Nancy, your comments about fear especially rang true. My PF is considerably better now, but at its height I can remember being nearly paralyzed with fear that the rest of my life would be lived in that degree of constant pain. Very undramatically, I can say that I understand why people with chronic pain think about suicide. Chronic pain of any type is a life-consuming and life-changing phenomenon. I never used to understand it, but now I have a much greater appreciate for chronic pain sufferers, and I do understand why people think about ending it all. At the time, I didn't particularly care whether I could ever walk again. I didn't care whether I ended up on a motorized scooter or with doubles canes or even in a wheelchair. I just wanted the blasted 24-hour pain to stop.
The reason I'm posting is to try to provide some encouragement. Last year at this time, I was one of the folks I described in the paragraph above. I'm not cured by far right now -- but I am worlds better than I was in early 1999. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be able to post that on this board -- but here I am. It happened fairly slowly and fairly gradually for me -- but I can definitely chart the treatment and time periods where I made improvement. I'm still ultra cautious about my feet. By no means would I ever get a job where I was on my feet for 8 hours a day (and since I'm momentarily unemployed, that takes a lot of options right out from under my feet, no pun intended). But I AM able to go about daily errands and business without much discomfort, and I AM able to walk about 1 mile a day. It's not much -- but it's wonderful to me.
Every ounce of improvement is a reason for encouragement. Even in discouragement, hope is still available. And it's hope that forces us to pursue yet another treatment, another remedy, another approach. I consider myself very lucky that I haven't had to try too many different things -- but the truth is, I would barrel right through the list from A to Z if I had to, to eliminate the pain. I'd change jobs, I'd spend money I don't have, I would do just about anything to eliminate or decrease the pain. I hope you both make progress in your individual ways -- Nancy, I know you're on the yeast-killer diet, and Alan, I know you're involved in acupuncture -- and find the collection of remedies that work for you, at minimum enough to restore the comfort and convenience of everyday living. And hopefully, a lot more.