Thank you all for responding to me so quickly. Eight months has seemed very long, but having read through hundreds of messages posted here I realize it doesn't sound long compared with many people's experiences. The depression and exhaustion I've been going through over this have been hard to handle. I am on an antidepressant and that has helped quite a bit. But I still get so exhausted after being on my feet just a couple of hours that most days I end up taking a 3 or 4 hour nap in the afternoon! I buy and sell antiques (the rustic variety!), have been doing that for five years after many other years of desk work (editing books). It felt so good to be running around, getting exercise in my work, being out with people more. I can't imagine giving it up permanently, but I'm realizing from the message board that I may have to. I'm going to try this osteopath that the Birkenstocks customer recommended; if that doesn't work, I will probably try acupuncture, as Lori suggested. In just the last couple of days, and with the help of your personal messages, I've decided not to rush into the surgery. I've had a couple of emails from people who had good luck with the EPF, but so many others have developed other problems. It's confusing, that's for sure. But I will try more alternatives before going for EPF, and I will try to be patient. Thank you for listening and answering. My podiatrist, I now realize, has given me almost no information on this condition! I'm learning more from this board in three days than I've learned from him in 8 months!