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At my wits end, a gamer in need

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Segastar, Jul 18, 2020.

  1. Segastar

    Segastar Peer Supporter

    I am a 25 year old who enjoys playing video games. I compete in video game tournaments and i love to challenge myself by speedrunning (the act of completing video games super fast). I also workout fairly regularly. I do have bad knees from a structural issue in my legs and born with 1 kidney. I believe i may have symptoms of TMS, or at the least i wanted to get my story out there if nothing else. This is a long post, but i feel if i don't get my thoughts here now, i won't do it otherwise.

    I first experienced pain in my right thumb about a year ago and after seeing a doctor, i took a prescription of ibuprofen, iced it down for 2 weeks and it disappeared. At that time i was working a steady job in retail, and i didn't think much of the pain. During the year or so since, i attended many events, continued working my job, and playing, and i never experienced much outside the occasional pain of overdoing it. So from like 2018-early 2020, nothing really happened, things were ok.

    Right around March 2020, the covid virus happened and i think i hit some kind of depression. I had quit my job in February and i almost had a new job lined up and then everything shut down. I wasn't hanging out with my friends, or going to videogame events. I was stuck at home, and i ended up playing more videogames, i ended up doing more speedrunning type stuff. About a month ago, around June 5-7th i was participating in a charity speedrunning marathon playing games and my hands hurt like crazy afterwards. During the same time of all this playing videogames, i was doing yard work almost every day, so the long hours of yard work plus all the videogaming i would do for hours after....... i must have done a number on my hands cause they hurt like crazy on that weekend of June 5-7th.

    It hurt to use a computer. I had to stop using a computer for three weeks cause it hurt so bad. I had to use a cellphone instead to look up anything and that's not much better for my hands im sure but i had no choice. The only activities i could do were watch tv, and do some house chores. The only videogame i could play is Animal Crossing New Horizons, a very casual game that is easier on my hands compared to what i was doing. This game is also probably the only thing that kept me sane during all the pandemic lockdown stuff that's been going on. I still play it now, but its getting harder to play it too...... I went on a month long process to try and give my hands time to heal and things were looking good up until around July 13, a week ago.

    I had heard experiences of others who competed in Super Smash Bros Melee and Ultimate (games i have played) experiencing carpal tunnel, arthritis, cubital tunnel, tendonitis.....ect and one player named Aziz or Hax$ (what people in the gaming community knew him by) had problems so bad his tendons literally calcified in one of his hands and he got thumb arthritis on one of his hands. And i felt i had one of these issues, and if i didn't tackle it, i would end up like Hax$

    I made an appointment with the best rated hand doctor in my area for July 13th and by the time i had the appointment, my hand was doing better, but still not great. Hand doctor was nice, but mentioned i had "minor tendonitis". During the appointment, they did some kind of test that required hitting my median nerve on my right hand, (the one hand i was experiencing the worst pain in) and leaving the appointment that day, my hand felt terrible and i had a prescription for a corticosteroid, methylprednisolone. The doctor said i should feel better after using it. I had to take 6 the first day, 5 the next, and so on. Im just about done with my 5th day on this stuff, and i swear today was the worst i've felt. Pain in hands aside, i just went through having a lot of the side effects and i don't ever want to use this stuff again. Neck, back, shoulder pain all over from just doing normal activity that i can easily do. This flushed feeeling in my face, and just overall a constant headache from this stuff.

    Ok now how i got here. There is a speedrunner Simply, who runs Super Mario 64, a videogame that requires a lot of hand motion. He had to take a year or two off due to having carpal tunnel and getting surgery in one of his hands. It wasn't getting better until someone mentioned another person who played Super Smash Bros Melee named Silentwolf cured his hand problems with the Mindbody Prescription and applying the teachings. Simply tried it out, and apparently he's back to doing full time Twitch streaming, and playing the game with pretty much no issues.

    I am sitting here, typing this with pain all over. My hands are tight, my neck and back are burning and tight and im unsure of what to do. I was tested for RA a year ago with my thumb issue, and nothing was found. I'm not sure if i need to get tested again..........I go back for a followup with the hand doctor in a month, he said he might want to put me back on that medicine, if i didn't have any improvements and i don't want to experience the day i had today again, my whole body just felt like it was on fire, and i haven't been able to return to any activities i enjoy doing.

