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Foot and toe swelling at old injury is it TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Katia, Sep 22, 2022.

  1. Katia

    Katia New Member

    I have read Sarno, SteveO (and a few others) and follow this forum regularly. I've going through Alan's Pain Recovery Program. And I was able to successfully resolve some tough glute pain a few years ago using TMS methods. Now I'm dealing with a foot issue that occurred at the site of an old injury. It's not painful, but I have swelling and redness. I have a hunch it's TMS too, based on many of your stories here. But I can't seem to clearly see it as TMS. I could use your help.

    I've been to 3 different drs. and received 3 different diagnoses. Primary dr. said venous insufficiency and wear compression sox. Podiatrist said hallux limitus, ditch the compression sox, shoe inserts and arch support. Vein dr. said NOT venous insufficiency, ditch compression sox, suggested it might be autoimmune but he wasn't sure.

    The recent redness and swelling started in the summer of 2019. It occurred on the same foot where I'd had a bad sprain in 1972. I know, ages ago, but that foot was always a little puffier even after the injury. I know that Sarno says the body heals, but I feel like that foot never really healed all the way. It's never caused me pain, but it has always felt different, and been prone to swelling.

    Now since 2019 I've had not only a swollen big toe, but redness that comes and goes, tingling and burning, and intolerance to heat. When it's hot outside, my toes and top of foot get very red, swollen and it's hard to walk. Putting on sox and shoes is miserable in hot weather.

    I can usually relieve the redness and most of the swelling with elevation, cool water soak, or an ice pack. Even walking barefoot on the cool floor tiles in my house will relieve the redness and some swelling. None of the suggestions from the drs. helped.

    I've read so many of your stories of healing foot pain, erythromelalgia, CRPS (among others) and how these are TMS. I keep thinking my situation is probably TMS too, but I think I'm too close to the forest to see the trees.

    Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions to help me see this differently or approach it differently? This is the first time I've reached out for help on this forum. I usually stay anonymous and in the background, but I'm really struggling with this and could use some help.
    Thank you!
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Well known member

    3 different Dr’s.. 3 different diagnoses.. have you thought about contacting a TMS Dr?
    Have you considered wearing a sandal in hot weather to help you stop hyper focusing on these sensations?
    What else was going on in your life when old symptoms resurfaced? Stresses? Life changes?
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. Katia

    Katia New Member

    Thank you so much for these questions. I haven't previously thought about contacting a TMS Dr., but I'll definitely consider it now. As far as sandals, that's all I wear in hot weather. The only time I put on shoes are for my daily walk early in the morning (before it gets hot), otherwise I'm all the way sandals. My foot still gets red and swollen even in sandals.

    Your last question really makes me think. At the time this resurfaced I had just come through a scary health issue and anger at my dr. I woke up one morning feeling like I had the flu. This was in 2019, before COVID. After a few days I went to the dr. He brushed it off as allergies, but I felt worse than allergies. He didn't take me seriously and that made me mad. For weeks I continued to feel bad. (This was before COVID but when people talk about long COVID, it reminds me of what I went through in 2019.) I finally went to the ER and they found I had very low sodium. My dr. told me to crank up my salt intake to a crazy level and then retake the test, which I did and everything was ok. All of that left me scared, plus I still had intractable headaches and crazy neck/shoulder tension and pain. I went to my dr. again and he just said "there's nothing medically I can do for you." I still was in pain, but had no help. (It didn't even occur to me that it could be TMS.) I changed to another dr. who immediately sent me to PT for cervicogenic headache. Within a couple of months of PT, I was pain free. Looking back, ALL of this sounds like TMS! Wow! Thank you for prompting me to look back. My fear about my symptoms contributed. My anger at my first dr. dismissing me contributed. I healed so quickly with PT, but I think it's because my PT was compassionate, understanding, and so, so encouraging. The PT care helped to put me at ease and the pain resolved. It was 2 months after healing the headache and tension symptoms that my foot swelling redness got worse. I think it had been there for awhile during the headache, etc. pain, but I didn't really notice it until that pain resolved and also not until the weather got hot.

    Oh goodness, does this mean I didn't actually address those feelings from that original pain? To be honest, the foot swelling/redness that I've been experience since then has caused a lot of fear. I've worried about whether this is something serious, whether it will get worse, whether I'll still be able to walk. Lots of fear.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Have you heard about @TG957 's recovery from a diagnosis that included CRPS? Her symptoms were hand redness and swelling and increasing stiffness. She wrote a terrific account of her journey and recovery which is inspiring - the introductory info is here: CTS(Carpal tunnel syndrome), CRPS, dystonia, Raynaud's - full recovery | TMS Forum (The Mindbody Syndrome) (tmswiki.org)

    And, of course, what @Cactusflower said. You never know what is lurking beneath the surface. Tricky TMS brains.
  5. Katia

    Katia New Member

    Thank you so much! I recently heard her speak on a TMS Round Table chat on YouTube. I didn't realize she had a book. I'll definitely check it out. I've been so inspired by many of the folks who share their healing stories.

