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Encouragement for PF sufferers

Posted by Bob G. on 4/27/00 at 23:01 (019537)

You can beat this thing, I did (have so far).

Eliminate the cause of pain, rest, and recover.

Rest is the key, but few realize it until after experience.

Most sufferers don't have the patience to let it heal. Rest it no matter how long it takes for the pain to go away.

Then slowly begin recovery.


Re: Encouragement for PF sufferers

wendyn on 4/27/00 at 23:10 (019539)

I agree with you Bob...but you and I both know that people new to this will often try to avoid resting. I know I had to learn the hard way. They think that just running for 30 minutes instead of an hour will be enough rest.

If there was one thing that I wish others would learn from our experience is that it's important to rest and give this TIME.

If I only knew then what I know now....


Re: Encouragement for PF sufferers

Pat M on 4/28/00 at 05:47 (019542)

You know, Wendy, because of this message board, those of us who are new to this pain and frustration do know what you do now. I wouldn't even be going to see my doctor if it was not for this message board. All of you have been very encouraging about seeking treatment, but have totally discouraged me from waiting it out as I had planned. I feel that you guys are teaching us by your examples and past experiences. There are not many people that I see everyday at work or anywhere else who takes my problem seriously, so I turn here for support. I don't post a lot, but I do a heck of alot of reading.

Thanks to everyone and I hope everyone improves,
Pat M


Re: Encouragement for PF sufferers

Nancy S. on 4/28/00 at 07:43 (019547)

Bob, thanks for the reminders. I needed them this week. I've done a lot of resting and every couple of weeks seem to subconsciously try to take a bigger leap in recovery than I can handle, and then go through some mental acrobatics trying to regain my patience and continue to rest when needed.
What specifically did you do to 'eliminate the cause of pain'? I know you've probably posted these things one or two at a time in various posts, but in a summary, how did you do this? (I assume you're talking night splint, good shoes -- anything else?) Did you reach a point where you had absolutely no pain, and then started gentle stretching, then walking, then running, and so forth? Thanks --Nancy

Re: Encouragement for PF sufferers

VickiJ on 4/28/00 at 09:12 (019549)

Hi Bob
When you say 'rest' what did you have to do?
How bad was your pain when you had it diagnosed? How long have you had PF? When you rested, what did that consist of...meaning, if you couldn't walk did you have to go on disability? Or, were you a runner who simply stopped running for awhile? The problem with many of us who did not have this board when we first had problems, we didn't have any doctors givingus proper advice so the problem became HUGE and resting was not an option if disability wouldn't help with income.

Re: Agree with you about rest

Robin B. on 4/28/00 at 17:09 (019573)

I am another person who has been helped considerably by rest -- and by aerobic but not weight-bearing exercise.

I think rest is a key feature of healing and is pivotal to recovery. At the peak of my 'resting' period, I was literally off my feet (i.e., sitting down or lying down) for upwards of 22 hours a day. I stood on those poor feet only when absolutely necessary. I was amazed at how many accommodations I could make in everyday life to remove myself from a standing position. It wasn't fun to be sure -- but worth it, absolutely.

You are right -- healing is possible. Three days ago I stood and walked and shopped on my feet for 6 solid hours, with only one little 15-minute coffee break to get me off my feet. And I was A-okay at the end. And still am.

The other requisite, to my mind, is patience and endurance. I get so frustrated when people come on the board and say that they have 'tried everything' but it has been six months and nothing has worked.

Regardless of what method or methods people choose, each deserves its fair chance to work or to fail. A week is not enough. Sometimes 3 weeks is not enough. The specific things that have worked for me have mostly taken several weeks to show ANY benefit at all, and usually a couple of months to show benefit worth mentioning. Finding the right combination can take many months.

You are right -- patience is the key. Chronic pain and frustration can be a humbling experience. But it certainly does make a person much more appreciative to get back to a semi-normal life.



Re: Agree with you about rest

Nancy S. on 4/28/00 at 22:53 (019589)

