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I started getting symptoms after about 3-5 years. Nobody could believe it. sm

Posted By: MT on 2006-02-01
In Reply to: those of you with hand pain, carpal tunnel, tendinitis - related to typing...? sm

Fellow MTs told me it was too early, but nope. I had the tests, and had/have bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome. Think it's anatomical for some. I have very tiny wrists, and I've read that sometimes that can be related.

Some 15-20 years later, I had endoscopic surgery on the right side. I wouldn't recommend endoscopic. If you get surgery, go open. I learned later that it's usually more effective. I still have symptoms in both wrists, can tell no improvement in the right hand.

Best things: Physical therapy was the very best, but Worker's Comp obviously wouldn't pay for that forever. Cat's Paw (exerciser) is cheap and mimics a lot of the stuff I was doing in PT.

SmartGlove when I work. Helps a lot.

Trackball - huge difference.

Shorthand - I have made it my hobby to learn to work smarter instead of harder. I studied the productivity sites and am constantly working on building my ShortHand file. It's rare that something isn't in it. I have gotten to where it shows a savings of about 50% keystrokes, which is something to think about. It's like working half a day and getting paid for a full day.

Rest. Get up at least once an hour, go to your dining room table, put your palm flat on the table and press down. You should feel a really good stretch. And then I take at least 5-10 minutes to break. Maybe not the best thing for productivity, but the best for longevity.

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No perimenopausal symptoms? Mood swings? Crying? Forgetfulness? Lucky you if so. I started all that
I have had symptoms for over 30 years!
I take HRT because I have drenching night sweats and will have to get up and change clothing, bedding, etc., if I don't I do not sleep well at all if I am not on HRT. I had to have a medically necessary TAH/BSO at the age of 19 and have been on HRT since for the most part. I have tried weaning off and my symptoms always come back within a couple weeks, not to mention the emotional aspect. :( I would LOVE to not need them but it really messes with my quality of life. Those of you with mild symptoms or none after a few years are very lucky. :)

I am looking at having saliva testing done in hopes that it will work even better than the HRT I use but I have to wait until I can afford it.
Yep, the newest "fix" for the last few years of PMS and perimenopausal symptoms is
Serafem, which is just Prozac. The drug company "reinvented" a use for Prozac when they needed a new use! So, its called Serafem. You're supposed to take it a few days before your period, or sometimes all month - just depends.  Pretty flowery packaging! I went thru the same thing at about 43 to 44 - only symptoms as well, and never had 1 day of PMS prior to that.  It just stopped as suddenly as it had started.  Just me - we're all different. I tried the Serafem and it didn't help at all - just made me feel like a zombie 30 days of the month!  Good luck to you! Just had my LMP 2 days ago - only lasts for about 1/2 day now! Yeah!! I, for one, will not be missing THAT each month. No way!! Also remember if you have female teens at home, those hormones are floating all over in the air! Its HORRIBLE!  I have 2 daughters and we all get it the same time now, etc.  Oh, yes, and my face breaks out now as it did when I was a teen when I had my period. Never had that my entire life til now.  Just today we were all cracking up - all 3 of us had 1 huge zit on our noses!!  Nowhere else, and all 3 had the same one on our nose!  We are really fair skinned and blonde, and look RIDICULOUS!!  Oh well!
When they first started 8 years ago they were bad.
They have improved with time, experience and consistent feedback.

It bothers me too, but I faced the fact some time ago that the situation is not going to change.

Some of our clients don't know it either. Others specifically request it(lower pricing). Sad, but true.
37 years. started when i was 15. nmx
That's how I started out 30 years ago, too. - sm
Biggest career mistake of my life. My friend went to court-reporting school - tried to talk me into it but I wanted faster results. Back then MT pay was almost comparable to CR pay, too. I figured, why go to school 3-6 years, when I can go for 20 weeks and have a job? So I chose MT and look what happened. It didnt matter after all these years whether I was good at it or not... the field is drying up in terms of being able to support yourself at it. My friend? Steady work, good money, owns a nice house, put her kids through college, etc.
That's what I started at 9 years ago SM

as an IC at the local hospital and at first, didn't make much money, but as I got more familiar with the dictators, I could do 150 minutes in 6 1/2 hours. That was a good deal. I left because:

1. I got bored.

2. I worked 7 days a week plus all the holidays.

3. I thought the grass was greener elsewhere. I needed bennies and the hospital, even though my work was good, wouldn't hire me as an employee because then they would lose #2.

