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 10 year computer RSI sufferer
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dannord

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2008 :  18:06:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi all,

I have been battling computer related RSI that runs from elbows to fingers for 10 years. It started 2 weeks into my first software programming job out of college, and has been a constant disability since. I went through ergonomics, biofeedback, drugs, acupuncture, physical therapy, 5 jobs, Carpal tunnel surgery, a year of rest, voice Software, foot pedals, hands free mice, you name it.

I finally gave up software and changed careers 2 years ago to a more Sales focused job and still couldn't keep up with the typing. The only thing that has worked is having a full time computer assistant who sits with me and does what I say paired with a tablet PC that does handwriting recognition. Its dreadfully embarrassing in the workplace, slow, frustrating and just plain no fun. I got a rhythm though, got back on my feet and all went well for the last 2 years until a few months ago my throat began hurting (i talk all day now) and I was diagnosed with acid reflux.

With no arms and no voice, my future looks bleak and it has already been bad for almost a decade now.

I have officially given up on western medicine (my parents are doctors) and begun to explore alternatives. I stumbled on to Sarno and this newsgroup on Monday, read Sarno's book today. Does it really work? I mean, I have had non-stop, permanent, 24/7, life altering pain for 10 years. It has been my constant nemesis, battle, and focus.

It seems too good to be true.

I definitely have the personality traits, the onset of pain coincides with a rough first job out of college and my history of back spasms, shin splints and now reflux seems to fit the symptom imperative. I want to believe but can someone recover after this long of continuous computer pain?

-Dan

Edited by - dannord on 10/24/2008 14:29:54

scottjmurray

266 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2008 :  01:03:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
fortunately, it's very likely there is nothing wrong with you dan. :) the journey has just begun.

---
author of tms-recovery . com

(not sh!t, champagne)
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HilaryN

United Kingdom
878 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2008 :  02:08:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Daniel,

I had RSI for 13 years. I was completely dependent on voice recognition for 10 years - I couldn't use a keyboard or mouse for very long without getting pains.

I was happy using the voice recognition as I was able to customise it to do more or less whatever I needed.

But then, like you, I got the symptom imperative - but for me it was mysterious pains all over the body if I sat in front of a computer for more than a few minutes.

Here's my success story:

http://tmshelp.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1322

Welcome to the forum and all the best with your recovery.

btw it's not a good idea to post your email address - there are automated tools which comb websites to take email addresses and use them to send spam.

People from this forum can email you by clicking on your profile and clicking the link to send you an email, so no need to put your email address in the post.

You can remove the address from your post by clicking the edit button (the icon with a pencil through it) and deleting the address.

Hilary N

Edited by - HilaryN on 10/24/2008 02:11:51
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dannord

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2008 :  14:39:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for responding so quickly and the spam advice. It means a lot to me.

I had my first experience today feeling more arm pain while I was angry. I was late to an important meeting and my arms mere killing me.

It makes sense and I will start the recovery process today.

-Dan
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Peg

USA
284 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2008 :  20:04:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

"It seems too good to be true."

I thought the same thing, but it is true. After reading HBP, I read every thing I could get a hold of that had to do with the mind body connection and every bit of it supported Dr. Sarno's theory.

"I want to believe but can someone recover after this long of continuous computer pain?"

Yes. While I can't speak directly to "computer pain". Others on the forum have recovered after years of symptoms. Some of us have recovered from 10, 20 and 30 years of back pain. Some have had several failed back surgeries.

Give it try. Stick with it. You can recover.

Good luck

Peg

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei
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dannord

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2008 :  13:02:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I started typing again with the knowledge that I am not damaging myself. It still hurts but as I talked at my symptoms some really bizarre stuff happened. I got a sharp headache as I got past my 20th word. I got an old sciatica flare up in my left leg after my 10th paragraph. I got every old symptom I have ever had. My hands went ice cold afterwards. I mean freezing. No blood. All this has turned me into a believer.

I found that typing my journal entries instead of hand writing them lets me get in touch with my emotions while getting over the fear and TMS associated with typing. Its a double attack.

My breakthrough is realizing that my parents divorce coincides with my first job out of college and heavy typing. I began repressing emotions after that. I never expressed anger at either parent or the step parents that came shortly thereafter. My first job was torture, my boss was evil, and I wanted to quit, but I didn't and I didn't let out my feelings. I suffered alone without support from my distracted family. This created a reservoir of rage as all as a negative Pavlovian conditioning to both computers and work.