    During the time of the lockdown of the pandemic, i tried to do some personal reflection and came to realize a lot of things about myself but i feel there is still a lot im repressing. I believe im heavily depressed or something. I have a lot of self doubt and confidence issues that make me fear a lot of things that i may or may not go further into in other posts.

    I'm afraid i may have arthritis and that i'll never be able to return to enjoying videogames again.

    I'm sorry this is long, i take the last of the medicine i'm on tomorrow, then after that I'm on my own again and I've decided to post here, hoping someone hears it cause I'm too afraid to go back to work, or do any hobbies i enjoy doing.

    This is what im experiencing:

    Pain, very minor tingliness, wrist popping, joint pain when doing mostly computer or videogame related activities, but now im noticing it when doing other activities as well, such as housechores, or other tasks. It's not to the point of being unbearable but its certainty not comfortable at all

    Im considering going to a rheumatologist and get retested for RA or other issues. I've never had a MRI or Xrays of my hands. My hand doctor didn't think i had carpal tunnel, but even reading some of the posts here on the TMS wiki, im not even sure what I'm dealing with anymore.......

    Thank you to whoever reads this............Im too afraid to speak up to my parents (they only help so much and not quite understanding of how much this affects me)
    Idearealist likes this.
  2. annep

    annep Newcomer

    Hi! I'm so sorry to hear you've been in so much pain, especially from doing something that you love. That is so very hard!

    I'm commenting since I see no one else has and you are 'at your wit's end'- I am not a TMS therapist, just someone who has it, but if I can be of any immediate help before someone else pops in, happy to.

    If you are considering diving into TMS therapy, one of the first things you will read in any of the incredible books is that it's important to rule out any medical issues first. This way, you can have that knowledge to overcome your fear- that the pain is NOT tied to any issue (a broken bone, a torn ligament, etc.) and continue through your psychotherapy. Otherwise, you might always have that in the back of your head! Perhaps ask the doctors about additional testing and try the radiographs just to see what they think and if there are any structural abnormalities or other issues to give you that peace of mind. Then after that, you may feel more comfortable with TMS therapy. Personally, watching Dr. Sarno's lectures helped me the most with getting started, and then I snatched up each and every book published :p I'll never forget when an orthopedic surgeon reviewed my MRI of my ankle and said, "Nothing appears to be torn or wrong at all, I'm not sure why you have pain there.." when I could barely walk on it.

    I also come to this forum regularly to read lots of other stories and advice from therapists, there is a huge community here to lean on, and lots of books and videos to watch.. it helps to soothe the brain by reading and rereading this stuff! There is hope, there is healing, the body is a machine that is built to live and function, and that means to heal itself. But, the brain has a brilliant way of using pain to distract us from what is hurting us most deeply in our subconscious to protect us (if your brain can get you to think about your hands, you won't have to think about missing your friends or that looming COVID-19 impossible-seeming job search, for example, maybe!!). Something also might be happening while playing games or doing yard work that you deeply resent but you don't want to face- all questions like this are proposed in the books that can help you navigate how you approach your life and what's going on with the pain, and how to heal.

    You got this! Good luck, take good care of yourself- take it easy, take it slow, and never give up :)
  3. Segastar

    Segastar Peer Supporter

    Thank you for the response. I actually missed a dose of the medicine i was supposed to take last night cause i was so exhausted. Waking up today, my hands feel a bit better, although now the pain is moved from my right to my left hand. I think im gonna order Sarno's book but i think for my own good, i might go ahead and get more tests done and maybe get tested for RA again to just make sure nothing else is going wrong. I was a bit of a mess writing my post last night, side effects of medicine are no laughing matter. If other gamers in my situation have used Sarno's teachings, then i think i can too
  4. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Segastar,

