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New TMS patient, foot and ankle pain

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by em1981, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. em1981

    em1981 New Member

    Hi Everyone,

    Just wanted to introduce myself. About eighteen months ago, I got what I thought was a standard case of plantar fasciitis. I went through months of physical therapy, seemed to get better, and then as soon as I tried to return to more normal athletic activity, the pain immediately jumped from my heels up into my ankles. It's gone back and forth between the two since.

    Had I known about TMS at the time, that probably would have been a big warning sign, but at that point I had no idea. I was diagnosed with a bad case of tendonitis, eventually put in a walking cast, given pills, an MRI, x-rays, injections, etc. All the imaging was clear, but nothing made it better. Three podiatrists, a chiropractor, a massage therapist, an acupuncturist, an orthopedic surgeon, and a neurologist later, I was effectively bedridden. A year-and-a-half before, I'd been able to easily run 7 miles and then walk another 10, but now I was in pain pretty much 24 hours a day. In early July, things got so bad that I had to stop all normal activity: I couldn't sleep, could barely eat, rarely left my house, and was pretty much wasting away.

    Then, less than a week ago, when I was becoming increasingly desperate, I somehow stumbled across The Great Pain Deception and Dr. Sarno's work, and I realized that I fit the TMS profile exactly. In retrospect, I've had years of revolving symptoms -- this was simply the most extreme and debilitating set. I was lucky enough to be able to get a quick appointment with one of the TMS physicians who worked with Dr. Sarno, and he confirmed the diagnosis, but I'm still struggling to process everything.

    I know that this is the only possible explanation for how I could be in so much pain when nothing is actually physically wrong, but a tiny piece of me still questions how I can actually think my way out of this (which is ironic, since I don't seem to have the slightest problem intellectualizing anything else). I know the diagnosis has to be right because of the way the pain moves around and because I'm already doing much better -- less intense pain, leaving the house and resuming some normal activity, getting exercise -- but I'm still frightened of the pain and of my body. I was a longtime runner before this happened, and even though I've read Steve Ozanich's story of how he just threw on a pair of running shoes and went for a jog despite his pain, part of me is incredulous that I'll ever be able to do that again without ending up debilitated again for months. I know this is all part of TMS, but still... it's hard.

    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi EM, and welcome to the forum!

    You're right - making this psychological change IS hard. It requires a completely different way of thinking. Our catchphrase here (thanks to Monte Heuftle) is: "Think Psychologically Instead of Physically". Monte is a runner, and his web site is called runningpain.com

    Anyway, the main reason making this change is so hard is because your primitive fearful brain does not WANT you to make this change. It firmly believes that you must remain fearful at all times in order to survive. As I often say, this might have worked fine way back in the dangerous primitive world when we only needed to survive long enough to breed and raise the next generation, but it sucks as a survival technique in today's modern world, and for many of us, the mechanism has gone totally haywire. And you end up in your situation, which seems like a ridiculous way to survive - but hey, you're still breathing, right? So your primitive brain must be doing something "right". Heh. And, nope.

    We have a couple of free programs here - the easiest one to start with is probably the Structured Educational Program, which gives you a few readings and/or exercises in each daily module. The other one is Alan Gordon's Pain Recovery Program (generously donated to us by Alan).

    I suggest that you also go to the Success Stories forum, do a keyword search on "foot pain" and read the stories of members who successfully recovered from dire foot conditions.

    You've come to the right place, and we are here to help each other - good luck!


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