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TMS that was Pretending to be Tendonitis

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Elena99, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. Elena99

    Elena99 New Member

    I've been doing the program for almost 3 weeks now, and didn't sign up for the forums before today. I love forums, and used to be involved in them a lot in my teens/twenties, so I was worried that I would be sucked in, become too preocupied with TMS, etc. But now I think I need the community.

    I've had a really tough year. Where I live, it is really, really hard to get a job. I went to school to become a Library Technician, worked a contract job after that, and then was really lucky to get another contract job as a library assistant after that which lasted for half a year. It paid really well and was great experience, but it was very stressful, both mentally and physically . That job ended, I went on EI, and of course when the job ended I had a really bad cold so I was in misery for about 3 weeks. No TMS symptoms started yet. I love to knit and crochet, and play video games, so i started doing all of those in between sending out resumes. Somewhere near the end of June, I hit my arm against the lip of a dryer, and it hurt a lot. On July 1st (Canada Day), I had a lot of pain in my forearms and right elbow. A friend bumped my arm on the bus in a way that shouldn't have hurt but it made me shriek. On Canada day I was with friends and my boyfriend walking around the city trying to enjoy myself, but my arms hurt.

    I immediately blamed knitting, because I had been working on a cable-knit sweater. I've been knitting for 10 years and have done things way more difficult, but it seemed like the culprit. Then I thought maybe it was the contract job I had been working, because the last 5 weeks involved sitting at a different desk than I was used to and lifting/moving a lot of small boxes with documents. I didn't have a family doctor at this time, so I went to a clinic. He said I might have tendonitis, to get an arm brace, and rest. I obeyed. I kept knitting, though with the brace on my arm.

    In September I got a really, really awesome job that is permanent and full-time. I still had the pain. It was mostly in my elbow, sometimes it was in my arm all the way to my hands, sometimes it was in my left elbow too (the none-dominant one). It didn't make any sense to me. My new job involves typing, proofreading, transcribing, formatting text, and also standing up things like binding several papers into a volume or modifying actual books. I also had health insurance now. I went to another doctor at another clinic who shamed me for not having a family doctor, wrote me a prescription, and said it could take a year or more to heal. He also said to go to physiotherapy. I called a relative who is a retired doctor (an internist) and he said it would likely go away after a while, maybe sooner than a year, but to take the anti-inflammatories.

    I went to physiotherapy. He thought I had a pinched nerve, spent a long time working on my shoulder blades and neck, had me on a pulse machine, then eventually lifting weights after 8 weeks. No change. I went to my parents' place for Christmas (they live in a different, but nearby, province) where I was stressed and cold all the time (that was another thing, I became really, really sensitive to cold. Cold hurt.). My parents keep the house cold and just bundle up in layers, and even though I warned them about my sensitivity, when my boyfriend and I arrived for the visit, the house was about 15c. And that was warmed up. I could get them to go up to 18c during the day. Anyway, this isn't about my parents, though they are definitely a source of stress. After getting back from the trip, my symptoms were worse than ever.

    In January, I finally got a family doctor. She was nice, but didn't seem to know what to do with me. She said I was fine, but if I liked I could go to physiotherapy, and she suggested anti-inflamatories. By this time, I didn't think they did anything for me aside from making me bloated. Also, another lovely new symptom; I don't drink often, but I noticed that when I did, even just having a beer, I would wake up at night with burning pain in my arms. It baffled me and anyone I told it to. That doesn't happen anymore, thankfully. Oh, she also had me get an x-ray of my elbow, it's perfectly normal. Doctors have also commented that my arm is strong.

    Work was still painful, but I just sort of suffered through it. I really need this job, my boyfriend is unemployed (it's still hard to find a job. I only got this one because a friend knows someone who works there and I have a couple of skills that are uncommon that they needed), so I started stressing more and more about that. I would spend most of my non-work time laying down, doing nothing, resting. I stopped knitting, crocheting and playing video games in December. I felt like I couldn't even hold up a book to read, I started listening to audio books.

    I went to physiotherapy again, RPW shockwave therapy, dry needling. She thought it was tendonitis, and then after 8 weeks she felt that I was cured. I still had pain, and she said "I don't know why you still have pain, there's nothing there. You're fine. You can exercise." I did 3 weeks of exercises for my forearm, then had excruciating pain one day in my left arm. Burning pain. All of a sudden my sensitivity to cold was gone, and now I couldn't tolerate anything on my arms. In March, when it was still cold outside. That lasted about a week (I found that I had no pain if I let my arms be cold). I went to massage therapy, who stopped the burning, then a chiropractor, and that was about 2 months. I saw a sports medicine doctor, and was having a good pain day that day. He didn't think I had tendonitis, said he could give me a cortisone shot if I still had a lot of pain in a couple of months but he thought I'd be okay.

    I stopped seeing the massage therapist and chiropractor when I read Dr. Sarno's book.

    I am convinced that I have TMS, especially when I look back at my symptoms, but I'm having a hard time changing my thought patterns around. I started knitting and playing video games again, and reading on the bus, and exercising, but the pain is still there. It doesn't reach the peaks it used to, but it still moves around, goes to different places. I can't settle on one method to deal with it, either, I don't know whether to ignore it, be indifferent to it, use positive thinking, yell at my subconscious, try to feel (whenever I try to focus on my feelings, I usually feel blankness or emptiness). I journal a lot - I love journalling - but I don't find that I'm finding anything. I read Dr. Sarno's book and Dr. Brady's book. I do affirmations, I try to take care of myself. But it's frustrating to try to be focusing on, say, formatting a text at work, and react or not react to the pain. I'm getting too into my responces, and I don't know how to adjust. I also still have incoming sources of stress; I'm moving in less than a week (just from one side of town to another, closer to my work) and my uncle just died.

    Anyway, thanks for reading. I read a few other posts that were about symptoms in the arm, and it helped me to know that other people have this too.
    Kathleen likes this.
  2. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Hi Elena,

    Welcome to this forum.

    Different techniques work for different people. You many have to experiment to find what works.

    You have a lot of stress in your life: a death in the family, a new job, an unemployed boyfriend, an impending move, and apparently a couple of polar bears for parents. Those are the things that can cause physical symptoms like you are having. And when you try to focus on your feelings, you come up blank.

    You may be feeling overwhelmed by stress. Look on the symptoms as a message that you need to attend to yourself with more patience and self-compassion. You're going through a difficult time and taking on a lot of responsibility. You're allowed to feel angry and resentful. You're allowed to feel overwhelmed. You're allowed to attend to your feelings, whatever they are.

    Take the time you need to let the dust settle. Things have a way of clarifying themselves over time, if you give them a chance.

    I hope this helps.

  3. Elena99

    Elena99 New Member

    Thank you for your reply. I still have a hard time connection emotions to the pain, but maybe it's because I'm still in the stressful situation. I do tell myself that it's okay to feel angry, or sad, etc. It just feels like I'm always thinking about TMS. The pain never goes away completely, it just sort of moves. I can be happy, and it's still there, somewhere.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Elena, maybe try to spend more time on pleasant distractions, things to do or think about that make you feel happy.
    Laugh as much and often as you can. I think we all need to keep in mind how great laughter is in healing.

    Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.

    With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.

    Laughter is good for your health
    • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
    • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
    • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
    • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
    Kathleen likes this.

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