More as my recovery continues...
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HilaryN

United Kingdom
878 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2008 :  15:50:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good for you, Dan. Try and let out those feelings. Keep us posted on your progress.

Hilary N
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winnieboo

USA
269 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2008 :  19:52:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To answer your question: Yes, the Sarno approach works. It's good and it's true, but it IS work. However, it's worth it.

I've been psychosomatic since I was teen but didn't realize it until I was 47, which was 18 months ago. I hit rock bottom when I received several devastating diagnoses that included herniated cervical discs and fibro. This was on top of migraines, chronic sinus infections (which led to surgery) and chronic reflux.

A year ago, I went into psychodynamic therapy with an excellent therapist, and it hasn't been pleasant exactly, but I am so much better. I have beat the pain by 95%. A great bonus: My husband and kids think I am changing and to me that is huge! I am less obsessive about everything and I'm just not angry all the time. I HEAR people, I'm happier, I'm functioning, I'm doing the things I love to do, I'm less depressed. So, the Sarno approach can be swift or less swift--as it was in my case, but I'd have to say, go for it, stick with it, go through your 'dark night of the soul,' force yourself to focus on emotions and turn away from the physical.

Edited by - winnieboo on 10/31/2008 15:41:18
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basil

51 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2008 :  17:03:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Dan

Sorry it has been a long journey to finding the TMS diagnosis. I also had RSI and with a lot of pain both arms have just got over my first major relapse since been pain free for 5 months.

Believe me you have found the answer to your problem, it took 6 months to convince me but I got there in the end! I am not religious, spiritual or believe in any kind of hocus pocus but I believe in the power of the mind and that not everything is the way we are told it is.

You have come to the right place, read Hilary's and Alexis's posts as they helped me a lot :) Hi by the way.

Good luck, in fact no luck is involved... Enjoy your recovery.
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HilaryN

United Kingdom
878 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2008 :  18:10:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Basil, nice to see you back.

Hilary N
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pault

USA
169 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2008 :  06:35:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dannord you have two parents that are Doctors! I have a dad who is an M.D. and that is a very big tms challange in it's self, as it is very enraging to the unconscious mind to have to deal with such lofty standards,not to mention the over abundance of knowledge that also makes it very difficult to think phychologically and not physically.I beat tms and there is always a new symptom on the horizon,but with the Sarno information and cofidence you can win the pain war.Remember , the fear of doing damage is the tms controller but no damage is ever done. Study the book(s) and feel well soon. Paul.
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bhushan

India
16 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2008 :  22:57:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Dan,

TMS works though I am not surprised that you find it too good to be true. I am another example of some one who overcome 4 years of RSI within 2 months. Its been long sicne I posted here, been busy with work and lots of typing!

From 5 min typing with pain now I can type 14+ hours a day with no pain!!

I did start typing my success story but could not finish it, planing to finish it soon and publish it here. These days I get no pain at all and occasionaly when it does come (very minor discomfort), its very easy to ignore by associating with a psychological cause and imagining blood flowing to the arms and fingers (read Fred Amir's book, I found it very useful)

Finally, keep typing, just imagine how good life will be once you take ownserhip of it and live a pain free!

It is possible!

Bhushan
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Redsandro

Netherlands
217 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2008 :  06:10:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Dan.

Your story sounds very familiar. I also had voice software and foot pedals at some point. But no surgery. It was mentioned but I came into contact with TMS ideas in that time.

In short, RSI for about 6-7 years, cured in about 4 months of dayly efford.

Did you read my letter? It's very genuine.

I can't really find my success story back. But here's my happyness topic. :P

____________
TMS is the hidden language of the soul.

Edited by - Redsandro on 11/04/2008 06:12:29
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dannord

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2008 :  16:35:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you everyone for your kind words and for your support. It means a lot to me.

I am happy to report that I am on the road to recovery and have no doubt in my mind that i will be a success story.

I have been doing the emotional work and i have been slowly adding typing back into my life. It is hard, no joke, I had to pull back to part time at my job and work from home just to get all of the rage, crying, journaling, etc. out of my system. But it is unbelievable. I am now at around 2 hours a day with minor to medium pain but no long lasting post-computer use symptoms. I am adding an additional 20 minutes a day and hope to get back to full strength as soon as possible.