    Yes it's all TMS. I'll share something that happened to me recently. I had recovered from CRPS (it was in both feet and knees and very severe...swelling, color changes etc). I had been symptom free for a few years. Ever since Covid started, I had a series of stressors (my autistic son was home every day for months since school was closed and I was expected to homeschool him, I had litigation with an ex husband, etc, etc.). A few weeks ago I was woken by pain in my ring finger (probably a tendonitis in the knuckle). That tiny pain triggered my brain to go into danger mode because it was already super primed from months of ungodly stress. Within one week all my fingers and even wrists were killing me. I was baffled and wondered if I had arthritis since I'm 52. I realized, however that arthritis does not come on so suddenly like wildfire. THEN the next week both my feet were in full blown CRPS pain . At that point I thought "this is ridiculously obvious it's TMS". I calmed down in the knowledge, I lost the fear and within a couple of days everything went away. Phew!!! When stress and anxiety is accumulated it can take very little for the brain to go into tilt and start sending signals. The good news is that it's totally within your control. I would recommend you don't start going down the medical mill and to different doctors because it will only reinforce fear and traumatize you. Hope that helps!
  5. Segastar

    Segastar Peer Supporter

    I see your point there. Whatever i have seems to fluctuate. It was getting slightly better before i went to the hand doctor, letting my hands have a break certainly helped but maybe going to the doctor reignited my body to flare it back up and even then some. I'm typing right now, even though its pretty discomforting cause i don't want to be confined to doing nothing all day
  6. Idearealist

    Idearealist Peer Supporter

    I'm in a very similar situation. I love gaming, and perhaps play a little too much. My pain also started in my thumb about a year ago. Now it's progressed to pain in many knuckles of my hands, some of which actually look slightly swollen. I don't have excruciating pain, thankfully, but I have greatly reduced dexterity and my grip strength is also suffering. I just had RA testing, and my inflammatory markers are all superb. What my brain has latched onto, and still won't totally let go of, is a fear of osteoarthritis - mostly because the jacked up knuckles. I also watched Silentwolf's video haha. I think hearing stories like Hax$'s really helps reinforce the pain-fear loop.

    Being as new as I am to TMS, I don't have any great advice to offer. Just know that you're not alone and I'm here to talk as a fellow gamer.
  7. Segastar

    Segastar Peer Supporter

    Our situations do sound very similar, the index and middle knuckles on both of my hands are definitely seem a bit swollen too. I hope we can both find answers and work towards beating the issues we have
  8. Segastar

    Segastar Peer Supporter

    I have decided to order The Mindbody Prescription and this week im gonna go do something i enjoy, even if i know its gonna hurt a bit. I'm not gonna let this stop me from doing what i enjoy
    miffybunny and Idearealist like this.
  9. Idearealist

    Idearealist Peer Supporter

    Good for you, man. I completed a veteran Trial in ESO last night in spite of the pain xD. My hands don't feel any worse for it, either.
  10. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, the fact that the symptoms wax and wane, come and go, move around etc. are all hallmarks of TMS, which is "dynamic" pain, not "static" pain.
  11. Segastar

    Segastar Peer Supporter

    I also do experience mild tremors in my hands, especially when i type, play games, etc. Could those also be related to TMS too?
  12. Segastar

    Segastar Peer Supporter

    well tonight i decided to play the one game i usually speedrun, Super Mario Sunshine. It was discomforting, but i tried to relax and think happy thoughts while playing it, and the pain didn't get much worse, at times i felt my hands loosen up a lot which was quite a strange feeling, i was used to playing with my hands feeling tight. I noted that the discomfort wasn't in just one spot, i felt burning pain in my elbows, forearms, shoulders, and feet too. I won't say i can play the game like i was doing before (which was like hours on end) but its a step in the right direction that i don't think I'm as messed up as i think i am.

    I did think about how before the pandemic i was working out fairly regularly and since then, i have lost weight but i haven't done much of the workouts i used to enjoy. Maybe i need to go workout again? All I'm gonna say is, today i didn't feel the pain as bad so maybe I do have TMS. Once i have the book, im gonna start journaling cause the emotional baggage i have is quite long. And while i did accept it a few months ago, i haven't done anything to tackle it.
  13. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, definitely! If you shift from the physical to the psychological, I can guarantee these sensations and symptoms will cease to have a purpose.
  14. Segastar

    Segastar Peer Supporter

    Im now typing here after my earlier post about playing the game i enjoy for a good hour or so, there is still pain but mentally, i feel better (I am on my last dose of medication for tendonitis) but doing the activity seemed to help more than trying to constantly rest my hands.......i did that for a few weeks last month cause i think i did overuse my hands for sure, but as others have mentioned, most overuse should go away in a week or two at best, but yet mine seemed to stick around.

