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Sprained Toe, Oh No! Lions, Tigers, Bears, Oh My!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by donavanf, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. donavanf

    donavanf Well known member

    My TMS has been a lot better lately. For the most part. BUT, about 17 days ago (yes, I am counting the days) I banged my second to little (fourth) toe on the bedpost and sprained it. Doctor visit with 2 X-Rays show no discernable fracture, but a pretty nasty sprain. Doc said RICE, and "Buddy Tape" to isolate and brace the toe, and look at about 3-6 weeks before I'm feeling all better. He told me it was perfectly normal for a badly sprained toe to hurt for a while.

    So my toe has been hurting, but I think it's hurting more than I think it should. I am going through a LOT of stress and anxiety right now, having a flare-up of OCD, rumination, watching all kinds of scary videos on foot disorders, etc. The more I think about my toe, and the more I become afraid, the more it HURTS.

    Can TMS be concomitantly occuring with, or delaying a healing from an actual injury?

    To make matters worse, my doc ran a series of blood panels (full workup) on me a few weeks ago and all good, except my ANA panel (marker for possible autoimmune issues was positive). I FREAKED out, because my mom had Lupus, and sis has Rheumatoid Arthritis. Doctor said all the subtests (where they actually test all the antibodies to all the major autoimmune and rheumatic disorders, from Lupus to Scleroderma, Sjrogens, etc) and they were all NEGATIVE. Doctor told me this was a GREAT sign, and I am in the clear. He wants to test again in about 3-6 months, but he said it was very common to have a positive ANA, and if the markers and titers were low and/or negative (both low and negative in my case), I am home free.

    So instead of partying and saying, "I am so grateful I just have a sprained toe, and I DO NOT have Lupus, I spent the next WEEK obsessively watching every YouTube video on Lupus there is. I even joined a Lupus support group and I don't have lupus! I would laugh if I could, but I'm too busy scaring myself!

    Anyway, my toe hurts still, I am a nervous wreck, and I think ALL this is TMS. My doc even said that a positive ANA can sometimes happen if a patient is experiencing extreme stress or is injured (both were the case when I took the test, I had a panic attack as the needle was going in for the blood draw).

    I have been so much better, why am I scaring myself so bad, and what can I do to soothe my fear, which I know is making my pain in my toe go from a dull ache to a sharp "PAY ATTENTION TO ME!!!!"

    I'm having a setback. :(
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi donavanf,

    I am glad you've been so much better overall!

    I love Alan's teaching that the activation of the inner alarm cycles help us activate to "stay safe." In other words, when we were children (and as animals inside), when we're scared, we were ready to deal with any number of threats: we're watching the conditions, listening, watching, we're ready to change our behaviors, ready to leave, etc.

    So here is donavan, worrying, doing his thing, like billions of others, quite naturally!

    I have clients who simply read the multimedia program over and over and reread especially the parts which help relieve anxiety in them, personally. Give yourself this treat!

    Andy B
  3. donavanf

    donavanf Well known member

    Thanks, Andy!

    Always good to hear from you. Yes, my "not safe" alarm bells are on high alert. I had a phone session with a TMS therapist once, and she told me, "After hearing your story, it's clear you feel constantly frightened. If you need one takeaway, you need to keep re-assuring yourself with the mantra, "I'm safe, I'm safe, I'm safe".

    Where do I find the multimedia program you mentioned? I will watch and re-watch for sure!

    Thanks for the wisdom.