I gotta tell you, it feels like getting out of pain prison. Physical AND emotional. I mean, I lost age 20-30. 10 years of pain and depression. It is incredibly exciting to think of the future I have in front of me. I hope to post soon when my recovery is complete. Thanks again everyone. You all helped when nobody else would.


-Dan

Edited by - dannord on 12/12/2008 12:49:44
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HilaryN

United Kingdom
878 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2008 :  12:20:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yippee! I love reading of others' success. Keep going, Dan! I look forward to reading more of your progress.

Hilary N
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RageSootheRatio

Canada
430 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2008 :  12:45:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's great, Dan ! You've probably already seen Rachel's "RSI homage to Dr Sarno's" site, but it was always a boost to me (although I didn't have RSI, but a different pain problem). Anyway, just in case you haven't seen it:

http://podolsky.everybody.org/rsi/




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Redsandro

Netherlands
217 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2008 :  07:57:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That is great to hear, dannord!
I wish you good luck on your progress.

When all TMS has subsided, please write us a story :)

____________
TMS is the hidden language of the soul.
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Sky

USA
96 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2008 :  17:14:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Too many messages to read them all but dannord, I had crippling RSI for 2 years before reading Sarno's book in about 2 days, putting it down, taking a year off from college almost immediately, and finding my pain to have vanished 99.9% since then.

It had one recurrence about a year and a half after reading Sarno' book. I got in touch with a TMS doc (forget his name, he wrote the book where he's jogging on the cover), and he reassured me of the TMS diagnosis, and, voila! No more pain again.

Simply amazing.

Message me if you want to hear more details. This is not BS. This is not me lying to myself and actually feeling pain in my hands from typing. I have zero. I used to have tons (I was using a keyboard that looked like it belonged on a space ship. Each finger moved about a few milimeters to hit every key on the keyboard. And they still hurt!)
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DrGUID

United Kingdom
42 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2008 :  06:27:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My testimonial is on here somewhere. I'm a programmer, so use a computer for 100% of my time in work.

I'm now pretty much completely cured, and was able to carry on working full time. You're right, it was too good to be true at first, but it does work.
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dannord

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2008 :  11:16:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Its been 10 days since I last wrote and I am continuing to recover at a steady pace. Its great. I feel that wonderful emotion that I haven't felt in ten years: hope. I can honestly start thinking about what the rest of my life will look like without having to take pain into consideration.

I am not fully recovered - probably like 65% - but it keeps getting better. I can now be at or around the computer all day, typing, emailing, mousing, etc. I still get spikes of pain as work gets stressful but if I just stay focused on what is going on emotionally and keep working, it will subside.

I think that this battle is a complete personal journey that requires all the tools and creativity that each person can bring to it but I wanted to share a few things that have worked for me. Most of this stuff is in the myriad books suggested on this site read and I don't pretend to know what actually works but these have been the things that have helped me out over the last few weeks.

- Working from home. I asked and was allowed to work from home for the last 2 weeks which allowed me to fully control my environment, simplify my life, do my emotional work while still working. I was contemplating quitting my job and was afraid they wouldn't allow me to but I got up the courage and was surprised to see my wish granted. This has been a nice halfway step.

- Typing my journal entries. This has been a nice way to focus on emotions while doing the activity that is "supposed to" hurt when avoiding them

- Rewards. I have really focused on celebrating the minor victories. Little treats, a candybar here, a new video game there, the promise of a vacation once all symptoms retreat.

- Meditation. Knowing it isn't a cure or a form of "rest" for my hands/arms/wrists has helped this become a great way to get prepared for journaling my past angers. 15/30 minutes with something like Pachelbel canon on repeat imagining walking around my own private island.

- The anger list. Having every little anger/annoyance past and present in one place is good

- Simplification. I offloaded everything I could. Everything. Feeding the dog, taking out the trash, driving into work.

- Stop stewing. If something is eating at me. Popping up in my mind over and over again. i don't push it away as I used to, I either journal, talk to the person, write an email, make a decision, apologize, set a deadline, just get it resolved in my head.

I appreciate everyone's support and success stories. I will check in again in a few more weeks.

-Dan

Edited by - dannord on 12/12/2008 12:50:15
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HilaryN

United Kingdom
878 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2008 :  12:12:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Dan.

Hilary N
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