First, my story: It all started my second year of the MFA program. I had gotten into a small and prestigious grad program that I was scared to even tell people I had applied to, for fear I would never get in. My whole first year I was thrilled to be there, and pushed myself to my limits to prove that I belonged. I loved learning and being challenged, and I was proud of the work I was creating. During the middle of my second year, I started noticing tingling in my hands and wrists that would persist as long as I was on the computer. I went to the campus clinic and they told me it was most likely from repetitive strain and then sent me to physical therapy. As I worked to finish my thesis project, I struggled daily with pain in my wrists. I wore wrist braces and tried stretches, exercises, and electrical stimulation. None of it helped. I decided to push through it and graduate, then maybe my wrists would heal if I gave them a break from all the computer work. And they did stop hurting for a little while. I applied to a bunch of jobs and ended up getting a highly competitive position. At first, I enjoyed learning all of the new skills, but after a few weeks the routine became much more monotonous and revolved around computer work. My pain came back intensely. Now activities I used to do with no problem began to bother me. Driving, writing, typing, cooking, washing dishes...anything hand and wrist related would be so painful. It would start in my wrists then move up my forearms. My shoulders and neck and upper back started hurting as well. It became excruciating to get through a day of work, and I was petrified to tell anyone because I was still so new. I continued seeing physical therapists, and began searching for alternative therapies. I tried acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and osteopathy. Sometimes it would help temporarily, but certain activities always seemed to trigger the pain to come back. I began seeing a neurologist who ran some MRIs and said that nothing was detectably wrong with me. Then my mom, who works in the medical field, discovered an article about Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and thought the descriptions were shockingly similar to what I was experiencing. I agreed that it seemed to describe my situation, and started to see a specialist. Through some basic tests and my descriptions of my condition, the specialist told me he thought I did have TOS. Now that I felt I had an explanation for my pain, I told my work about it, and left on disability. At first, I took off a few weeks to see if I would get better with rest, but that did not help. I came to terms with the fact that I might never be able to return to the job. I felt utterly defeated. I began exploring options for surgery. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is believed to be nerve pain caused by pinching in a nerve passageway in an area roughly between the first rib and collarbone. To alleviate this, a larger passageway is created by removing the first rib. I felt that if I did not have the surgery, I may never be able to work in the field I dedicated myself to. The surgeon told me he thought if I had the surgery it was a 90% chance I would recover fully. I decided to do it. The surgery was very difficult. It took me about a month to even get out of bed and move around again, and the pain medicine prescribed to me gave me terrible side effects. After months of recovery from surgery, I discovered the pain was still present when I used the computer. I had no idea how to move forward. After several more months, I knew I needed to do something. I started devoting more energy to activities that made me physically and emotionally feel good. I became a certified yoga teacher, and that really helped me overcome a mental barrier of feeling disabled. I found that I could physically push myself a lot farther than I had thought before. I have just discovered and read about TMS, and it seems quite logical to me that this could be the case in my situation. I need to figure out how I can better deal with my patterns of pain when they arise, and build my career again while maintaining my health- physically, mentally, and emotionally. I feel like it's possible to move past this, and it's heartening to hear stories of others who were able to do so. I'm at a point where I know I need to get on with my life, and I feel like I've tried everything else.