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Finger pain?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by s.mohseni, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. s.mohseni

    s.mohseni New Member

    Hello All - I would like to ask a question about a new pain that i've developed recently.

    A little while ago I posted this thread detailing my experience with TMS in my wrist, going on for 2 years. While the pain has always been in my wrist, over the past 6 months or so I've been noticing that im getting pain in my fingers a lot as well. I am an artist, both as a job and as a hobby, so my pain is always triggered by drawing, and always in my left hand.

    Of course, my first thought is that the pain from my wrist has just 'moved' to my fingers because i'm doing my best to ignore my wrist and believe its TMS. However, the pain in my fingers its not the same. Its more of a stiff ache in my joints. My finger joints feel sore and click a lot, and the pain is worse when I flex/bend them. I never get pain at the base of my thumb, but often in the last joint of the thumb, before the tip. Right now my middle finger is sore and feels swollen, but there is no visible swelling. I also get pain in my knuckles and over the back of my hand. This can sometimes be visibly red and feel hot to the touch.

    This pain seems to happen after drawing for a while, and feels like its the result of gripping the pen too hard? It is NOT caused by typing, only by drawing or writing (holding a pen, basically). I cannot write for 10 minutes with a biro without getting fatigue and aching in my fingers. I can go for a bit longer with a fineliner, but ultimately I have to stop when the pain is too much. Needless to say, this has made journalling difficult when trying to do the SEP.

    I do grip the pen hard, and im trying my best to resolve this. However, it seems ridiculous that my fingers ache so much after 10 minutes of using a pen, when I used to be able to write essays and essays by hand at school, for exams and the like. I am 25 so school was not that long ago. I have been tested for arthritis, but at the time of being tested, I had not experience finger pain. I know its bad but I cant help but worry that I might have some kind of arthritis in my fingers because it feels swollen and does respond to heat and ice (unlike my itchy wrist pain).

    So back to my question: Has anyone else experienced finger ache / possible arthritic pain in their finger joints as a symptom of TMS? Do you/did you have trouble writing by hand for long amounts of time? I cant tell if this is TMS or if I really am gripping the pen too hard and I'm doing damage.

    It should be noted that a couple of weeks ago, I had a really positive period of no pain for about 2/3 weeks. I seem to be very prone to relapse and havent figured out how to be pain free yet, but I have a lot of reason to believe my wrist is fine. I'm just concerned about my fingers at this stage. Arthritis seems so scary for an artist!

    thanks so much~
    Lily Rose likes this.
  2. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    As an artist, you are highly sensitive. Being highly sensitive makes you vulnerable to TMS. Even the barest hint that your passion could be threatened is enough to trigger fear. And once fear is triggered ...... a cycle begins. Even if it is arthritis, fearing it will make the pain worse. Fear, in and of itself, heightens pain. No matter what the cause, focusing your attention on diminishing your fear is the first task. It might help to reduce the situation to an 'if this, then that' mind-set. Like a flow chart. If it IS arthritis, plan out all all the various ways you can address this (and there are many!) while still keeping your passion alive. If it is TMS, same thing: plan out all the various ways you can address this ....

    Alan's program is quite remarkable and has amazing insight to dealing with fear.

    I, personally, do not push through the pain. If I am in pain, there is a reason for it, physically or emotionally. I always pause to seek the source (usually emotional), and I acknowledge it then and there. If I want to continue my activity, I do so in a gentle manner, sort of like asking my body permission while soothing myself that I am safe here and now, and no one is going to hurt me. I let my body know that I am listening. This method works very well for me.

    Fear is still my nemesis, and it is sneaky. While I am pharmaceutical-free, I still have many pain issues. But not always. And it is diminishing in intensity and duration. More importantly, I am not afraid of the pain. That is what gives me the freedom to pursue the things I do fear.

    We are complex beings, and the journey is quite intricate .... but it is often quite beautiful, too.

    You are strong and you are powerful.
    You can do this.
    .... always with love
    readytoheal and plum like this.
  3. s.mohseni

    s.mohseni New Member

    Thank you so very much for this, Lily!

    I am doing my best to tackle the fear. On the outside I am telling myself there is nothing to be afraid of, but im sure theres something still nagging at me deep down inside, so theres always a tiny amount of fear I cant get on top of. I will try this 'if this, then that' mindset. It sounds like it would help me.

    Its really interesting to hear of someone not pushing through the pain. I've got it in my head that I need to keep working as normal even when it hurts, but sometimes it really is too much and my mood drops a lot. I will make more of an effort to care for myself when things arent going so well.

