New here and need guidance

I am new here. I had carpel tunnel surgery and the doctor accidentally clipped a nerve. He repaired, but I have chronic nerve pain. It had been a year. I am wondering if anyone has suggestions on what might help me.

Welcome, @Skowron5 . Glad you’re here!

Sorry to hear about the clipped nerve. Ouch. I’ don’t have any intelligent feedback about chronic nerve pain, but I can tag some folks that will have more insight than me. @Lila14 @CharliePT

Hi @Skowron5, I am sorry to hear you had this happen during surgery. In my experience, sometimes the things we think / tell ourselves following an injury can have a tremendous impact on our experience of pain. So I would start with: tissues heal, including nerves, and pain doesn’t always correlate with tissue damage. I’m wondering - beyond the pain - what is some evidence you have that your tissue has healed? Our brains will often learn to associate a memory / previous injury with danger, and create pain as a protection response, and they can also learn to recognize that we are OK and safe now, even though something may have happened in the past.

I am tested monthly with a device the doctor uses to check the feeling in the tips of my fingers. It is improving. I am finding the warmer weather helps. If my hand gets cold I have the most discomfort. It’s hard to explain as I don’t have a lot of pain. My index and middle finger feel like they have dried cement on them. I can use them, but touching anything does cause pain.

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@Skowron5 thanks for sharing this! So I see evidence both of improvement and of primary/neuroplastic/learned pain pathways.

Evidence of improvement: sensations coming back as detected with the device, using your fingers.

Evidence of primary/neuroplastic/learned pain pathways: changes with weather - this may surprise you, but according to most research, the body is not physically affected by changes in the weather. Changes in the weather actually activate the danger signal in the brain to generate symptoms through conditioned responses. In other words, this provides evidence and HOPE that you can retrain your neural pathways. I’d encourage you to learn more about neuroplastic pain & practices to retrain your neural pathways - if you’re not yet a Lin member, the TMS wiki can be a wonderful resource: Pain Recovery Program | TMS Forum (The Mindbody Syndrome)

Thank you so much. I am sure it’s my brain. I am a substitute teacher in Preschool. I do know being around those sweet littles helps me. I would love to work full time, but at 72 and still learning to use my hand it’s not possible. I have a business making memory bears for customers. I have been extra busy. My hand does get tired and it takes me longer, but I won’t give up.

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Oh wow @Skowron5, such a full life! Your love for the sweet little ones comes through, and memory bears are so great. I am inspired by your resolve to continue doing the things you love and healing. I’m wondering if there are some affirmations aligned with your resolve and your love for the things you do that could become “mantras” as you engage in activity and/or rest?

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