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 Going back to work – Need encouragement
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bhushan

India
16 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2008 :  23:25:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have been now with the TMS/Mind-body approach for ~ 7 weeks now and feeling great. Due to my “RSI” I was off work for last couple of months. I have utilised this time off from work to focus wholeheartedly on adopting TMS principles for overcoming “RSI” pain. At this moment, I am able to work on my laptop for 8+ hours per day with minimal discomfort, and even the discomfort (which comes sometimes) doesn’t bother me anymore.

I want to go back to work full time in order to complete my ‘return to normal life’ plan, therefore, while on this time off (even though I wasn’t on “live” office work) I replicated the kind of work -which I will have to do in office - to the extent it was possible. So I spent long hours making PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheet models. This gave me more confidence in TMS theory and that I have no physical problem. I feel confident of going back to work. I am going to join full time work from coming Monday (9th June) and this is where my doubt comes!

Although I am confident that I can manage work (after all I have been doing so for almost 3 weeks now) but there is a part of my mind which is trying to put me off by saying I am hurrying through my recovery or There is a physical problem and the pain will come back and the biggest I am going back to environment where I had negative memories and am conditioned to expect pain

Sometimes I get scared that the fear will come true; I have read Nate’s page (millions of time by now) where he described how he had to de-condition the office environment separately to complete his recovery.

So here goes my question to all of you who had TMS (esp RSI) and have gone back to work:

• What specific measures did you took to de-condition office environment? What were your tools to counter the mind from playing the old tricks again?

I also feel some pressure from the work place because I am going back and they will be expecting me to work for long hours (I am not scared of it, instead I actually want to do so to prove that I never had any physical problem) but I can feel the pressure, maybe its self inflicted but I am scared what if I fail this time?

I need all the encouragement I can from all of you. I know I am capable of doing it especially since I have worked extensively on laptop for some time now but still any encouragement, any tips will help build my confidence to 100% (from 90% currently).

All you guys have been superb so far, I had that doubt of string like sensations in my arms; now I don’t bother about it and it is so much lesser already. Your support has helped me so far, now it is the final hurdle!

armchairlinguist

USA
1397 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2008 :  16:34:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The main thing is 1) don't expect anything bad to happen, because it probably won't, and 2) if it does, remember you've gotten through much worse before, and it can be dealt with.

I used basically the same tricks in the work environment to decondition, it just took a bit longer. If you are already in the physical environment (working actively on laptop) you may not have any issues at all anyway.

You'll do great, whatever happens. Confidence in yourself is a big part of completing the TMS healing process, so go out there and live it up. :)

--
It's not 100% belief that's required, but 100% commitment.
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bhushan

India
16 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2008 :  20:53:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your suggestions!

@ACL: You are right, confidence is the key. Yesterday I visualised how much of work I have done in recent past and compared it with couple of months back; I am feeling lot mre confidence now and the minor discomfort of yesterday is gone!. I come through so much and I am sure that the last bit will also fall in place.

@alexis: I am going back to the old job. I love that work, I find it challenging and interesting. Now that the 'RSI' demon is firmly crushed it should allow me to focus only on work. And work hours are typically 65+ with occasional stretching up to 90. And your suggestion of having 'a being' to get angry at is great. During my initial recovery period I used to get angry (mentally!) at one of my former boss (whom I hated a lot). Now I dont find myself doing it regularly. But yes, its worth the effort even though it may sound silly it works really well.
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Peg

USA
284 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2008 :  09:27:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow! bhushan, you'r feeling great after 7 weeks. I'm impressed. If you can learn about this mind body process and get good results, you'll have no problem returning to work. Just keep reminding yourself of what was really causing your pain and try not to worry about symptoms that try to sneak in.

I agree with ACL and Alexis. Working too much (unless it's what you really want) could cause some resentment, leading to a physical symptom. But confidence is key. You have every reason to be confident with your dramatic improvement, proving that the cause was psychogenic.

I've been back to work for 2 years and am doing well. If I get some discomfort, I try to figure out what's bugging me and journal, talk or exercise. But I refuse to give in to the symptom and miss work.


Alexis--great idea to create "someone" to be angry at. You said you laughed while typing it. Well I laughed reading it. I see how it could work.

Good luck. Enjoy the ablity to be returning to work that you like. Another Sarno Success story.

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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bhushan

India
16 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2008 :  23:18:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the encouraging words Peg!

I too get some old symptoms back sometimes, but it no longer bothers me. It doesn't stop me from doing my normal work: typing, open sachets, reading newspaper, lifting weights, cuttin vegs etc. Everything which once I was scared of doing, is now possible!

I am looking forward to full time work now. I am aware that 'it' may come back but I am 100% confident it cannot defeat me and stop me from doing my work.
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HilaryN

United Kingdom
878 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2008 :  13:13:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
bhushan,

It's wonderful to hear of your recovery, and that you enjoy your work. You'll do great.

