1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Day 1

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by runner, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. runner

    runner Newcomer

    Where to start? I developed pain in my forearms and tingling funny bone sensations when typing about 5 years ago. It sounded like RSI. I felt distressed, frustrated, and scared. Luckily I was able to get better by improving my ergonomics. For the next 4+ years I was pretty much pain free.

    Fast forward to early this year. I started a new job I really like for a company I admire. My wife was pregnant with our first son. Knowing that I will be taking paternity leave soon after starting my new job, I wanted to get a lot done and make a big impact. So I put a lot of pressure on myself and worked 60+ hour weeks. My arms started hurting again. I tweaked my ergonomics but they kept getting worse. One day my forearm muscle started twitching uncontrollably.

    That was a serious low. I felt helpless, powerless, frustrated and stressed as hell. The pain was starting to take over my life. Simple things like cutting vegetables, brushing my teeth or holding the phone were painful and provoked anxiety. I stayed home the next day and went to an RSI specialist. He worked on my arms, gave me stretches to do 5 times a day, and told me to take micro breaks every 5 minutes of work. I followed the instructions religiously. I still had some really bad days at work where things felt bad and I had near panic attacks, and had to leave outside to get some air. So I changed my attitude from "I want to get done X, Y, Z" to "I want to end the day feeling OK." That was really hard because I invest a lot of myself into my work, and I had to purposefully reduce my productivity. I beat myself up over it but I had no choice. I also stopped working at home and on the train.

    With all these measures plus seeing the RSI specialist twice a week, I saw improvement... for about 4 weeks, and then I plateaued. I was functional and could get work done, but the pain would flare up on one arm or the other, on flexors or the extensors. It made no sense. Then my son was born, and I took 12 days off, thinking that should really give the arms a break. But the pain got worse!!! Doesn't make sense! After I went back to work, the pain continued to randomly wander around my forearms, while the RSI specialist said that my arms felt fine. This really made no sense. I started getting suspicious.

    I found a blog post by a software engineer who overcame RSI with the help of John Sarno's book. Nothing else was working so I decided to read it. In the two weeks it took to read the book, my pain decreased a lot! That was amazing. That plus other inconsistencies I discovered earlier helped solidify my belief in the diagnosis.

    I still have a bit of pain when I work, and I have the anxious fear thoughts, self criticism and all that. I am going through the program to really get at the root causes of my pain, to get better at feeling my feelings and learn to treat myself better. Thank you for reading.

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