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Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

Posted by Nancy S. on 8/29/00 at 16:38 (026635)

Just an update, for what it's worth. (PF for 16 months, has improved; achilles, peroneal, and posterior tibial tendonitis for approx. 4 months -- still pretty bad.)
Saw my great sports med. dr. today for third follow-up visit. As I posted earlier, I was hoping to lose the air cast. This was pie-in-the-sky dreaming, and I really should have known it.
I've been having PT for 6 weeks, and have worn the air cast on the worse (left, PF foot) for 4 weeks. The casted foot has improved some, but there is still inflammation, swelling (but it's better than it was). The other foot is now the front runner as far as pain goes.
So I'm to alternate the air cast between left and right feet. This could be a problem, because when it will be on the right foot, it leaves my left (PF) foot open to PF flare-up, since it will carry more of the burden. So it's an experiment -- if wearing the cast on my right foot causes the PF to flare up in the left, then I'll be back to wearing it exclusively on the left foot, since the cast has shown its worth in improving that foot some.
The doctor told me to sign up for more PT -- I mean after even the next three weeks are over. He thinks I will need it for some time to come. The good news he gave me was: 'You have a bad case that went untreated for too long, but I have never seen a case like this that didn't recover. It just takes time, and very gradual stretching and strengthening through PT and at home. You WILL get better.'
The 'bad' news -- it's not really that bad, I knew it already! -- is that, in his words, 'There is no magic.' Just have to be very patient and diligent and vigilant, not overdo anything and cause setbacks but keep working with the exercises (and the cast until pain is gone).
He gave me Vioxx to try. Not news to to lots of folks here, but I haven't tried it before. He cautioned me that it is to lessen pain and therefore hopefully be able to make more progress, and make it more comfortably, in trying to work away the tendonitises. But 'don't think you can get out and walk 2 miles because you have less pain due to the medication. It should make you feel better, but it doesn't cure the basic problem.'

So, I know this is all correct, and after the appt. I drove around for about two hours (and at these gas prices! should have gone and parked by a lake or something). I finally came to a conclusion I've been avoiding for a long time: I have to give up my work, at least for a long time and maybe forever, I don't know. I've been struggling and struggling to kind of finesse my way into keeping my antiques business, but this thing is going to be with me for a while longer, and the doctor (and my husband, who is frustrated at my tenaciousness at this point) feel that by trying to keep at it (and usually failing anyway) I am just allowing setbacks, and if I keep doing that I'm not keeping my eye on the ball -- which is to heal.
Antiquing requires lots of time on the feet. If you can't be on your feet, you not only don't have an income, you actually lose money.
So this afternoon I called the shops I'm in and am leaving them as of October 1. This Thursday, my weekly 'open barn' day, will be my last. This is very tough, in every way.
No magic indeed! I should wake up better tomorrow . . .
Nancy

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

alan k on 8/29/00 at 18:08 (026647)

Sorry to hear that Nancy.

Perhaps you can go back into business in the future? There is no telling what you might be up for a long time from now.


alan k

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

Dr. Biehler on 8/29/00 at 18:17 (026650)

I think sometimes our present troubles and trials keep us so focused on the present that sometimes it can keep us from seeing what is a better future for us.

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

Pauline on 8/29/00 at 18:44 (026652)

Hi Nancy,
Your bound to have sad feelings when you give up something you love. Unfortunately this PF takes so long to clear up that it really changes its victims lives. I think if you asked everyone
on this board they all would have a story to tell you about loss.

Remember to fill your new free time with positive things always working within your PF limitations. This does go away and although
I hate to hear the doctors say that I know its true.

The waiting, pain, and limitations are the worse but remember your
friends here know what you are going through and are ready to help and cheer you on when ever you need it.

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

JudyS on 8/29/00 at 18:47 (026653)

Boy, this sure seems to be the week for major PF frustrations. Nancy, this is so much for you to have to deal with and I truly feel for you. We all seem to have to give up something that is dear to us at the command of the spoiled rotten thing that is PF!
Today, however, is ONLY a change in your life - and maybe even only a temporary one. It is not your whole life. It's an opportunity to nurture your other passion(s). I think I sound like the salesman who starts his pitch by saying he's providing you with the opportunity to spend your money! I know I can say nothing here to magically make your day brighter........but I hope you can find strength in the simple fact that you've made a decision. And a good one at that. You took charge. That's a skirmish won.

