The swelling at the location of pain establishes such a dramatic and compelling argument for the presence of soft tissue damage, or worse. My first conscious bout with TMS incorporated very significant swelling in my knee. Besides being very painful, my knee was red and very swollen. To this day my wife vividly remembers how debilitating it was for me as I spent long periods of time on the couch.
I don’t hear about swelling being associated with TMS hardly at all, but since I’ve experienced it directly, I take my direct experience as authoritative, so I certainly can speak at all for others, yet swelling has certainly been a part of my experiences with TMS.
I had been very active, participating in 42 different endurance races (including triathlons) when I was 40 years old. So when apparently out of the blue sharp a sharp pain first should up in the toe area of my right foot and then a few days later went into my right knee, I went to a couple of doctors to find a resolution. That didn’t lead anywhere but when I came across John Stossel’s 20/20 segment on Dr. Sarno, that began the education that eventually changed my entire way of relating to my body.
I hadn’t been married a full year when earlier in that week, the company that my wife worked for had sent her to Hawaii for a corporate event. She had been told that beside simply attending she would also be serving drinks to the executives, as sort of a cocktail waitress, at the annual corporate event. Regardless of whether it should have or not, thinking about this activity infuriated me very, very, deeply. I was very angry. My rage was compounded by the fact that we were newly married I could not share my feelings with my wife without showing up in a way that made me look weak. Much weaker than I was willing to risk. I only point out this emotional context because my rage was so essential and instrumental in creating the symptoms.
I remember in my anger, my rage, actually looking at my red, swollen, painful knee and saying to myself, ‘The way my knee looks right now is the way I feel emotionally.’ It was just that simple.
When I saw the Stossel segment TMS seemed a perfect fit for the cause of my present dilemma. Though no physician supported the TMS theory I brought to their attention, I intuitively felt this was right for me. I remember sharing the information with one particular physician and his nurse. They just looked at me as some kind of likeable idiot, but I wasn’t too sure about the likeable part.
After quite a while I was able to participate in the activities again which I had become accustomed to.
About 10 years later triggered by financial stresses I began to struggle again with other forms of TMS in other places. Yet I never had a recurrence of TMS in my knee or the toe area of my foot.
Mainly I just wanted to be clear that for me swelling has several times been part of my TMS symptoms.
My hope is that you feel supported here and gain the freedom from the fear caused by TMS as well as the pain itself. The most important dynamic is for the fear to soften and become less alarming. This happens through re-consideration of your relationship with your body mixed with persistent self-kindness, self-patience and in time.
Thank you for participating my friend,