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andy64tms

USA
586 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2017 :  10:22:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Doing Absolutely Nothing – Summer 2015

I felt battered after two weeks of windsurfing at Sherman Island and decided to take a break. The winds the previous day had been particularly good and I felt an aura of accomplishment.

I sat for an hour on a carpeted make-shift bench mindful of the waves and wavering Tule reeds. I watched the windsurfers and resisted the urge to join them, instead recollecting with pleasure my previous day’s excitement. I relived the joy of the sail flickering and the plumes of white wash streaming from the stern. I had played with a rainbow that had formed behind me, as it chased me across the river.

An hour became two then drifted into the whole day. “What a waste of time”, I thought, choosing to sit instead of windsurfing. I reversed this thought and continued to laze. I had given myself permission to sit. While sitting I reflected my type-A personality in everything I do, highly tuned, always occupied, so sitting for this length was a new experience for me.

Day two passed and then three. My brain seemed to slow down and become soggy; the wind in my ears dispelled all thoughts of man-made concepts. I noticed that I was surrounded by nature, no straight lines or uniformity. My brain sogged even more as I became pain free. My arthritic neck and back soothed, muscles relaxed and body tension sunk to an all time low. I clung to a wave of happiness just being me; conflict free for the first time in 50 years.

I imagined myself sitting around the central fountain of one of those Mediterranean villages. I am old like my companions. I sit contented, happy in the warm sun proudly clasping a cane with two hands. I am thankful for days passed, I am now sedentary, my youthful vigor diminished. I no longer fear death like I used to and sit mindfully thinking about nothing, a pleasant enough pastime, the very opposite of 90 years of active life.

I believe the two tensions within us work in parallel, physical and mental. Physical activity and exercise stretch and contract our muscles, our brain controls this mechanism. When my brain became soggy, my body followed suit. So have I been tense for 50 years? The answer appears to be “Yes”, since TMS tension clings to the stresses and trials of life that we all have at some level.

In a worry free retirement environment I am sure my TMS issues are driven by my personality, that of a perfectionist, worrier, artistic designer filling every minute of every day doing something - never sitting still!

So whatever you want to call it: “mindfulness, mindlessness or just plain brain sogginess”, I recommend forgetting those pin numbers, face book posts, the things you like, the things you hate, sit on a bench and do absolutely nothing.



Andy
Past TMS Experience in 2000, with success.
Charlie Horse on neck for 20 years, is almost gone.
Books:
Healing Back Pain
Unlearn your Pain
The Great Pain Deception

healingfromchronicpain

10 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2017 :  11:14:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love this!!

My ruptured disc and subsequent neck surgery, and eventual forced retirement (due to the years of pain I couldn't shake) caused me to finally have to (or have time to) just sit. It was so hard at first, and I still haven't perfected* it as I'm still working on reducing/eliminating my remaining pain, but being able to sit still has been an important part of my healing journey.

Thanks for your post. I enjoyed reading it very much!
____
*Of course being a perfectionist is counter to the whole idea, lol!


Healingfromchronicpain
(My story and journey are described at www.healingfromchronicpain.com)
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tennis tom

USA
4527 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2017 :  09:29:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice post Andy! It's tough for the "T" personality types to stop doing being compulsive perfectionists, goodists, etc. I'm finding when my TMS?/arthritis hip pain gets unbearable after doing TOO much, if I take a time out to put my feet up--which at that point is near impossible to get my right leg up onto the bed--but I've worked out a new technique for that too--I do some reading, take a nap, have a beverage with a float of medicinal candy flavored vodka--the pain will dissipate.

I was going to chime in on your post when it reached 100 reads with no replies but HFCP beat me to it--this site is rather moribund, but it is kinda' nice in its simplicity. Wonder if those 100 reads are Russian hackers who don't find anything to monetize here or bots?

Nice post Andy! Cheers.
tt/lsmft
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andy64tms

USA
586 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2017 :  11:21:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Healing from chronic pain, thanks for your comments.

I read your storey, what a fantastic website supercharged with introspection and detail. So in summary you had a neck fusion and did not recover as expected. Your body chose this time to rebel against you being a super mum, and years of self abuse.

I see from your web site that you are a perfectionist like myself. Self pressure becomes part of our personality that we don’t even notice it. I did loads of journaling on perfectionism, and feel really good about it now. I understand it, accept it and even enjoy it.