When I first started out 10 years ago,
my very first job paid $.055 per 55 character line. My next job three months later paid $.07/65 characters. Then I had a hospital job paying $10 per hour plus incentive. Moved up to opening offers of $.08-.09 cpl with nationals. Got tired of nationals. Made very decent money for the next 2-3 years paid $.12/gross line until those two contracts got outsourced or went to VR. Got a part-time job outside the home in a different field for six months until that company laid everyone off. Now I'm trying to find another $.07/65 cpl job. Ten years later and I'm in the same place in life again.
If you just started MTing, how could have have been an MT for 10 years?
That's what your post below says.
9 years this month...started in

Well she started out as a reporter 26 years ago.
She's not poor by any means!
I started 35 years ago this month. sm

I started in a small hospital in the Midwest and spent 6 years there, then moved to the West Coast.  When I started, we had two reference books, Dorland's and the Surgeon's Syllabus (a red much used book).  We were on Royal typewriters, four carbon copies, all colored with different color white-out for each copy.  Our dictation came in on wax records with the stats at the switchboard station.  They would call us when one came in and we would walk down and get it.  They were on lilac wax and the others were on a salmon color.  We had little record players at our desk and we would transcribe the wax records, then put them in a press to take out the grooves and use them over and over.  I loved working there.   We then graduated to the Norelco reel-to-reel, and then to the Dictaphone plastic belts, then the magnetic belts, and then the MT/ST, then the Mag-Card, and finally to the computer, then to the Lanier pop-up tape system, then to the Sony Network, and then to digital voice.  It's been a long joury and I was with one employer for over two decades before being sold to MQ. I had the best boss in the world, generous to a fault, but then MQ came along and offshoring and the MT business went down, down, down. I make half of what I used to and I work twice as hard. Benefits are hard to come by and there is no security.  I long for the old days.

I quit for several years and started again.....
I'm a moron.  I hate it and I hide it from my kids.  It stinks.
This really is pathetic. 5 years ago I started out with .07 and they are still only paying that?

started at about 8K PT 2002, last couple years 12K but
I did not work much in 2005 for about 6 months when my 5-y/o got diagnosed with cancer and going through chemo, etc. So I would have made a bit more. I expect to do about $16K this year. I alternate my hours a lot though, about 60 or so minutes of work during the school year a day, but then only 30 during the summer, plus a side job that fluctuates ($300-500 a month). I am shooting for $20K next year, still not at FT (5-6 hours a day). I'll see how it goes. I think $12K for PT is good, but that is my opinion.
Ive worked Sundays since I started transcribing 18 years ago!
..but i know that they always need to be covered and people keep getting sick and having operations... holidays too.   we are in one of those kind of jobs.  i love having time off during the week to get things done though. 
Yes! My kids (above, age 22 and 24) started out making more than I make after 30 years of MT!
I proof as I go. I didn't when I first started umpteen years ago. nm
I started a neighborhood watch a couple of years ago...sm
we were having similar problems to what you're having and they're gone now. Here's what worked for us. I gave every home in the subdvision a flier asking anyone that was interested in forming a neighborhood watch to come to an organization meeting and made the meeting a week later and on a week night, and gave my phone # in the event someone was interested but couldn't attend then. Out of 150 homes in my subdivision we had 40 people show up and 20 called expressing interest.

Everyone had the same complaints on the same "problem" homes and as a group we decided that each time the noise level was high enough to hear outside of the vehicle or house that we'd call the police. We all alternated placing those calls so the police department didn't think it was just 1 person complaining. The police department agreed to increase the patrols for our subdivision at all hours of the day and night and just having people see them ride through every few hours helped significantly cut down on the problems.

Over time the people that were causing problems either put their houses up for sale or moved out of the rental home and left when they saw that we neighbors insisted on a peaceful and quiet living area. It worked! When these problem homes left the problems with the trash thrown on the roads left as well.

