I have been fortunate not to be terribly sick in my life. PF was and is one of the most challenging maladies I have ever experienced. Because of the 24-hour a day pain, I found that it ruled my life -- and I found that no one around me understood it, because after all I looked and appeared otherwise perfectly normal. But every decision I made, I made with my feet in mind -- where to park the car, whether to get up and go to the kitchen for a soda, how long I could manage to go through the grocery store. PF completely ran my life. I was at the point where my feet hurt all the time, whether I was walking, standing, sitting or lying down -- so all I really wanted to focus on was getting some relief.
Most people think, 'oh, your feet hurt.' They only identify to the point of remembering what it was like when they wore cheap shoes that were too tight for maybe 2 or 3 hours and their own feet hurt. They have no conception of what you are going through and living with -- and they won't, unless they too have PF.
I am ever so thankful that I am somewhat better today. I am NOT all better. Maybe I never will be. I hope I will, but I can't predict anything with certainty. Nevertheless, I am thrilled to pieces with the improvement that I have. I cannot yet walk for exercise -- but I can indeed walk during the course of daily life for work and errands and such, and that in itself is wonderful.
One benefit I HAVE realized from PF is that I have gained a much deeper understanding of chronic pain, and hopefully a much greater degree of empathy for those who suffer with chronic pain of any type. Until PF nailed me to the wall, I truly did not understand what it meant to be in all-day, all-night pain. I never knew how simply exhausting it is, or how depressing and debilitating it is. If nothing else, I have tried to be much more understanding and generous of spirit with those I have recently met who suffer chronic pain, and I have come to regret my lack of sympathy in the past for those I sort of brushed off. I will never make that mistake again, because now I know from all-too-personal an experience.
If nothing else, Laurie, you will always be able to find pals here on this board. I have been here for more than a year, and believe me, many people have come and gone. Very few who were here when I first found the board remain; most have left, and have been replaced by new people. And you know what? It doesn't matter. Because it's a devilish and crippling condition that binds me here and teaches them to support and help each other in the course of daily life -- and that in itself is really quite remarkable. Just having the support of people who understood -- even when I didn't post for weeks on end -- was what got me through the black moments, and there were many. This is a wonderful support group.