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quantguy

14 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2008 :  13:27:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone,

It's encouraging to hear so many success stories. I just bought Sarno's Mindbody Prescription, and gave it a fast read, I'm still in the process of visiting doctors, actually this is the last week of appointments that I have with an ortho surgeon and a chiropractor to see what they say.

I have several problems right now and I feel like my life is falling apart, if it weren't for my fiancee I don't know what would I have done so far.
I think I have TMS, I'll say why.

Background story: I was a software developer for 6 years with no pain in shoulder arms or anything, the only time I went to the doctor was to get a shot since they required it for grad school. I decided to change jobs in October 2007, not as a programmer but more as a "quant" working with traders and mathematicians. Since the start I felt that I was completely out of my element, I don't like it much, everyone in the group is super smart, AND stubborn, they keep arguing and yelling at each other, the senior quant that I work with likes to look over my shoulder every hour to see what I'm doing in comparison to my previous jobs in which I was pretty much independent and drives me crazy. He is very adamant in that way he likes things done and since I don't like to argue at all I always agree and do it his way.
I cannot change jobs right now since I'm a H1 worker (temporary visa worker), and besides that I have a grandparent with advanced Alzheimer's back in my home country and I don't know when I'll be able to see him before he dies.
I'm also in the middle of planning my wedding late this year, with a lot of stress. On top of that my fiancee has her own health problems that have been happening for the last 2 years and that might be contributing to my general state of mind.

Symptoms history:
Early April 2008: I had tingling and numbness in my right forearm and part of my hand (ring and pinky finger) and also I couldn't move my arm above my shoulder. I went to the doctor and said shoulder tendonitis, recommended physical therapy + shot cortisone for the shoulder and that I should stretch my arm every hour for the tingling to dissapear
April/May 2008: After physical therapy I recovered all the range of motion in my shoulder, and after taking some vacation and stretching regularly, and using my lefy hand the tingling in my right hand almost disappeared but I got a weird constant pain in my shoulders.
Early June 2008: I went to a chiropractor twice that cracked my back and neck, I felt dizzy so I didn't go anymore and after a couple days I got some sort of anxiety attack thinking the guy screwed me up even more.
June 2008: I went to the doctor with tingling in my head and neck pain, they send MRI to the brain and neck and everything showed up normal, the tingling in my head and neck disappeared a few days later but I got insomnia and still have it.

Currently: So right now, I have some sort of muscular pain in my shoulders and arms, I have full range of motion so it cannot be bursitis/tendonitis, I got an MRI to my shoulder and the doctor said that I have impingement but the weird thing is I can lift my arm and not feel any sharp pain. I cannot sleep on my sides otherwise I start having pain in the back of my shoulders, the shoulder pain in the front and sides gets worse after hours working on the computer, the arms pain sometimes disappears and sometimes comes back with a vengeance. On top of that I have insomnia in which I barely sleep 5 hours per night, I got to bed at 11pm and at 4am I'm waking up and cannot go back to sleep. Strangely it seems that I always wake up in the middle of a dream (not a nightmare), kinda like I feel it's real and I want to do something and end up waking up because I'm moving my body.

I made an appointment with another orthopedic surgeon, seeing him on Monday and I'll show him the MRI to see what he says. I also have an appointment with a psychologist (not a TMS specialist) on Wednesday to see what the hell is going on with me. I'm debating in seeing a neurologist to discard any nerve issue.



Edited by - quantguy on 07/27/2008 09:00:35

iyusaf

USA
57 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2008 :  14:04:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You were hired as the new quant guy so my hunch is that you're probably as smart as any one of your peers. These guys are very smart by your own admission. How could they possibly let anyone less capable slip through?

However, it still sounds like you're between a rock and a hard place and it's no wonder there is more tension in your life now than when you were a software developer. Once you rule out any structural problem with your medical doctor, you might want to read The Mindbody Prescription slowly and carefully. You may end up writing your own TMS success story.
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mk6283

USA
272 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2008 :  07:56:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What are your symptoms? What have your studies shown? Clearly, you have all the reasons you need to have TMS.

Best,
MK
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quantguy

14 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2008 :  09:01:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I updated the main posting

One more thing, I took another week of vacation again this last week to see if I'd improve with rest, and did some exercise, nothing hurt when I was doing cardio and doing minor weight lifting, but after a while I'd get pain in all my arms, like if my muscles were cramping after a few hours of exercising and remaining cramped for the rest of the day.