I was horrified last year when my son signed up for a cervical neck inplants. He like you lost the use of one arm and had two discs replaced with two mechanical devices. He chose this in lieu of neck fusion. They found also a piece of the disc had slipped into the nerve channel causing the arm numbness. He like you could not recall ever having an accident. He is doing well, but is still very fearful about moving.


Andy
Past TMS Experience in 2000, with success.
Charlie Horse on neck for 20 years, is almost gone.
Books:
Healing Back Pain
Unlearn your Pain
The Great Pain Deception

Edited by - andy64tms on 07/18/2017 11:24:10
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andy64tms

USA
586 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2017 :  11:26:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Tom,

Thanks, don’t post much these days - it’s the windsurfing season which goes through mid September. I have to come home for two week periods to recover, I get pretty beaten up and it’s getting harder, most people my age say the same thing. One of them is 72 and is past due for a hip replacement among other things. He knows if he has it now he will never windsurf again- Quite a dilemma. You would like him he drinks martini cocktails, olive and all.

Things are good on the home front right now, no surgeries, Sheila is recovering, my trailer and new truck are working well, and the kitchen remodeling is finished.

Hope you are well



Andy
Past TMS Experience in 2000, with success.
Charlie Horse on neck for 20 years, is almost gone.
Books:
Healing Back Pain
Unlearn your Pain
The Great Pain Deception
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healingfromchronicpain

10 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2017 :  10:42:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Andy,
Thanks for your feedback on my website. In my quest to understand and figure out what was happening in my body and mind, I did a lot of research and felt compelled to share it in hopes it might help someone else out there. Thanks for taking a look.

Regarding your son, I know that fear after surgery. And actually my surgery did fix the neurological deficit in my arm and the excruciating neck, shoulder, and arm pain on my left hand side, but the underlying, or newly triggered, myofascial pain became the bane of my existence after the surgery. My neck certainly was in a lot of post-surgical pain and very stiff at first, but within a month all that was much better. But I suffered terribly with the myofascial pain for the next two years before I learned I needn't be fearful anymore. I just wish I had learned that earlier, but each of us goes through our own process at our own pace I guess. I hope he heals--physically and mentally--quickly!

Healingfromchronicpain
(My story and journey are described at www.healingfromchronicpain.com)
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tennis tom

USA
4527 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2017 :  09:25:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by andy64tms


... One of them is 72 and is past due for a hip replacement among other things. He knows if he has it now he will never windsurf again-



Hi Andy, thanks for the message. I'm on the road in the NW, playing barefoot in some grass court tournaments. Regarding hip replacements, everyone wants me to get one so I can run around instead of hobbling--that's always an option. I don't want to take the year off that it realistically takes to fully recover for competitive sports--or the possible side-effects like dislocations, infections, and death. They show you walking the next day--but that's with two orderlies holding you up. Why would your friend have to stop wind-surfing? I thought the reason to get one was to get back to doing stuff.

Cheers,
tt

p.s., I've got a Mini-Moke that's being pepped up at a Lotus shop and I'm looking at getting an MGB--I've never had an MG with roll-up window and enough engine to not blow-up on freeways.

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andy64tms

USA
586 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2017 :  11:36:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Tom,

There aren’t many windsurfers over the age of 75, I only know of two that are over the age of 80. At 72 my friend just does not want to take the chance of a 50 / 50 surgery outcome. I think new joints are not designed to get you back to square one; they are designed to ameliorate the pain and get you mobile again. Dr. Klapper my wife’s knee surgeon was very honest with what her outcome would be, pain reduction was the main objective, he jokingly said: “no more moguls or downhill skiing”. Remember she had a hobble that would make a pirate proud. The recovery time of one year is unrealistic for older people, Sheila has recovered well from the 2014 and 2015 knee replacements, she still has some pain especially long walks. She is happily working on weight loss and planning yearly vacation trips that she now has a chance of enjoying.

Deep down my friend knows the facts, and chooses to load himself up with NSAIDS and martini cocktails. He surely knows as well that when the pain supersedes the joy of windsurfing, he will have to quit. He is currently getting MRI’s, so I may never see him again. He will choose to leave a huge network of windsurfing friends and sell his $80,000 wind wagon and equipment. We say old windsurfers never die they just get blown away, what a choice, what a dilemma, poor guy!

