Well, it's been two years and a half since I started experiencing this chain of conditions, and I figured it was time to start putting it into words. -- Context; I'm currently 23, I work a typing job, and I'm a full-time Econ student. I live at home with mother + sister, somewhat abusive father left when I was young. Grandparents live downstairs, very close-knit family. Traits; Brainy, introverted, traditionally lonely and very eager to fit in, not very good with people, achiever in my studies, hypersensitive (emotionally), which means I don’t handle sudden stress well at all (total opposite from when I was a teen), thus, cannot keep things in very long. A bit of an obsessive, orderly streak. I am also a total clean freak. Medical history; I have no history of any joint, muscular or neurological issue, and there is no such history in my family (apart from back pain). I have a history of significant anxiety issues; have been treated for a variety of obsessive behaviors related to anxiety, and anxiety related to the condition below. I have typed and gamed since I was 12 on a daily basis. I don’t drink nor smoke. I had bouts of short duration anxiety as a kid, when I would obsess over a thing, and it would go away soon after. ------- Symptoms, in order of importance; -Finger pain in ALL FINGERS of BOTH HANDS when typing or clicking. Pain varies, but symptoms stable since they began. Painkillers of little to no use. Pain starts as SOON as I put my finger on the mouse, or on the key, and stop when I stop. No progressively appearing pain here, it's sudden, it's mean, and it's predictable. Both hands started being painful SIMULTANEOUSLY, and I can remember the exact time when it started. The pain seems to be located on the underside of the fingers/hand. Seems to be made worse by warmth. Pain improves as a I type/write, but remains. The huge oddity about this, is that I can game for many, many hours with minor pain, but as soon as I type or write, it’s back to the pain train. It’s the worst of my symptoms, as it’s stopped me from doing things I enjoy, this being writing, and to a much lesser extent. Ironically, school essays are now a literal rather than figurative pain in the rear. -Jaw & ear pain . This one used to be absent, but it’s now one of the main symptoms. The pain comes and goes, usually very suddenly. I also developed bruxism – I grind my teeth, and use a mouth guard. It’s a major symptom right now, as I feel it very often. It actually disappeared while I was writing this. -Health anxiety – Very severe, periodic health anxiety. This is the only symptom that has actually disabled me. When I first got it, I couldn’t do home work, work, or anything at all. This runs in the family. It’s thankfully periodic, so it comes and goes. I use CBT for this. -Tinnitus, sound sensitivity. I get ear ringing, and my ears are very sensitive to sound. I got this checked a while back, and my audiologist told me that my hearing was normal, and that I did not display any sign of hyperacusis(sound sensitivity). -Hand weakness. This one is peculiar as it happens independently of the pain. I notice it when I type, and sometimes when I've been holding a glass for too long. My hand/wrist feels weak, like it's about to drop. I had no such thing with my arms, and I exercise them frequently. -Crawling arm & shoulder pain. If I ignore the finger pain, it sometimes spreads to my entire hand in the form of muscle ache, then my wrist, forearm, and in no time, to my shoulder. This process is very quick, and within moments, my entire arm will be cramped up. The funny thing is that it goes just as quickly, and within a short moment, it's back whence it came. I have not identified this with my left arm since I do not use it as much, but I suspect that it's the same story. A note about this one; I can not keep the computer position I had when it all started, as it makes my arm extremely cramped and painful. Any other position seems to fix this. -Carpal tunnel tingling. Occasionally, when I've held a glass for too long, or when I'm drunk (the two, coincidentally, go together), the entire thing will turn into full-blown, clear-as-day CTS thing. It tingles in my first three digits, is numb, and is relieved my shaking my hands of putting them under running water. It does not happen otherwise. -Light symptoms; tight wrists, cracking wrists, fingertip tingling. -Miscellaneous; short-sighted, asthma, allergies. ----- What I do NOT have; -Fatigue, swelling, major stiffness, fever, reduced mobility, reduced flexibility, tingling in the morning, waking up from pain. Things that actually lead to a diagnosis. -- The story; -Before last semester of pre-university (1st