And I could actually sleep 8 hours during the first 2 or 3 days of my vacation, but it seems that once I realized that I needed to go back to work soon I started having the insomnia again.

Edited by - quantguy on 07/27/2008 09:07:48
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armchairlinguist

USA
1397 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2008 :  13:02:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
I could actually sleep 8 hours during the first 2 or 3 days of my vacation, but it seems that once I realized that I needed to go back to work soon I started having the insomnia again.


It seems so cryatal clear that this is related to your feelings around your work that it shouldn't be too hard to convince yourself it's not physical. Insomnia is a classic TMS equivalent (also often related to anxiety which is another).

Hopefully making the connection will be enough for you for now, and you'll be able to continue work without the symptoms, but ultimately you may want to consider changing your line of work again -- it does not sound like this one suits you even though I'm sure you are smart and perform well.

--
What were you expecting?
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quantguy

14 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2008 :  19:33:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, I definitely know that my insomnia is related to my anxiety from work and hurting, but I haven't been able to dominate it yet. I've tried getting up, drinking warm milk and reading but I don't seem able to go back to bed once I wake up, my mind is racing.

My pain is probably also associated to my fiancee's health, today she was hurting bad with migraine and back pain, and my arms were hurting more today than yesterday. We have spend all Sunday in the apartment feeling sorry for each other, lol. After reading Sarno's book I'd definitely say that this is counterproductive since unconsciously we are mad at each other for been sick.
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Benny

Venezuela
5 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2008 :  19:50:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Do not be sorry for being sick: 1. You are not sick, you are feeling bad. 2. It is not your fault nor your fiance's.

May be her migrane and back pain are also TMS. I understand your insomnia, I suffered it too. I would wake up in the middle of the night, my mind racing and unable to sleep. On top of it after I would wake up an excriciating pain would start on my right knee. What I did was get out of bed (to calm myself and not wake up my wife), out of the room and sit in a couch and think about what was bothering me, trying to understand the last dream/nightmare I had and what was it related to. I tried to calm myself, thinking that tomorrow is another day and that I would need to rested to be productive. Focused on the psycological rather than the physical and after being calm went back to bed. This process would take me anywhere between half an hour to an hor and a half. But it worked. This happened to me only last sunday, and today (after a week) of really digging in I am much better.

Benny
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armchairlinguist

USA
1397 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2008 :  08:48:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
since unconsciously we are mad at each other for been sick


I'm not sure this is necessarily true, though it's possible the unconscious mind is angry about having to take care of the other person instead of being taken care of, but I doubt this is a main factor. Not that sitting at home feeling sorry for each other is good, but if you are not very far into TMS work yet it may take a while before you can tackle everything.

However, I would bet that you both have TMS.

Insomnia is a tough one. I occasionally wake up in the middle of the night as well, and it took me a while to figure out how to handle it.

The key is that you need to understand that this is all the same thing. Your insomnia and your pain and all of it are TMS. Once you start to have success with the pain, your anxiety level may ratchet down and the insomnia may go away. If not, there is some insomnia-specific work out there.

--
What were you expecting?
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quantguy

14 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2008 :  09:44:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, last night I woke up around 4:30am as usual, but this time I got up, sat on the couch, thought about it for a while and could go back to sleep at 6am for about an hour until 7am when my fiancee woke me up to go to get ready for work, that was refreshing!

I don't recall been able to go back to bed after waking up during the last 3 weeks of insomnia, except for those 3 days during vacation, I'm especially proud of myself since it was already bright outside when I fell asleep, that means I was able to relax a lot.
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quantguy

14 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2008 :  08:42:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Symptoms update:

I haven't had any right shoulder pain in several days (almost a week now) but the left shoulder still bothers every now and then, strange since I'm right handed and I drive and work on the computer mostly with my right hand.

My insomnia got a little bit better, now I sleep around 5 to 6 hours per night compared to the 4 hours that I was sleeping 10-15 days ago I feel much better, sometimes I can sleep for 6-7 hours, sometimes like last night I could only sleep for 5 and I woke up anxious about work at 4:15 am, weird.