Re: Eye on the ball

Steve P on 8/29/00 at 18:56 (026656)

Nancy -- Sounds like a wise decision to me. But it isn't an irreversible one. You can always work your way back into the business in another year or two, and at whatever level seems appropriate at that time. The downside is that the antiques in your barn will have gotten older by then & will probably be worth less. (That was my attempt at humor.....but I'd better be careful since I'm on the wrong board for that!)
Good decision. You do have your eye on the ball.
Steve

Re: To Nancy

Beverly on 8/29/00 at 19:51 (026664)

Nancy,

As hard as it may be to feel like you are making progress, what I read in your posts is slow progress. You have repeatedly told us for a good while now that your PF is better. That is progress! That other stuff is newer, and so of course, it's farther behind the PF in progress.

Thank God your doc renewed your PT. I hope to get mine renewed when I see my sports med doc in two weeks. What kind of PT are you getting at this point? I'm getting ultrasound, massage, and stretching instructions. We stopped the ionaphresis last week, because I it started hurting/having a mild reaction. My PT says that is not unusual and a break from the ionaphresis is in order. We are currently doing the PFT. I'm glad I have the PT to guide me on that gadget. Left alone to interpret the book, I would have been way too heavy handed with it.
I am going to ask doc about acuptuncture... getting a script for that when I see him.

Can you go back to editing books? That is very PF friendly.

It is hard to give up a dream. Can you put your inventory in storage? (garage? basement?) The day may come when you can do it again.

Good Luck,
Beverly

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

wendyn on 8/29/00 at 22:37 (026691)

Nancy I am sorry that you're having a rough time. This must be a really tough decision for you. Like someone else suggested - maybe you can put things on hold for a bit. I am having my own mini pity party - but this is the wrong board for me to feel sorry for myself so I will go there.

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

PattyS on 8/29/00 at 23:49 (026701)

nancy, I have not been on this board for a while, and am sorry to hear how you are doing. My PF is gone, due to ART, which I described when I had it done in the Spring. However, I began having problems with my Achilles in July, and found that I now have achilles tendonitis in both legs. My pod advised me to get out of the Birks right away as the negative heel was possibly contributing to my problems. I did that and felt relief within the first week. have been going to PT for the past 2 weeks and feel much better, with stiffness only upon rising (and if I am good and stretch in bed, it is minimal). Anyway, I am sensing that your problems are more severe than mine, but I just wanted to bring up the birks to you. It was hard for me to believe at first, since they were the only thing I could comfortably wear when my PF was a problem, but switching from them to walking shoes and Fly Flot sandals (they have about 1.5'heel)helped me. Patty

Re: To Nancy

Nancy S. on 8/30/00 at 07:08 (026714)

Hi Beverly,
Your physical therapy sounds very similar to mine at this point. To answer your question, at each session I'm having ultrasound, massage, and cryotherapy (heavy-duty icing).
We switched me from iontophoresis also, but not because of any trouble like you had with it. The PF and tendonitis I have cover so much area on my feet and legs that the ionto. wasn't enough -- as you know, it can target just a couple of spots. The ultrasound covers everything.
The massage is painful but I know it's helping. After 6 weeks the left (air casted) foot can take a lot more, and deeper, massage than before.
My PT has me doing minimal but regular stretching at home -- it's a slow process, slower than yours probably, because so many tendons are so tight and inflamed. She started me Monday on one brief strengthening exercise for my improved foot.
When the Acu-Flex arrives, I'll be taking that in to my therapist and she will help me figure out how I should start out and progress with it. I've already told her about it and she likes the sound of it.
I hope you can get more sessions if you need them. I'm so relieved to be on this insurance program through the medical center -- could never afford $140 three times a week otherwise, so I feel very lucky.
Nancy

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

Nancy S. on 8/30/00 at 07:19 (026715)

