Stress and RSI – I sympathize!

It is very easy to get stressed about RSI. The point is that I have always (as long as I lived, well, that’s about 32 years now) been a stressy person. Some people can deal better with stress than others. Now I’m very stressed because I need to go to the hospital in two weeks and they will remove my gall bladder. It makes me stressed and because of that my arm hurts like hell, which makes me even more stressed. I feel like a complete failure, because I can’t take good care of my family anymore. They have to do so much for me. I’m new at this list; I joined it an hour ago. I’m hoping to learn better to deal with my RSI, by reading notes of other people dealing with RSI because sometimes it depresses me so much. I always try to think of things I can do, but for some reason, I need my right arm for everything. I had to stop working half a year ago. My RSI didn’t recover. It just got worse and worse and worse. It’s hard to accept. It takes time.

Comment 1: Reading your message was like reading about my life–except I’m not going into gall bladder surgery, wow, I sure sympathize with you. I also am 32 years old (33 on April 2), I have 3 kids, all boys, ages 2, 6 and 10. My RSI started in June 1998 (workers comp), doctor took me off work mid-July, 1998. It got worse through physical therapy (focused on strengthening), and slowly spread from both hands, wrists and forearms to my shoulders, upper back, chest and neck (basically, my entire upper body). I’ve always been pretty active; although not at my ideal weight (could never lose the weight after the births of my kids). At work, I never took breaks–I HAD to finish what I was doing and not leave anything undone. My house used to be spic and span and I was so picky about everything being in its place.

I also had all of this energy and had all kinds of hobbies (sewing, crafts, cross-stitch, etc.), none of which I can do anymore. Three years before my injury, I made lots of wrong decisions (divorce, remarriage, another baby, and two moves across country, resulting in another divorce and custody dispute and threat of kidnapping of my 3-month old). Geeze!!! If all that’s not stressful, what is? I really believe that going through all that stress did something to my body, although I was pretty much stress-free about a year prior to the accident). I guess I was a prime candidate for an injury (not only from prior stressful life events, but my stubbornness and dedication to get everything done and not taking breaks – oh, and my posture was horrible at the computer, I used to recline in my chair with my feet propped up on a box underneath my desk).

I had a history of depression since 1994 and it was under control, but when all of this pain came and never left, day in and day out, and I couldn’t do anything with my hands, my depressions took a major dive and I became suicidal. My 3 boys keep me going, they need me, though I feel like I’m no help to them, except emotionally (and even then sometimes I’m not emotionally there for myself). The 2 oldest boys and their dad (my first husband and I are back together–for the kids, but this happened before my injury—he probably regrets it!) do ALL the housework, dishes, etc. I feel so helpless. If there’s a day I feel good, I start working and cleaning, and I eventually overdo it and am in major pain for 2 days. I’m learning to pace myself. It’s really hard, not only pacing, but accepting that I’ll have to live with this for the rest of my life, and I’m only 32!

I now finally have a doctor who is going to put me through a pain clinic and a physical therapist who specializes in chronic myofascial pain (will do massage therapy, and SLOW, GENTLE aerobic exercise. She recommends pool therapy. I am on several medications to control depression, anxiety (never had that until recently–STRESS!), pain, sleep, and I can’t remember what else. I’ve added a whole lot of vitamins, with extra Bs to help with stress. Talking about pacing…I’ve been typing too long, but I HAD to respond to you, you sounded so desperate, and I wanted you to know that you’re not alone. I, just like you, am searching for someone who understands, and I find this support group very helpful (because I find people like you! Let’s try to cheer each other up, okay? I am really behind on reading my e-mails, so if you had your surgery already, I hope it went well, and if not, good luck. My thoughts are with you. Take care.

Comment 2: I just read your letter. I sympathize with you as well. I’m not operated yet; tomorrow I have to go to the hospital. I will get back to you as soon as I have returned. My arm hurts real bad today, so, I can’t type much (So, I will get back to you in about two weeks, okay.

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