by Tom Kelly, M.S.
I am fortunate enough to have some excellent restaurants and coffee shops within a ten to fifteen minute walk from my home. It is great to be able to walk out of the house and enjoy your favorite meals! I enjoy taking advantage of this opportunity when possible.
This past weekend, I was returning from an excellent dinner with friends. We were chatting and enjoying our time together, when all of a sudden, BAM! A striking pain took over the bottom of my foot. I knew immediately that something had stabbed me. When I looked down, a thin piece of metal was protruding through my shoe. I quickly pulled it out, and wobbled home with the help of my friends.
I am lucky enough to have a friend who is a nurse, and she helped me to clean the cut in my foot and properly stop any bleeding. “Get to the doctor, you need a tetanus shot!” another friend exclaimed. I knew they were right, but I wouldn’t be able to get to my doctor for a few days.
In the time between that night and the subsequent tetanus shot, I managed to convince myself that my foot was all but gone! I would continuously catch myself thinking, “That metal was probably rusted and is bound to contaminate my foot, this is going to turn out horribly!” In that short time, I was positive that this cut in my foot was going to lead the downfall of my overall health. Perhaps it was a bit helpful, and drove me to seek help. But, the distress these thoughts caused was most certainly not necessary. Rather, I could think that this is an injury that can be dealt with by going to the doctor and getting the appropriate treatment. The accompanying dreadful thoughts, the panic that the worst-case scenario WILL happen, were not helpful! How quickly our minds can turn to catastrophes, and how mindful we must be to ensure we appropriately challenge this self-defeating way of thinking!