Hi Robin,
Six hours on your feet with only one coffee break sounds absolutely wonderful! Was this a first for you?
I like and agree with the emphasis on rest and patience. I've gotten good at resting (even though I don't like it), and still have to relearn patience now and then. Rest has helped me tremendously, and so, with patience, I think I will get better and better if I continue to stay mindful of how my feet are doing and resting them plenty even as I'm trying to move into a bit more activity (work is the main activity I try to increase -- no 'fun' stuff that keeps me on my feet). I do admire the commitment to rest and to other helpful things you have done that are obviously resulting in great improvement, all of which I know must have required a lot of patience in your approach. At least these days I manage to talk my own self back into patience after losing it, instead of needing mucho help to remember its importance. I always appreciate the reminders, though.
Robin, as the Birks queen of the board, you still change to other shoes for long walks etc., do I remember that correctly? Were you in Birks for those 6 hours? Right now I'm trying BioSole otc orthotics in my work-in-the-barn shoes as an alternative to Birks for that activity. They're working out fairly well so far. But I still love getting out of them and into my Birks when I get into the house.
Also, did you increase your bromelain after learning more about the dosage? I've increased it some -- but still feel uncertain as to what effect it's having. I think it helps but am not sure. How long did it take you to be sure? It's been nearly a month now for me.
Again, I'm glad to hear you continue to improve and are doing so well.
--Nancy

Re: Birks and bromelain

Robin B. on 4/29/00 at 04:46 (019595)

Hi Nancy -- Yes, I was definitely in Birks for those 6 hours of shopping and walking and standing. I do wear athletic shoes (Reeboks with some added Scholl foam inserts) for biking trips and walking, which are pretty good but not stupendous -- but otherwise I am always in Birks.

Constricted as it sounds, I am even narrowing down my Birkenstock selections and preferences. I know that Birkenstock and everyone who wears them says the footbed is the same in all the shoes, only the strap styles are different. Nevertheless, my feet do not feel nearly as good in the non-leather Birkenstocks. For the most part, the Arizona and Florida styles feel the best, so I am increasingly limiting myself to leather Birks in the more classic styles. It gets a little boring to say the least, but it's hard to argue with 6 hours on my feet. Six minutes on my feet used to kill me.

Re the bromelain, no -- I haven't increased my dosage. I guess I am getting by okay on 900 to 1200 gdus. Sometimes I think about increasing a bit but haven't done much to date. I still do have pain in my feet -- but I also have arthritis in both my hands and feet, and sometimes it is necessary for me to spend some serous 'diagnostic' time figuring out if it's the PF or arthritis that hurts. Usually it's the latter. It took about 2 weeks on bromelain for me to notice a difference in my pain levels, and maybe about a month or so to kind of lock in the change.

Even now, when I try something new for PF or even arthritis, I find I have to pretty much leave the rest of my life alone for three or four weeks, to tell if that one intervention is having any effect. For example, a friend of mine who is into essential oils gave me some lemongrass oil for my PF. I used it religiously twice a day, sometimes more, for about 6 weeks. Unfortunately, I didn't see any change one way or the other. At the beginning of April, I made some additional dietary changes (lowered carbs even more) -- and at that point decided to stop the lemongrass oil, so I could see if the dietary changes were helping. (They did a little, I think.)

Glad to hear you are still improving, Nancy. Patience, in the midst of pain, has always been the hardest thing for me. Pain requires resolution and patience is not my idea of resolution. In part, I believe I will always 'have PF.' I think I will always have to be cautious and take extra good care of my feet and probably I won't be walking 5 or 6 miles at a stretch anymore. But for me, the improvement has been so significant that I am quite satisfied. I live pretty much the life I was to live now, so if my challenge is getting rid of the last 10% or 15% of PF, that's an easy one to tackle. Hope your recovery continues, Nancy. Keep trying whatever you have to, to rid yourself of the pain.

Robin



Re: The "Rest Dilemma"

VickiJ on 4/29/00 at 09:28 (019601)

I get frustrated with all the talk about rest...I guess I'm jealous of those of you who can afford to do so. Unfortunately, for those of us who have to be on our feet to earn a living cannot give our feet the rest required without falling into financial ruin....and please....don't give me a lecture about finding another way to earn a living...I'm working furiously to do that and it isn't easy to suddenly change your 'career' and begin earning even a modest income. I was forced into resting (since I couldn't walk, let alone stand without crutches) and was without an income for over a year while battling with the state over disability, etc. Nor do I need a lecture on how my ultimate foot health and well being are worth it. The resulting anxiety/depression/humiliation of being horribly indebt are a whole other set of problems, and besides, I know that. But when disability insurance doesn't cover the grocery bill let alone the education necessary to switch jobs it is sometimes impossible to 'do what is right'. I was a wedding/portrait photographer...that is not a job you can do from a wheel chair, nor a job that allows you to sit very often during the 12 to 14 hour day nor was the 'rest between jobs' enough. Please don't offer suggestions about how to do weddings with a rolling chair, etc...I'm abandoning that work (for many reasons)....I just want the 'rest preachers' to understand that some of us who are the only breadwinner in the household cannot give our feet the rest they need...it isn't just a matter of being impatient.
I guess I'm just jealous...and please, Robin, don't 'hear' me as yelling at you...I'm just venting my frustration.