    Follow up appointment with hand doctor in a few weeks, might still try to rule out serious stuff (RA, or other things) cause it's been over a year since i had any full medical checkup but the more i read on TMS and look through the success stories, i think it definitely fits some of the things im experiencing. I'm 25, shouldn't be feeling like my body is twice my age
  15. Segastar

    Segastar Peer Supporter

    One activity i love is golfing and i was trying to do some practice swings of sorts today, thought i felt ok to do it and now i have this really bad tightness in my neck, my clavicle is kinda protruding (probably something i've always had but at this moment i don't know........) and kinda dull pain in my shoulder (like a 1-3 on a pain scale).

    Tomorrow is the day im gonna go get the Mindbody Prescription but my shoulder has been bothering me and i've never had it checked out but even before i would say the beginning of my original pain (June, hand pain) i never had any issues in my shoulder except maybe that it would crack like crazy........

    I want to go back to the gym, but i'm afraid that i may have already torn something in my shoulder. I want to believe its all TMS but the past few days have been horrible. My body just feels awful, and the medicine im finally finishing up with has side effects that include muscle weakness and joint pain. I'm gonna call my hand doctor and let him know that the medicine made me have a lot of side effects. Maybe i should have put off the practice golf swinging until later? Can't go get any Xrays on my shoulder cause my GP doc apparently no longer practices although getting into see the place could take weeks. Im broke as is so urgent care is out of the question. Might just hold off on the golfing for a while until im more into the TMS program i guess?

    I'm sorry im posting so much, im just so nervous and right now, my hands are still kinda in pain, my neck is tight, my shoulders and back are all tight and just dull pain all over.
  16. Segastar

    Segastar Peer Supporter

    Probably gonna start journaling instead of posting on this thread so much.........but today im off the medicine my hand doctor prescribed, i did take one Aleve cause my shoulder was a bit nagging.

    I went to a local Barnes and Noble and found Mindbody Prescription but right next to it was Healing Back Pain so i decided to buy both, a bit more than i wanted to spend but if my hand issues are related to TMS, im willing to read the books and give it a shot. Even after a night of gaming which i hadn't done in a few weeks at least to the level i normally do, my hands aren't in any more excruciating pain then they were before, although my right hand still shakes a bit even after doing normal stuff. So maybe this will help me after all? I'm still gonna give my shoulder a bit more time to heal up, but i might start getting back to the gym slowly, do some walking, light biking, etc.

    I want to get back to work soon, i'm spending savings money i wanted to put towards a car and other stuff. So tonight im gonna start reading the books and look at the structured plan and see what i can start doing tonight.
  17. Segastar

    Segastar Peer Supporter

    Halfway through Healing Back Pain..........

    Oddly enough this is the first book i've probably read in years, my hands are not enjoying it.

    I still have this nagging tremor, shaking, tingliness in my hands that makes gripping things difficult. I can still do things, but its not easy. Should I bite the bullet and get some kind of neural test to make sure im not having any issues or what? Although typing and playing games isn't quite as painful compared to like a week ago? , im someone who usually spends 8-12 hours a day doing some kind of gaming, typing, or being on my phone but i probably should be doing more activities outside of that........
  18. Segastar

    Segastar Peer Supporter

    The weirdest thing to me, as a kid, i never did any serious physical activity, (skateboarding, bmx, moutnain biking at least not until later) so this feeling i have that my body is constantly tired and worn out, it can't be cause i've abused it cause i haven't done that much to abuse my body, only in more recent years did i finally start doing more physical work like going to the gym, mountain biking, trampoline parks, rock climbing........since all this pandemic started, i pretty much went back to a more sedentary lifestyle that i used to have years ago before i started going to the gym and other activities...........

