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Just to Be Sure, Is This TMS I've Been Experiencing?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by ChalupaMan, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. ChalupaMan

    ChalupaMan New Member

    Hey everyone. I was introduced to the concept of TMS a few months ago, but it's only recently that I started to look into the condition more to see how much of it lines up with what I've been experiencing.

    Here's my story as to how I got here and why I highly suspect I may have TMS instead of tendonitis or trigger finger like I thought before.

    I do a lot of writing and coding in my time. Digital marketing is my main niche, but I'm also an artist and aspiring animator too doing all of this so I can have enough money and resources to one day move out to Los Angeles and also use the money earned from these jobs to become a great investor too.

    I'm still at this startup working part-time because of some difficulties the company ran into over the summer, and I've been dying to make a major change to my life as soon as my boss finds a new office, likely leaving the job and spending a few months working hard and studying to get my next job as a developer.

    I even have plans someday to start my own nonprofit and teach artists and animators about marketing and coding, so I'm very ambitious and hungry to make things like this happen, but also happen to be really conservative when it comes to staying at jobs for a while, even if I'm not liking them anymore.

    Anyway, I had never had problems in my hands at all before until this year. I think some of it even started last year sometime after I was given a new keyboard at work by my boss, who is a software developer I heavily look up to and has been my main source of inspiration for wanting to become a developer myself soon.

    It wasn't a bad one, but I just could never get used to it well. It was called the Corsair Strafe and it had Cherry MX red key switches. A few months before this, I got myself into a car accident and hit a mail truck, and there was a lot I had to go through there, especially with my family and dad and how costly the repairs on the car have been.

    In early 2018, I went through a phase where I had developed pain and what I thought was RSI in my left hand. Sometimes the area between my index finger and middle finger would get all tingly, and then other days, it would feel like I had a sensation of something being stuck in between even though I could not see anything visibly wrong with the fingers. I would also get to the point where I could feel pain grabbing the web space of that area too and the bottom sides. More recently, I had also experienced stiffness in the index and middle finger which would clear up on its own. There were some days this year I had to miss work because the pain and soreness would get pretty bad for me in that same area.

    This summer, I went to a hand doctor and they diagnosed me with trigger finger and gave me a cortisone shot which temporarily had an effect, but pretty soon after, I was dealing with the same problems.

    I tried so many different keyboards to try to solve this problem I had been experiencing with varying degrees of success. Right now, I use a low-profile mechanical keyboard, but even now, I sometimes still get pain and weird sensations in the same area I was talking about.

    A few weeks ago, I felt a sensation between the middle and index finger and it was almost like someone had taped them together. I also kept thinking that the purlicue area there was a bit thicker than the one on my right hand's index and middle finger. I've tried compression gloves, TENS units, you name it to try to treat this problem on my own.

    Today, I read an article from someone who also suffered from TMS. I applied what he said about ignoring the pain and sensations and that they are really all from the subconscious. I wrote a Word document detailing what could really be causing my problem and already I was able to have a better time doing this blog post.

    Found it could be potentially some anxiety I'm having about making one of the hardest emotional decisions this year leaving the job and someone who has been nothing but nice to me and showing me how to work in a certain way. I also think I have some underlying regret about some of the decisions I made, how I started my career, some of the decisions I made at the company, and how I eventually realized what I really wanted to be.

    After all, this was my first real job and I hadn't had much experience prior and I feel like I've gotten to know my team so well too, even to the point where sometimes I'd be jealous of a few of them because they would get more "important" work to do in their roles. I still sense a bit of a difference in those fingers like there's some pressure, thickness, clammyness and stickiness, but it's not so noticeable now that I've been trying to apply some of these methods to my situation.

    Has anyone else been suffering like this lately? The problem has been driving me up the wall all year and I was letting it get in the way of my own success. I forgot to mention I currently take glucosamine, magnesium, Vitamin D, and fish oil supplements too.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi ChalupaMan, and welcome to our forum.