Re: The "Rest Dilemma"

cindyp on 4/29/00 at 13:31 (019605)

I totally understand and agree with your frustration. I have been unable to work for sometime. Don't know about disability haven't ever tried. Have done the absolute minumum and it still doesn't work. Don't know what else to do but I do understand.

Re: The "Rest Dilemma"

wendyn on 4/29/00 at 17:07 (019608)

Hi Vicki...I hope that my advice for people to rest was not perceived as a lecture to you.

My frustration is with folks who _chose_ not to rest because they feel that they _must_ run in that marathon and they will just die if they don't. There is a BIG difference between feeling that you must keep running, and feeling that you must keep working.

Several months back, I posted that I count my blessings all the time that I do not have to stand at work. I'm also always grateful that my children are not babies or toddles (my youngest is seven).

I helped care for a four month old recently and within a few days my feet were screaming from all the rocking and walking the halls. My sometimes difficult situation would be positively horrendous if I had a standing job or young children.

Rest is great - if you can get it. No one can criticize you for having to make a living. My issue (and I'm sure I'm not alone) is with new sufferers who refuse to cut back on 'optional' activities like running, jogging, walking and aerobics.

Take care Vicki and I hope things improve for you and your work situation...if I contributed to your feeling lectured - please accept this as a full apology. It was never directed at someone in your situation.


Re: The "Rest Dilemma"

Nancy S. on 4/29/00 at 17:53 (019609)

Hi Vicki -- I hope you don't think I'm an unfeeling rest preacher (though I do believe in rest). Your situation sounds very difficult, and I do feel for you very much. I just want to say that I don't know how many people on this board who advocate rest can actually 'afford' it. I imagine a lot of us are way in debt because of it, and I am one. We are a two-person, two-breadwinner household here, and we have to have both incomes -- and we live quite simply. My income since last May went down, down, down, and then I took the three months completely off in the winter because my foot just couldn't take it anymore. And I do think that rest period put me ahead, though I'm not all healed yet. But we are thousands of dollars in debt because of this -- and had to give up health insurance to boot, of all times! I guess I just don't want you to think that those of us who take rest and advocate it are living a life of luxury -- far, far from it, and I do understand all the feelings you mentioned about being in debt -- I have them myself. Still, I probably will always be an advocate of rest; I couldn't see a way to go on without it. I'm sorry the rest talk is frustrating to you. You have been off work -- did that mean your feet have gotten a good break, but it didn't help you? If so, I can imagine how that would double your frustration. I'm not going to make any suggestions here, but just wanted you to know you really aren't alone and I hope you won't continue to feel jealous, because this rest preacher, for one, couldn't 'afford' to rest -- was just forced into it, like it sounds you were. I hope you find relief and some work that's good for you soon. Take care --Nancy

Re: Encouragement for PF sufferers

Bob G. on 4/30/00 at 01:51 (019624)

You got that right, Nancy! The foot had to get back to a point of little or no pain before embarking on a recovery program. I was overanxious, too, and was stretching too much too soon, but finally bit the bullet and succumbed to 'total' rest for two or three months.

For me, total rest meant little or no stretching (I admit to cheating once in a while) and consistently wearing the nightsplint so that the Rest was not in vain. The nightsplint was instrumental in lessening the pain and preventing reinjury. The nightsplint hastened my recovery. As the pain got less and less I did begin to gently stretch being very very careful not to injure.

Of course, I always wore my Birk arch support inserts in all my shoes. Anti-inflamitories before anticipated stress on the feet have been helpful as well as brief icing after a long hard day on the feet - or now, after jogging (I have been jogging for about two weeks now, but I am so out of shape, it will take time to get it back).



Re: Encouragement for PF sufferers

Bob G. on 4/30/00 at 02:10 (019625)

Hello, Vickie!

My first introduction to PF was about eight years ago. The pain came on strong out of nowhere; I didn't know what it was. That's when you imagine all sorts of bad things going on in your foot and body. It soon developed in my other foot such that I could barely walk at all and both feet hurt so bad. I was thinking I'd be in a wheelchair soon. I went to a foot doctor who had a good reputation for competency.

I was shocked when he diagnosed me without looking at the exrays. He prescribed Birk arch supports, called Birkenstock FuBbetts, and demonstrated the wall stretch (straight leg). He said that I had better than a 50/50 chance of overcoming PF by wearing the arch supports and doing the wall stretches twice a day. (Of course, he did examine my foot and all that)

I followed his directions; the arch supports felt really weird at first, and it took a few days to get used to, but within a week I was walking normally with little pain - in a month, no pain. Was I relieved!