Hilary N
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bhushan

India
16 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2008 :  22:01:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Warning: Long post, but any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot Hilary for the encouraging words. You were the first people I got in touch with when I became aware of the mind-body nature of RSI! (apart from Nate's website, it was your posting on RSI Uk forum which guided me towards TMS)

Here is an update on my first week at work:

I have been now working for full 3 days (before that, for 2 days I was unstaffed), in terms of laptop usage it was consistently high throughout the week and the results.....I have done great!! No pain in the fingers (which used to be my biggest problem earlier) and I used no external keyboard/laptop stand etc and no silly stretching breaks (I will come to it again a later in the post) either. And I have clocked more number of hours than ever in the last 3 months. Not only do I work in office but I come back home and again use my laptop (when I need to!). Sometimes some minor pain and tingling comes in thumb (when I woke up in morning, which means no physical basis!) but I disrespect and it goes away!

So this was the good news but there is some bad news also I had no pain but yesterday I started getting some of the 'RSI' sensations back. Those strange wiry feelings and I can feel at that time the lack of blood flow in my hands. The good thing, I didn't stop working and it did not become worse. It stayed constant BUT it stayed. Now morning I am feeling better. One of the reasons why I feel it came was because I haven't worked so much on laptop for some time, so increase in activity means that the old 'conditioned' response tried coming back again. This is why I didn't stop working because I know it will go away.

However, there is a the second issue which is bothering me. Actually I was the poster boy of 'RSI' in office. The first one to have got it and took time off also. I used to be the resident expert on ergonomics earlier . Now when I went back to work I saw so many people using ergonomic aid while working and I used none. Couple of people even made some comments on it, almost indicating that it will not be long before I get the 'RSI' back if I don't use the ergonomic aids. My mind caught this thing and whenever I look at those laptop stands, external keyboards I am reminded of the physical nature of the pain..again. I know that there is no physical basis..after all how can I improve so much if that was the case? Physical pain doesn't improve like this without even taking any medications/massage. But a part of my mind is fearful… it says 'start using the ergonomic aids or else you will get it back again'. I am some what scared, I have one of those TMS traits where I always feel that good things will not last and I will have the same problems again (that is the reason why I keep saying 95% cured, why I have not posted my success story yet) I am scared of failing….again…..

One thing which I noticed was that I stretched my hands yestrday for the first time and I got those wirey sensations and then using laptop became more difficult. It was almost as if the stretching told my mind that there is something wrong in the hands! Has anyone else observed the same thing?

Please all you guys who had fought with TMS, what you tell your mind in this situation? Should I start using some ergonomics aids (it is not going to make whole lot of difference, it may just stop those tongues from wagging)? How to maintain the success is my question now...
Thanks a lot everyone, without your constant encouragement I could never have improved so much.

P.S. I wrote the above in one sitting on laptop using touch typing and no discomfort! I am amazed at how easy it is to use the laptop and how much free life can be without the stupid pain.
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HilaryN

United Kingdom
878 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2008 :  10:33:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi bhushan,

Yes, I remember, and I'm glad I helped you find out about TMS.

Wow, it sounds like you're really going for it!

When I got pains during my recovery period, like yours, it would be better by morning. Unlike you, I eased off the typing when it happened – I took a gradual approach to going back to typing full-time. But neither approach is the “correct” way, it just depends on you.

Tricky about the ergonomics, I know! But you know it hasn't made any difference to you.

quote:
I always feel that good things will not last and I will have the same problems again

You might be interested to read Louise Hay's “You can heal your life” - she talks about this a little in her book.

Keep it up – you're doing really well.

Hilary N
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bhushan

India
16 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2008 :  23:11:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Hilary.

I will go through that book. For me, the brute force approach has worked as it allowed to to force my mind to accept the conscious beliefs. The remaining pain/discomfort also goes away once I stop doing the activity, so I feel comfortable with my situation now.

On ergonomics I am still confused. I tried using it for sometime today in office and dint like it one bit. It somehow reminds me of RSI and is actually less confortable than using the laptop

Maybe I will use it..or may be not !

but thanks again, encouragement from others on this forum is a timely reminder to keep going ahead with the TMS program.
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campbell28

80 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2008 :  07:25:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I gave up all the ergonomics. they were too strong a reminder of the RSI and actually are completely pointless. Even when I was still at work - with the RSI - one of the guys who did ergonomic assessment told me the latest recommendation for avoiding RSi was just to type completely normally on a flat keyboard with no wrist props etc.

I would just leave them - let other people in the office do what they like - tell them you're fine without them now. I think they are so associated with the physical problems they just introduce doubt into your head again.
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