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Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

Posted by TenderFeet on 8/05/00 at 22:10 (024742)

As I read your posts, I feel compelled to share something.

I can't speak for professional athletes, because I am not an athlete.
Nor, do I have resources on that level. However, I can say that there are some things that money won't fix... throwing lots of money at a problem won't fix. And one of them is Plantar Fascitis and the isolation that goes with it.

I have had PF for some time now... a very,very bad case in both feet. If I had to work or be on my feet much, I would probably be completely incapacitated and in a wheelchair by now. Life, fate, and God have been good to me, and I don't have to work, and I've been lucky enough to be able to try any shoe or treatment I could think of. (This is not to say I don't miss my work, but these days it is not an option.) So far, I have yet to find a shoe, pill, treatment, or orthodic that takes away the pain. Birks help some. I always had hard to fit feet, and with PF its even worse.

But the reason I am posting is that as I read the posts about all the help the big time jocks get and how that must fix their PF in ways mere mortals don't have access to, I want to tell you that pouring lots of money and resources at this will not neccessarily fix it. I know that at least in my case, I have tried many, many things. Most of the things you all write about I have tried diligently (with the exception of shots, acuptuncture, and surgery. I am afraid of shots and surgery. I am considering acuptuncture.) I could not even guess what I have spent going to specialists, buying shoes and orthodics.

So far, all it has done is keep me mobile and at least most of the time when not walking or standing, I am not in pain or just in mild pain. But put me on my feet for more than ten minutes, and it soon becomes misery and lingers for days.

For me what makes this extra hard is that I am doing it all alone. I went through a divorce two years ago, and so I don't have a loving husband helping me through this or even just being house company or a friendly ear. I have very little family left alive and none anywhere nearby.

Prior to my divorce, my life revolved around my husband. I was just beginning to make friends when this hit. My new friends are nice, but I don't feel comfortable calling on them for help. I don't want to wear out my welcome with them. I often feel like a prisoner in my house. The highlight of my week is going to physical therapy and to get a massage.

Those of you who have husbands and wives who have been devoted to you throughout this are very fortunate.

So some of you might say how lucky I am that I can buy five pairs of shoes at a time or get a massage whenever I want and not have to worry about how I'll pay the bills. And I know I am very, very fortunate in that. But I would say those of you with family helping you through this are also very lucky indeed.

I have had a few friends try to set me up with a date. I laugh and tell them I'm in no shape for a date. Honestly, I can't imagine trying to date when I can barely run my daily errands. And who would want to date someone in such bad shape anyway?

Finally, I feel like my life has no purpose anymore. I liked my work, but had to quit because of this condition. Unless friends ask me out for dinner, I can have entire weeks go by without seeing anyone other than the PT and massage therapist. Asserting myself as a single person socially is all new for me. I know I need to work on that. Before this hit, I was going to go back to school ... to graduate school. But I can't imagine getting across campus and doing all that walking until I get better.

So, give your spouses an extra hug tonight. You're lucky to have them.

TenderFeet



Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

KarenS on 8/05/00 at 22:52 (024743)

Dear Tenderfeet: You are so right with what you say. I don't get alot of help but I do get some. I couldn't even think of going through this by myself. Sometimes it takes someone like you to make us realize how lucky we are.

Please feel free to email me if you would like someone to talk to. Sometimes it makes you feel better just to get things off your chest. I promise I'll be there for you if you want. Hope to hear from you soon!!

Karen


Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

Beverly on 8/06/00 at 09:56 (024744)

Dear Tenderfeet,

I can relate to much of what you wrote, and you also made me stop to count my blessings.

I don't have a husband or kids either. I do have someone I see (long distance). It has definitely put a strain on the relationship. (Too hard for me to travel back and forth, not fair for him to always be the one to do it, and his patience with my feet limitations are wearing thin. Oh, he tries to be nice, but I can hear it in his voice...).

