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Foot discoloration, swelling, neuroma after fracture

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Brooke, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. Brooke

    Brooke New Member

    Good morning everyone. I am diving back into TMS work after a long break, as I realize I need a structured program.

    I broke my toe two months ago. No surgery required, and the xrays indicate it’s healing well. Still, I can’t walk on it. I’m starting to suspect some TMS process involved because my foot gets burning red and swollen and sometimes purple (Mostly at night or it it’s hot; the discoloration goes away the minute I elevate it.)

    It’s very likely ligaments were damaged, too. So perhaps I’m not in the TMS zone yet, however my PT seems to think that I’m holding onto a trauma response and maybe that’s causing the nerve sensitivity in the ball of my foot (it feels like a knot of angry nerve in the area just below the fractured toe). At this point, my expectation was to be walking around but it’s just too tender.

    Anyone have insight here?

    Thank you! I am looking forward to diving into the program (again!).
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    What you have is most likely CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome). It may be precipitated by an injury like in your case, but may occur without any injury like in mine. I had similar symptoms: swelling, discoloration, extreme sensitivity to touch and temperature, and neuropathic pain - and fully recovered. My case was mentioned by Dr. Schubiner in his recent talk .

    The talk itself should be extremely helpful to you to understand the nature and mechanism of what is happening to you and start recovering. And yes, it is TMS. Good luck and keep trying! You will succeed.
    JanAtheCPA and miffybunny like this.
  3. Brooke

    Brooke New Member

    Thank you so much for sharing this! My PT mentioned CRPS, then changed her mind because the red goes away as soon as I elevate (and she said CRPS wouldn't change with positioning) and just chalked it up to circulation problems.

    Did you follow the program on this site? I just started a Journal Speak practice (Nicole Sachs), though didn't pay for the full program or anything. I have been working with TMS for more than 15 years (even saw Dr. Sarno in NYC) but have never really been free of pain; it just jumps around. Maybe the silver lining of spending an entire summer on my couch (and I live in Montana, for goodness sakes) is to really get to the root.
    JanAtheCPA and Balsa11 like this.
  4. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    CRPS is very poorly understood by doctors. In my opinion, it is an umbrella diagnosis for the most bizarre collection of symptoms one can find. This is a simple diagnostic tool that is used to determine whether a patient has CRPS:
    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)
    Redness can be constant or migratory. I also had Reynaud's symptoms and my doctors were claiming it was circulatory.

    I did not follow any program on this site precisely, but I used many of the materials offered here. I also worked with Amber Murphy, a therapist from the Alan Gordon's LA Pain Psychology Center who herself had CRPS after she broke her foot, and she was a tremendous help to me. I looked at Nicole Sachs, but decided against using her, which absolutely does not mean that you should follow my footsteps. TMS is very individual and I encourage every person to find their own way out of it, which is what I did. The fact that your pain jumps around tells me that you have not been able to get to the root - yet.
  5. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    @miffybunny is a wonderful example of someone who has healed from CRPS. I would recommend reading her story - it's far more relevant than mine. :)

    I know Steve Ozanich and Dr. Howard Schubiner have seen many CRPS patients recover. There is hope!
    Balsa11 likes this.
  6. Brooke

    Brooke New Member

    This is so helpful. Thank you! I showed the images to my PT today (attached: of my feet down at night, which is only when the swell; 10 seconds later after elevating) and she thinks I need to go see the orthopedic and perhaps get checked for circulation problems--goodness knows what that means and what that entails. Scared the poop out of me.
  7. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Brooke, you may have better luck than I did going through the medical ping-pong as I call it, when doctors send you to one medical test after another and each one of those tests leads to no conclusion and gets your anxiety higher and higher. However, in my experience, CRPS is poorly understood and not well known by the doctors. You may be much better off going to a TMS doctor first. Dr. Schubiner is awesome and very approachable. He would be my first choice.

    If this helps, you can read @miffybunny 's story and mine, too. She spent years going from doctor to doctor until she knew it was TMS. I was lucky enough to learn that CRPS was TMS after 5 months. We both fully recovered.