Ref:
http://www.hipreplacementexperience.com/?s=


Andy
Past TMS Experience in 2000, with success.
Charlie Horse on neck for 20 years, is almost gone.
Books:
Healing Back Pain
Unlearn your Pain
The Great Pain Deception

Edited by - andy64tms on 08/02/2017 22:56:13
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tennis tom

USA
4527 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2017 :  08:28:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the reply Andy, windsurfing certainly is not a sport for sissies! All that COLD water, sharks, undertows and container ships. I pass by them launching near San Quentin, where I've been invited to play on their tennis court--I may if they give me a t-shirt that says "Property of San Quentin Tennis Dept.". There's a couple of wind-surfer chicks I know from Mill Valley, Abigail, originally from NYC and a black lady with short blond hair who moved to Austin, TX. who was a HS track coach.

Tennis they say is a "sport for life"--especially if you have a fast partner who can cover 2/3's of the court, while I cover my little circle--my serve is my weapon. I'm starting to take some golf lessons, I now have three clubs, and may just go straight to croquet--those people know how to party!

You may want to recommend diclofenac tabs (Volteran) to your buddy, it was recently found by the Lancet to be the BEST of the NSAIDS--I'm taking two a day and have found about a 30% improvement "subjectively"--which is a lot for me--if you're gonna' be taking NSAIDS you might as well be taking the best one. The study that came out about diclofenac didn't gain much traction, probably because it's an older med that's cheap and can be gotten in some countries OTC. If it were a new high priced drug it would have probably made big media news. Others and myself have found it helps--if you're gonna' rot your stomach you might as well use the best one--nothing wrong with a little booze if you're liver is OK to kill some germs and prevent food poisoning when traveling abroad to places with sketchy hygiene.

Cheers,
tt

==================================================

TAKE THE HOLMES-RAHE STRESS TEST
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holmes_and_Rahe_stress_scale

Some of my favorite excerpts from _THE DIVIDED MIND_ :
http://www.tmshelp.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2605

==================================================

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional." Author Unknown

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation” – Plato

"Happy People Are Happy Putters." Frank Nobilo, Golf Analyst

"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint." Mark Twain and Balto

"The hot-dog is the noblest of dogs; it feeds the hand that bites it." Dr. Laurence Johnston Peter

"...the human emotional system was not designed to endure the mental rigors of a tennis match." Dr. Allen Fox

"Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise" - Thomas Gray

"All my friends in Los Angeles are the sensitive type. They all have like all the diseases like Chronic Fatigue, Epstien Barr, Fibromyalgia. Like all the diseases where the only symptoms seem to be you had a really crappy childhood and at the prospect of full time work ya feel kinda achy and tired."

Posted by Skizzik @ TMSHelp from comedian Maria Bamford

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthuisam."
Sir Winston Churchill

======================================================

"If it ends with "itis" or "algia" or "syndrome" and doctors can't figure out what causes it, then it might be TMS." Dave the Mod

=================================================


TMS PRACTITIONERS:

John Sarno, MD
400 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016
(212) 263-6035

Dr. Sarno is now retired, if you call this number you will be referred to his associate Dr. Rashbaum.

"...there are so many things little and big that are tms, I wouldn't have time to write about all of them": Told to icelikeaninja by Dr. Sarno



Here's the TMS practitioners list from the TMS Help Forum:
http://www.tmshelp.com/links.htm

Here's a list of TMS practitioners from the TMS Wiki:
http://tmswiki.org/ppd/Find_a_TMS_Doctor_or_Therapist


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andy64tms

USA
586 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2017 :  11:26:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Tom,
Hip replacement or not, an update on my windsurfing friend.

He returned from his visit with the surgeon, and decided not to proceed further. He had to explain to the doctor how aggressive windsurfing could be and told him he windsurfs at Crissy Field in the Bay area. The doctor then advised at his age of 72 it would be a long recovery and unlikely that he would ever windsurf again.

My friend also mentioned he knew of another windsurfer that had a hip replacement become dislocated a year after his surgery, and was the most painful thing he had to deal with. This windsurfer was not actually windsurfing at the time of dislocation. I can imagine it is only the muscles that hold these replacement joints together and must be a huge mental challenge to overcome.