    The same as you, I am noticing that I can do more with my hand than I could when it was really bad. I think i'm just a bit impatient and I'm depending too much on being completely healed, rather than being satisfied with what I have. I'm still amazed that some people can learn of TMS and heal themselves overnight. It seems like such a complex web I'm having to unpick to make even a slight improvement at all!

    thanks very much again, I really appreciate it!
    Lily Rose likes this.
  4. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    For some reason, when you said 'tackle the fear', it evoked an image of football tackles. Since I am not a sports fan, this wasn't an image I wanted to keep ;) However, it may be relevant. Fear is slippery, and tends to avoid 'tackles'. Perhaps you might try an alternative approach. I do not go after the fear directly. Instead, I flood my my mind with power statements (I am strong, I am powerful, I am Light, I am ... [fill in]). Whenever I feel fear, I interrupt those thoughts and insert the power thoughts. Fear, because it becomes disjointed and neglected, begins to wither from the lack of attention. For me, giving the fear too much attention tends to make it swell. Just like people do not like to be ignored, fear seems to follow that pattern.

    As for pain ... it is a warning system. There may not be something structurally 'wrong', but there IS something wrong. This is why I won't ignore it. Instead, I seek what may have triggered it, even if that trigger might have been delayed by days. Emotional pain is as important to address as physical.

    I will still usually continue my activities, I just modify them to fit my emotional needs at the moment. For me, the idea of 'pushing through' is almost bullying myself. Please understand, this is my perception. Language is imprecise and ten people will interpret the same sentence structure in ten slightly different ways.

    Impatient .... ahh yes. The frustration factor. Sometimes it escalates to self-anger. I still sometimes have mini-explosions when jar lids fly out of my suddenly useless fingers, but more often I just say rather loudly "Really?? Really???" Then I huff a bit, and that makes me laugh at myself. Patience, like anything, is a practice.

    You cannot rush your outcome. That is setting up expectations, which is applying pressure, which will create more stress.

    Rather .... try watching with a curious mind. Our actions and reactions are actually quite intriguing. It is like reading the best mystery novel ever.

    As for webs .... one of the most complex webs is created by the Black Widow (I love love love all spiders). The Black Widow is actually quite shy and wants to be left alone. And she makes an amazingly strong and sticky and complex web. We do that, too. The more complex our emotions, the more that 'web' gets confusingly tangled.

    Take a breath, then another.
    Be very kind to yourself.
    You ARE worthy of such self-kindness.

    .... with Love and Gratitude ^_^
    plum likes this.
  5. MAE

    MAE New Member

    Hi mohseni! How are you doing with your fingers pain? I am also an artist and I've developed the same pain about three months ago. My tests for arthritis and other illnesses han been negative for me so I'm sure that is TMS (also becase I've developed pain all around my body). I've been working with this approach for about 10 days and for the moment my pain remains more or less the same.
  6. s.mohseni

    s.mohseni New Member

    Hello Mae!

    Sadly, although not necessarily worse, my pain is about the same. I get regular bouts of wrist, elbow or finger pain. Sometimes its up in my shoulders. I've tried to be as productive as possible and keep working but sometimes its too much. Currently I'm dealing with a very sore elbow which is a sign im having a pretty bad relapse and probably need to address whats stressing me out.

    Sorry to hear about your pain. For an artist this is the worst thing to be dealing with, so I know what you must be going through. Have you had your hands scanned or atleast x-ray'd? At my lowest point I started getting pain in all of my joints. I think if i went to the doctor now they would say I have fibromyalgia. Fortunately I know that fibro is just a serious case of TMS. However I am considering going to the doctor to get a scan of my elbow and check there is nothing physical there (they only ever checked my wrists/hands before).

    With the finger pain, I found that my grip had something to do with it, so I try to be a little aware of how I'm holding the pencil. Typing still doesnt hurt my fingers at all.

    Its great that you're negative for arthritis! Me too, I got tested twice and it came back negative, so I'm glad its not that.

    I've been at this for over a year and still fighting a hard battle, so don't stress too much about your recovery time. Everyone is different. I would suggest just accepting that you're going to be in a little bit of pain for a while and try to be as productive as possible. Now that I'm not scared of the pain, I am able to do a lot more. I think worrying about my elbow is setting me back though, so I'm going to get scanned just for peace of mind.

    thanks! best wishes
  7. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    It is TMS. If you think you are gripping the pencil too hard, then you are. Gripping it too hard won't cause damage, and the pain is from TMS, but you also are fatiguing the muscles and contributing to that mild oxygen deprivation. Loosen up and let your creativity flow freely. Do some deep relaxation breaths when you find yourself tightening up. I have always done visually creative things as a hobby and I find this really helps relax me and my arms and hands when I feel a bit tense and it helps me better go into the creativity zone.
  8. MAE

    MAE New Member

    Yes, I had x-ray and a lot of ultrasound around all my body, and everything is fine. I am 100% convinced that my problem is psychosomatic.
    I have started emotional therapy. I refuse to think that I can't go back to who I used to be...

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