But how quickly we forget. I quickly forgot my stretching and continued to abuse my feet by jogging barefoot on the beach. Eight years later, last July, the pain came back all of a sudden out of nowhere. You know the rest; this time it took me ten months to rid the pain, and this time it took much more disipline.

To answer your question, Vickie, rest for me was stopping running, dancing, physical activities, or anything that could injure. The Resting might take much much longer if it had not been for the nightsplint. Without the nightsplint, resting would be 2 steps forward and 1 step back (during sleep); but with the nightsplint, resting meant 2 steps forward and no backsliding.

Hope your feet feel better soon!



Re: The "Rest Dilemma"

john h on 4/30/00 at 09:19 (019633)

i am certainly a believer in the 'rest' approach but i think you need to find out when you are not resting what is happening to your foot to make the condition worse. i.e.: are you wearing the right shoes, arch support, do you over pronate,etc. if you rest, get a little better, then come back and continue with whatever is causing your PF you will be in a vicious circle.

Re: The "Rest Dilemma"Cindy,Wendy, Nancy,etal

VickiJ on 4/30/00 at 17:37 (019659)

I didn't take any offense from any one poster promoting rest...I was just feeling so incredibly overwhelmed....but your responses were all very supportive...and I feel for all of us who have lost so much more than our ability to move in this world without pain that prevents us from even being able to think, let alone work...I know I'm not as bad off as many here...I actually am able to walk again...spent Jan and Feb working up to nearly a mile but then had a major setback and am banking on Mike's PFT....it just seems to make sense to me...I can go a few blocks now when I absolutely have to but I'm not trying any 'real' walking at all until I give it much more time...I know there are others who haven't even made this much progress...but there's no way I can go back to my old work and it is taking so long to earn enough money to live let alone climb out of the debt hole...I was just feeling so incredibly overwhelmed by the whole financial black hole this pf has left me in...thanks for sharing Cindy and Nancy...'group therapy'definitly is supportive. Thanks again and here's wishing us all a major breakthrough somehow, someway, before too much longer.

Re: The "Rest Dilemma"Cindy,Wendy, Nancy,etal

Nancy S. on 4/30/00 at 18:13 (019661)

Hi Vicki, you did sound overwhelmed, and understandably so. The financial aspect of this affliction doesn't get mentioned much here, but it's a very real and depressing problem. It's hard not to dwell on it, and there are bound to be those times when you just feel like you're sinking into a moneyless hole. In the big picture, I hope to accept it enough to think of long-term debt as just another bill (or twenty!). I hope you can too -- because it's not your fault! I hope the PFTs help you -- and that the support from this board continues to help, as you and so many others have helped me. Hang in there, Vicki. --Nancy

Re: The "Rest Dilemma"

joan on 4/30/00 at 20:44 (019679)

hi all-i have been off the boards for a while-my car was burned in a huge parking garage fire along with dozens of other cars while i was away on 'vacation'. so to all of us with pf, life can sure get even MORE complicated at times! anyway, no one was hurt so than's good. anyway, regarding the rest issue--i've posted before on the wearing of hiking boots (i have a pair of K-Swiss) and how this has helped me. it can't hurt to update you all. i have been wearing ONLY the boots since december. very gradually over the past five months i have noticed a nice improvement in my foot--it doesn't just FEEL better comfort-wise--it also feels deep down within as if it is structurally getting better. in my estimation, it will probably take many months longer before i feel 90% healed at this rate, but what the heck--it beats the two years prior when i kept reinjuring it through too much activity and the wrong footwear. I am also planning to go for the orthotripsy when my crazy life allows it. I wish the best to everyone.

Re: The "Rest Dilemma"

Nancy S. on 4/30/00 at 21:46 (019687)

Joan, I'm glad you weren't IN the car. Welcome back.
I'm very interested in your hiking-boots healing -- have been trying all sorts of orthotics and inserts in my own hiking boots to work in (can work only 2 hours or so without pain at this point, and the rest of the time, at home, I'm usually wearing Birks). Is K-Swiss something a person can find easily? I'm asking because mine are good right now but they aren't going to last forever.
Do yours have much cushion in them? Do you wear any inserts in them? Do you feel a little or a lot of arch support? Can you wear them all day with little or no pain? What are your symptoms like now? Sorry for all the questions -- I'm just beginning to think that hiking boots are really the way to go for me when I'm TRYING to be active (it's a pitiful version of active, but it's a lot better than last spring/summer/fall).
Season is no object to me -- I don't care if it's 100 degrees out and I have to wear knee-high boots. Which reminds me, how high do your boots go? Mine are up about 2 inches above my ankle. Thanks. --Nancy

Re: Encouragement for PF sufferers

wendyn on 4/27/00 at 23:10 (019539)

I agree with you Bob...but you and I both know that people new to this will often try to avoid resting. I know I had to learn the hard way. They think that just running for 30 minutes instead of an hour will be enough rest.

