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Re: To Nancy and Alan, about discouragement

Posted by Robin B. on 1/12/00 at 00:00 (014642)

Your words ring true. Discouragement is a difficult emotion to manage, yet PF makes it almost impossible to be perky and upbeat and chirpy and positive. Back in college, I had a roommate whose mother always used to say -- when your feet hurt, everything hurts. At that time, I had no idea how right she was. I do now.

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.



Re: To Nancy and Alan, about discouragement

Nancy S. on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014674)

Thank you for that, Robin. People who haven't had chronic pain, and experienced the stop-your-life phenomenon, really can't understand. I think I'm now down to one friend who cares enough to put up with me now -- he manages to be understanding and humorous at the same time, a winning combo in my book right now. (But as I've said before, my husband is downright terrific through all this too.) My best friend, who lives right across the road from me, is keeping her distance -- and I've tried very hard not to complain too much. She is used to me being pretty lively, and apparently finds my current low-key-ness not interesting enough or something. Disappointing.
Your own story is a hopeful one indeed, especially since you've been dealing with this quite a bit longer than I have. Thanks so much for the reminder and encouragement.
--Nancy

Re: To Nancy and Alan, about discouragement

Nancy S. on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014674)

Thank you for that, Robin. People who haven't had chronic pain, and experienced the stop-your-life phenomenon, really can't understand. I think I'm now down to one friend who cares enough to put up with me now -- he manages to be understanding and humorous at the same time, a winning combo in my book right now. (But as I've said before, my husband is downright terrific through all this too.) My best friend, who lives right across the road from me, is keeping her distance -- and I've tried very hard not to complain too much. She is used to me being pretty lively, and apparently finds my current low-key-ness not interesting enough or something. Disappointing.
Your own story is a hopeful one indeed, especially since you've been dealing with this quite a bit longer than I have. Thanks so much for the reminder and encouragement.
--Nancy