I suspect Kim is right. The grass is not always greener. There are some days alone in my house, that I wish I were still married. But other times when my feet hurt and I just want to 'zone' out, I am grateful that I have no one to cook for or pickup after. When my sweetie is in town, it seems like I have twice as much work to do around the house.
(And girls, he does help some. He folds laundry and does the dishes.)

I have found much support from my church, and I highly recomend that.
I've also learned that as a single person, I have to take the initiative sometimes socially. And yes, this is hard to do when not used to it. I am still learning.

You post gives me an idea. Whether married or unmarried, most of us deal with feeling isolated by this PF in our daily lives. That is why the board is so popular. I suspect that most cities have chronic pain support groups of some sort, and those groups could be good for us. I guess you'd call the social services department of a major hospital to start looking. Perhaps, some of our medical or social services folks here would have a better way to tell us to look for such a group.

Kim made a good suggestion about volunteer work. Pre-PF I was a pastor.
I still do some volunteer work in my church. That has been good for me.
I'll look to the rest of the board for some suggestions of other kinds of volunteer work that would be PF friendly. What ideas do you all have for Tenderfeet? Let's help her get out of the house and make some friends.

Judy is right about not getting too hooked on the Board. I worry about this sometimes. I may need to put myself on a 'board' diet.

You're right that money does not always fix this. My father has been wonderfully supportive to me, and I'd hate to know what he has spent trying to fix my feet. But slowly, I see improvement. Can you see some improvement that perhaps is going so slowly you don't always recognize?


Hang in there. You are not alone. I have found therapy (the head kind) to be very helpful. I went in there very depressed a month ago. Now, I am only a little depressed. It would give you someone to talk to.

Beverly


Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

Steve P on 8/06/00 at 19:05 (024777)

TF --- 3 suggestions if I may:

1. By all means, do some volunteer work to get yourself out of the house & your mind off yourself! Teach English to immigrants or help them get their citizenship; join a nursing home visitation program; volunteer to do office work part time for a church, a volunteer fire company, a hospice or other non-profit, even a political campaign .......whatever! But surround yourself with people & activity several times a week for a few hours at a time.
You can stay off your feet 90% of the time while doing volunteer work (of the right type).

2. Get some exercise! Swimming has been my salvation & I go almost every day. It gets me out of the house & I have a good time to boot. I'm not saying it's necessarily for you. But have you given it a try?

3. Take a Bridge class or something similar. Organized card games are fun, very social & a good way to meet new people.......all sitting down.

Just some suggestions........Good luck!


Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

john h on 8/06/00 at 19:56 (024781)

being alone is also a state of mind. you can have people all around you and be alone on lonely. of course to have someone to help you makeit to the fridge or do the essentials of life when you cannot goes beyond being alone. i sure sympathize with some of you who are obviously much worse off than me. i am the type who will rarely ask for help even when people are there and willing.to bad we do not all live in the same city because there would be no lonely PF people as anyone who experiences this problem is more than willing to help and be there.

Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

TenderFeet on 8/06/00 at 23:22 (024797)

Thank you for all your lovely notes. You have given me much to think about. I feel better today (at least emotionally).

TenderFeet


Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

Steve L. on 8/07/00 at 09:11 (024813)

Tenderfeet, you and I are in a very similar situation. I don't visit the message board much anymore, and I post even less; however I feel compelled to respond to you. Like you, I've battled this monster for years, trying all conservative treatments and ultimately having surgery about 15 months ago at Stanford. The surgeon indicated that the procedure may not succeed in my case, but I felt trapped into rolling the dice due to PF's disruption of my career. (Read: 'broke').All the specialists I have dealt with have since thrown up thier hands and prescribed morphine and a wheelchair. Needless to say, I resisted both, but I've been in the chair for the last 8-10 months, and could no longer find relief with Vicoden, Percoset, Demerol, et al, and last Thursday finally caved in and started the Morphine. The wife of 19 years could not handle all the changes and we split up last Easter weekend. Now, if all this sounds negative enough, I only offer it up as background info. My point in writing to you is to say that you are by no means out of options! I've gone back to school for computer engineering, have adjusted to the wheelchair, and have even managed a few good dates lately. Keep your chin up, seek opportunities rather than obstacles, and most of all keep acknowledging that, yes, God HAS been good to you! I've found that that acknowledgement has sustained me through some very troubling times that I probably could not have handled all this without Him.

Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

john h on 8/07/00 at 10:17 (024825)

steve: buddy you a stronger man than me. flying combat over vietnam sounds like a walk in the park compared to what you have been going through. wish i lived in your home town as you would receive a lot of visits and support from me. did you ever consider ESWT as a treatment? seems you would have nothing to lose. if money for the treatment is a problem you could count on at least a couple hundred bucks from me and there is probably some others who might help. this is not some sort of welfare offer but just a guy helping a guy.

Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

susan g on 8/07/00 at 13:05 (024833)

oh wow, these are great emails. i think it helps just that we know we're not alone. we all have our struggles dealing with pf, surgery, recovery and how to live our daily lives.....it's a challenge each and every day. i had surgery 13 months ago and am still having trouble, never a day goes by that i'm not in pain. it is a constant and i have to try to continue on. add to this a marriage ending after 23 years...i tell you some days it is hard to keep going. if i can help anyone by just talking please email me. please don't get so down that you think you are alone. you're not. i wish i could say i lived in southern california, that's my dream, but right now it's n.w. indiana.......
have a great day and look forward to hearing from you.

Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

suzi d on 8/08/00 at 11:47 (024897)

susan, it sure sounds like you have a good soul. going through all your personnal problems along with pf and then offering help to others. welcome to the boards. they are full of helpful and educational words and people. i'm sorry for all your pain. it must be very disheartening. hopefully someone will be able to give you hope of it ending soon. i'm in s.w. indiana. so it ain't california, but it's what we've got. stay the course.
pf'ly yours,
suzi

Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

T. Hurst on 8/16/00 at 21:17 (025612)

Use this site to learn more about possible solutions. You will feel better just examining different options. What works for you may be different than for others. Look at it as a challenge. It's surely not the biggest problem you've faced in life, as bad as it is. I just had surgery & the results look good so far. But I spent a full year on this site trying everything. My life has changed and there are things I may never do again. I was a semi-pro athlete. Now I'd take great pleasure in a hike! PF has slowed me down and I needed it! My life was so hectic and now I've had a chance to sit back and enjoy other things. I never would have changed if not for PF. I would have spent my life obsessing in the gym and on the soccer field instead of involving myself in meaningful relationships and experiences. When you get down, POST! There are several advid posters that will give you good advice (although I've gotten some bad advice too). Keep your chin up!

Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

john h on 8/05/00 at 22:56 (030380)

you will find some sympathetic ears here tenderfeet. people who understand your problems. this board has served as a connection for many people when there is no one to turn to. there is something out there you have not tried and that is EWST which is a non invasive procedure that has helped and cured many. Read the board carefully and you will find friendly people that will respond. you have come to the right place.

Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

JudyS on 8/05/00 at 23:21 (030382)