Patty, sounds like we're almost in the same boat! I appreciate your bringing up the Birks subject.
I haven't been able to wear them for several weeks now, because of the air cast -- it puts my one leg up so high, with its fat rocker bottom, that I quickly found a Birk on the other foot wouldn't work. I'm using a hiking boot on noncasted foot, and I even have to stick an insert in that to try to get my legs at an even height (almost makes it).
I have really been missing wearing the Birks -- they brought the PF pain way down, and now I do feel the pain back somewhat without them.
But I have to reluctantly agree that I think you're right. They seem not to be good for the tendonitis -- the tendons get pulled too much in them.
I'm still hoping to go back to them one day when the tendonitis is really really over (and I would try to go back to them very gradually).
Are you thinking that you'll never wear them again, or do you think you'll be able to go back to them? Did your dr. say anything about this to you? I haven't asked mine yet . . . can only take so many disappointments in one day!
Is your PF still staying away? I hope so. I do remember how well you did due to the ART.
Nancy

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

PattyS on 8/30/00 at 15:13 (026759)

nancy,
my Dr. recommended that I get rid of them. he doesn't think that they are a good choice for me ever, because of the negative heel and also the toe grip. i am going to throw them in the back of my closet as you never know if the PF will come back again and I might need them and also because I invested a small fortune in my 4 pairs that i just cant justify throwing them out. I will probably never wear them again. Patty

Re: Nancy: About the Acu-Flex vs. PFT

Beverly on 8/30/00 at 18:10 (026770)

Nancy,

At first I didn't know what the Acu-Flex was. Then I found it on Scott's product page. How did you come to order it? I've just now looked at it. Interesting. (But whoever designed it could stand to go to a 'fashion class.' That leopard print is a bit much.)
Anyway, has your PT looked at the pictures of it?
I have just started the PFT. I have no opinion yet.
I remember you used the PFT.
This question is for Nancy or anyone, how do you think the concept of Acu-Flex compares to the PFT?
I'm having a bad day with my left foot. Can't wait to see ortho in a couple of weeks... Going to ask for that nerve block Dr. Z. told me about. I'm also seriously thinking about a nightsplint.

Take care,
Beverly

PS: The one thing different about our PT is that I have not been given the heavy duty cold packs. Do you get that after massage? I try to time my PT so that I can go right home and ice.

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

Robin B. on 8/30/00 at 18:26 (026771)

Hi Nancy --

Like others who have recovered to various extents, I don't post much anymore. I do try to visit the board every few days to see what's up (and there is more 'up' here than ever before, like multiple boards, etc.). I'm so sorry to hear you will be giving up your antiques business -- I know it has been the love of your life. But the important thing, as you already know, is to keep trying and keep trying to solve the wretched PF problem.

I'm pleased (and oh so very grateful) to say that my PF remains in a high state of remission. No morning pain, no standing or walking pain, nothing that really disrupts my day. But I am at the two-year point -- and even today I am extremely careful about what I do and don't do, and I probably always will be. Yup, still wearing Birks (just bought 2 more pairs which puts me up to 12 -- yikes), still not donning my Reeboks and walking except for an occasional mile, still careful when I go out shopping about where I walk, how I stand, etc. Frankly, it's worth all the care and all the modification in life to remain painfree.

I know giving up your business is a gargantuan modification to make in your life -- but you are to be applauded for your determination. Hang in there, pal -- relief WILL come. I too hope you wake up better tomorrow. But remember, if not tomorrow, then it will be someday soon. Keep trying everything and anything that makes sense in your own self-directed treatment plan. Don't give up and try hard not to let depression or despair take over. Back in the days when I was in constant pain, I always posted to this board about how I thought PF was one of the most life-altering conditions ever to afflict me (or anyone) -- and I still believe that. I am thrilled to pieces to lead a relatively normal life again, thrilled not to have my feet hurting every minute of every day. And I earnestly hope you are soon in the same boat. Antiques or not, you will then have one of the most significant parts of your life back. Wish it for you immediately!

