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vicki to Lorraine

Posted by vicki on 9/02/99 at 00:00 (010513)

Your depression is a natural reaction, but sometime soon you need to do some realistic 'self-talk'. Hopefully you will be one of those that heals quickly. But usually PF takes a long time to heal. The pain may not go away for a long time. But, it is possible to find new ways to enjoy life...but yes, it is depressing...I know. Going on my 3 mile walk every morning was the best 'therapy' in my life. I was miserable, depressed and started gaining weight when I had to stop. It was a major loss in my life.
Always remember that it is an inflammation to begin with. No, I will never consider surgery, unless they can remove the spur without cutting the plantar...but I'm going to wait awhile longer before I even consider that. I don't believe in any type of surgery unless it is absolutely necessary.
Shots helped my sister (who had the same problem)immediately...but they did nothing for me. Neither did any anti-inflammatory that I could stomach at the begining. I was at a point where I could not walk without crutches. Rolling my arches from toes to heel as hard as I could bear on frozen plastic soda bottles and stretching for 30 seconds many times through the day (the stretches described on Scott's main page) finally brought some relief.I stopped walking, running, etc and only biked or swam for exercise. I finally found a dr who could make me a pair of orthotics that helped too(had to throw away two pairs from drs who could never get them right). I think a combination of walking with support (orthotics or birkinstocks or other shoes...but remember that it takes a couple of weeks to break in birks..the birks are better tahn my orthotics)and the stretching and icing is what finally brought some relief...I find the big toe stretch that scot describes very effective along with stretching both the calves AND hamstrings. Also, massaging the bottom of my foot with a hard ball helps very often when it hurts to immediately loosen the tightened muscle...I roll the ball around on my foot until I find the exact spot that releases the tension. Ibuprophen will now help cut the pain where a year ago the maximum dose didn't help at all. Stretch, support and ice I think are really valuable, but you have to experiment with different stretches to find the ones that work best for you. A PT or athletic trainer can help with this...or books from the library or those exercise videos which you can rent.

I have found that it is also very important to let the dr know that you are an 'informed sufferer'. In fact, it is critical. MOst of them are so busy or lack the care to really listen. Read Scott's paper, it is the most informative document I have found anywhere and when you see your dr, talk to him using the medical terms and make sure you tell him you want more than simple relief from the pain, you want to be active again. First of all, going in to the doctor radiating a determined attitude will help you asess immediately if he is going to really work with you to determine what caused your PF and the best treatment for you. If he talks surgery immediately, walk out the door. SEcondly, if he knows that YOU know what you're talking about, he will talk more specifically to you so you can become more sensitive to your own pain, your own foot and help him solve your case. YES, YOU MUST BE AS WELL INFORMED AS YOU CAN POSSIBLY BE TO HAVE ANY DOCTOR REALLY HELP YOU. My sister (who is in the medical field) and I have found that we are more successful at weeding out drs who are worthless when we inform ourselves as best we can and when we do find a good, helpful doctor, we facilitate our own healing process by learning as much as we can because we go in asking informed, intelligent questions.
Yes, it is alot of work, no, youcan't depend on a doctor to heal you...unless like I said at the beginning that you are one of the lucky ones that responds quickly. I hope you are.

I can go to the mall now, and work in the garden without always being on my knees or sitting down. I can stand in the kitchen and cook and work in the darkroom (part of my work) without dying.

I wish you the best and hope you heal quickly. Do good things for yourself until you find some relief.

sincerely
vicki