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Hi, UK sufferers

Posted by Jenny Lewis on 11/11/99 at 00:00 (012519)

Hi Melody and Stuart

I was getting a bit worried that I might be the only person in this country with a heel spur! This message board is wonderful, one of the best discoveries a sufferer can make.

Mine started twinge-ing about a year ago, but only every now and then - I figured it was caused by some shoes I had bought, and stopped wearing them. Then about mid-late January this year, wallop. The big pain began, and didn't stop. A colleague of mine who loves computers suggested a web search, and I discovered amazing message board. It doesn't make the pain go away, knowing that other people are suffering too, but it sort of helps to know that we are not alone.

My doctor was useless, said oh yes, probably a spur, nothing you can do about it, just take anti inflammatories. I took them for a week, but got nervous of using so many and stopped (they hadn'e made the slightest difference at that stage). After an x-ray to confirm it was a spur, he just told me again that nothing could be done. I won't be going back to that doc again, for sure.

The best suggestion for me from the board was to try Birkenstocks. I started off with a pair of blue inserts which were wonderful in a couple of pairs of my normal shoes. While I was buying those, I also bought a pair of sandals that were on a reduced price shelf - and I was instantly in love. I now have 5 pairs! Even though I still think they look fairly awful, I can't imagine wearing anything else. 3 of them were sale prices, fortunately, as they are very expensive. However, they have helped so much that I reckon the price is not a consideration. I noticed the improvement after about 4 or 5 months. Now, I walk nearly normally most of the time (slower than I used to though) and only get twinges occasionally when I have been overdoing it, shopping or sightseeing or whatever. I also have a pair of Scholls sandals (also on sale!) which are softer than the Birks and I find them less supportive, but I use them for when I do pottery and try not to stand too much.

Standing is the big problem. Walking is ok, now.

Since I discovered what I had, I have also heard from 2 other people who have had spurs, also learned that my late grandmother had one many years ago, and they all heeled (sorry!) after 'a while' - people sort of forget how long it took, which I found encouraging in a way!

The icing didn't work for me - made it more painful. I do stretch my feet and wiggle them about at every opportunity - get lots of funny looks on London Transport, so what - and my very BEST is standing on a step, toes on the step, arch on the edge, heel sort of hanging out in space, and go up on your toes and down - good grief, this is so difficult to describe, but really easy to do. Hope it makes sense. Not recommended on the escalators at rush hour!

Good luck with the nasty heel monster. If anyone ever organises a UK chapter Heel Spur Conference let me know - plenty of seats and very soft carpeting on all the floors essential.

Jenny Lewis
in London
overlooking Regents Park


Re: Hi, UK sufferers

Stuart B on 11/11/99 at 00:00 (012521)

Hi Jenny,
it's starting to feel like a weird hobbling club! (Soft carpets and lots of seating LOL). This really is such a stupid condition, it is good to hear from people who understand. I wonder if it is possible to get a disabled sticker for the car with this? Don't like the pessimistic stigma this has but would like not to have to hobble too far when shopping. Maybe we ought to arrange a get together, a party where we all do sitting down dancing!!
Hope you feel better about your heels today.

Stuart, in Cirencester


Re: Hi, UK sufferers

Melody on 11/11/99 at 00:00 (012539)

Hello Jenny,

Another UK sufferer here!

I have been like this for 6 months now and have reached the stage where I can't cope any more! I really dread it becoming a long term permenant problem.

My GP has suggested injections which I am avoiding. I can't take NSAIDS any more cos they burn holes in my stomach so her advice it sit it out and hope it goes away!

I am living in trainers at the minute and getting fed up with that. A colleague told me that I looked a mess in them! Well I don't need friends like that!!!

I tried the step thing today while patrolling the play ground and ended up spilling my coffee cos I slipped!!!!! Now try explaining that one!!!

Take care
Mel


Re: Hi, UK sufferers

Jenny Lewis on 11/12/99 at 00:00 (012550)

Hi again

Oops, sorry, I forgot to mention - when doing the step heel-dangle thing, make sure you have something to hold on to! Oh well, I hope the kiddies were suitably entertained if nothing else.

The comments about shoes from pea-brained colleagues are, to say the least, unfortunate. I have noticed several mentions on the message board from people on the lack of sympathy and support from their friends and relatives, and I find this very sad. I've been exceptionally lucky, in this respect, everyone around me has been most sympathetic and understanding. And even smile and listen politely when I start rambling on about my newly acquired knowledge of feet! I think the Birks look awful, but I don't care, they have saved my life and my sanity!!! However, if anyone were to say anything deliberately unpleasant I would let them know what I think of them, sharpish.

