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Tetanus

Joined
Jun 11, 2019
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#1
Hi all. I have had health anxiety since I can remember. I am always waiting for a diagnosis and constantly scanning my body for symptoms of whatever my current obsession is. So four days ago, I stepped on something in my living room. It was in an area where there is usually a table, so there was quite a bit of dust and some debris in the area. I have no idea what I stepped on, but I did bleed a little and I washed it with soap and water and put some neosporin on it. It is a tiny wound, like the size of a pinprick. I have not had a tetanus shot since I was 16, and I had a pretty severe reaction to it. I am now 56. I have been told that since I had a reaction to the vaccine, I should not get another one. I am now convinced I am going to get tetanus. I was up all night last night reading about tetanus, until I started shaking and getting a panic attack. At 4:30 am I finally took a Xanax and fell asleep.
I understand that there are approximately 30 cases of tetanus in the US every year and there are probably millions and millions of unvaccinated or undervaccinated people such as myself. I know that I have a better chance of winning the lottery. I have not seen a doctor because I am really afraid of being laughed at. The mark on the bottom of my foot looks like almost nothing. I don’t want to have to show it to a doctor and tell him that I am afraid this is what is going to kill me
Tetanus can take up to 3 weeks to manifest after an injury, so it’s going to be a terrible 3 weeks as I feel muscle spasms that are not there, convince myself my jaw is getting stiff, etc. I have been to doctors about this in the past only to be told “You’re not going to get tetanus from THAT!” That is why I am not going. I just wish I could convince myself that I am going to be ok, but I know that there is chance (however small) that I could get tetanus. As long as I know that, I am a wreck. Any advice would be appreciated!
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
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#2
Hello Anxietysux, welcome to the forum, and I am sorry to hear that you have been having to deal with health anxiety for most of your life.
I too have had a tetanus fear throughout my bout of health anxiety these last four months, and what I have learned, even though this may seem hard to do, is to trust your doctor's word. It is a good idea at this point to not take any risks of having another tetanus vaccine.
Tetanus only comes around whenever there is a deep puncture wound from something like a rusty nail, or your puncture wound comes in contact with something like soil or animal feces.
At this point, all you can do is tell yourself, "I am not going to get tetanus from this." As long as you treated it, you should be good to go. Tetanus cases are highly unlikely, especially in my state, where there hasn't been one since the 1990's. If your wound is not deep or there was no evidence of rust, dirt, soil, feces, etc. in that area, I'm sure you'll be OK :)
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
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#3
Thank you Adamden I am trying to convince myself of that, but now my heel hurts (I have a history of plantar fasciitis in that foot) and I have some muscle thing going on in that thigh (which I have had on and off since my hip replacement). I’ve convinced myself that all this is connected to tetanus, even though it probably isn’t
I think a lot of this is fueled by the internet. I google for hours hoping to find some reassurance, which is impossible, because nobody can say sure you don’t have cancer, tetanus, ALS, or whatever the flavor of the week is. Instead of reassurance, I wind up getting freaked out, because the internet says you can get tetanus from a pinprick and there was some guy in Rwanda who stepped on glass in his living room and died of tetanus 3 weeks later. Has anybody sworn off google for health concerns? Does it help? I feel like if it wasn’t for the internet my anxiety would be so much lower
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Messages
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#4
Thank you Adamden I am trying to convince myself of that, but now my heel hurts (I have a history of plantar fasciitis in that foot) and I have some muscle thing going on in that thigh (which I have had on and off since my hip replacement). I’ve convinced myself that all this is connected to tetanus, even though it probably isn’t
I think a lot of this is fueled by the internet. I google for hours hoping to find some reassurance, which is impossible, because nobody can say sure you don’t have cancer, tetanus, ALS, or whatever the flavor of the week is. Instead of reassurance, I wind up getting freaked out, because the internet says you can get tetanus from a pinprick and there was some guy in Rwanda who stepped on glass in his living room and died of tetanus 3 weeks later. Has anybody sworn off google for health concerns? Does it help? I feel like if it wasn’t for the internet my anxiety would be so much lower
Couple things I would like to add. One, please please for your own good stop Googling. I too have fallen victim to the sinister Dr. Google, it won’t do you any favors whatsoever. The internet can say whatever they want without having to know a damn fact, so just let them keep talking. Only trust medical professionals who actually went to school for that stuff. The internet will never give any reassurance.
One thing I want you to keep in mind about that article you read, it may not give you all the facts. Journalism uses the fear factor to sell their articles, even if it means not giving out the full story. That man may have never treated his cut, may have never had the vaccination, may have just ignored his symptoms, but do we know that for sure? No. I’m pretty sure you can’t have so-called “silent” tetanus, where you won’t show a single symptom of tetanus. If you had it, you would know. The symptoms are nothing quiet whatsoever.
It seems like you know what is currently going on with your body, so I don’t see any reason to assume anything different.
 
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