The other issue my friend had was if continued windsurfing activity was detrimental to his existing bad joint, the doctor said no.

My friend is a tough old guy and I am told he has other issues. One day I saw him walking with a cane. He explained to me he had BPPV (vertigo), and would be better the next day. He just self administers the Epley maneuver and gets on with it. Sure enough the next day his cane had gone and he was back windsurfing.

The other side of the argument is these windsurfers who also had hips replaced and still windsurf, so age and physical condition play a part:

http://ww.windalert.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=13574&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0&sid=cd53241dc102bdf03b3e69f7d26a9b5d


Regards Andy



Andy
Past TMS Experience in 2000, with success.
Charlie Horse on neck for 20 years, is almost gone.
Books:
Healing Back Pain
Unlearn your Pain
The Great Pain Deception

Edited by - andy64tms on 09/19/2017 11:32:38
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tennis tom

USA
4527 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2017 :  10:13:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Andy, I'm holding off on the THR despite the constant harrassments by the collective memes--they think I'm crazy not to--they don't like to get beaten by a guy who looks like me and walks onto the court with a cane--chicken ****s. When I play tournaments, the players don't harass me much about it and seek me out to practice with. It's the club player want-a-bees who have the problem. I've observed a lot of hip-replacement players, they are in less pain but I haven't observed them moving much faster then they did prior--Dr. Sarno says, "Surgery is the best placebo we have.". Most of them who've had a THR, start talking about needing the other hip done shortly after--makes no sense to me. Having been told by two TMS docs, that my condition was arthritis/NOT TMS, it puts me stuck. I find the THR to be barbaric, when all we're talking about is a little cartilage being worn out--if it's structural. I feel there are great strides being made in the arthroscopic area, someday having to amputate the femur and the acetabulum, will have been considered barbaric. I have found that when I play tennis with folks who aren't a-holes, I can toss the cane and pretty feel good.

Cheers,
tt

p.s., If you're ever in North Beach, give a call and we can have a Tiramisu Martini at my joint and some homemade pasta.
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andy64tms

USA
586 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2017 :  12:18:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Tom, thanks for your comments.

I had a great windsurfing summer despite not being able to do “absolutely nothing”. I tried, but the wind just kept beckoning. I guess you have to become a Buddhist monk and give up all worldly fun and activity to get to the level I achieved in the summer of 2015. So I am going to save “doing absolutely nothing” for when I am really old and infirmed, I’ll have plenty of time then.

I agree that surgeries are barbaric, as you know I have seen this first hand going through my wife’s two Knee replacements as well as my Sister in Law PNP Cancer in the UK. Surgery becomes a very personal- judgement call for a person to make mixed in with the complication of societies effort to become pain free. Everyone my age is discussing surgeries and health, competing with each other with the technicalities of their ailments.

My trips came to an abrupt end when I fell on the windsurfing boom in high winds, I landed on my ribs with considerable force. I knew the season was over, gave thanks for 53 days windsurfing and came home. Things went down hill further when my trailer became detached when going over a speed bump on the journey home. I could not work it out since it was properly secured and I have stressfully made a secondary device to stop this from happening again. My woes continued when I slipped in the Gym shower, landed on my tailbone and cracked my Sacrum. I will be writing about my trip to a surgeon in another post as it is very TMS relavent. My stress levels went even higher when my computer crashed, I’ve spent six weeks installing a new one with a back up that mirrors it. I have thought many times of Fred Amir’s “embracing stress as a challenge”. I had to use quite a lot of TMS patience to get through this lot!!

I’m looking forward to TMS posting again as I have many new insights some of them tied to old age. I will probably post on the Wiki as well.

Regards Andy





Andy
Past TMS Experience in 2000, with success.
Charlie Horse on neck for 20 years, is almost gone.
Books:
Healing Back Pain
Unlearn your Pain
The Great Pain Deception

Edited by - andy64tms on 09/30/2017 12:21:01
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tennis tom

USA
4527 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2017 :  11:21:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Andy,
Sunday morning I happened to be listening to the Rick Steeves radio travel show on the classic station, while awaiting the baroque healing church music hour, and he was interviewing a writer about your topic of "doing nothing". Here's an amazon link to his book :

https://www.amazon.com/Destination-Earth-Philosophy-Travel-World-Traveler/dp/0997414804
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