If there was one thing that I wish others would learn from our experience is that it's important to rest and give this TIME.

If I only knew then what I know now....


Re: Encouragement for PF sufferers

Pat M on 4/28/00 at 05:47 (019542)

You know, Wendy, because of this message board, those of us who are new to this pain and frustration do know what you do now. I wouldn't even be going to see my doctor if it was not for this message board. All of you have been very encouraging about seeking treatment, but have totally discouraged me from waiting it out as I had planned. I feel that you guys are teaching us by your examples and past experiences. There are not many people that I see everyday at work or anywhere else who takes my problem seriously, so I turn here for support. I don't post a lot, but I do a heck of alot of reading.

Thanks to everyone and I hope everyone improves,
Pat M


Re: Encouragement for PF sufferers

Nancy S. on 4/28/00 at 07:43 (019547)

Bob, thanks for the reminders. I needed them this week. I've done a lot of resting and every couple of weeks seem to subconsciously try to take a bigger leap in recovery than I can handle, and then go through some mental acrobatics trying to regain my patience and continue to rest when needed.
What specifically did you do to 'eliminate the cause of pain'? I know you've probably posted these things one or two at a time in various posts, but in a summary, how did you do this? (I assume you're talking night splint, good shoes -- anything else?) Did you reach a point where you had absolutely no pain, and then started gentle stretching, then walking, then running, and so forth? Thanks --Nancy

Re: Encouragement for PF sufferers

VickiJ on 4/28/00 at 09:12 (019549)

Hi Bob
When you say 'rest' what did you have to do?
How bad was your pain when you had it diagnosed? How long have you had PF? When you rested, what did that consist of...meaning, if you couldn't walk did you have to go on disability? Or, were you a runner who simply stopped running for awhile? The problem with many of us who did not have this board when we first had problems, we didn't have any doctors givingus proper advice so the problem became HUGE and resting was not an option if disability wouldn't help with income.

Re: Agree with you about rest

Robin B. on 4/28/00 at 17:09 (019573)

I am another person who has been helped considerably by rest -- and by aerobic but not weight-bearing exercise.

I think rest is a key feature of healing and is pivotal to recovery. At the peak of my 'resting' period, I was literally off my feet (i.e., sitting down or lying down) for upwards of 22 hours a day. I stood on those poor feet only when absolutely necessary. I was amazed at how many accommodations I could make in everyday life to remove myself from a standing position. It wasn't fun to be sure -- but worth it, absolutely.

You are right -- healing is possible. Three days ago I stood and walked and shopped on my feet for 6 solid hours, with only one little 15-minute coffee break to get me off my feet. And I was A-okay at the end. And still am.

The other requisite, to my mind, is patience and endurance. I get so frustrated when people come on the board and say that they have 'tried everything' but it has been six months and nothing has worked.

Regardless of what method or methods people choose, each deserves its fair chance to work or to fail. A week is not enough. Sometimes 3 weeks is not enough. The specific things that have worked for me have mostly taken several weeks to show ANY benefit at all, and usually a couple of months to show benefit worth mentioning. Finding the right combination can take many months.

You are right -- patience is the key. Chronic pain and frustration can be a humbling experience. But it certainly does make a person much more appreciative to get back to a semi-normal life.



Re: Agree with you about rest

Nancy S. on 4/28/00 at 22:53 (019589)

Hi Robin,
Six hours on your feet with only one coffee break sounds absolutely wonderful! Was this a first for you?
I like and agree with the emphasis on rest and patience. I've gotten good at resting (even though I don't like it), and still have to relearn patience now and then. Rest has helped me tremendously, and so, with patience, I think I will get better and better if I continue to stay mindful of how my feet are doing and resting them plenty even as I'm trying to move into a bit more activity (work is the main activity I try to increase -- no 'fun' stuff that keeps me on my feet). I do admire the commitment to rest and to other helpful things you have done that are obviously resulting in great improvement, all of which I know must have required a lot of patience in your approach. At least these days I manage to talk my own self back into patience after losing it, instead of needing mucho help to remember its importance. I always appreciate the reminders, though.
Robin, as the Birks queen of the board, you still change to other shoes for long walks etc., do I remember that correctly? Were you in Birks for those 6 hours? Right now I'm trying BioSole otc orthotics in my work-in-the-barn shoes as an alternative to Birks for that activity. They're working out fairly well so far. But I still love getting out of them and into my Birks when I get into the house.
Also, did you increase your bromelain after learning more about the dosage? I've increased it some -- but still feel uncertain as to what effect it's having. I think it helps but am not sure. How long did it take you to be sure? It's been nearly a month now for me.
Again, I'm glad to hear you continue to improve and are doing so well.
--Nancy