    I want to believe this is TMS, I've never broken a single bone, i've strained myself plenty of times but recovered quickly........I got a knee problem that does make running more difficult but i still managed to lose 42 pounds in a year in 2017-2018 by mostly walking on treadmills, drinking water, and doing light strength training. I didn't become a bodybuilder, but mentally i felt really good.........then i started a new job and from 2018-February of this year i relapsed and put on weight again......I need to journal to really dig deep and see if the job was really affecting me that bad but I was using a price scanner for 6-10 hours a day, i'd go home and play videogames or go to videogame tournaments 1-3 times a week! And i never really had much pain issue that wouldn't be solved with maybe an Aleve, some vitamin b12, and rest.

    I believe i still did had the hand tingliness (whenever i would play games for a while, i could look at my hand and it would be shaking like crazy, especially if it was competition such as fighting games like Super Smash Bros......which i definitely believe i tried to be a perfectionist, i'm not super good but i was so hard on myself when i lost.........

    It's been quite a long time since i've had any serious medical checkups.......(physical, vision, dental, etc) cause im pretty much broke cause i haven't made much strides in finding decent jobs cause going to college has been a tremendous stress on me due to not knowing what i want to do.....

    I think this is all stuff i need to write in a journal, it sounds a lot like TMS related stuff. I'm reading the book in chunks cause my hands are kinda aching from it, but i try to get up, go walk around, make some mental thoughts.
  19. Kiluah

    Kiluah New Member


    Just wanted to post to say that I am going through very similar things to yourself. I enjoy games and had issues with hand and forearm pain getting worse and worse over time (2 years+ now), as well as other aches and pains, leg pain, foot pain, feeling generally burnt out. I also have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue. I used to do rock climbing, gym, dancing, rollerblading, (running too until I was told I had knee problems, which actually could also be TMS related!). I basicallly stopped gaming and using the computer because it was too "painful". I had burning and tingling pains which also radiated up to the shoulder and neck. I tried so many physios and exercises but only got temporary relief.

    Since I found this site and read up on TMS I have gone back to gaming. It still hurts for now, but I just tell myself "its all in my head" I have had doctors and physios confirm there is nothing structually wrong though, and I have had some therapy sessions where they say that these type of pains are common with cronic fatigue sufferers. I never thought I was overdoing it or stressed out, but journaling has helped me realise that I actually was.

    2 weeks later I feel much better. It's still work in progress but I think just having positivity really helps. I would have been scared stiff to even type this must a few weeks ago, but now I just carry on. Remember though, that doing anything for like 12 hours straight without a break is not good. Your body is amazing but you need to give it a rest too. It can only do so much!

    Keep positive, read the books and the resources here and i'd say try to get back into some gaming but in moderation and see how you go. If you are really unsure, go back and get some more tests so you are not worrying about that side of things, you sound like your hands are on your mind all the time (it was the same for me) but all that worry is draining and is just fuelling the fear/ pain cycle of TMS. Think positive and good luck.

    Keep us informed with how its going.

    Idearealist and Segastar like this.
  20. Segastar

    Segastar Peer Supporter

    Always happy to see other gamers here, like your Hollow Knight profile pic! Just finished reading Healing Back Pain and i've realized during this pandemic, i was doing a lot of gaming, while it does usually make me happy, i've been using it as an escape and i've been letting issues with my family and personal struggles go untreated so i kept going back to gaming and using the computer as a save haven. In hindsight, i probably have overused my hands a bit too much but i wasn't breaking up all the gaming with other activities. I didn't work out at all, so i definitely feel sluggish and unmotivated despite the fact i lost weight during this whole pandemic.

    I'm listening to some of my favorite music to try and reflect on some of the things in the book before i decide to go start journaling some stuff out as part of the SEP program.

    I did notice after finishing the book, i was able to grasp the mouse on my computer better, as if some strength returned to my hand. The feeling didn't last too long but it was a good feeling that maybe im on the right track here. I can tell this won't be an easy program, got a lot to work out. Been putting off some important doctor visits too (not related to hand pain, but visits i should have kept up with more, may or may not be useful for TMS but they've been things on my to-do list that i've constantly put off.

    Gonna try to be more active around here too, talking about stuff helps me a lot, im someone who has trouble opening up to others.

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