    No one here can give you a diagnosis of TMS. Many people need a diagnosis from a health or mental health professional in order to be able to do this work and achieve a recovery, but many of us (myself included) are self-diagnosed, after many medical and other health professionals couldn't find anything wrong.

    My self-diagnosis was a combination of recognition (recognizing myself on the pages of The Divided Mind, by Dr. Sarno) and evidence, such as:
    You don't mention having ever been seen by a health professional. Typically, the progression goes like this: doctors can't find anything wrong, OR they are not sure what's wrong but are suggesting things that "might" help (surgery being the most radical - and the one now being advised against by more and more professionals).

    Basically, this means that the person who is suffering from symptoms can at least know that they aren't in any kind of life-threatening situation that requires immediate medical attention. This means that it probably can't hurt to stop thinking physically for a while, and try the psychological approach.

    You absolutely should start by reading one of Dr. Sarno's books. I read his fourth and last one, which as I mentioned was The Divided Mind. Also, go to the Success Stories subforum here, and do a keyword search for your symptoms so you can find stories you can relate to.

    Given that you're probably dealing with some kind of RSI symptom, be sure to read the Profile story of our founder, Forest.

    Then go ahead and start our free Structured Educational Program, which gives you a day-by-day plan to address your symptoms as TMS.

    Good luck!

  3. ChalupaMan

    ChalupaMan New Member

    Hi JanAtheCPA,

    Looking at my story, I didn't mention the times that I did go see a health professional when these symptoms were at their worst. I saw my doctor at a clinic a few months ago and all he said was that I didn't have carpal tunnel when he administered the test. All he said was the area was possibly a bit swollen and he gave me some medicine. Another doctor I went to before going to see a hand specialist told me to wear a splint for a couple of weeks and take naproxen when that same area really felt sore. She had wanted me to see an orthopedic person.

    Like you, I truly believe what I've been experiencing this past year is TMS more than anything else and I feel once I've read more into the resources you're giving, I'd be able to make a self-diagnosis from there.

    Today, I don't feel any muscle pain at all, but felt some weakness and a bit of weird sensation in those two fingers (sometimes I've gotten burning too, but not today thankfully) at the bottom still even though nothing looks physically wrong on the surface.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Even better. And by the way, symptoms that move around or change, is another good evidence point for TMS - lots and lots of people talk about that (including Dr. Sarno).
  5. ChalupaMan

    ChalupaMan New Member

    I made a major breakthrough today. While working late into the night, I decided to listen to an audio on back pain from John Sarno on YouTube. I thought about how a lot of what he was saying aligned perfectly with what I was experiencing. I had to let go of a lot of repressed, bitter feelings, and anger I had about my job, my family, and people I work with, and after a little while, my finger didn't feel so stiff and tense. I even felt the moment where I told myself and my brain that area of my body needed more circulation repeatedly.

    Some of these feelings also included love, disappointment, and jealousy of others. I stopped thinking about my pain as so much of a physical problem, but more of an emotional issue that I needed to deal with. My theory is that a lot of this pain developed because I wasn't happy with my job or satisfied with where I am in my life, so it became a way for me to avoid confronting my fears and disappointment head on.

    It's not 100% perfect yet, but it has not felt this amazing in months. I also applied some hemp seed oil to my fingers, but I think that functioned more as a placebo than anything else, same thing with TENS unit and compression gloves I used before that now I don't feel so much need for. A lot of my problem really is psychological and I think a lot of the stress, anger, and repressed feelings also manifested themselves in tighter tendons, weaker index and middle finger, and muscles and tingly nerves.

    I think all that stuff is telling me about how I need to make a radical change in my life in order to be happy and in theory lead to even less pain and tightness. Thankfully my situation is going to change soon, which gives me a lot of hope, but I need to remain patient, calm, and stress-free and not let my own perfectionism and overthinking take over or temptations to use scapegoats for pain problems. Thanks for all your help, @JanAtheCPA. I was actually going to try to take two whole weeks off from typing, but if my finger continues to feel this good for a while, then I think my career is saved.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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