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I'm not sure what to believe

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by goodarmsvsbadarms, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. I've had pain in my wrists for almost 7 years now. When it first started, I wasn't massively surprised - I was a kid playing PC games for something ridiculous like 10 hours a day, without many breaks, pretty much every day. I think I first noticed it when I was playing some new Call of Duty game, and found that my right wrist started burning up after 20 minutes or so of using the mouse to aim. The problem was that I didn't really have much else to do, so instead of playing with a mouse and keyboard, I used a controller instead, and that was fine for a while. The gaming was alright, but it was also affecting my school, and later college, assignments - typing up a bunch of 2.5k word essays and reports quickly got very painful, and my left wrist was starting to burn too. I remember once I had to ask my sister to type up an assignment for me, because I just couldn't bear the pain of doing it myself. I also remember going to the gym with my Dad for around a year at some point, and feeling like my wrists were going to seriously snap off while doing the bench press and curls. I was always told "no pain, no gain" though, so I kept at it until I physically couldn't do it anymore.

    Anyway, as it turns out, I'm not one of those people who goes to see a doctor when I have a problem - I'm one of those idiots who goes to see a doctor when I can't stand the problem anymore. He told me he thought it was tendinitis in both of my wrists. On his recommendation, I tried ice packs, as much rest as I could manage outside of college work, and anti inflammatories. They helped me deal with the burning for a while, but then my wrists got worse. The only way I can describe it is a lightning bolt of pain shooting from my wrist up to my elbow. At this point, I noticed my wrists started to get seriously weak - I have the grip strength of a dying man, and my hands seem to get exhausted very quickly.

    After almost 3 years or so after seeing the first doctor, I saw another one. I couldn't tell you why I waited to long to go back. Since seeing him, I've had a blood test, an x-ray, I've seen 2 physiotherapists and tried their recommendations for several months (doing various exercises, stretches, mouse / keyboard rests, and wearing a wrist split at night) and I've had 3 MRI scans (both wrists, and right forearm). I've been told they can't find anything wrong with me After I told the doctor that I didn't have any luck with the second round of physio, he literally said "I have no idea", which was worrying. I will note here that I'm still waiting on the results from the 3rd MRI scan on my forearm, but I'm not massively hopeful - it seemed more like an act of desperation than anything.

    For the last two years, I've been working as a web developer. Obviously, working on a computer for 8 hours a day hasn't helped my situation much, but I needed a job and it's pretty much the only thing I can do. I recently had to quit, though, because I couldn't handle the pain. However, when I spoke to my boss about my problem at an earlier point, she told me about Dr Sarno. I'm not sure if she knew about him because she had a similar problem, or because she found it online while trying to help me, but she sent me a link to his book The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain.

    I dismissed it as being nonsense at first, because I hadn't gone through the scans and physio sessions yet, but a few weeks ago I decided I'd give it a go. I can't say I understood every word of it, since I'm not a doctor, but I understood the general message - my wrists were fine, the pain is coming from my brain to try to distract me from repressed rage, and it could be fixed. A few people said in their reviews that they experienced immediate pain relief after reading it, but I don't really feel any better. I'm also up to Day 8 in the Structured Educational Program on this site, but the pain is the same.

    Apologies for the huge wall of text, but I've finally arrived at the title. I don't know what to believe. On one hand, it doesn't really make sense:
    • I experience severe weakness in both my wrists, as well as the burning and bolt of pain sensations.
    • I was consistently in pain after working on a computer for 8 hours.
    • I'm also consistently in pain if I try to lift anything heavy - it feels like my wrist will snap off.
    • I haven't experienced much pain relief since reading about Dr Sarno.
    • It makes more sense to me, and I'd imagine to most people, that the damage was caused by my heavy computer use.
    On the other hand:
    • I know many people who use a computer more than I do, and don't have any pain. But of course, everyone is different.
    • Some of the personality traits were accurate - I wouldn't describe myself as a perfectionist, but I can relate to the "people pleaser" part. I'm also a very anxious person, and spent an unncessary amount of time worrying.
    • I had a messy childhood - I had to leave school and was homeschooled for several years (ages 13-16), due to being bullied and just generally being a trainwreck of a human mentally. Naturally, this has given me plenty of ammo for my journaling, but I feel like I haven't digged deep enough yet.
    • Sometimes when I use a computer, the pain isn't consistent. Sometimes I feel the burning before doing much typing, as if I'm feeling the pain in advance because I know typing is going to hurt. Other times, it doesn't hurt - I remember typing out a huge journal entry once, getting to the end, and thinking "wait, I should be in a lot of pain right now".
    • The other reason for my wrists hurting makes sense - if my brain is intentionally targeting somewhere that would distract me from repressed rage, then my wrists are the perfect distraction, since ruining them has more or less ruined my entire life over the past few years. Additionally, any rational person would initially assume it was from the heavy computer use, rather than something caused by my emotions.
    Again, apologies for the gigantic wall of text. That's pretty much my entire situation. I just don't know what to think.
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello m'dear,

    The simple answer is you can't think your way out of this. You have to engage your heart because it is your emotions that are juice that run your nervous system.

    It takes a while to really understand TMS but once you do, everything makes a lot of sense. But you're at the point where you need some encouragement so I suggest you give yourself a huge break from trying to figure it out and instead explore the story of the man and hero who created this forum; @Forest.

    He overcame RSI and he went on to pay it forward by gifting the world with this healing place. Start by exploring his profile and the links he offers. He made quite a few videos too.

    And really don't worry about writing walls of text. I pen a few War and Peace length posts myself.

    Lainey and Ellen like this.
  3. Thanks Plum. I actually saw one of Forest's videos on Day 7 of the Program - had no idea he was the creator of the forum. Will look through his profile, and try not to think too hard.
  4. AC45

    AC45 Well known member


    I too found this forum due to RSI/Carpal Tunnel. I also make my living by using a computer (so the pain was very scary).

    I read the Divided Mind. I wasn’t a book cure but I diligently followed Sarno’s program. It took a few months but I did get rid of the hand pain.

    For me, it was helpful to see a TMS physican after a few months. Journaling and books alone were lonely. What if I was wrong? I needed some reassurance. Did I have to get on a plane? Yes, I did.

    I can’t tell you if you have TMS or not but I can tell you that your background is very typical of those of us on the forum - you don’t have to be a perfectionist - you just need to recognize that you’ve had difficulties in your life (who hasn’t?).

    Anyway, I wish Sarno never would have added the stories about the book cures.
    It discourages newcomers who don’t think they are recovering the “right way” or “fast enough”.

    While my hands are fine now, the symptom imperative is alive and well. TMS recovery is a lifestyle - it isn’t a one time deal. You learn to face your demons, recognize your stressors, become more authentic in your relationships and a whole host of other things. It is hard work but it is well worth it.

    I can sum it up with radical self care. Often we take care of ourselves and our physical/ emotional health last. TMS healing equates to changes in lifestyle and self care - at least that has been my experience.

    Good luck,
    cdub and Ellen like this.
  5. cdub

    cdub Peer Supporter

    Did you have tingling with your symptoms or just pain?

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