Trigger" post but, when they layed my down on the table after the standing XRays, I couldn't get my body to go flat to the table. I was so rigid and all my muscles were spasming or involuntarily jerking. T said I was in complete body-defense mode at that point because the entire experience required me to relinquish control which is a huge trigger in itself. She reminds me...."It's okay to set boundaries. To take care of yourself." I know it my head. So why do I freeze up and white-knuckle my way through situations that stress me out just to keep the peace?? Will I ever learn?

And finally.....the last piece of today's very long post. Calling a Spade a Spade.

I talked to T about my "Must Not" situation with KC. I said how I can't really get perspective on it since fathers are such a huge issue for me. I already said I love my T, right? She's so damn point blank with me sometimes and I NEED it!! She says "He's full of shit." She confirms for me what has been swirling in the back of my head and that I didn't want to believe. He's making excuses and avoiding the situation with his youngest DD. I said how when I listen to him talk about her, there is such an appearance of love there, etc. She says "Those are just words." Oh DING of my "Must Haves"....a man who follows up his words with actions. T says she finds this to be a huge red flag and believes it says much about his ability to be responsible and to handle conflict. This is the reason I made these that once I start to get emotionally vested in someone, I have some concrete expectations to fall back on. It's scary how easy it is for me to skirt around the black and white of things sometimes and make excuses for their behavior. Now I have to figure out how to discuss it with KC. *sigh*


Enola said...

I love your T too - are you sure she doesn't do "phone healing?"

I have 10 of the 13 - and I'm pregnant. So I'm REALLY tired. I have been making a conscious effort to stretch every hour. Just get up and try to touch my toes - I've never really been able to do this, plus I can't exactly see my toes right now - but I reach in that direction. I arch my back every which way.

My back now feels much better......but......the pain has migrated to my shoulders. Hmmm.....

Maybe I'll take your T's advice too - and work on stretching all over. Maybe I can find some safe-while-pregnant anger stuff to do too.

April_optimist said...

Sounds like you have a great T. Pregnancy IS exhausting! It may have been a long time ago for me but I STILL remember that fatigue! And the rest is so on target about the mind body connection. It's amazing how much healthier I became physically as I processed the trauma of my past and recognized that I had power in the present. And oh, yeah, how it resonated with me when you talked about needing to recognize whether or not actions match a person's words! Great post.