    I believe miffy posted hers somewhere on this site, and mine is here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0834Q46SM
    Balsa11 and miffybunny like this.
  8. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Brooke,

    I concur with TG957! Don't bother wasting your time, money and sanity visiting various specialists and getting caught up in the medical mill merry go round. Just go straight to Dr, Schubiner and give him a call. It took me over 6 months just to get the useless label of CRPS and more months of confusion if it was a form of TMS. As soon as I spoke to Dr. Schubiner, I knew what I was dealing with...a reversible mind body syndrome stemming from the brain. Spare yourself of the unnecessary torture of waiting rooms and tests and referrals.

    Miffy Bunny
    Balsa11 likes this.
  9. Brooke

    Brooke New Member

    Hi Miffy, I am wondering what program you followed after speaking to Dr. Schubiner? Did you do his workbook? I'm looking to make a list of five things I can do everyday that will help calm my nervous system and promote healing and positive thinking.

    Something like: 1.) Make a gratitude list. 2) Say affirmations every time I feel fear to shift mind and body toward love and trust; 3) Journal Speak practice (Nicole Sachs), followed by loving-kindness meditation; 4) Exercise (though I am only 9 weeks out from a broken toe so can't do much yet); 5) Read success stories and a short explanation of stress-induced symptoms.

    Since there are some many programs with so many steps, I easily get overwhelmed--and with two young kids and a full-time job, I need a simple, effective and uplifting program. THANKS!
    Balsa11 and miffybunny like this.
  10. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Brooke,

    I'm a big believer in keeping things as simple and as less stressful as possible. Less is more in my book. It comes down to getting the knowledge (2 books is enough) and putting it into practice. There are a a myriad of "tools" people use to do the emotional discovery and change negative thought patterns, but you certainly don't have to do all of them...just find one or 2 things that resonate with you and help you to feel calm and safe in your world. I would not spend more than half an hour a day on "tms stuff" and once you have the knowledge, it's really important to re engage with your life and stop caring about and thinking about symptoms. Success is based on how little they affect you, not how little you have them.

    Your list sounds great as long as it works for you and doesn't stress you out. For example, if you don't like journaling don't do it. I never did and I still got better. If you do find it helpful then of course you should it! Affirmations are really good to do a few times a day because as cheesy as they seem, they do work. They engage the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Things like "I'm strong" " I'm healthy", "there's nothing wrong with me", 'I can do what I want. I'm in charge", "Symptoms and fear thoughts you mean nothing to me. I laugh at you", "I'm getting better day by day" etc etc are great things to say. It's also good to stand in a power position when you say them (like hands on hips). Jotting down a few things you are grateful each day is a powerful and easy tool because it shifts the brain's focus. You cannot be depressed or anxious when you are in a state of gratitude. Gratitude is an elevated emotion that literally creates a sense of peace and safety. If you enjoy meditation or short guided mediations, those are great tools to calm down the brain and help you to become more aware of your thoughts. The more you can look at your pain sensations with detachment and from a place of curiosity, the more you neutralize the fear. Lose the fear, lose the symptoms. Reading success stories and tms info on the brain is an important first step. Once you have obtained the knowledge though, don't dwell there. This part should not take long at all....it's ok to go back and re read things as reminders or for reference but it's far more important to live you life which brings me to the last point and your mention of exercise. All that matters is you do things that you enjoy and you gradually challenge your fears. If you can tolerate some level of fear and slowly start getting back into life (whether that involves exercise like taking a walk, going out in public, wearing certain clothes or even keeping a pair of sneakers out in view that you will someday wear) this is how you will get better and build confidence and lose fear. It doesn't matter how long it takes or if symptoms move or increase or lesssen....none of that matters. ALL that matters is that you gradually do things and start overcoming your fears little by little. By eliminating fear, you no longer activate the danger signals in the brain which send pain signals. Everything boils down to fear and focus when it comes to outsmarting the tms strategy. How you do this is through patience and persistence. You can think of your brain as a puppy who needs to be trained. A puppy needs patience, consistency, and kindness.

