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Where I stand (no, sit) today

Posted by Nancy S. on 12/15/99 at 00:00 (013757)

I can hardly find words to express how much this site has affected me since I first found it about 5 days ago. I'd spent the last 8 months in despair as I saw my daily life shrink to consisting of limping around, some days refusing to give in to the pain and thus overdoing activities and making it worse; other days, sleeping and lying in bed depressed and feeling guilty over not getting things accomplished. For many years I was a freelance book editor and got little exercise; 5 years ago I began buying and selling rustic antiques and loved the exercise, getting out with people, and feeling more a part of the world. When the heel spur / PF hit me, in May, I felt that my new work life was being 'stolen' from me. I continued to feel that way and had scheduled EPF surgery for January, after trying the very few conservative treatments my podiatrist had offered me. Then I posted here, and read many many messages and guestbook entries, not to mention Scott's work, and came to several realizations. The most important was that I had to stop feeling like a victim, like my life has been 'stolen' from me; I have to take more control and try more to heal myself rather than depend on the podiatrist's limited, halfhearted approach; I have to accept what is happening, listen to it, pay attention, and work with it -- and allow the other joys I know to stay in my life.
I've realized how much my attitudes have made me keep reinjuring myself. As a result of this site, I've started a new daily regimen of Never going barefoot, always wearing my new Birkenstocks around the house -- and outside when the orthotics in my running shoes stop being effective (about 2 hours); icing; stretching and massaging foot before I get up into my Birks; stretching my calves while leaning against a wall twice a day.
I am starting to impose my own limitations, instead of feeling that they're being forced on me by this condition. I had no idea what 'rest' really means or how important it is. I guess I thougt I was being a hero by working on my antiques out in the barn for hours even tho in great pain. Now I know I was stupid. I can do it for only 2 hours, and at the first sign of pain I come in and ice and rest--for the remainder of the day if necessary.
I am cutting my antiquing activities in half for the foreseeable future (3 months? 6 months?), will take an editing job now and then (even tho I'm burned out on that and dont realy want to, but I'll just keep telling myself it's for my feet), and be mindful every second of how my foot feels and what I should do for it at that moment. Rest means a lot of things -- I mean, many times I've done stuff like squat down to scoop out the kitty litter box, and it hurt my foot, but I didn't want to be 'lazy.' But I don't have to be lazy -- these things can be accomplished in other ways. I can sit right down on the floor and do it, without hurting my foot. Actually, I've begun to compile a list of simple daily activities and situations in which I now realize I was injuring my injury, and how to resolve that problem by doing things a little differently. I will post the list at some point. It's simple stuff, but I couldn't see until now what a dfference it can make -- these supposedly little things add up. It's a part of 'rest' that I didn't understand.
Anyway, I just want to thank those who have responded to me and others whose messages I read daily.
I have canceled the EPF surgery that only two weeks ago I was so anxious to have. I already am noticing that I have less pain, and I feel more confident when I do have pain because I now know things to do for it (what is the use of a podiatrist, anyway -- I hope others have more imaginative ones than I do). All in all, I'm feeling less despair, more accepting of this condition (which I'm thinking of as a process I'm going through), and more encouraged that the rest of my life will not have to be like the last 8 months. I think my hurt foot was hurting my mind too; now I'm trying to use my mind to make my foot hurt less. I wish everyone the best on this journey -- as Wendy N and I agreed, it is a humbling experience, and maybe something good can come of that. I tend to think so right now.

Re: Where I stand (no, sit) today

Elise M. on 12/15/99 at 00:00 (013758)

Hi Nancy,
Thank you for sharing your pains and successes! That is how we all stay afloat in what otherwise could be a sea of despair. I too, have had to alter my daily events, change my thinking, go inside instead of to medicine to heal myself with more success than I thought was possible. Don't get me wrong, I still have days of pain and days of some relief. I am more intuned with the messages my body sends me and now I respond accordingly. Collectively, we are our own best therapists, united we will stand, divided , well.....you know the outcome....Glad you are feeling better. Keep posting !!!
El.

Re: Where I stand (no, sit) today

Lee H on 12/15/99 at 00:00 (013759)

Congratulations on your new attitude. Hope all works out for you. Glad to hear you canceled your surgery, I really believe there are other ways to beat PF. I have talked to 3 different orthopedic foot surgeons and they all say the same thing. The surgery isn't all that effective and it is only done in desperation. Good luck.

Re: Where I stand (no, sit) today

Elise M. on 12/15/99 at 00:00 (013758)

Hi Nancy,
Thank you for sharing your pains and successes! That is how we all stay afloat in what otherwise could be a sea of despair. I too, have had to alter my daily events, change my thinking, go inside instead of to medicine to heal myself with more success than I thought was possible. Don't get me wrong, I still have days of pain and days of some relief. I am more intuned with the messages my body sends me and now I respond accordingly. Collectively, we are our own best therapists, united we will stand, divided , well.....you know the outcome....Glad you are feeling better. Keep posting !!!
El.

Re: Where I stand (no, sit) today

Lee H on 12/15/99 at 00:00 (013759)

Congratulations on your new attitude. Hope all works out for you. Glad to hear you canceled your surgery, I really believe there are other ways to beat PF. I have talked to 3 different orthopedic foot surgeons and they all say the same thing. The surgery isn't all that effective and it is only done in desperation. Good luck.