What I have now is pain in my fingers! 2 weeks ago I started having some burning pain in arms, hands and fingers, so far most of the pain is gone except in my finger tips that hurt when I use the mouse and type. I have to say that the pain is not constant, I can have it for 3/4 days and then it's gone and then it'll appear again after a couple days, rinse and repeat. I wonder if any of the exercises that I'm doing is preventing something to heal?
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ChrisSC

25 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2008 :  10:56:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:

What I have now is pain in my fingers!.....I wonder if any of the exercises that I'm doing is preventing something to heal?



This is the symptom imperative, also called "TMS on the run". You have developed a new symptom as your initial symptoms are disappearing because your unconscious mind is desperate and it's original strategy isn't working. Most people that are on this forum go through this phase of recovery--it is a GOOD sign for this to happen, it basically PROVES the problem has been TMS all along.

Your exercises aren't preventing something from healing, because there is nothing you need to heal. You could not possibly have injured all of your fingers and you already know you have a history of TMS... this new pain is mind-induced and not a physical problem. You also say that the pain is not constant. Sporadic pain is much more consistent with TMS than a physical problem.

The symptoms moving around are hard to deal with at first. It almost feels like you are moving backwards, but I assure you aren't.

Congratulations on the progress you've made so far. Having "TMS on the run" means that YOU are on the offensive now, and if you keep doing the TMS work you should continue to get better overall.
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Peg

USA
284 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2008 :  18:26:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't know what a "quant" is but the job is obviously more stressful for you than your previous one. If it's impossible to change jobs now perhaps you could change the way you look at it.

Is there something that can be learned from this situation? Even if it's to learn what you don't want to do.

But perhaps there's more that can be learned, such as; are there skills you will aquire that can be used in the future? Will you learn that you ARE as smart as the others? Will you learn important people skills-how to work with others at different levels?

Just some ideas to help make things more tolerable.

Also, you have a lot going on in your life right now. Are you taking care of yourself and your needs? Are you communicating with your fiancee about the stresses of planning a wedding? I know how stressful that can be!!

Watch out for the impingement diagnosis. I had an uneccessary surgery because of a "supposed" shoulder impingement. Didn't do a thing to help my shoulder/upper back/neck pain. I had TMS and recovered only after applying Dr. Sarno's theory to my life over a period of time.

Glad you've made some progress with the insomnia. Only other suggestion I have is to write about the things that are stressing you out (job, sick grandparent, wedding plans, physical symptoms, etc). I have done this at night and it has allowed me to return to sleep.

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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armchairlinguist

USA
1397 Posts

Posted - 08/15/2008 :  15:31:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
strange since I'm right handed and I drive and work on the computer mostly with my right hand.



"Strange" pain is a great indicator that the pain is TMS.

You are making great progress. Keep it up.

--
What were you expecting?
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quantguy

14 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2008 :  10:11:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Symptoms update:

*No shoulder pain (either right or left) whatsoever in more than a week. YEAH!!!
*The insomnia is about the same, sleeping around 6 hours per night which I guess is normal for a lot of people, I don't feel tired in the mornings anymore though.
*The pain in my fingers is less now, I can still feel it a little bit but I haven't been in real pain since Sunday the 17th.

New symptom:
* Throat has been bothering for the last 10 days, it's better now but the worst was last weekend when I had pain when swallowing. I'm still debating if it's an allergy/viral infection or globus histericus, but since I seem to be recovering slowly I'll give it some more time.
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Peg

USA
284 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2008 :  10:34:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Congratulations on your physical improvements.

However, I think rather than a symptom update, an emotional update would be more helpful for you.

How are you handling all the things going on in your life right now?

It doesn't have to be done on the forum, but I hope you are focusing on the psychological rather than the physical realm. If you focus on the physical symptoms rather than deal with your emotions and stresses, the TMS may continue and just move around (symptom imperative). Paying attention to the physical just feeds the TMS.

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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quantguy

14 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2009 :  16:17:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just an update, I haven't had any pain or problems in the last 4 months.

This sh!t works!!!
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Peg

USA
284 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2009 :  19:26:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, it sure does!!!

Great news quantguy!

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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TotalStrangerFigure

USA
24 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2009 :  14:31:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi,quantguy,

To what do you attribute your success - just knowledge, or have you done journaling, therapy, etc.?
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HilaryN

United Kingdom
878 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2009 :  16:23:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the update - don't forget to post your story on the Success Stories forum:

http://www.tmshelp.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=4

Hilary N
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