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Just starting on my TMS program, Day 1.

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by etrue, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. etrue

    etrue New Member

    I am newly on the path to a TMS solution for my pain. I truly want to believe this is going to be what fixes me. I read the Mindbody Prescription book, and I feel as though I am a believer now. Here is my story. Apologies for some typos, as this has been dictated by Siri on my iPhone:

    My right index finger started hurting me severely, seemingly without any prior warning of fatigue or pain building up to the pain. It has been 11 months since the pain started, and it has never gone away. There was a time, early on in the process, where I felt some improvement happening, but it eventually started hurting again and then got worse than it had been earlier.

    The onset of the pain involved a time in my life where I was very busy at work. I work a desk job that gets extremely busy seasonally, and there is lots of pressure to do a large amount of work in a very time compressed environment. I was doing a large amount of mouse scrolling with my right index finger. One day after work, my right index finger simply started hurting quite a bit and I was not able to use the mouse anymore. I immediately switched to using the mouse with my left hand. That of course took some getting used to, because it was and remains quite awkward to do many tasks with my left hand, since I am right-handed. I initially went to my doctor, and didn't want to involve my work in the process. I felt that I could go to a medical professional on my own, get a few treatments and a diagnosis, and be back to normal with some rest. However, my doctor sent me right back to my work and told me that I need to file a workers comp claim since it is a work-related injury.

    I then went to my employer and told him about how I had gotten the injury, how I had attempted to get care for it on my own, and was in that situation of needing workers comp, regretfully. He sat on this news for a couple of days, and then told me that the company was going to pay out-of-pocket for me to get rehab for the injury. It was obvious to me that they didn't want to have their insurance rates go up by filing a workers comp case. That made me feel very uneasy and worried, but I went along with it partly because I didn't want to strain relations with my employer, and also because I was trying to be open minded to the treatment that the facility he sent me to would give me. Anyway, this facility of rehab started my long journey of places that have made little to no difference in my condition. I tried icing, heat packs, ultrasound, chiropractic adjustments, ceasing to use my right hand for many tasks, you name it. All the while, I was building up a resentment against my employer. I felt, and still do feel, that this issue was brought on by my overuse of a crippled computer database system, which was programmed by somebody who was inept. I had to do significantly more mouse scrolling and wear and tear activities on my hand, then I would have if I had been using a database that was programmed by a professional. I have held onto this resentment and feeling that my employer tried to save money by getting it done cheaply, and in the process of that, I was the collateral damage for having to do so much more hand work than I would have otherwise. I have made the analogy to many people as I have told them about my condition - it would be like working at a lumber factory, and a chainsaw to cut through wood was broken, so I was given a plastic knife to cut through large pieces of wood. You can still cut through the wood, but it would take immensely longer and cause much pain and fatigue to get the job done. That was and remains how I feel about the position I was in which led to my injury.

    Anyway, after approximately four months at the work rehab facility that my employer sent me to, I realized that I was not having full improvement, only little things here and there seemed to get better. I then told my work that a friend had recommended an excellent physical therapist, and I would like to see her. I also mentioned that acupuncture was recommended to me. My work initially balked at the acupuncture prospect, which royally pissed me off, because I felt that what makes them think they know what will cure me know what won't. It was, and remains a super awkward position for me to be in with my employer, to have to keep going to him and essentially ask for permission to go to another specialist after another specialist, as though my employer would have any idea of medicine himself. Eventually, they relented to acupunctire, as well as all other doctors, and have continued to pay for all subsequent treatments out-of-pocket. They no longer question me about who I go to. I simply give them receipts and they pay up. I should add that for the last several months, I have been unable to do my duties at my job, since my exclusive use of my left hand eventually led to my left hand having issues, fatigue related, that rendered me quite useless. Fortunately, there are other tasks I can do at my job, and I have been assigned to do those tasks for the time being, while somebody else has taken over my normal job duties for now. That doesn't exactly make me happy or feel useful as an employee, but these days, I don't even care whatsoever about that, I only care about getting well.

    In any event, all these months later, I have now seen at least 12 to 15 different specialists, ranging from active release therapy, nutritionists, and have also been taking various supplements like fish oil pills, liquid vitamin D, Resvero, Turmero, As well as making diet changes like eliminating dairy, gluten, alcohol, coffee, in an attempt to reduce inflammation in my body. The only explanation I have gotten for my condition is that it is repetitive strain injury. Some specialists contended that it was tendinitis, but a Prominent and well-known hand surgeon who took an x-ray of me said that I simply have inflammation and that he could not help me further. Surgery was not an option, He said. Cortisone shots were not an option, according to him. Other people said I have scar tissue buildup inside my finger which came from the excessive use and tearing of microscopic pieces of tissue inside my finger due to the mouse usage.