Whoa TF! In a sense you're wrong - you DO have friends and support - they're right here! Last week I mentioned that this medium has redefined the word 'friend' and your and my experiences confirm that. I've had PF for over 2 years, it's been as crippling as anyone we know here and it's kept me almost a prisoner in my own home and especially in my own emotions. Like you I had times when I was absolutely certain that it would keep me down for the rest of my life. And, as an extremely active person, I really couldn't cope. Finding this Board early in the spring was the best timing I could hope for because I became devoted to the ideas and treatments that filtered thru here that seemed to be effective. Now, finally, I can honestly say that I'm at least 60-70% better- and I was SO certain that it would never be. I too am lucky in that I don't have to go to a regular job every day. But my job at home has suffered tremendously and my family life has taken a beating in that I haven't been able to do all the hiking, running, shopping, etc. that we've always done together. Most of all, every criteria I've ever had as part of my self image had been shot down - I had times when I couldn't find what I thought was the real me anywhere anymore. Yes, I have a very supportive husband and that's immeasurable. But I also have you where my 'regular' friends just don't get it! I have Nancy and John and Beverly and Kim and Laurie and the other John and Rock and Dr. Z and.......... well, you get my drift! There is only one problem with this Board, if you get too wrapped up in it and it alone, it limits the way you think about yourself. Remember, you're not just a PF sufferer, you're also a person with OTHER interests AND a whole life. How can your former job skills be torked to fit you now? Can you walk for 5 minutes? Then do! The more you sit the stiffer the feet get and the more they atrophy. We all compared notes last week on how we've come to realize that SOME activity is necessary to try to maintain some strength and flexibility.
Yes, you need other stimulus so try a couple of things...join a reading club or a quilting club (sitting stuff!) , take just a single class once or twice a week - that wouldn't require walking across campus, sit on your front porch and just say hello to your neighbors, you CAN do a few things that'll put you in contact with new people- sounds like you don't need those old buddies who stuck by your ex anyway!
TF , you have us. Use us. If you live near me (SoCal) call me and I'll put together a PF party - there are several of us here!
To even begin to think that your life has no purpose is so incorrect I ought to shake you! PF is by no means the end of anything - it's limiting, no question, but then, there are lots of very vibrant folks out there who don't have PF because they don't even have legs.
So OK you stopped that hubby and that job - so isn't this then just a new beginning? PF is NOT the supreme ruler of your world, YOU ARE!
Boy, I ought to shake you! But I won't because I need you.

Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

KarenS on 8/05/00 at 22:52 (024743)

Dear Tenderfeet: You are so right with what you say. I don't get alot of help but I do get some. I couldn't even think of going through this by myself. Sometimes it takes someone like you to make us realize how lucky we are.

Please feel free to email me if you would like someone to talk to. Sometimes it makes you feel better just to get things off your chest. I promise I'll be there for you if you want. Hope to hear from you soon!!

Karen


Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

Beverly on 8/06/00 at 09:56 (024744)

Dear Tenderfeet,

I can relate to much of what you wrote, and you also made me stop to count my blessings.

I don't have a husband or kids either. I do have someone I see (long distance). It has definitely put a strain on the relationship. (Too hard for me to travel back and forth, not fair for him to always be the one to do it, and his patience with my feet limitations are wearing thin. Oh, he tries to be nice, but I can hear it in his voice...).

I suspect Kim is right. The grass is not always greener. There are some days alone in my house, that I wish I were still married. But other times when my feet hurt and I just want to 'zone' out, I am grateful that I have no one to cook for or pickup after. When my sweetie is in town, it seems like I have twice as much work to do around the house.
(And girls, he does help some. He folds laundry and does the dishes.)

I have found much support from my church, and I highly recomend that.
I've also learned that as a single person, I have to take the initiative sometimes socially. And yes, this is hard to do when not used to it. I am still learning.

You post gives me an idea. Whether married or unmarried, most of us deal with feeling isolated by this PF in our daily lives. That is why the board is so popular. I suspect that most cities have chronic pain support groups of some sort, and those groups could be good for us. I guess you'd call the social services department of a major hospital to start looking. Perhaps, some of our medical or social services folks here would have a better way to tell us to look for such a group.

Kim made a good suggestion about volunteer work. Pre-PF I was a pastor.
I still do some volunteer work in my church. That has been good for me.
I'll look to the rest of the board for some suggestions of other kinds of volunteer work that would be PF friendly. What ideas do you all have for Tenderfeet? Let's help her get out of the house and make some friends.

Judy is right about not getting too hooked on the Board. I worry about this sometimes. I may need to put myself on a 'board' diet.

You're right that money does not always fix this. My father has been wonderfully supportive to me, and I'd hate to know what he has spent trying to fix my feet. But slowly, I see improvement. Can you see some improvement that perhaps is going so slowly you don't always recognize?


Hang in there. You are not alone. I have found therapy (the head kind) to be very helpful. I went in there very depressed a month ago. Now, I am only a little depressed. It would give you someone to talk to.