Re: Birks and bromelain

Robin B. on 4/29/00 at 04:46 (019595)

Hi Nancy -- Yes, I was definitely in Birks for those 6 hours of shopping and walking and standing. I do wear athletic shoes (Reeboks with some added Scholl foam inserts) for biking trips and walking, which are pretty good but not stupendous -- but otherwise I am always in Birks.

Constricted as it sounds, I am even narrowing down my Birkenstock selections and preferences. I know that Birkenstock and everyone who wears them says the footbed is the same in all the shoes, only the strap styles are different. Nevertheless, my feet do not feel nearly as good in the non-leather Birkenstocks. For the most part, the Arizona and Florida styles feel the best, so I am increasingly limiting myself to leather Birks in the more classic styles. It gets a little boring to say the least, but it's hard to argue with 6 hours on my feet. Six minutes on my feet used to kill me.

Re the bromelain, no -- I haven't increased my dosage. I guess I am getting by okay on 900 to 1200 gdus. Sometimes I think about increasing a bit but haven't done much to date. I still do have pain in my feet -- but I also have arthritis in both my hands and feet, and sometimes it is necessary for me to spend some serous 'diagnostic' time figuring out if it's the PF or arthritis that hurts. Usually it's the latter. It took about 2 weeks on bromelain for me to notice a difference in my pain levels, and maybe about a month or so to kind of lock in the change.

Even now, when I try something new for PF or even arthritis, I find I have to pretty much leave the rest of my life alone for three or four weeks, to tell if that one intervention is having any effect. For example, a friend of mine who is into essential oils gave me some lemongrass oil for my PF. I used it religiously twice a day, sometimes more, for about 6 weeks. Unfortunately, I didn't see any change one way or the other. At the beginning of April, I made some additional dietary changes (lowered carbs even more) -- and at that point decided to stop the lemongrass oil, so I could see if the dietary changes were helping. (They did a little, I think.)

Glad to hear you are still improving, Nancy. Patience, in the midst of pain, has always been the hardest thing for me. Pain requires resolution and patience is not my idea of resolution. In part, I believe I will always 'have PF.' I think I will always have to be cautious and take extra good care of my feet and probably I won't be walking 5 or 6 miles at a stretch anymore. But for me, the improvement has been so significant that I am quite satisfied. I live pretty much the life I was to live now, so if my challenge is getting rid of the last 10% or 15% of PF, that's an easy one to tackle. Hope your recovery continues, Nancy. Keep trying whatever you have to, to rid yourself of the pain.

Robin



Re: The "Rest Dilemma"

VickiJ on 4/29/00 at 09:28 (019601)

I get frustrated with all the talk about rest...I guess I'm jealous of those of you who can afford to do so. Unfortunately, for those of us who have to be on our feet to earn a living cannot give our feet the rest required without falling into financial ruin....and please....don't give me a lecture about finding another way to earn a living...I'm working furiously to do that and it isn't easy to suddenly change your 'career' and begin earning even a modest income. I was forced into resting (since I couldn't walk, let alone stand without crutches) and was without an income for over a year while battling with the state over disability, etc. Nor do I need a lecture on how my ultimate foot health and well being are worth it. The resulting anxiety/depression/humiliation of being horribly indebt are a whole other set of problems, and besides, I know that. But when disability insurance doesn't cover the grocery bill let alone the education necessary to switch jobs it is sometimes impossible to 'do what is right'. I was a wedding/portrait photographer...that is not a job you can do from a wheel chair, nor a job that allows you to sit very often during the 12 to 14 hour day nor was the 'rest between jobs' enough. Please don't offer suggestions about how to do weddings with a rolling chair, etc...I'm abandoning that work (for many reasons)....I just want the 'rest preachers' to understand that some of us who are the only breadwinner in the household cannot give our feet the rest they need...it isn't just a matter of being impatient.
I guess I'm just jealous...and please, Robin, don't 'hear' me as yelling at you...I'm just venting my frustration.