If the trainers are comfortable, stick with them, sod the comments. Try the blue rigid Birks inserts, and if you are near a Birks shop try some on. Or Scholls (Scholls do inserts but MUCH more expensive, but they adjust them every few weeks for the shape of your foot). Or Ecco, which most shoe shops seem to stock these days, and they have a good arch support as well. Try anything on your feet that feels ok - but be warned, the Birks, inserts as well as shoes, take some wearing to get used to them. Are you near London? I go to the Birks shop in Neal Street, Covent Garden. The Natural Shoe Company is nearby. Foot-ache paradise!

AND ... forget the anti inflamms. I find the doctors to eager to prescribe them and they can cause more problems than they are worth from what I've heard. Ibuprofen is overpriced and to me personally, overrated. Rubbing in Ibuleve or any of the other ibu-creams is another way to throw money down the drain, my personal opinion of course, maybe they have helped some but they did nothing for me.

How old are the kids you teach? I find children far more sympathetic than they would appear to be on the surface, and if you explain to them what you are going through, I bet you get more help and concern from them than from the adult shoe-critics. Also, they might make an effort to bring you a chair and generally try to help. Worth a try?

Keep smiling, ouch, at least every other step anyway.

jl


Re: Hi, UK sufferers

Jenny Lewis on 11/12/99 at 00:00 (012551)

Hi Stuart

Don't know about the stickers, though it might be worth a try! I don't have a car. However, when I get to Sainsbury's for the weekly shelf clearance, I find the trolleys perfect for leaning on whilst hobbling around. Then I bung everything into my shopper and sort of lean on the handle to get home. That's on a bad day. As mentioned, most of the time now I'm ok with ordinary walking, but ambling around the supermarket doesn't help.

Somebody on the board once before mentioned a foot pain conference. It does present something of a strange mental picture! Luckily there is a lot of humour around, even when people have been in agony for years. Great bunch of people. If you need a laugh, look at the list of 'You know you have PF when...' I think you get to it from Scott's home page, not sure. Anyway, it's worth a read.

jl
crisp clear autumn day
in London



Re: Hi, UK sufferers

Stuart B on 11/12/99 at 00:00 (012552)

Morning Jenny,
It's another lovely day in the Cotswolds too. Glad to hear you sound so chirpy and that you cycle. I use an old bike to get around town on. It's easier, nicer, more polite than using the car and it saves me from walking. One way streets are very annoying though aren't they!!

I read the 'you know when you have PF when...' stuff and it is very funny how you can laugh at this. The best thing I have read on this site is that Carl Lewis had PF and had the same operation as me and recovered to world class form. There is hope for us!


Re: Hi, UK sufferers

Melody on 11/12/99 at 00:00 (012564)

Hi!
I teach 5 year olds and they are great when it comes to helping! I can't lift many things so they are used to having to help. A really great class this year.

The birks you wear - how wide are they? I can't wear Ecco's cos they are too narrow. I don't think the trainers look too bad and as long as they are comfy I am not too worried about what other people think.

My GP has just referred me for physio on the foot. I hope that's not too painful!

I think having PF stickers is a good idea! When my sister broke her foot and was on crutches she ended up telling people she had a broken arm!!! Just got fed up with explaining that she hurt her foot!!

Take care


Re: Hi, UK sufferers

Stuart B on 11/11/99 at 00:00 (012521)

Hi Jenny,
it's starting to feel like a weird hobbling club! (Soft carpets and lots of seating LOL). This really is such a stupid condition, it is good to hear from people who understand. I wonder if it is possible to get a disabled sticker for the car with this? Don't like the pessimistic stigma this has but would like not to have to hobble too far when shopping. Maybe we ought to arrange a get together, a party where we all do sitting down dancing!!
Hope you feel better about your heels today.

Stuart, in Cirencester


Re: Hi, UK sufferers

Melody on 11/11/99 at 00:00 (012539)

Hello Jenny,

Another UK sufferer here!

I have been like this for 6 months now and have reached the stage where I can't cope any more! I really dread it becoming a long term permenant problem.

My GP has suggested injections which I am avoiding. I can't take NSAIDS any more cos they burn holes in my stomach so her advice it sit it out and hope it goes away!