year of college in US equivalent), walking home from school, then I get a loud ringing in my ear. Immediately, I worry it won’t die down, so I go home and check online for the symptoms. When I learn about tinnitus on YouTube through an instructional, cautionary video, I get a major, break-down-the-house panic attack. This is also when my major health anxiety starts. At this point, I cannot listen to music, as my hearing is very, very sensitive. -Two months after, my anxiety dies down as I learn to accept and ignore tinnitus. Things return to normal. Within a week of that, I start worrying that I have heart issues -- I feel a pinching on the left side of my chest. I go pass all the tests, EMG, etc. When I return to my doctor a month later, she tells me all is normal. My chest pinching stops as soon as I step out of the clinic and it hasn't reappeared since. -Once that's gone, tinnitus worries return. I end up getting tired of it, and I go to an audiologist who proceeds, after tests, to tell me that not only do I have no hearing loss, but I also have no sensitivity to sound, and have had no abnormal reaction to very, very loud noises. When I step out of that clinic, my hearing sensitivity is gone, and I can listen to music again. -Afterwards, I start getting hip pain on the outside of my hip at work (at the time working at a retail store). It moves to the inside of my hip when I read online that this is where serious hip pain is. I leave my job, and it goes back to normal. -I start this typing job. Not even a week in, I notice one of my fingers on my left hand is a bit tense. I go online to look it up, see "Arthritis", and that very afternoon, both hands suddenly become like this, and typing becomes agony. Health anxiety starts again, this time in its worst phase. My entire summer becomes one long nightmare of wake up worrying, worry all day, then go to bed worrying. -I can not pin this down on any specific physical issue -- Carpal tunnel doesn't cause joint pain, osteoarthritis is rarely polyarthritis, RA has morning stiffness + fatigue & swelling, and symptoms have been stable for years. -The Now: Well, I am still at the same job, two years later. I write for an hour or two, my hands become a bit sore and painful, but at this point it’s become routine. What I have done; -Physical therapy -Wore a splint for weeks, no result. -Painkillers not very effective -Alcohol neither for that matter. It actually accentuates symptoms. -Stopped typing for an entire month. Even after a month, as soon as I put my finger on a key, it comes back within a few seconds. -Visited three doctors, a physical therapist, a chiropractor. Verdict? "Is' wear'n'tear son. Here's some naprox- Oh you already have two bottles? Okay, well here's a splint- That too? Well, okay then, here's a fatherly tap on the shoulder." -Waited a year to let symptoms evolve. Even that didn't work. -- What helps; -Ceasing activity. As soon as I stop, most of my symptoms go, and I can start again soon after. -Cold. If my hands hurt, I put them in cold water, and it's all good. -Being distracted. -TMS Wiki -- I have read Mindbody Disorder and Divided Mind, and though I feel like it temporarily helped my jaw, I haven’t found all that much in the way of symptom relief. The biggest help was TMS Wiki, and I credit it for the few phases where my pain seemed to get better. Nonetheless, when I joined, I had immense doubt about TMS and its community, and I sort of thought it was a scam. Actually believing in the diagnosis was, and is definitely the toughest part – I’m someone who is naturally skeptic, and normally needs loads of confirmation. All of my major reliefs and symptom imperatives came because medical professional confirmed I did not have a particular issue. I’ve however related immensely with members of the community. Forest in particular seems to have had a strikingly similar situation – in addition to being an Econ major J! My belief in the diagnosis is not 100% (about 90% as of now) complete, I believe I’ll need some more help on this one, but so far it’s been going well. When I get worried, or I get pain, I just log on to TMS Wiki, and realize there’s hope. I just can’t quite wrap my hands around something that will make me feel better physically just yet. I’m in an awkward situation, however. I have no access to a Sarno-style doctor and regular psychotherapy is excessively expensive. Thus, I put this post as a sort of starting point. I hope that from then on, I can start improving, but as usual, I’m skeptical. A part of me is starting to consider that I might have to rely on ergonomics once I graduate in order to minimize pain. I’m hoping I can fix my TMS before then.