Stress and RSI

A point to make on the stress notion, it is very easy to get stressed about RSI. This may seem obvious but if you can take the attitude that it is for the most part curable, treatable and preventable, channel the energy from stress into action to solve your problems. (I am diabetic but never got stressed about it even at the onset because I knew that there were many diabetics out there who were living normal lives, I just had to figure out what changes I’d have to make and carried on from there). Frustration is very hard to get around if you are hitting problems with employers not understanding so you should again take the energy and put it to good use, namely getting backup from more authoritative sources to take to your employers. I do not know the legal issues but I’m sure there are people on this list who can reel of health and safety regulations like a mantra. I have always taken the attitude that stress is unhelpful and non productive and so I always look for more productive uses of my time. Even if it’s just sharing experiences on this list, the support and suggestions from the group are positive results.

Comment 1: I just read your note, yes; 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 2: With the greatest of respect to you and assuming I am correct, I see that you have had pains for about 3 weeks. Some of us have been struggling for years (myself for three years), have taken a lot of ‘action’ and it is still the greatest of challenges. Also, while we all have a responsibility to manage our own stress, our personalities differ. It /isn’t/ always curable, treatable although it is for the most part preventable if one takes care. It is manageable but the manageability for a lot of us has come at the cost of a job we loved, lower pay, dependence on others, life style changes (in many ways a loss). It can take years to come to terms with such changes. Some of us don’t have partners to help, unsympathetic families, unsympathetic employers etc. Pain itself is stressful putting the body into a flight or fight response in spite of itself. The kind of pain some of us has required the use of morphine at times. So please, don’t tell me not to get stressed out about it. If I could have, I wouldn’t have.

Comment 3: I hope you find this list gives you as much support as I found it gave me – even just knowing I was not alone was a great help. “ 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 can sympathise with that, but the flip-side is that you have probably done a huge amount taking care of them in the past and now it is your turn to be taken care of for a little while. I hope they can do as good a job as I’m sure you have done, and will do again in the future. Everyone needs to be taken care of at some time. I don’t believe its “failure” – it’s simply human (though I’ll admit that integrating that into my beliefs did take a little time!). Good luck and be good to yourself.

Comment 4: Sorry to hear you’re finding things so tough. Take time out to be good to yourself and let your family help you. From my experience (and others may have different views), decreasing your stress is the most important thing. I have found hot baths, relaxation tapes and aromatherapy all helpful in promoting relaxation and blood flow to the affected areas. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, and if you’re waking during the night, get something to help ease the pain/relax your muscles (I found Mycyndol-sic-helpful) and look after yourself! We’ve all been there and we’re here for you! Take care and all the best.

Comment 5:  I haven’t heard of Mycyndol-sic. Is it a prescription drug?

Comment 6: I’m from New Zealand where it is an over the counter product from the chemist. It was recommended by a friend (who was a nurse as a muscle relaxant, i.e. stops muscles going into spasm (which is one of pet theories on RSI). Used for migraine sufferers, severe menstruation pain relief and brilliant for a fabulous night’s sleep when my RSI is playing up badly. NB it does send you to sleep! I find it really helpful for bringing it under control, in conjunction with relaxation-which I am a fanatic on!-as was the only solution that helped me turn my life around. I really recommend it if you can find Mycyndol, can’t remember the exact spelling sorry.

Comment 7: First up let me apologise for sounding like a 5 minute expert, not my intention at all. I think the point that I intended to make is that sometimes you have to look at what you have got and try to accept it, and then make the best of it. I’m not for a moment suggesting that this is an easy perspective to take, I guess I’d try to set it as a goal to work towards, I realise it’s not just an attitude you can switch on at a whim when someone points it out. And you’re quite correct, I have not suffered the extreme pain that RSI can cause. So I’ve got no excuse there, apologies to all who felt I belittled their struggles, I can only hope I never get to understand firsthand what you have gone through and/or continue to go through every day.

Comment 8: The reason I post as soon as someone mentions “stress” is precisely that. When my back goes into spasm half way up the stairs the last thing I need is to be told to chill out! And my back has been made a lot better (again, expensively): I am like you stuck with RSI. Walking is a really good stress reliever. But when I have to sit teaching and tutoring through a day with half-an-hour for lunch it’s a bit difficult to do. I don’t know what Sonal does at UWIC but I bet she can’t just walk out, either. I can use my relaxation techniques but they normally cost hundreds of pounds to learn, and most people can’t afford that.  I found, by chance, a woman who trained with a clinical psychologist who first wrote about this; she charged very little.

Comment 9: I just wanted to note that RSI is curable and treatable, first of all, if you prevent it from happening. There needs to be way more awareness about this illness/injury before people just go on and on and injuring themselves until it’s too late and then it becomes a permanent disability. In my case, I was given the wrong physical therapy (stressed strengthening exercises), and now I am permanently injured. I’m not trying to scare anyone. Just make sure everyone out there gets the correct treatment before you are permanently disabled. For me, that would have been several types of massage therapy and gentle aerobic exercises (pool therapy). But then again, it’s different for everyone. Just remember, if what you’re doing hurts, STOP doing it. It’s best to totally take a break from typing/computer work if you are in an acute stage of pain, and not try to ignore it. They tried the ice and splint thing on my during that stage (workers comp), but only made it worse.

Comment 10:  In the US, I take Soma (needs a prescription from doctor), which sounds like the same thing as Mycyndol (a muscle relaxant). On most nights, it puts me out fast, and I don’t wake up groggy (I also dream more when I take it, which makes me think I’m getting a better sleep).

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