Re: The "Rest Dilemma"

cindyp on 4/29/00 at 13:31 (019605)

I totally understand and agree with your frustration. I have been unable to work for sometime. Don't know about disability haven't ever tried. Have done the absolute minumum and it still doesn't work. Don't know what else to do but I do understand.

Re: The "Rest Dilemma"

wendyn on 4/29/00 at 17:07 (019608)

Hi Vicki...I hope that my advice for people to rest was not perceived as a lecture to you.

My frustration is with folks who _chose_ not to rest because they feel that they _must_ run in that marathon and they will just die if they don't. There is a BIG difference between feeling that you must keep running, and feeling that you must keep working.

Several months back, I posted that I count my blessings all the time that I do not have to stand at work. I'm also always grateful that my children are not babies or toddles (my youngest is seven).

I helped care for a four month old recently and within a few days my feet were screaming from all the rocking and walking the halls. My sometimes difficult situation would be positively horrendous if I had a standing job or young children.

Rest is great - if you can get it. No one can criticize you for having to make a living. My issue (and I'm sure I'm not alone) is with new sufferers who refuse to cut back on 'optional' activities like running, jogging, walking and aerobics.

Take care Vicki and I hope things improve for you and your work situation...if I contributed to your feeling lectured - please accept this as a full apology. It was never directed at someone in your situation.


Re: The "Rest Dilemma"

Nancy S. on 4/29/00 at 17:53 (019609)

Hi Vicki -- I hope you don't think I'm an unfeeling rest preacher (though I do believe in rest). Your situation sounds very difficult, and I do feel for you very much. I just want to say that I don't know how many people on this board who advocate rest can actually 'afford' it. I imagine a lot of us are way in debt because of it, and I am one. We are a two-person, two-breadwinner household here, and we have to have both incomes -- and we live quite simply. My income since last May went down, down, down, and then I took the three months completely off in the winter because my foot just couldn't take it anymore. And I do think that rest period put me ahead, though I'm not all healed yet. But we are thousands of dollars in debt because of this -- and had to give up health insurance to boot, of all times! I guess I just don't want you to think that those of us who take rest and advocate it are living a life of luxury -- far, far from it, and I do understand all the feelings you mentioned about being in debt -- I have them myself. Still, I probably will always be an advocate of rest; I couldn't see a way to go on without it. I'm sorry the rest talk is frustrating to you. You have been off work -- did that mean your feet have gotten a good break, but it didn't help you? If so, I can imagine how that would double your frustration. I'm not going to make any suggestions here, but just wanted you to know you really aren't alone and I hope you won't continue to feel jealous, because this rest preacher, for one, couldn't 'afford' to rest -- was just forced into it, like it sounds you were. I hope you find relief and some work that's good for you soon. Take care --Nancy

Re: Encouragement for PF sufferers

Bob G. on 4/30/00 at 01:51 (019624)

You got that right, Nancy! The foot had to get back to a point of little or no pain before embarking on a recovery program. I was overanxious, too, and was stretching too much too soon, but finally bit the bullet and succumbed to 'total' rest for two or three months.

For me, total rest meant little or no stretching (I admit to cheating once in a while) and consistently wearing the nightsplint so that the Rest was not in vain. The nightsplint was instrumental in lessening the pain and preventing reinjury. The nightsplint hastened my recovery. As the pain got less and less I did begin to gently stretch being very very careful not to injure.

Of course, I always wore my Birk arch support inserts in all my shoes. Anti-inflamitories before anticipated stress on the feet have been helpful as well as brief icing after a long hard day on the feet - or now, after jogging (I have been jogging for about two weeks now, but I am so out of shape, it will take time to get it back).



Re: Encouragement for PF sufferers

Bob G. on 4/30/00 at 02:10 (019625)

Hello, Vickie!

My first introduction to PF was about eight years ago. The pain came on strong out of nowhere; I didn't know what it was. That's when you imagine all sorts of bad things going on in your foot and body. It soon developed in my other foot such that I could barely walk at all and both feet hurt so bad. I was thinking I'd be in a wheelchair soon. I went to a foot doctor who had a good reputation for competency.

I was shocked when he diagnosed me without looking at the exrays. He prescribed Birk arch supports, called Birkenstock FuBbetts, and demonstrated the wall stretch (straight leg). He said that I had better than a 50/50 chance of overcoming PF by wearing the arch supports and doing the wall stretches twice a day. (Of course, he did examine my foot and all that)

I followed his directions; the arch supports felt really weird at first, and it took a few days to get used to, but within a week I was walking normally with little pain - in a month, no pain. Was I relieved!

