Trust Your Gut Or You Might Get Screwed


Over the summer, every time my husband and I walked, I’d get these huge, hideous blisters on my feet. Sometimes on the right foot, but mostly on the left ~ on Frankenfoot.

My gut told me to call my specialist doctor and see what was going on. My brain told me not to be silly, it was just my shoes, my socks, the weather. It was no big deal and I didn’t need to disturb an orthopedic surgeon with my silly blisters.

Um, yeah. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Turns out, my gut was right. I did need to see the specialist. See those two beautiful screws in my heel? They weren’t happy in their present location and were starting to back out. Ouch! The best way to combat their slow exit was to take them out surgically.

After a brief panic attack where I had a flashback to the first surgery and the months of recovery, I realized this was a simple procedure, nothing to freak out about. That’s what my instincts told me. They were right. Again.

All too often we dismiss that little tickle in our belly and try to rationalize our thinking. We do this in everything, our writing (ever thought a beta reader was way off base, but you made changes anyway and ended up hating it? Or your ignored them and turns out, they were right, their changes made the book stronger?), our daily life (you know that latte isn’t good for you, but you convince yourself you deserve it), and even in our relationships (he only hit me once, and it was an accident).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of rationalization, but only when it’s used for good and not evil.

Sometimes we really did need to make that plot change, or once in awhile the latte really is a deserved treat, that’s when rationalization is okay. It’s never acceptable in a relationship that involves violence. That’s when trusting your gut is more important than ever.

I know what you’re thinking… how the heck did a couple of screws get the conversation all the way over to abusive relationships? Easy. Once we stop listening to our gut and letting our brain make all the decisions for us, it’s a slippery slope to losing that natural instinct that tells us when something isn’t right.

August McLaughlin has some wonderful posts on what she calls, ‘Gift of Fear Moments’ ~ those times when your gut took over and natural instinct saved your life. The women in her posts at first dismissed their gut instinct, but later trusted it and ended up surviving what could have been fatal situations. They are fascinating reads on the human psyche and fear. I do hope you’ll check them out here and here.

True, my screwy adventure was no where near life threatening, but what if I’d ignored my gut and let the screws continue their gradual backing out? Not only would the surgery and recovery time have been much worse, I might have messed up my foot for ever. As it is, I’ll be down for a month and then, hopefully, I can get back to walking and working out.

The next time I start to poo-poo an idea, I’m going to take a closer listen to what my gut’s telling me. What are those natural instincts my body wants me to tune into? My brain is a marvelous thing, but sometimes it just has too much going on.

The gut, on the other hand, is a fabulous visceral meter.

When was a time you trusted your gut and avoided something nasty? As you can read here, it’s not always life threatening situations that our instinct tries to protect us from, sometimes it’s just our own insecurities. Have you ever had a ‘might get screwed’ moment when your gut told you one thing and your brain another? Share with us! I’d hate to think I’m the only goofball who didn’t listen to her gut. 😉

By the way, they gave me the screws. Can you believe it! What the heck am I supposed to do with two titanium screws? Got any cool craft ideas?


33 thoughts on “Trust Your Gut Or You Might Get Screwed

  1. I would have earrings made out of them. What an ice-breaker they would be!
    I think we all postpone appointments in the hopes that the problem goes away since it sometimes does…

  2. It’s kind of a paradox really. I’m a skeptic for the most part; I have to have a logical, proven answer for everything or I’m not buying it. But when my gut speaks, I listen. Maybe because all those little moments in the past, where my gut said a situation just wasn’t ‘right’, or a person I just–for no outward reason did not like. In those cases, my gut has never been wrong.

    The one that sticks out the most, was a man who was a friend of my dad’s. I was thirteen at the time. I didn’t like the way he looked at me, or the way he smiled. My dad thought I was rude when I refused to let him hug me goodbye when he came to visit. Then, one day, he was arrested for molesting a friend of his daughter, who had been on a sleep-over. There was no outward sign that this man was a paedophile, and all the adults in my life thought he was great, until the truth came out. But my gut told me he was bad news.

    • Wow, thanks for sharing that story, Cheryl. Listening to your gut at such a young age ~ and sticking to what you feel is right ~ is simply amazing. I’m so glad you kept yourself safe!

      It sure is nice to see you around the blog lately. I’ve missed you!

  3. I’m a big believer in gut-trusting from waaaay back. You made a great point linking those screws to abusive relationships. We do need to pay attention to those whispers (or screams) we hear inside ourselves.
    I’m so glad your recovery is going well and second Susie’s idea of making those screws into earrings! Photo please!

    • I completely agree, Patricia. If we get better at listening when it is only a whisper, then we’ll definitely trust our gut when it’s a scream. Sometimes those screams are easier to dismiss than the whispers.

      Okay, two votes for earrings! I’ll post pics when I finish them. Unless they’re way too hideous. :O

  4. I tend to have a lot of “might get screwed” moments happen, and most of the time I listen to them, and the few times I don’t I remember why I do trust my gut often.

