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Relapse but with a new spin on symptoms

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by BigBlueWolf, May 5, 2018.

  1. BigBlueWolf

    BigBlueWolf Peer Supporter

    I recently went through my first experience of ridding myself of pain in my hands and forearms through TMS exercises. I started a thread about it here:

    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/recent-rsi-and-carpal-tunnel-diagnosis-yet-things-dont-add-up.18012/ (Recent RSI and Carpal Tunnel diagnosis, yet things don't add up)

    Quick recap: Pain in the palms and on the backs of my hands, sometimes dull other times burning. Dull pain in the wrists and forearms. A lot of this pain was moving around before I discovered TMS therapy. It took approximately three weeks of reading the books, success stories, journaling, and performing my normal activities regardless of the pain level to completely subside.

    This was a thrilling event for me. And I was so overjoyed that I threw myself back into gaming with gusto, trying to catch up on a number of titles I had been wanting to play since last summer.

    I was completely pain free and gaming almost every night after work (and a lot of time on the weekends) for several weeks. Then around mid-March I had a bone graft done to prep for a dental implant. The post-surgery pain was awful and sensitized the tooth next to it. Around this time I started to noticed that pain was creeping back into my right hand. After about a week more I decided I needed to rest my hand and the pain from my mouth needed ibuprofen several times a day to be tolerable.

    The dental situation was further complicated by another tooth on the opposite side developing excruciating pain as well when biting down, such that it also would need to be pulled.

    I was pretty miserable at this point, and was quickly turning back to social isolation because I was perpetually grumpy and didn't want to inflict my presence on others.

    The hand pain didn't really go away during that week, and it was more irritating than distressing. I figured overuse might be the culprit this time instead of TMS, but some rest should get everything back on track.

    When I resumed gaming a week later it still hurt but I was determined because I had played through the pain last time on the way to ridding myself of symptoms. I figured it would work itself out on its own. For the next 10 days I played while essentially ignoring any hand discomfort, sometimes for sessions that went on longer than they should have. When I finally finished it my hands still hurt, particularly my right hand, and I was upset there had been no improvement. I decided I was going to drop gaming for a few weeks and find other things to do.

    But almost immediately in the following days, my pain intensified and has not changed much despite picking up TMS therapy exercises again.

    Also four days into this new rest period I had the first dental graft area "cleaned" because it wasn't healing well, and the second tooth pulled and grafted as well.

    To date it's been about 2-1/2 weeks since the dental surgery. That pain isn't acute anymore but still surfaces whenever I try to eat.

    The hand pain persists. The new symptoms are mostly confined to my fingers and do move around a little. But nothing like before though.
    • Dull aching of the fingers and thumbs (but not pinkies) on both hands, nothing acute, and doesn't appear to be affected by flexing the finger joints
    • Sometimes the ache covers whole finger, other times different parts of the finger, and day-by-day the number of fingers involved varies and is usually mirrored on both sides.
    • Sometimes the entire palm side of my hands don't hurt but are "hypersensitive" from wrist to finger tips such that I can intensely feel the skin.
    • Sometimes after I've used my hands a lot, I experience intense tingling of my hands while falling asleep or waking up. This usually vanishes once I'm fully awake.
    Things that make it worse:
    • There seems to be about a day's delay between doing any gaming, even low impact, and the onset of worse pain.
    • Inexplicably, my left hand will often hurt just as much or worse than my right (dominant) hand despite the fact that I use it a lot less.
    Things that make it feel better:
    • Using my hands at the gym - gripping weights or machine handles and doing wrist curls
    • General mouse + keyboard computer use at work sometimes will have my hands feeling better at the end of the day than when I started.
    I've been trying to use TMS therapy techniques to address the hand pain, but it's being very stubborn this time. I might have a day here or there where the pain is less, but in general SOME kind of unpleasant sensation in my hands has been constantly present for over three weeks now.

    Naturally I'm trying not to give in to fear on this. In my head I know my hands aren't structurally impaired. But it's hard to remain positive on a day-to-day basis when I've been in some kind of pain almost constantly since the first dental graft was done on March 16.

    Any words of encouragement or advice appreciated. :(
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    First, congratulations on your initial success at ridding yourself of TMS! That's quite an achievement. But many of us who have success experience periodic relapse. I have certainly had quite a few. But I find that now I'm aware that the relapse is TMS pretty fast, and so the symptoms don't hang around very long. It's very easy for TMS to trick us and one of its favorite methods is to piggy back on some kind of injury, or in your case, a dental surgery. The best way to take care of it is to calmly go back to doing what you were doing that got rid of your initial TMS symptoms. Don't catastrophize about it.

    You write with great detail and specificity about your symptoms, and that is a symptom of TMS. It shows how much attention you are giving it, and therefore it has quite the power to distract you, which is its purpose. Try not to focus so much on your body and instead focus on living your life. That is where recovery lies.

    Best wishes.....
    plum and KevinB like this.
  3. BigBlueWolf

    BigBlueWolf Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the advice!

    So the day after I wrote this entry I experienced nearly 90% symptom relief! When they resumed it the day after that it was only in my right hand, brought on by doing a lot of mousing, and it was the familiar "burning" sensation that my first bout of TMS was quite prone to. In short, I'm back in familiar territory that is a major confidence boost in affirming to myself that it's all just brain games and my hands are fine.

    I will continue to work on my reading and writing. Definitely liking this turn of events! :)

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