But how quickly we forget. I quickly forgot my stretching and continued to abuse my feet by jogging barefoot on the beach. Eight years later, last July, the pain came back all of a sudden out of nowhere. You know the rest; this time it took me ten months to rid the pain, and this time it took much more disipline.

To answer your question, Vickie, rest for me was stopping running, dancing, physical activities, or anything that could injure. The Resting might take much much longer if it had not been for the nightsplint. Without the nightsplint, resting would be 2 steps forward and 1 step back (during sleep); but with the nightsplint, resting meant 2 steps forward and no backsliding.

Hope your feet feel better soon!



Re: The "Rest Dilemma"

john h on 4/30/00 at 09:19 (019633)

i am certainly a believer in the 'rest' approach but i think you need to find out when you are not resting what is happening to your foot to make the condition worse. i.e.: are you wearing the right shoes, arch support, do you over pronate,etc. if you rest, get a little better, then come back and continue with whatever is causing your PF you will be in a vicious circle.

Re: The "Rest Dilemma"Cindy,Wendy, Nancy,etal

VickiJ on 4/30/00 at 17:37 (019659)

I didn't take any offense from any one poster promoting rest...I was just feeling so incredibly overwhelmed....but your responses were all very supportive...and I feel for all of us who have lost so much more than our ability to move in this world without pain that prevents us from even being able to think, let alone work...I know I'm not as bad off as many here...I actually am able to walk again...spent Jan and Feb working up to nearly a mile but then had a major setback and am banking on Mike's PFT....it just seems to make sense to me...I can go a few blocks now when I absolutely have to but I'm not trying any 'real' walking at all until I give it much more time...I know there are others who haven't even made this much progress...but there's no way I can go back to my old work and it is taking so long to earn enough money to live let alone climb out of the debt hole...I was just feeling so incredibly overwhelmed by the whole financial black hole this pf has left me in...thanks for sharing Cindy and Nancy...'group therapy'definitly is supportive. Thanks again and here's wishing us all a major breakthrough somehow, someway, before too much longer.

Re: The "Rest Dilemma"Cindy,Wendy, Nancy,etal

Nancy S. on 4/30/00 at 18:13 (019661)

Hi Vicki, you did sound overwhelmed, and understandably so. The financial aspect of this affliction doesn't get mentioned much here, but it's a very real and depressing problem. It's hard not to dwell on it, and there are bound to be those times when you just feel like you're sinking into a moneyless hole. In the big picture, I hope to accept it enough to think of long-term debt as just another bill (or twenty!). I hope you can too -- because it's not your fault! I hope the PFTs help you -- and that the support from this board continues to help, as you and so many others have helped me. Hang in there, Vicki. --Nancy

Re: The "Rest Dilemma"

joan on 4/30/00 at 20:44 (019679)

hi all-i have been off the boards for a while-my car was burned in a huge parking garage fire along with dozens of other cars while i was away on 'vacation'. so to all of us with pf, life can sure get even MORE complicated at times! anyway, no one was hurt so than's good. anyway, regarding the rest issue--i've posted before on the wearing of hiking boots (i have a pair of K-Swiss) and how this has helped me. it can't hurt to update you all. i have been wearing ONLY the boots since december. very gradually over the past five months i have noticed a nice improvement in my foot--it doesn't just FEEL better comfort-wise--it also feels deep down within as if it is structurally getting better. in my estimation, it will probably take many months longer before i feel 90% healed at this rate, but what the heck--it beats the two years prior when i kept reinjuring it through too much activity and the wrong footwear. I am also planning to go for the orthotripsy when my crazy life allows it. I wish the best to everyone.

Re: The "Rest Dilemma"

Nancy S. on 4/30/00 at 21:46 (019687)

Joan, I'm glad you weren't IN the car. Welcome back.
I'm very interested in your hiking-boots healing -- have been trying all sorts of orthotics and inserts in my own hiking boots to work in (can work only 2 hours or so without pain at this point, and the rest of the time, at home, I'm usually wearing Birks). Is K-Swiss something a person can find easily? I'm asking because mine are good right now but they aren't going to last forever.
Do yours have much cushion in them? Do you wear any inserts in them? Do you feel a little or a lot of arch support? Can you wear them all day with little or no pain? What are your symptoms like now? Sorry for all the questions -- I'm just beginning to think that hiking boots are really the way to go for me when I'm TRYING to be active (it's a pitiful version of active, but it's a lot better than last spring/summer/fall).
Season is no object to me -- I don't care if it's 100 degrees out and I have to wear knee-high boots. Which reminds me, how high do your boots go? Mine are up about 2 inches above my ankle. Thanks. --Nancy