Re: Nancy: About the Acu-Flex vs. PFT

Nancy S. on 8/30/00 at 21:37 (026784)

Hi Beverly,
I came to order the Acu-Flex through our own Alan K, who I'm sure will forgive you for recommending he go to fashion class!
Alan (an anthropologist) and his wife (who is from Thailand and knows a lot about Thai healing practices -- and Alan needs to add to this here because I might not know what else I'm talking about) -- they both have had PF and designed the Acu-Flex, finishing it fairly recently; apparently the principles behind it pretty much cured his wife's PF and Alan's is well under control now (or would you say it is gone, Alan?).
I've been waiting some time for them to offer it, because Alan has come across on this board as someone very knowledgeable about the body and biomechanics, etc. His advice since I found the board in December has helped me numerous times. Plus I like the fact that Acu-Flex is soft and so I think won't hurt me; it seems really versatile in that I can work on just about any muscles/joints/tendons in the limbs (and other parts) with it (at this point, more than my feet need to learn move easily again!); and all the thought and experience that went into it lead me to have confidence in the piece and its exercises.
I never did try the PFTs, so it wouldn't be fair for me to compare them. But I was a bit nervous about the PFT's bar, and also about possibly hurting my wrists (my tendons there are vulnerable).
So that's how I came to order the Acu-Flex, and I'll let you know how it works for me. I'm optimistic. I think I'll probably receive it within the week.
Alan: I don't think you need to go to fashion school! Looks fun and colorful. I'll have a more firm opinion on this when I see it in person!
Oh, Beverly: Yes, my PT uses these giant and very cold (but wrapped in pillow cases) ice wraps around each leg and foot at the end of ultrasound and massage -- and boy, I really need that after the massage, which is gradually getting deeper. I wouldn't want to leave without having the ice. Do ask about it, because it would probably help you more to have it right away rather than waiting till you get home. Good luck!
Nancy

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

Nancy S. on 8/30/00 at 22:09 (026785)

Hi Robin! It's so great to hear from you, and I'm thrilled for you that you're still doing so well. My hearty congratulations to you (and also for your eleventh and twelfth pairs of Birks -- you take the cake, and now I am Really envious, because I'm not able to wear them right now, and my PF does miss them).
Thank you so much for your understanding and support -- it really means a lot right now. As someone who struggled and succeeded at keeping her eye on the ball and got to where you are, you have always shown the kind of determination that I aspire to.
Giving up the antiques business hopefully means that I'm now completely committed to doing WHATEVER it takes to get better. I thought I was completely committed, but I couldn't have been -- I was still trying to get away with something that stood in the way of healing (but doing a miserable job of it since the tendonitis developed, so while I've been trying to hang on to the work I love, it hasn't been very satisfying this year--painful in other ways besides the feet).
This told me something about my priorities recently: I was talking to my sister and expressing my grief over not being able to do more work. I said something like 'It's just so frustrating and painful not to be able to do what I love most' (thinking antiques). And my sister said, 'You mean, like, WALK??!'
I am sad, but I'm hoping not to fall into the depression of last winter when I took the three-month break from that work. I think that depression pretty much covered the black-hole territory for a long time to come; god, I hope so. I still have 'those' days, but it's just a plain fact: the feet have to come first. And I have to try to look forward (not easy for a throwback like me!). I will get there.
Thanks again for writing, Robin. I've been wondering how you are, and I appreciate your good wishes.
All the best, from Nancy

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

Meghan on 9/01/00 at 08:50 (026873)

Nancy:
I was browsing the internet today, desperately searching for some information that might help me. I have had terrible foot pain now for over a year, am trying to locate a podiatrist that takes my insurance....I printed off a lot of great info that makes me feel that there may be some relief for me one day. I needed to read the message boards, to feel some sympathetic words and that is when I read your E-mail. It really touched my soul...firstly because you are so brave, on several levels...firstly for bearing the pain, then because you had been so brave to go out on your own and start your own business in the Antiques Field and then perhaps having to give it up... I work in retail and have just finished working 110 hours in a week, pounding the hard marble aisles, climbing ladders and wanting to cut my own feet off, because the pain couldn't be any worse I think! However a few months ago I began making jewelry and I have been selling some stuff. I know that I eventually have to give up retail, my feet cannot handle it and I eventually want to make jewelry on a full time basis. I just wanted to offer you a glimmer of hope.... have you considered selling your antiques online? At least until you recover? I have a friend who left retail and moved his antique store into a new phase, he sells his stuff on e-bay and is doing quite well.Perhaps you could take photos of all your stock and post them there and see how you do...It's worth a shot, and will keep you going until you are better. Perhaps you may find some magic where you thought there was only silence and sadness. Keep being brave, you have given me strength that I have a REAL problem and that I can get some relief from this pain. Perhaps this is a twisted show of Fate, that we need to find different routes for our lives. In our darkest hours, we shine through.
Good luck with everything
Sincerely Meghan