  4. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Hi Donavan,
    I had a broken bone in my foot and suffered way more than necessary due to TMS. Our brains are sneaky! I knew about TMS, but when my foot continued to hurt after it should have been healed it took me three months to tumble to the truth. My foot was fine, my mind was not. That's when I joined the wiki and started doing the SEP. We are good at adding our emotional stuff to our physical stuff. Like my foot, your toe will heal, so don't be afraid. Hopefully the multimedia program Andy mentioned will be just what you need!! Good luck,
    donavanf likes this.
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    donavanf likes this.
  6. donavanf

    donavanf Well known member

    Thanks, everyone. I saw my Physical Therapist and she said it was a mild sprain and possibly a very small hairline fracture. I am wearing a walking boot designed to keep the foot and toes isolated, but the pain is still there. I began to do some journaling today, and MAN...I have a LOT of repressed anger. It's almost like my toe is a tiny fire alarm, but the actual FIRE is my raging unconscious, that is really screaming to be heard. I'm trying to figure out how to separate what is "real" (I sprained my toe, and it's normal to hurt for a while, as it heals) vs. TMS (which is also very real, and isn't physical, but EMOTIONAL)

    I feel like this is hurting more than it "should" and I also note that when I become angry or upset, it hurts WAY worse. And I am NOT doing a good job of trusting my doctor and Physical Therapist. I am going back to docs for a checkup and I want them to re-xray the toe. I am CONVINCED I have some kind of serious damage to my toe, that everyone is missing. "IT MUST BE PHYSICAL". Any ideas on how to get past this? I'm really suffering. This feels like a major setback. I feel very sad, like all the great work I've done in the last year has been reversed in one tiny toe sprain.
  7. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Donavan,

    I first came to this site about six years ago and was very active for a year or two. Then my life slowly became better and I was good enough that I did not need to check in. I remember you well from then. I too have recently had a setback. I am feeling many of the same things. Yesterday as I was looking over the support thread and considering what advice I would give, I had a sudden realization that I had really stopped practicing many of the things I had previously learned. The physical pain I am experiencing right now is different than what I had before. So different I have created a story based on my age(56) and the progression of the pain over the last 4 months, and did not even truly consider the possibility of it being TMS. What started as several severe lower back spasms has progressed to overall pain, with difficulty standing and walking after sitting. If I were 85 this might just seem like a natural progression of age but since I am only in my mid-50’s I look around at all the active older adult with a deep sense that something must be terribly wrong with me. I have not gone in for testing. I think perhaps because I am not sure how I will cope with some diagnosis they have no real treatment for.... fear? So I am am in no real position to give any advice but perhaps a little emotional support helps us all. Today I am going back to some of the things I used to do that helped. Starting over? Perhaps, but maybe this time the timeline will be different. I also grapple with the “what’s real” question. You see, I 100% believe that TMS is a real thing. I have seen it in action and I have heard all the stories, read the books, have an understanding... but when it comes to my physical pain, I struggle with applying the belief. And as time goes on I come to believe that this particular pain could not be life threatening or permanently debilitating, the pain shifts... this is supposed to be a good sign, one that fuels my total belief in TMS and provide a cure. And yet here I am, my body in total pain, my mobility compromised, and once again I have doubt. Is it some terrible physical disease? Is my life as I knew it over? My reason tells me no, but that is in my head. How do I translate that to a sense of calm and well-being when my body is screaming in pain? I am seeing an SE therapist and I look forward to our session each week. I know no matter how much pain I am in, that hour is respite and things may shift. One of the things my therapist keeps practicing with me is looking around the room, naming the objects I see with the mantra “I am okay in this moment.” I often fall back on this and it is very effective in calming myself and helping me to feel safe. I am okay in this moment. You are okay in this moment. It does really highlight how much our fears are forward thinking. We know this fearful, worrying mind fuels our TMS and it is also not good for our physical bodies.
  8. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just had a flash of a memory from many years ago that somehow seemed relevant, at least for me. When my daughter was a toddler, she would occasionally dislocate her elbow from its socket. It was extremely painful and we would rush to the emergency room. One time as she was clutching her arm, her angelic face looked up to the doctor in tears and she said “we have to be very brave.” She knew from her previous experience that what the doctor had to do was going to cause her even more pain momentarily. We can’t always control the things in life that happen and cause us pain and fear. But we can muster the courage to face them, no matter how small, how fragile we are.
    Lizzy and Ellen like this.

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