    But thank you, I needed this post today. I was struggling so hard with my NaNo yesterday, and I think I just need to sit down at listen to my gut about what these characters are going through.

    • I’m so glad this post helped you today. You’re doing so well on the NaNo’ing, keep up the great work and listen to your gut! Those characters want to take you on a brilliant ride. Let them. 😉

  5. I’m a huge proponent of trusting my gut (not like I can ignore it after three kids ;-P). When I knew something was going on with my daughter I continued pursuing it even though people (&docs) kept telling me she was okay. She wasn’t; in Oct of 2011 she had brain surgery to remove a tumor and cyst! Trust yourself and you won’t go wrong.

    • You are so right about trusting your gut after kids. That’s great that you kept on top of your daughter’s illness even when everyone else was! I hope she’s completely recovered and all is well with her. {{{hugs}}}

  6. Ouch, it looks painful but glad you’ve had it sorted now. I totally agree about always trusting your guts. If your instinct tells you something is wrong, listen to it.

    • Thanks Emma! Hopefully this is the last of problems I’ll have with this foot. We did leave two screws in there, but they seem happy where they are. I’ve learned a huge lesson with this. The end result would’ve been the same, but I wouldn’t have lost an entire summer of fitness for being a goofball.

  7. I’m so glad that you had the wherewithal to see your doctor on your gut’s recommendation. 😉 Your mission of no longer poo-pooing is sure to be a success. It’s one of those things that gets easier with practice.

    THANK YOU for the awesome shout out! Here’s my most recent instinct story. A couple of months back, I headed to the park with my ipod , thinking it’d be fun to listen to a new album while running. I felt odd right away, not being able to hear my surroundings, so I turned the volume WAY down.

    It was early, and dark, and about 10 minutes in, I felt someone running behind me. Then I heard them. I took Gavin de Becker’s advice and turned to look. As I swirled around, the guy stopped just a few feet behind me, looking totally surprised, then darted away in the opposite direction. And he wasn’t wearing running clothes. Was he dangerous? Who the heck knows. But I’m glad I listened and responded.

  8. I like to think a higher power is giving me hints during those times my gut starts feeling uneasy. For some reason, framing my gut instinct that way makes me stop and take notice more.

    • That’s a wonderful way to look at it! Too often we can talk ourselves out of a gut instinct, but if it comes from something higher, we’re more apt to listen. I love that advice, thanks Traci.

  9. Yikes, those screws are scary looking boogers. I’ve had several instances where I was seriously creeped out for no clear reason and didn’t want to be around someone…but don’t know if it was valid or not. Interestingly, the dog didn’t like the person, either. I tend to trust not only my gut, but my furry wonders, too.

    • Dogs are ALWAYS to be trusted when it comes to creepy people. I totally believe they have a better people receptor than I do. I’ve met people that creep me out and I might never know why, but I trust those instincts and keep a distance.

  10. I’m glad it won’t be long before you’re back on your feet 🙂

    I think there’s great value in trusting our intuition because intuition is just our brain putting together facts that we’re not yet consciously aware of. It’s not that the facts aren’t there. When we look back in hindsight, or if we sit down and really think through what might be driving that intuition, we can usually put it together and see how logical it really was. I’m not a fan of gut without thought. I think they need to help each other, and when they do, we can avoid a lot of stupid, regrettable mistakes.

  11. Wow. Looking at that x-ray is crazy. I know you told me, but seeing the real deal is something else. I’m so glad you are healing. I think Susie’s idea is a fabulous one. How fun would that be to start up a conversation? LOL. I almost always listen to my gut. When I don’t I’m usually sorry. I’m glad you listened to yours this time. I think we have a built in mystical warning system for these important things.

  12. I guess you would be easy to shop for at xmas….screwdriver sets, Dr.Schouls, etc. Have no fear Frankenfoot is well under repair and soon to be good as new!

  13. Ouch! Oh that x-ray just looks like a world of pain was involved there! Earrings? Those could work. After seeing August’s post, I’m thinking they would work as a ring, too (as in don’t even THINK about messing with me, buddy).

    My most important intuition moment came when I was pregnant with my youngest. Without going into a million long and boring details, I knew going in that the odds were in favor of my dying before she was born. I had a hard time staying pregnant past six months, and when I made it past, everyone was pleasantly surprised. The doc even scheduled a C-section for 38 week, but at 37 weeks, I had a ‘feeling.’ Fortunately he listened and delivered her the next morning. If we’d waited the extra week, the odds were about 99% my uterus would have ruptured, likely killing us both. So yeah, I’m a BIG fan of intuition and listening to your gut.

      • It was scary. But it was also very cool. That I ‘knew,’ and that my doctor trusted me enough to listen….it was amazing. I can’t begin to tell you how glad I am that he did listen. I intend to be around for many more decades…nagging my kids, embarrassing my kids, and just being a general pain in the neck. I figure the C-sections have earned me that right. 🙂

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