In addition we were having some problems with some of the youth hanging out walking the streets at all hours and it was making some of the residents nervous, especially when the youth were walking through yards. So, we told the youth to stick to the roads, ask permission before cutting through yards to find out who cared and didn't care if they walked through them, and one of the men placed a basketball goal at the end of one of the cul-dec-sacs for the kids to play basketball after the neighbors in the cul-dec-sac agreed it would be fine. It worked - some of them started playing basketball there and they honored requests of homeowners that didn't want them walking on their yards.

Good luck to you!
I've been in MT for 20 years. Started out in the office at a hospital.

Switched to working for services from home for a while and now I work for the same hospital I started out at, but I work from home now.  So I guess you can say I've come full circle and now I'm back where I started.  I much prefer being an employee of a hospital versus an IC or employee of an MTSO.

It may be that your user profile in EXText is not set up to allow you to add normals.  I've found with services they don't give their MTs a whole lot of freedom with their software.   

all that PLUS, when I started 13 years ago, electric typewriters were still used (smile!) no message
I have 13 years experience and just started a hospital job working from home making $16 an hour

and with a really good incentive plan.  I live in the Kansas City area.  $10 seems like a low starting point even with only two years experience which is the usual benchmark for hospital MT jobs. 

It's been my experience that the low end of the pay scale for hospital employed MTs was around $12 an hour.  Also, it's been my experience that the pay offered is usually based on years of experience and how well you perform on the transcription test.

I would say if their pay is that low, they should at least be making it up with incentive and it doesn't sound like they are.


I quit once for 3 years, but then started again. (Quit cold turkey when I did)

I'd just keep your eye on him since he has no other symptoms.
Mine was doing that about a month ago and nothing ever came of it.  He must have just had a little cold or snuffed something up his nose.  When we first got him, he was a mess with mattery eyes, ear mites, and blowing snot all over when he sneezed.  Antibiotics and mitecide fixed him up, so we had to change his name from Snot to something else.
Have you had these symptoms before? sm
I could see a pinched nerve causing your arms and hands to tingle but not your face.  You might want to consider see a doc for this as it could be something serious.  I had these symptoms along with dizziness, headaches, and my muscles were twitching.  I was freaked out that I had some neurological problem or MS.  Turns out I had a "complicated migraine."  But it's better to be safe than sorry!
Same symptoms here, but I'm 36
I think my hormones are out of whack. I feel extremely moody before and after menses and then feel depressed along with it. Then I get the panic attacks to where it feels like you are choking, then can't breath normal and heart raising.
I have those same symptoms, but I'm in my early 30s.

Have you had a tubal or come off BC pills?  I was doing some research the other day and came up with hormonal imbalance, but not estrogen like they think.  One of the posters on the Ask the Dr. board recommend progesterone cream for the sore hoohas.  Read down the board and you'll see the posts.  She said the doctors are mistreating it with BC pills, which only makes it worse..  I'm making an appt w/my doctor and asking for an endocrine evaluation to see how out of whack everything is.  FWIW, my former doctor put me on BC pills with Prozac for my PMS.  The physical symptoms got worse, while the Prozac made me sleep 12 hours a day, have really wild dreams, and lose all motivation to clean the house or work.  I do not like that stuff.

There are there boys here, and believe me, males have their hormonal mood swings, too.

Been having those symptoms plus for 4 days now.

ears popping, congested, aching all over like the flu, headaches.

I did go to a hospital to visit a family member on Monday, so may have picked it up from there. I hate feeling miserable like this. I have 3 other family members who have had whatever it is, tho.