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

Nancy S. on 9/01/00 at 14:12 (026891)

Hello, Meghan -- Thank you for your very kind post! You made my day.
I'm glad you found this site, because there is so much information and help and support here. I'd be crazy by now if I hadn't found it last December. I hope you find a good doctor too. It took me a long time, but I finally found one (a sports med. dr.) in July.
You sound like you need to make some kind of work change soon. I hope you can manage that, for feet's sake (there's a tiny joke in there).
Yes, giving up my business is very hard -- I do love it. I've struggled over this since I first got PF 16 months ago. So I'm sad, but there is some relief in knowing that it's just a fact now -- just have to face reality and look ahead. I can't do antiquing via e-bay with webtv -- and even if I could, I'd still have to be out there on my feet finding stuff. So it wouldn't work for me, but thank you for the thought.
For the foreseeable future I'll be doing some book editing (which I did for many years and kind of burned out on), and I hope to get back to artwork, which I used to do a lot of and was able to make some income from. So it'll probably be a patchwork of activities that takes me from here -- and maybe something new will catch me, who knows? It's great that you've discovered jewelry-making! It sounds like you're pretty much off and running with it -- I wish you a lot of success and satisfaction with it.
You know you can always come here for support when you're having a hard time or when you decide to make that job change -- and of course, for any foot questions, large or small.
Thanks again, Meghan, you were really nice to make your post!
Nancy

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

alan k on 8/29/00 at 18:08 (026647)

Sorry to hear that Nancy.

Perhaps you can go back into business in the future? There is no telling what you might be up for a long time from now.


alan k

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

Dr. Biehler on 8/29/00 at 18:17 (026650)

I think sometimes our present troubles and trials keep us so focused on the present that sometimes it can keep us from seeing what is a better future for us.

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

Pauline on 8/29/00 at 18:44 (026652)

Hi Nancy,
Your bound to have sad feelings when you give up something you love. Unfortunately this PF takes so long to clear up that it really changes its victims lives. I think if you asked everyone
on this board they all would have a story to tell you about loss.

Remember to fill your new free time with positive things always working within your PF limitations. This does go away and although
I hate to hear the doctors say that I know its true.

The waiting, pain, and limitations are the worse but remember your
friends here know what you are going through and are ready to help and cheer you on when ever you need it.

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

JudyS on 8/29/00 at 18:47 (026653)

Boy, this sure seems to be the week for major PF frustrations. Nancy, this is so much for you to have to deal with and I truly feel for you. We all seem to have to give up something that is dear to us at the command of the spoiled rotten thing that is PF!
Today, however, is ONLY a change in your life - and maybe even only a temporary one. It is not your whole life. It's an opportunity to nurture your other passion(s). I think I sound like the salesman who starts his pitch by saying he's providing you with the opportunity to spend your money! I know I can say nothing here to magically make your day brighter........but I hope you can find strength in the simple fact that you've made a decision. And a good one at that. You took charge. That's a skirmish won.

Re: Eye on the ball

Steve P on 8/29/00 at 18:56 (026656)

Nancy -- Sounds like a wise decision to me. But it isn't an irreversible one. You can always work your way back into the business in another year or two, and at whatever level seems appropriate at that time. The downside is that the antiques in your barn will have gotten older by then & will probably be worth less. (That was my attempt at humor.....but I'd better be careful since I'm on the wrong board for that!)
Good decision. You do have your eye on the ball.
Steve

Re: To Nancy

Beverly on 8/29/00 at 19:51 (026664)

Nancy,

As hard as it may be to feel like you are making progress, what I read in your posts is slow progress. You have repeatedly told us for a good while now that your PF is better. That is progress! That other stuff is newer, and so of course, it's farther behind the PF in progress.