    I've read your comments on this Forum often. You are one of the voices I deeply respect. It means the world to me that you took the time to write. Thank you!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Agreed 100%. Jan's contribution to this forum is outstanding!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  7. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Katia, what you have looks very much like CRPS. Here is a simple diagnostic tool that is used to diagnose it: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK464482/ (Research diagnostic criteria (the ‘Budapest Criteria’) for complex regional pain syndrome - A randomised placebo-controlled Phase III multicentre trial: low-dose intravenous immunoglobulin treatment for long-standing complex regional pain syndrome (LIPS trial) - NCBI Bookshelf)
    . Despite availability of this tool, CRPS is often misdiagnosed. Don't be discouraged by symptoms that are not typical for TMS. CRPS is, without doubt, TMS.

    Check out this site that @miffybunny and I created specifically for the CRPS patients: defeatcrps.com. My book (thank you, @JanAtheCPA for referral!) can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0834Q46SM. Good luck and feel free to ask questions!
    Katia likes this.
  8. Katia

    Katia New Member

    Thank you so much for these resources! I downloaded your book on Kindle last night and started reading. I can hardly put it down! Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out. I saw you and Rita speak on TMS Round Table, but at the time I had no idea that I could be experiencing CRPS. Thank you for opening my mind to new perspectives.

    I haven't reached out for help before on this Forum, and I'll admit I was a little timid. I had hoped to at least get a response. I had no idea I would receive such valuable support and insights to help me see my symptoms (and circumstances) in a new light. I cannot thank you enough.

    I'll definitely check out the tool and website you referenced. I'd love to be able to reach out again in the future if I have questions or need clarification. Thank you again for taking the time to respond to my post. And thank you for writing a book. Every success story inspires me and gives me hope that I can heal too.
    TG957 and JanAtheCPA like this.
  9. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    As counterintuitive as it sounds, the specific "official" diagnosis is, in fact, irrelevant, as long as you know that what you have is TMS. I spent a lot of time searching for the diagnosis and was very hung up on the idea that I needed the exact and proper one in order to heal. Back then, having the proper label on my condition was very important to me. Now I understand that official medicine is good at coming up with the diagnoses that look very detailed and specific, but in reality mean that doctors don't know what caused those symptoms and how to treat them. The weirder the symptoms are, the more likely they are TMS. As long as you focus on healing your nervous system, they all will eventually dissipate. Be patient, be persistent and you will heal!
    Katia likes this.
  10. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    LOL, @TG957 - I've often said that when a diagnosis is basically words strung together, comprising a description of the symptoms, possibly the location, and often with "Syndrome" or "Disorder" tacked on to the end - it's a sure sign that it's TMS.

    eg: FMS - Fibromyalgia Syndrome- “fibro,” meaning fibrous tissues; “my,” meaning muscles and “algia,” meaning pain.

    They don't bother with Latin for most of them, including CRPS. CFS is another classic: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  11. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Perfect definition!
  12. Katia

    Katia New Member

    Oh my gosh, thank you so much! This is great advice. I have to admit I did do some Google searches about CRPS. It's like you knew what I was thinking! Lol!

    I finished your book earlier today. Wow! Your journey is sobering and inspiring. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it. A million things in your book spoke to me. I'm sure I'll re-read it many times. Most of all, I zeroed in on your work about fear and learning not to be afraid. Fear is definitely a huge stumbling block for me. Your words, plus Claire Weekes book are helping me a lot.

    Thank you again!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  13. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you, Katia! I am glad it is helpful, feel free to ask questions and best of luck to you!
    Katia likes this.
  14. Katia

    Katia New Member

    Thank you! Would you share with me your advice or thoughts on what's the best starting place to learn to not be afraid?
  15. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    It is impossible NOT to be afraid. Fear is a normal human reaction. As a matter of fact, it is an evolutionary mechanism that protects us from exposures to dangers. Even the bravest of us cannot escape fear. Understanding of this simple notion is the key to handling the fear. You need to understand what to do when you experience fear and how to be rational about it. Unfounded fear is bad, justifiable fear is good. For example, to be afraid of jumping off the plane without a parachute is a healthy, justifiable fear. As long as you can tell the two apart, you will be able to overcome your fear. How to overcome the fear? By taking baby steps towards the cause of your fear. A good example of such training is a desensitization technique for those who have a fear of heights. Making yourself accustomed to a progressively challenging height works - I tried it on myself. The same technique works for any unfounded fear, like fear of pain. Having said that, be ready to pull back if you have gone too far and anxiety rose too much, but always try to push again, with smaller steps. Also, visualizing the upcoming experience ahead of time is also very helpful in dissuading the fear. Does it make sense?
    JanAtheCPA and Katia like this.
  16. Katia

    Katia New Member

    Thank you so much! This is very helpful. A great starting point for me. Thank you!
    TG957 likes this.

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