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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Full RSI Recovery - a story typed from a laptop on the couch

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by tracybean, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. tracybean

    tracybean New Member

    So excited to be sharing my RSI success story!

    I have been a heavy laptop user my whole life, with atrocious, basically non-existent ergonomics. Part of me always expected that I would end up with computer-related aches and pains (as my mom is full of these kinds of ailments).

    So it wasn't much of a surprise to me when two years ago, I started getting pain in my right arm and forearm while using the computer (my mousing hand).

    The pain ebbed and flowed, and it never really progressed to debilitating, but the worst part of the whole thing was simply the fear that if I didn't sit perfectly all the time, stretch for an hour every day, adhere to strict breaks, then it would get worse, and I would eventually become disabled and have to give up everything I loved to do (and basically everything I love to do involves my right hand... painting, rock climbing, online business, building things).

    After all, this is the resounding message that comes out of all non-TMS RSI treatment advice. If you don't give it mind and get straight with your habits, then you are headed for a life of misery.

    Pretty scary. Especially since I seriously doubted my ability to be so ergonomically pure for the rest of my life.

    So - I made a lot of good upgrades to my workstation (which I certainly don't regret), and started using my left hand more. I constantly tried to be stretching it. Far from a perfect record, but miles ahead of where I was.

    I believed at the time that this kept it from getting worse but a year went by, and then more, and it was still not getting any better.

    Then, about a 1.5 years into it, I suddenly I started to feel the strain in my left hand too. Okay. Now I'm REALLY scared. I could always use my left hand to compensate until my right hand calmed down, but what am I going to do now if I can't use either. And it's getting worse, which means disability is one step closer. Holy. *#&@#.

    So I made all kinds of plans to be even more perfect... sitting properly 100% of the time. Stretching. Massage. This was do or die now and I felt the weight of the world on me.

    See, I had actually heard about TMS at the beginning of my RSI journey, and I read Sarno's book, and I was totally on board with it and I really wanted to believe, but I had a hard time fully connecting with the 'repressed rage' theory.. and also I guess I maybe just hadn't struggled enough yet.. either way, I had a hard time fully believing it and was still too scared of completely ignoring the conventional advice. So it didn't work for me then, and I let the idea of TMS go.

    But when things got worse, I thought.. well... maybe let's just revisit this TMS thing one more time. Just in case. I jumped on the TMS forums to ask for help, and I want to personally thank members @Gigalos, @RichieRich, and @PainNoMore for talking me off a cliff and steering me back towards TMS.

    It turned out that there just so happened to be a new pain program that had just been released --- Dr. Alan's program. Which expanded the 'cause' of TMS from the repressed rage theory, now linking it to anxiety and your brain's desire to keep you safe.

    Well it really hit home this time. I connected really strong with this explanation. The way he explained in the program about how neural pathway pain tends to:

    - Show up in people with a history of anxiety (yes)
    - Has multiple symptoms (not so much, but I was also having anxiety attacks)
    - Is inconsistent.. (yes... for me pain was only while using computer, yet I could do basically anything else without pain)

    When explained in this way, I realized that earlier in the year I had actually used these exact strategies to stop the anxiety attacks that I had been having. The technique I had used was focusing on the scary feelings and actually inviting my body to make them worse (essentially telling your brain there's no threat, and so it learns that it doesn't have to create panic to keep you 'safe' anymore). My year long battle with anxiety attacks disappeared within a week after employing this strategy.

    So obviously I was beyond excited. Dr. Gordon's program was now telling me that I could use these exact strategies to also get rid of my RSI pain. Because of my prior success with the anxiety attacks, my belief in the theory was now 100% and my confidence I could do this was through the roof.

    I only went through about half of his program and that was all I needed. I committed to feeling the pain but not getting concerned with it. I made a sticky note for my bathroom mirror that said "It's just a sensation. Don't give an f".

    Literally, just like the panic attacks, within a week the RSI pain faded away. :) :) :)

    It's been a full three months now and it's just.. it's gone! Sure there are tinges here and there but I don't care. I am typing this hunched over a laptop on the couch and it's not bothering me in the slightest.

    So excited to be sharing my success story and want to give a HUGE thank you to Dr. Gordon for his program (and of course to John up there in space), and all the volunteers who run this wiki. You saved me!!! Thank you thank you thank you<3
  2. Ookami

    Ookami New Member

    That is amazing to hear! I've been struggling with RSI for almost 3 years now, and it has become worse and worse. I have moments where I will believe I have TMS, just to fear the computer shortly afterwards. I think my biggest problem is that I haven't really settled one just one strategy to get rid of the problem, instead I keep going back and forth between strategies, mixed with a lot of fear and guilt about the ever-worsening pain. Again, congratulations, brave soul, I hope to join you at some point. :)
  3. tracybean

    tracybean New Member

    You'll get there!! Have you ever tried to speak to a TMS therapist or doctor? If you could get an official "diagnosis", I bet it would help with staying in the belief.
  4. Ookami

    Ookami New Member

    Thanks, I hope so! No, I haven't tried that, as there are none in Norway as far as I know. I guess I'll just have to work more consistently with my issues.
  5. cdub

    cdub Peer Supporter

    Did you have any tingling with your RSI? Or just pain?
  6. tracybean

    tracybean New Member

    Hi Cdub,
    When I think of what people mean when they say tingling, I think of the pins and needles you get when your arm or foot falls asleep. Is that what you mean? If so, no I didn't have that. But I've heard that can also be TMS.
  7. cdub

    cdub Peer Supporter

    Yes. Tingling like that.

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