    I hope this gives you a Cliff's Notes version of the mechanics. I'm all about that because when people get caught up in chasing "approaches" and obsessing about theories and programs etc.,,, THAT becomes another distraction. They start Tms'ing about Tms in a sense. This is a journey of letting go, of realizing there is nothing to fight, doing less, laughing more and doing things that make you happy. It always comes back to your life. The pain is just a symptom and at the end of the day it's irrelevant.
    Idearealist and TG957 like this.
  11. Brooke

    Brooke New Member

    YOU ARE THE BEST!!! This is so helpful. Thank you. I am an overachiever perfectionist, so really, this is my WORK.

    One more question: at what point did you realize it was no longer injury pain (again, I broke the toe 9 weeks ago) and TMS pain?
    miffybunny likes this.
  12. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    All injuries heal and in the case of most injuries, like a broken toe...after 2 or 3 months the injury itself is usually gone. Chronic pain is pain that continues longer than 3 months and that signifies that the brain has taken over. It's no longer a question of the body part and tissues but a question of neural circuits in the brain sending false alarm plan signals. This happens when the person is entangled in a fear-pain-fear loop. It's just anxiety somatized through the body. The good news is that it's common and reversible. In my case it all started in my big toe and what seemed like a "sprain". Within a month it had spread to both feet in a mirror image so I realized quickly this was not a normal injury. It took me many months to get the diagnosis of the label of "CRPS" (I went down ridiculous rabbit holes of RA and Lyme disease) and then a few more months to realize that it was still TMS. Once I KNEW it was just tms though, my fear level went way down. My road was rocky one because of life stressors and some vanity issues ( I had an extra layer of tms preoccupation with my knees). I think if I had not been going through a divorce, dealing with relentless stress with autistic son and did not have issues with the mirror....it would have probably taken me very little time lol! Life is not always smooth sailing though! I just gradually got better and at the end of the day I was not concerned about the time frame. I was just relieved to be on the right path and knowing I would get to the finish line eventually.
  13. Brooke

    Brooke New Member

    Did you ever worry about peripheral artery disease? I made the GRAVE mistake of Googling that, as I've always had weird circulation in my feet (bluish and red when down for too long), but I've had TMS my whole life and am thin and fit, so the latter doesn't make sense. Still, I suppose I should rule that out so my brain can hop on board with the discoloration and nighttime swelling as TMS, too.

    I am so grateful for this conversation. Thank you SOOO much for your time and sharing your insight and experience.
    Balsa11 and miffybunny like this.
  14. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    If you google Dr. Google you will find aaaalllllll manner of lovely conditions and diseases lol! There is no end to them... in fact, you can have a ball scaring the living crap out of yourself too haha. The odds of you having a life threatening illness is so remote that you would be much better off staying off the google and believing that this is TMS, which I can assure you it is! We are all going to die someday in some way anyway....you may as well enjoy your life to the fullest now and believe that there's nothing wrong with you. You have nothing to lose on the tms path and EVERYTHING to gain. It always comes down to mindset. Throw out all those false beliefs and fears out the window. They are keeping you on the fence and it's time to get off the fence and live your life.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  15. Brooke

    Brooke New Member

    I so wish I could bring you and your sons warm chocolate chip cookies. You deserve them—and more!
    Balsa11 likes this.
  16. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    You care for others so deeply. You deserve to show yourself the same care.
  17. HankC

    HankC New Member

    I probably broke a toe. I continued to run over it, and it was fine. For 2 weeks now I ran pretty much pain free. Today it really started to hurt. On other things Dr. S has told me "sometimes it doesn't hurt sometimes it does? That is TMS." I think/hope it is TMS pain? Anyone else have a similar experience.

    PS I can't figure out how to start a new thread. Help?
  18. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @HankC ,

    From the top menu bar, click on Forums, then choose the appropriate subforum for your post (use Support to ask for help).
    Once you are in a subforum, look near the top of the page, below the menu bar, and choose the blue rectangle that says "Post a new thread in this subforum". You can just copy your text from this post, which you can then try to delete so we don't have duplicate posts, which can be confusing. It's okay to use an old thread, but as you suspect, it's more effective to start your own!

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