Thank God your doc renewed your PT. I hope to get mine renewed when I see my sports med doc in two weeks. What kind of PT are you getting at this point? I'm getting ultrasound, massage, and stretching instructions. We stopped the ionaphresis last week, because I it started hurting/having a mild reaction. My PT says that is not unusual and a break from the ionaphresis is in order. We are currently doing the PFT. I'm glad I have the PT to guide me on that gadget. Left alone to interpret the book, I would have been way too heavy handed with it.
I am going to ask doc about acuptuncture... getting a script for that when I see him.

Can you go back to editing books? That is very PF friendly.

It is hard to give up a dream. Can you put your inventory in storage? (garage? basement?) The day may come when you can do it again.

Good Luck,
Beverly

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

wendyn on 8/29/00 at 22:37 (026691)

Nancy I am sorry that you're having a rough time. This must be a really tough decision for you. Like someone else suggested - maybe you can put things on hold for a bit. I am having my own mini pity party - but this is the wrong board for me to feel sorry for myself so I will go there.

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

PattyS on 8/29/00 at 23:49 (026701)

nancy, I have not been on this board for a while, and am sorry to hear how you are doing. My PF is gone, due to ART, which I described when I had it done in the Spring. However, I began having problems with my Achilles in July, and found that I now have achilles tendonitis in both legs. My pod advised me to get out of the Birks right away as the negative heel was possibly contributing to my problems. I did that and felt relief within the first week. have been going to PT for the past 2 weeks and feel much better, with stiffness only upon rising (and if I am good and stretch in bed, it is minimal). Anyway, I am sensing that your problems are more severe than mine, but I just wanted to bring up the birks to you. It was hard for me to believe at first, since they were the only thing I could comfortably wear when my PF was a problem, but switching from them to walking shoes and Fly Flot sandals (they have about 1.5'heel)helped me. Patty

Re: To Nancy

Nancy S. on 8/30/00 at 07:08 (026714)

Hi Beverly,
Your physical therapy sounds very similar to mine at this point. To answer your question, at each session I'm having ultrasound, massage, and cryotherapy (heavy-duty icing).
We switched me from iontophoresis also, but not because of any trouble like you had with it. The PF and tendonitis I have cover so much area on my feet and legs that the ionto. wasn't enough -- as you know, it can target just a couple of spots. The ultrasound covers everything.
The massage is painful but I know it's helping. After 6 weeks the left (air casted) foot can take a lot more, and deeper, massage than before.
My PT has me doing minimal but regular stretching at home -- it's a slow process, slower than yours probably, because so many tendons are so tight and inflamed. She started me Monday on one brief strengthening exercise for my improved foot.
When the Acu-Flex arrives, I'll be taking that in to my therapist and she will help me figure out how I should start out and progress with it. I've already told her about it and she likes the sound of it.
I hope you can get more sessions if you need them. I'm so relieved to be on this insurance program through the medical center -- could never afford $140 three times a week otherwise, so I feel very lucky.
Nancy

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

Nancy S. on 8/30/00 at 07:19 (026715)

Patty, sounds like we're almost in the same boat! I appreciate your bringing up the Birks subject.
I haven't been able to wear them for several weeks now, because of the air cast -- it puts my one leg up so high, with its fat rocker bottom, that I quickly found a Birk on the other foot wouldn't work. I'm using a hiking boot on noncasted foot, and I even have to stick an insert in that to try to get my legs at an even height (almost makes it).
I have really been missing wearing the Birks -- they brought the PF pain way down, and now I do feel the pain back somewhat without them.
But I have to reluctantly agree that I think you're right. They seem not to be good for the tendonitis -- the tendons get pulled too much in them.
I'm still hoping to go back to them one day when the tendonitis is really really over (and I would try to go back to them very gradually).
Are you thinking that you'll never wear them again, or do you think you'll be able to go back to them? Did your dr. say anything about this to you? I haven't asked mine yet . . . can only take so many disappointments in one day!
Is your PF still staying away? I hope so. I do remember how well you did due to the ART.
Nancy

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

PattyS on 8/30/00 at 15:13 (026759)

nancy,
my Dr. recommended that I get rid of them. he doesn't think that they are a good choice for me ever, because of the negative heel and also the toe grip. i am going to throw them in the back of my closet as you never know if the PF will come back again and I might need them and also because I invested a small fortune in my 4 pairs that i just cant justify throwing them out. I will probably never wear them again. Patty

