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Thought it was Carpal Tunnel but now not so sure..

First, I want to say thank you to anyone listening and who has an idea...  Thank you.  

I am 25 years old, have had no children and am not pregnant.  A month or two ago, I started waking up every night with numb/tingling hands and sometimes all the way up to my shoulders (both sides).  I wake up anywhere from 2 to 10 times a night, sometimes it's every 20 minutes from this feeling which is frustrating as I can't get any sleep.  I thought it might have been Carpal Tunnel and so I got some wrist braces which are designed specifically for women with carpal tunnel at nighttime.  So here's where I've started to get confused...  every morning after taking the wrist braces off, I experience pretty severe pain in my wrists and within about 10 minutes my hands begin to swell a little and also become filled with pain and pressure.  I have been very careful about the tightness of the braces at night and even wear them so that there is a slight gap between my hand and the brace so that I'm sure I'm not cutting off the circulation as I know my hands usually swell a little at nighttime.  This morning pain was never a symptom before wearing the braces so it confuses me, however, the numbness and tingling has decreased while sleeping (though it has not gone away entirely - I still wake up once or twice from slight numbness).  

One other thing I've notices the past few nights that may be helpful...  Last night I did not sleep with the braces on.  Every time I woke up (not from tingling) I made sure to straighten my fingers out and to keep them in a position where they could stay straight and not curl into a fist like they are usually while I sleep.  This seemed to help quite a bit even though I wasn't necessarily keeping my wrist straight.  This morning I did not have the pain and swelling in my hands that I've seen after a night of wearing the braces and the tingling seemed to be lessened by keeping my fingers straight while sleeping

Does this still sound like carpal tunnel to any of you?  Or does it sound like something else that I'm not aware of?  Have any of you experienced these symptoms together as well?  

I would really appreciate any responses and ideas as I do not currently have health insurance, cannot acquire any at the current time and would like to at least have some idea of what I'm dealing with.  

I should also mention that I don't have any symptoms during the daytime and I don't spend much time on the computer typing anymore.  I am, however, a waitress at a restaurant and work between 25 and 40 hours a week.

Thank you all soooo much!  
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