Beverly


Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

Steve P on 8/06/00 at 19:05 (024777)

TF --- 3 suggestions if I may:

1. By all means, do some volunteer work to get yourself out of the house & your mind off yourself! Teach English to immigrants or help them get their citizenship; join a nursing home visitation program; volunteer to do office work part time for a church, a volunteer fire company, a hospice or other non-profit, even a political campaign .......whatever! But surround yourself with people & activity several times a week for a few hours at a time.
You can stay off your feet 90% of the time while doing volunteer work (of the right type).

2. Get some exercise! Swimming has been my salvation & I go almost every day. It gets me out of the house & I have a good time to boot. I'm not saying it's necessarily for you. But have you given it a try?

3. Take a Bridge class or something similar. Organized card games are fun, very social & a good way to meet new people.......all sitting down.

Just some suggestions........Good luck!


Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

john h on 8/06/00 at 19:56 (024781)

being alone is also a state of mind. you can have people all around you and be alone on lonely. of course to have someone to help you makeit to the fridge or do the essentials of life when you cannot goes beyond being alone. i sure sympathize with some of you who are obviously much worse off than me. i am the type who will rarely ask for help even when people are there and willing.to bad we do not all live in the same city because there would be no lonely PF people as anyone who experiences this problem is more than willing to help and be there.

Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

TenderFeet on 8/06/00 at 23:22 (024797)

Thank you for all your lovely notes. You have given me much to think about. I feel better today (at least emotionally).

TenderFeet


Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

Steve L. on 8/07/00 at 09:11 (024813)

Tenderfeet, you and I are in a very similar situation. I don't visit the message board much anymore, and I post even less; however I feel compelled to respond to you. Like you, I've battled this monster for years, trying all conservative treatments and ultimately having surgery about 15 months ago at Stanford. The surgeon indicated that the procedure may not succeed in my case, but I felt trapped into rolling the dice due to PF's disruption of my career. (Read: 'broke').All the specialists I have dealt with have since thrown up thier hands and prescribed morphine and a wheelchair. Needless to say, I resisted both, but I've been in the chair for the last 8-10 months, and could no longer find relief with Vicoden, Percoset, Demerol, et al, and last Thursday finally caved in and started the Morphine. The wife of 19 years could not handle all the changes and we split up last Easter weekend. Now, if all this sounds negative enough, I only offer it up as background info. My point in writing to you is to say that you are by no means out of options! I've gone back to school for computer engineering, have adjusted to the wheelchair, and have even managed a few good dates lately. Keep your chin up, seek opportunities rather than obstacles, and most of all keep acknowledging that, yes, God HAS been good to you! I've found that that acknowledgement has sustained me through some very troubling times that I probably could not have handled all this without Him.

Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

john h on 8/07/00 at 10:17 (024825)

steve: buddy you a stronger man than me. flying combat over vietnam sounds like a walk in the park compared to what you have been going through. wish i lived in your home town as you would receive a lot of visits and support from me. did you ever consider ESWT as a treatment? seems you would have nothing to lose. if money for the treatment is a problem you could count on at least a couple hundred bucks from me and there is probably some others who might help. this is not some sort of welfare offer but just a guy helping a guy.

Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

susan g on 8/07/00 at 13:05 (024833)

oh wow, these are great emails. i think it helps just that we know we're not alone. we all have our struggles dealing with pf, surgery, recovery and how to live our daily lives.....it's a challenge each and every day. i had surgery 13 months ago and am still having trouble, never a day goes by that i'm not in pain. it is a constant and i have to try to continue on. add to this a marriage ending after 23 years...i tell you some days it is hard to keep going. if i can help anyone by just talking please email me. please don't get so down that you think you are alone. you're not. i wish i could say i lived in southern california, that's my dream, but right now it's n.w. indiana.......
have a great day and look forward to hearing from you.

Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

suzi d on 8/08/00 at 11:47 (024897)

susan, it sure sounds like you have a good soul. going through all your personnal problems along with pf and then offering help to others. welcome to the boards. they are full of helpful and educational words and people. i'm sorry for all your pain. it must be very disheartening. hopefully someone will be able to give you hope of it ending soon. i'm in s.w. indiana. so it ain't california, but it's what we've got. stay the course.
pf'ly yours,
suzi

Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

T. Hurst on 8/16/00 at 21:17 (025612)

Use this site to learn more about possible solutions. You will feel better just examining different options. What works for you may be different than for others. Look at it as a challenge. It's surely not the biggest problem you've faced in life, as bad as it is. I just had surgery & the results look good so far. But I spent a full year on this site trying everything. My life has changed and there are things I may never do again. I was a semi-pro athlete. Now I'd take great pleasure in a hike! PF has slowed me down and I needed it! My life was so hectic and now I've had a chance to sit back and enjoy other things. I never would have changed if not for PF. I would have spent my life obsessing in the gym and on the soccer field instead of involving myself in meaningful relationships and experiences. When you get down, POST! There are several advid posters that will give you good advice (although I've gotten some bad advice too). Keep your chin up!

Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

john h on 8/05/00 at 22:56 (030380)

you will find some sympathetic ears here tenderfeet. people who understand your problems. this board has served as a connection for many people when there is no one to turn to. there is something out there you have not tried and that is EWST which is a non invasive procedure that has helped and cured many. Read the board carefully and you will find friendly people that will respond. you have come to the right place.

Re: Money won't fix PF pain or the loneliness/isolation that goes with it

JudyS on 8/05/00 at 23:21 (030382)

Whoa TF! In a sense you're wrong - you DO have friends and support - they're right here! Last week I mentioned that this medium has redefined the word 'friend' and your and my experiences confirm that. I've had PF for over 2 years, it's been as crippling as anyone we know here and it's kept me almost a prisoner in my own home and especially in my own emotions. Like you I had times when I was absolutely certain that it would keep me down for the rest of my life. And, as an extremely active person, I really couldn't cope. Finding this Board early in the spring was the best timing I could hope for because I became devoted to the ideas and treatments that filtered thru here that seemed to be effective. Now, finally, I can honestly say that I'm at least 60-70% better- and I was SO certain that it would never be. I too am lucky in that I don't have to go to a regular job every day. But my job at home has suffered tremendously and my family life has taken a beating in that I haven't been able to do all the hiking, running, shopping, etc. that we've always done together. Most of all, every criteria I've ever had as part of my self image had been shot down - I had times when I couldn't find what I thought was the real me anywhere anymore. Yes, I have a very supportive husband and that's immeasurable. But I also have you where my 'regular' friends just don't get it! I have Nancy and John and Beverly and Kim and Laurie and the other John and Rock and Dr. Z and.......... well, you get my drift! There is only one problem with this Board, if you get too wrapped up in it and it alone, it limits the way you think about yourself. Remember, you're not just a PF sufferer, you're also a person with OTHER interests AND a whole life. How can your former job skills be torked to fit you now? Can you walk for 5 minutes? Then do! The more you sit the stiffer the feet get and the more they atrophy. We all compared notes last week on how we've come to realize that SOME activity is necessary to try to maintain some strength and flexibility.
Yes, you need other stimulus so try a couple of things...join a reading club or a quilting club (sitting stuff!) , take just a single class once or twice a week - that wouldn't require walking across campus, sit on your front porch and just say hello to your neighbors, you CAN do a few things that'll put you in contact with new people- sounds like you don't need those old buddies who stuck by your ex anyway!
TF , you have us. Use us. If you live near me (SoCal) call me and I'll put together a PF party - there are several of us here!
To even begin to think that your life has no purpose is so incorrect I ought to shake you! PF is by no means the end of anything - it's limiting, no question, but then, there are lots of very vibrant folks out there who don't have PF because they don't even have legs.
So OK you stopped that hubby and that job - so isn't this then just a new beginning? PF is NOT the supreme ruler of your world, YOU ARE!
Boy, I ought to shake you! But I won't because I need you.