Hi y'all. I was going to start a thread on TMS and gout, but after reading some past threads on the topic, I've concluded that my gout is TMS, especially since the blood test I had last Thursday (today is Sunday) show perfectly normal uric acid levels. Also since the affected toe is on the same side where I've experienced sciatica over the last couple of years. I'm on a week of prednisone, drinking tart cherry juice, using topical anti-inflammatory creams, etc., etc. Follow-up ZOOM appt with PCP next Friday. 'Nuff said on that. The pain kept me awake last night so I sat up and read TG957's book straight through. Brilliant, compelling and inspiring. Sarno focuses on unconscious rage, and while I'm sure I have rage that is unconscious, I have plenty that I feel, permit myself to feel, and express-- if not to others, then definitely to myself. Also, I don't suppress crying. I didn't cry much as a child, as there would have been no sympathy or understanding, but into my adult years after I embarked on decades of therapy, I began to permit myself to cry whenever I feel the inclination, which is a lot. And more so in recent days. Sometimes every day. There is a lot to cry about in the world today. But TG957 also talks about fear being behind TMS and that's when the bells and sirens went off. I am consumed by fear. Ever since an episode of betrayal at age 2 that (I believe) caused me to conclude that this world was not a safe place and my parents could not be trusted, I have had the sense that my life is built on shifting sands. Nothing that followed in my early or late childhood, teen years, adulthood, or my <choke> Senior Years has disabused me of that notion. I've suffered from panic attacks my whole life and hope whoever invented xanax is seated at the right hand of God. Events of the last couple of months have thrust the awareness of the abyss into the faces of people who (unlike us) didn't habitually stare into it every day. The longer this goes on (and it's nowhere near done) we can't escape the fear and terror. I don't need to spell it out--it's scary as hell! The lockdown per se isn't particularly difficult for me. I'm an introvert and live alone. My social life was pretty sparse before all this. I'm a retired widow and a childless only child. I deeply envy people who have others who are longing to be reunited with them when this is over-- I don't have anyone like that. There is no one who is counting the minutes until they can hug me again. If and when we get back to "normal," I'll resume a few activities, but really not much will change. Besides fear, I'm also consumed with sadness. What I'm asking y'all to talk about is how this pandemic, its threat, the lockdown, the premature (IMHO) re-openings, and I guess, most of all, the uncertainty are playing havoc with our TMS-related rage and fear? It's one thing to be consumed by unconscious rage and fear because of events from the past that no longer threaten your physical existence, but today the fear of contracting this virus is here-and-now and potentially life-threatening. If you're in a high-contact essential job, God help you. And the rage-- don't even get me started. I know Sarno says that the thing you KNOW you're enraged about isn't the thing that's causing your TMS. That TMS is rooted in unconscious rage. But were our daily lives as awash in real-time rage and fear as they have been in the last few months and will be for many more months or years? I don't know exactly what I'm getting at... maybe someone else can help me sort this out. I feel like this pandemic has added a new dimension to the TMS discussion. Your thoughts?