Your symptoms - my two cents
Hi - I want to try to put your mind at ease - I can't say for sure that you don't have MS but I can tell you that I had similar symptoms a few years ago, as did a friend of mine, both from extreme stress. You feel like you are dealing with the stress just fine, but your body still reacts. Try this - make sure you ae getting plenty of vitamin B-12, omega fatty acids (like flax oil), and take a supplement of the amino acid taurine. Also, are you sleeping well? Those can be symptoms of chronic sleep deprivation or lack of REM sleep. If so, you could try Valerian root capsules to help you relax and sleep better, or even Benadryl for sleep. I am not a doctor so of course I can't say for sure that this is the problem or that this will help, but it helped me - after I had two MRIs, tons of blood work, and a nerve conduction study - do yourself a favor and try the other route first! Especially the flax oil - especially if you are not a seafood eater!
I once saw your exact symptoms on a PBS
show about these families who were sent out west to live in cabins..."Pioneer House" I think was the name of it.  Anywhoo, one lady, a nurse, thought she had a blood clot in her arm because it was going numb and cold.  She was on the pill too and that worried her even more.  So, she saw the doctor and it turned out to be bursitis, although she didn't notice any pain!  Weird, huh?  But yeah, you should have someone check it out just to be on the safe side.  Hope it gets better soon!
Former CT warning symptoms SM
are totally completely gone with editing.

Maybe someone else will have a more specific answer for the keystrokes, but CONSIDERABLY fewer per minute. As the VR system gets better and better with a dictator, you may spend most of the time just sitting there reading along with squeakily speeded up dictation. Other dictators will have corrections on every line, though.

Part of reduced Keystrokes is expander, too. For instance, I do ".t" when I come on a lowercase "the" between what should be two sentences, which backs up, inserts a period, double spaces, deletes the small t and inserts a capital T, then jumps to the beginning of the next word for me.

When I started editing, though, my Expander wasn't nearly so well developed and I still made more money AND my worrisome carpal tunnel pains, which a number of times required me to take nonpaid leave while I rested my wrists, disappeared. So have the wrist braces I wore religiously every night to bed.
Could it be no HEENT symptoms?
I only say this because you say "no headache", etc.
not symptoms of bipolar disorder
actually, that just sounds like most of the spoiled kids I've met - society won't treat them the way mom did so they're trying to push the buttons they used to push w/mom. (Did she die or wise up?).
Yes, been sick for 2 weeks - same symptoms. nm
my girlfriend had those same symptoms and never made it out
of the emergency room! Many conditions have these symptoms so you did the right thing. You just can't risk it if it is cardiac. When my girlfriend went to the ER, she went in total arrest and they could not revive her. She was 50. On another note, it could be anything from gallbladder, gas, hiatal hernia (very common symptom for HH) or an esophageal spasm (I get those). You did the right thing and a full workup sounded like it was warranted.
Those symptoms you described sound like some of mine, SM
I get photophobic, have numbness and tingling, nausea, you name it.

Is it possible for carpal tunnel syndrome to cause a slight tingling feeling in the face as well as the arms and hands?  I have had just the slightest of tingling in my face for the last two weeks.  No other symptoms at all...just a slight tingling.  I have also had, for a longer period of time, pins and needles in both arms, more on the right.  I've been a steady MT for about 14 years, and I'm wondering if it's catching up with me?  I sorta ruled out a stroke since I figured I'd be dead by now and there are no other symptoms!  Any advice/help is greatly appreciated. 

carpal tunnel symptoms
Well, it has finally happened.  After 18 years of transcription, I'm starting to have symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.  It has come on very suddenly, over the course of just a week.  What I would like to know is if it is possible to turn this around, since it's just coming on?  I have bought wrist supports, which help immensely, as does naproxen.  I'm taking frequent breaks also.  Can somebody give me hope that I won't end up needing surgery? 
VR editor - still with CT symptoms, very severe. sm
I have to admit, it has eased up a little; however, I have had CTS for over 12 years now and never did anything about it. As I age, use my hands the same, and keep the same sleeping habits, my symptoms have gotten so severe.

I really can not say it is better or worse with transcribing or editing these days. It is more pronounced when sleeping or grasping things.

I would not change a job for reasons such as tendinitis or CTS, etc.

Could be Flonase, but that is usually 50 mcg for non-allergic symptoms
Might get more of a response on Word Help board instead
I didn't have any hand/finger symptoms either, just

wrist.  Using a brace at night helps some.  I use the kind that has the metal strip so that you can't bend your wrist.  I found them at my drugstore.   I had surgery almost 15 years ago and did fine until this past year, and again am developing symptoms.  My symptoms developed from writing, not typing, and now I can type usually without problems, but I can only write a tiny bit, can't grip a garden tool for long or do any type of fine motor movement for long and then if I do my wrists hurt so much that typing then bothers me. 

