I am now celebrating almost a year of having my life back! I’d had RSI symptoms (and many other unexplained health problems) for 1.5 yrs, but found my way to TMS. Once you understand TMS, you’ll understand that everything I write about below ties back to it very clearly. MY BACKSTORY AND SYMPTOMS: I am young and healthy and considered myself stress free before my life fell apart. I developed pain in my mouse clicking finger randomly at work over the course of 2 weeks. It made sense: I had worked constantly on a laptop 40+ hours a week in terrible ergonomic conditions. What didn’t make sense is I had been doing this for years, with no issues. My finger hurt SO bad and the pain was constant. It would flare up when I lifted a fork, turned doorhandles, held the steering wheel, or did ANYTHING, really. I started developing pain in both my forearms and eventually took a leave of absence from work. It was one of my life’s lowest points and I spiraled into a constant state of stress over when or if this injury would heal. I had terrible doctors provided by my healthcare. Oftentimes the stress of dealing with them was worse than the actual injury. I eventually gave up on them, and paid the equivalent of a down payment on a house for private health care. I was on and off work for 1.5 yrs, and I hated nearly every minute of it. I had weekly breakdowns. I give everything in my life 110% and lived, ate, and breathed trying to find a cure. I tried new mice: I started with 1 injured mousing finger and after 6 months, I couldn’t use about ½ of my fingers because every new mouse I got gave me pain in those fingers and forearm muscles. It didn’t matter which ergo setup I had – I would develop pain there. Over the course of my healing adventure I went to about 30 medical professionals. Some helped short term. None helped long term. Here’s what I tried: - Acupuncture, traction, stretching, and trigger point massage all of which helped some, but it would only reduce the “pain ceiling”, or would heal the pain for 1 day to 1 month, then it would come back. - Chiropractic, braces, healing creams, diets, vitamins, exercise, alexander technique, hot/cold therapy, MRI’s, Xrays, etc – none of which helped. I had 3 big hand pain relapses: 1 when I was super stressed because my new mice were making things worse, 1 right before I was about to return to work and I blamed it on a new neck stretch I tried, and 1 when I was about to start a big project at work – and the pain came suddenly (kind of like a pop and then a flood of pain/sensation) During this time, I also had some major health problems: - While walking a normal route in my normal tennis shoes, I had another popping feeling in my big toe where I had previously had surgery. While there was hardly any swelling or pain at rest, the moment I put weight on it, the pain became intolerable. I went to many foot doctors and no one could find anything wrong with it. I had a boot and a cortisone shot and eventually it wore off and then came back in BOTH feet. I had about 6 weeks that I couldn’t walk OR move my hands. I went to physical therapy for my RSI hands on crutches. I binge watched harry potter. It eventually went away when I said “SCREW IT” and went on vacation for 4 weeks. It then returned 3 months later during a stressful period in my life, and went away after addressed it as TMS. Not coincidentally: the pain cycles in my feet were inverse to the pain cycles in my hands….. - I had terrible stomach pain. I had food poison like symptoms twice in 2 weeks and it took 2+ months to recover. I was living on a BRAT diet and losing weight to the point that I was a walking skeleton. It cleared up during one of my hand pain relapses…… A year ago I went back to work and my hand pain slowly started to return. I had gotten 80% better, but knew it was time to change careers. I could no longer do computer work without being scared every day about finishing my work. I am part of an RSI Facebook support group, and that week someone posted about being healed with TMS, and in the comments were others saying similar things - along with a few haters. But I had NOTHING to lose, so I came to this site to read more. I heard about TMS earlier but didn’t have any traumatic childhood experiences, was not a raging or angry person, thought I wasn’t stressed before my injury started, and was too analytical to think about a mental crutch. Overall I thought it was BS. What I had overlooked the whole time is CONSCIOUS stress is not the same as UNCONSCIOUS stress, and everything related to TMS can vary like the rainbow. MY TMS JOURNEY: I was skeptical, but desperate, so I spent 1 Saturday reading everything I could on the site, agreed to give it a go, and guess what….. Sunday: 50% of the pain in my finger moved to the MIRROR OPPOSITE finger, which had NEVER had pain. Ever. Tuesday: All pain left my hands Wednesday: Back pain. Excruciating back pain Friday: pain moved to my right thigh Saturday: pain moved to my left thigh Sunday: Totally pain free. So there you go. 1.5 years of issues gone in 7 days. My hands and feet were hurting from all the emotional baggage I had to carry every day. MY JOURNEY AFTER TMS: In the last year I’ve had a lot of other TMS symptoms as I work to break down stressors, and since this online program, I now know when I have TMS vs an actual illness (which has been TMS 100% of the time so far). My other symptoms have been: - Vertigo – 3 days before a major vacation - Common cold – right before major business travel - Stomach problems – often, but I’m breaking a decade of TMS on this one - Ball of foot pain/sesamoiditis – it comes and goes, usually in correlation to other TMS symptoms. This was an old surgery site for me - Shoulder pain - Fatigue – coming back from a vacation - Thumb pain – I’d had this for 1+ years. It lingered after my hand pain went away for another 5 months The above symptoms do not always go away quickly. My thumb pain I rigorously addressed as TMS for 3 months, and then one morning I just woke up and it was gone. I saw a TMS therapist via skype for quite awhile, and still meet with her as I still deal with stress and its associated symptoms. The most effective ways I have found to treat my symptoms have been in that search bar on this website. I type in what I have, read stories about other people having it, and the pain oftentimes leaves or lessens overnight. Also, taunting the pain helps a lot – If it bothers me I remove the fear around it and say to my unconscious “Go ahead – make the pain worse! I am going to do this activity again right now! I don’t care!” It’s invigorating after a long time of feeling powerless. REFLECTION: While this journey was not fun, I have gotten to the point where I can look back and be grateful for what I’ve learned. It’s possible I started with a real injury and eventually the pain converted from an actual injury to a mental response. I certainly hold significantly less stress, and my attitude towards things have changed. I’ve since recommended TMS to others struggling with pain, and I’ve seen them transformed too. Thank you Dr. Sarno, to the TMS practitioners who support this site, and to the community here over the last many years who won’t know how many people like me their stories and comments helped heal til they reach Heaven. May this story be a small token of what I give back, and help heal others someday too.