    As all of this was going on in my life, I truly have felt that my life has gone down the toilet. I am a musician and have a band, and have been severely handicapped in my ability to play guitar. I don't believe that guitar playing was the cause for my injury, because the duration and frequency that I played was far less than the extensive repetitive specific tasks that I was doing in my work ...I never had occasion to use that particular finger in that way for any other task in my life.. The injury first happened at a stressful point in my life, where my band had recently lost members, and I was in the process of auditioning people. Also, I was in a super stressful, unhealthy longterm relationship with my girlfriend that was failing and was very bad for me psychologically (we have since broken up, fortunarely). The injury overall has made me very depressed, and unable to do many tasks in my life. To say that it has been a bummer would be a very gross understatement. It has been totally life-changing, and I have at many points feared that I would never get better. In the back of my mind though, I have always try to keep a positive outlook and believe that I will somehow get better.

    I recently discovered John Sarno's books, and after reading the mind-body prescription, it did seem to ring a bell with me that my personality type, which is perfectionistic, worrisome, stressed out, and obsessive at times, could be the type of personality that would be susceptible to this type of injury. I am just starting my path of trying to turn it around through John Sarno's techniques. I have also just began taking up meditation, and trying to run every day or so to increase circulation in my body.

    I have made a list of the many stressors in my life, including issues and events that have plagued my conscious and subconscious minds for years going back to my childhood. I am trying to read this list every day and think about these issues and tell myself that they will not continue to cause me pain, by causing my body to have an inflammatory response that lends itself to oxygen deprivation for my finger. I am going to continue the educational program listed on this website and will update with posts regarding my progress. I am open to any and all suggestions regarding advice that anybody would have for me specifically. Thank you so much.
  2. Emily

    Emily Peer Supporter

    First of all, welcome to the structured educational program subforum, etrue! I think you'll find this space to be a great support as you continue on your journey towards recovery. It is wonderful that you have already made a list of the stressors in your life. Throughout the structured educational program you will be prompted to journal about these issues, usually one topic per day. Journaling can help you realize repressed emotions that may be the result of past and/or current life events. As you explore deeper in the different journaling topics, it may be overwhelming to read your entire list daily. Be sure to continue to do what feels right for you and your recovery! Along with journaling, I would suggest creating an evidence sheet (if you have not already), for something to read everyday in order to help fight the pain. The TMS Recovery Program offers an introduction to evidence sheets and the advantage of creating an evidence sheet is further discussed here.
  3. etrue

    etrue New Member

    Thanks Emily!
  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello m'dear,

    Welcome to the forum.
    Emily has given you some fabulous advice. I endorse it all.
    In addition I offer you three things:

    1. my partner is a musician. been up hill and down dale with the whole finger/hand/rsi business. all nonsense. all resolved. plays all the time with no probs. take comfort.

    2. The whole rsi thing is complete and utter claptrap. if it had any validity i would either be blind or in possession of claws. Or maybe i'm hell-bound. i'll let you read between the lines.

    3. Watch this. it's forest's success story. forest is about one remove from the right-hand of god and he healed from rsi.

    (my apologies for smallcase. my phone is playing me up.)
  5. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Hi and welcome. I think our Structured Educational Program is very beneficial for helping people along the path to wellness. You will get to do some writing (journaling) about the stressors you have listed. This will help process them out of you and aid in your healing. You wll be able to cross them off your list eventually (you will know when they have been processed sufficiently). :)

    Best wishes on your healing pathway.
    Gigi likes this.
  6. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Welcome, etrue. I agree with those who said the journaling and the SEP will help you. I also agree that this is a wonderfully supportive community.

    I think you're lucky that your doctor refused surgery and cortisone shots for the "inflammation" in your hand. Inflammation is a really weird thing. When I first joined this forum, and read that some people (including Dr. Sarno) seem to think that inflammation isn't real, I thought, poppycock! Of course it's real! I feel it, doctors prescribe things for it, it must be real. Then I went for a bone scan (my doctor wanted to rule out tiny fractures in my foot) and while I was getting it I was looking at the computer monitor and seeing small white dots in my feet. "What are those?" I asked the technician? "Inflammation," he told me. The white dots were exactly located at the point of pain in my right foot! They were also located around the bunion of my left foot, which was hurting me that day.

    You see, I knew it, I thought. Here was absolute proof of my inflammation! I could literally SEE my pain!

    Two months later, I began my walking program, which for the first week consisted of walking 5 minutes a day. When I did this, I experienced bunion pain in my left foot (one of the places where the white dots appeared). I used one of the techniques I'd learned here and "talked" to my brain/pain. "It's just TMS, it's not real pain," I would say, and in about 20 minutes the pain was gone. I continued to do this whenever I felt that bunion pain and it always worked.

    The pain in my right foot was more severe and persistent, but one day I realized, hey, I had the same white dots on the top of my right foot as I'd had in the bunion of my left foot, and the bunion pain proved to be TMS that disappeared when I talked to it! So I knew that, even though it persisted, it was just TMS that would eventually go away.

    This is the sort of "evidence" that you might put on an "evidence list."

    Anyway, I just wanted to share my inflammation story in the hope that it would help you. It turns out that inflammation is more mysterious and complex than you might have thought.

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