I am living in trainers at the minute and getting fed up with that. A colleague told me that I looked a mess in them! Well I don't need friends like that!!!

I tried the step thing today while patrolling the play ground and ended up spilling my coffee cos I slipped!!!!! Now try explaining that one!!!

Take care
Mel


Re: Hi, UK sufferers

Jenny Lewis on 11/12/99 at 00:00 (012550)

Hi again

Oops, sorry, I forgot to mention - when doing the step heel-dangle thing, make sure you have something to hold on to! Oh well, I hope the kiddies were suitably entertained if nothing else.

The comments about shoes from pea-brained colleagues are, to say the least, unfortunate. I have noticed several mentions on the message board from people on the lack of sympathy and support from their friends and relatives, and I find this very sad. I've been exceptionally lucky, in this respect, everyone around me has been most sympathetic and understanding. And even smile and listen politely when I start rambling on about my newly acquired knowledge of feet! I think the Birks look awful, but I don't care, they have saved my life and my sanity!!! However, if anyone were to say anything deliberately unpleasant I would let them know what I think of them, sharpish.

If the trainers are comfortable, stick with them, sod the comments. Try the blue rigid Birks inserts, and if you are near a Birks shop try some on. Or Scholls (Scholls do inserts but MUCH more expensive, but they adjust them every few weeks for the shape of your foot). Or Ecco, which most shoe shops seem to stock these days, and they have a good arch support as well. Try anything on your feet that feels ok - but be warned, the Birks, inserts as well as shoes, take some wearing to get used to them. Are you near London? I go to the Birks shop in Neal Street, Covent Garden. The Natural Shoe Company is nearby. Foot-ache paradise!

AND ... forget the anti inflamms. I find the doctors to eager to prescribe them and they can cause more problems than they are worth from what I've heard. Ibuprofen is overpriced and to me personally, overrated. Rubbing in Ibuleve or any of the other ibu-creams is another way to throw money down the drain, my personal opinion of course, maybe they have helped some but they did nothing for me.

How old are the kids you teach? I find children far more sympathetic than they would appear to be on the surface, and if you explain to them what you are going through, I bet you get more help and concern from them than from the adult shoe-critics. Also, they might make an effort to bring you a chair and generally try to help. Worth a try?

Keep smiling, ouch, at least every other step anyway.

jl


Re: Hi, UK sufferers

Jenny Lewis on 11/12/99 at 00:00 (012551)

Hi Stuart

Don't know about the stickers, though it might be worth a try! I don't have a car. However, when I get to Sainsbury's for the weekly shelf clearance, I find the trolleys perfect for leaning on whilst hobbling around. Then I bung everything into my shopper and sort of lean on the handle to get home. That's on a bad day. As mentioned, most of the time now I'm ok with ordinary walking, but ambling around the supermarket doesn't help.

Somebody on the board once before mentioned a foot pain conference. It does present something of a strange mental picture! Luckily there is a lot of humour around, even when people have been in agony for years. Great bunch of people. If you need a laugh, look at the list of 'You know you have PF when...' I think you get to it from Scott's home page, not sure. Anyway, it's worth a read.

jl
crisp clear autumn day
in London



Re: Hi, UK sufferers

Stuart B on 11/12/99 at 00:00 (012552)

Morning Jenny,
It's another lovely day in the Cotswolds too. Glad to hear you sound so chirpy and that you cycle. I use an old bike to get around town on. It's easier, nicer, more polite than using the car and it saves me from walking. One way streets are very annoying though aren't they!!

I read the 'you know when you have PF when...' stuff and it is very funny how you can laugh at this. The best thing I have read on this site is that Carl Lewis had PF and had the same operation as me and recovered to world class form. There is hope for us!


Re: Hi, UK sufferers

Melody on 11/12/99 at 00:00 (012564)

Hi!
I teach 5 year olds and they are great when it comes to helping! I can't lift many things so they are used to having to help. A really great class this year.

The birks you wear - how wide are they? I can't wear Ecco's cos they are too narrow. I don't think the trainers look too bad and as long as they are comfy I am not too worried about what other people think.

My GP has just referred me for physio on the foot. I hope that's not too painful!

I think having PF stickers is a good idea! When my sister broke her foot and was on crutches she ended up telling people she had a broken arm!!! Just got fed up with explaining that she hurt her foot!!

Take care