I know there is some vitamin regimen to help, though I don't know what it is.  I was put on Naprosyn first and was allergic to it.  Orthopod suggested hot and cold soaks, 15 minutes each.  I had cortisone injections and some other type of injections, and physical therapy.   I was only out of work about 3 days, but I wasn't an MT at the time.   I do not have the strength in my hand that I used to, but other than that haven't really had any problems.  I do have trouble with pain occasionally, can't think of the word, but it feels like the scar is drawing up and I get shooting pains, but I can massage the scar and it eases.    I'm considering a job change rather than going through surgery again, not because the surgery was bad, just because not only do I have carpal tunnel, but I have swelling and tingling in my feet, butt spread, etc.  

Word of warning - make sure you have an empty bladder before the EMG study.  They have to test both sides so they have a comparison and between laying flat, still, and the electrical shocks I couldn't get off that table quick enough to go potty.

Also, if you don't already, get a keyboard tray that is adjustable.  You can find them at a woodworking store or in various catalogs.  I can position mine at various heights and various angles.  I also sometimes lower the tray and put a pillow on it and then my keyboard and it absorbs some of the pressure and using the pillow you don't have an edge from the tray or the wrist pad pressing into you.  I also found I sit back in my chair better with the pillow.  If this is not comfortable at least try a folded towel between the tray and keyboard.

I wouldn't discourage surgery, but I would try some of the things above first. 



My doctor told me I have all the symptoms of "Andropause"...

Otherwise known as "male menopause"!! Sheesh! That explains a lot, lol. She said most men start to experience in their mid to late 40's (I'm 47), and I do believe it. Darn, I thot guys were spared all that "hot flash" stuff!

Yes, helped for about 1 year, then same symptoms returned.
Just had hysterectomy last year. Never felt better. No pain, no cramps, no heavy bleeding and I can leave the house and not have to worry about blood running down my legs any more. The ablation worked in decreasing the heavy menstrual flow for about a year. Then it returned with the pain, etc. I have had endometriosis and ovarian cysts since I was 13, with many laparoscopic cystectomies, etc. I am now 38. I finally know what a normal pain-free life is like.

If you do decide to go with the ablation, get the NovaSure - it takes less than 5 minutes to perform and better results than ThermaChoice.

Good luck.
...The content stays the same - history, symptoms,
what are the specific symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (sm)
Anyone know the specific symptoms of carpal tunnel? My right top of my arm feels sort of numb, like my forearm and my wrist aches.  Also, my shoulder hurts.  Is this typical for carpal tunnel or maybe something else?
Ditto. Go to hospital. Not usual symptoms for a migraine. nm
58, AHP/self-taught, trained at hospital 5 years, now with 2 of my own accounts for 10 years, employ
Also worn out 2 keyboards in 4 years. I will never retire. DH will come home some day from work and I'll be slumped over my keyboard. I put in 14 hours a day 7 days a week.
Pack years = packs smoked per day x years of smoking - sm
25 pack-years = 25 years of 1 pack a day, or 12-1/2 years of 2 packs a day.

I don't think pack-years applies to someone who smokes only cigars. But I don't know for sure.
I worked for Cbay for 3 years. I was also part of their lay off back many years ago. sm
Even though I got stuck in a lay off era, I still love the company. They paid well then. The people were nice (exception of 1 person) and if I had the opportunity I would go back again. Fortunately (or unfortunately - depending on how u look at it), I have a great paying job right now, so I am not looking for a change. I do know that at one time, they asked management to accept late paychecks, but never sure of the reason why. My check was never late.
I know it used to be 5-10 years back, but the laws changed within the last 2 years. They can only g
6 years legal then switched to medical 17+ years ago. sm

I don't mind doing legal and will do it now from time to time, but be prepared to be totally bored out of your mind.

At least that's the way I feel.  I love to transcribe, learned legal in college, went on to get my paralegal degree, etc., etc., but I did temp work when the kids were younger, which was about 90% medical and I would never go back to legal except for once in a while.