Re: Nancy: About the Acu-Flex vs. PFT

Beverly on 8/30/00 at 18:10 (026770)

Nancy,

At first I didn't know what the Acu-Flex was. Then I found it on Scott's product page. How did you come to order it? I've just now looked at it. Interesting. (But whoever designed it could stand to go to a 'fashion class.' That leopard print is a bit much.)
Anyway, has your PT looked at the pictures of it?
I have just started the PFT. I have no opinion yet.
I remember you used the PFT.
This question is for Nancy or anyone, how do you think the concept of Acu-Flex compares to the PFT?
I'm having a bad day with my left foot. Can't wait to see ortho in a couple of weeks... Going to ask for that nerve block Dr. Z. told me about. I'm also seriously thinking about a nightsplint.

Take care,
Beverly

PS: The one thing different about our PT is that I have not been given the heavy duty cold packs. Do you get that after massage? I try to time my PT so that I can go right home and ice.

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

Robin B. on 8/30/00 at 18:26 (026771)

Hi Nancy --

Like others who have recovered to various extents, I don't post much anymore. I do try to visit the board every few days to see what's up (and there is more 'up' here than ever before, like multiple boards, etc.). I'm so sorry to hear you will be giving up your antiques business -- I know it has been the love of your life. But the important thing, as you already know, is to keep trying and keep trying to solve the wretched PF problem.

I'm pleased (and oh so very grateful) to say that my PF remains in a high state of remission. No morning pain, no standing or walking pain, nothing that really disrupts my day. But I am at the two-year point -- and even today I am extremely careful about what I do and don't do, and I probably always will be. Yup, still wearing Birks (just bought 2 more pairs which puts me up to 12 -- yikes), still not donning my Reeboks and walking except for an occasional mile, still careful when I go out shopping about where I walk, how I stand, etc. Frankly, it's worth all the care and all the modification in life to remain painfree.

I know giving up your business is a gargantuan modification to make in your life -- but you are to be applauded for your determination. Hang in there, pal -- relief WILL come. I too hope you wake up better tomorrow. But remember, if not tomorrow, then it will be someday soon. Keep trying everything and anything that makes sense in your own self-directed treatment plan. Don't give up and try hard not to let depression or despair take over. Back in the days when I was in constant pain, I always posted to this board about how I thought PF was one of the most life-altering conditions ever to afflict me (or anyone) -- and I still believe that. I am thrilled to pieces to lead a relatively normal life again, thrilled not to have my feet hurting every minute of every day. And I earnestly hope you are soon in the same boat. Antiques or not, you will then have one of the most significant parts of your life back. Wish it for you immediately!

Re: Nancy: About the Acu-Flex vs. PFT

Nancy S. on 8/30/00 at 21:37 (026784)

Hi Beverly,
I came to order the Acu-Flex through our own Alan K, who I'm sure will forgive you for recommending he go to fashion class!
Alan (an anthropologist) and his wife (who is from Thailand and knows a lot about Thai healing practices -- and Alan needs to add to this here because I might not know what else I'm talking about) -- they both have had PF and designed the Acu-Flex, finishing it fairly recently; apparently the principles behind it pretty much cured his wife's PF and Alan's is well under control now (or would you say it is gone, Alan?).
I've been waiting some time for them to offer it, because Alan has come across on this board as someone very knowledgeable about the body and biomechanics, etc. His advice since I found the board in December has helped me numerous times. Plus I like the fact that Acu-Flex is soft and so I think won't hurt me; it seems really versatile in that I can work on just about any muscles/joints/tendons in the limbs (and other parts) with it (at this point, more than my feet need to learn move easily again!); and all the thought and experience that went into it lead me to have confidence in the piece and its exercises.
I never did try the PFTs, so it wouldn't be fair for me to compare them. But I was a bit nervous about the PFT's bar, and also about possibly hurting my wrists (my tendons there are vulnerable).
So that's how I came to order the Acu-Flex, and I'll let you know how it works for me. I'm optimistic. I think I'll probably receive it within the week.
Alan: I don't think you need to go to fashion school! Looks fun and colorful. I'll have a more firm opinion on this when I see it in person!
Oh, Beverly: Yes, my PT uses these giant and very cold (but wrapped in pillow cases) ice wraps around each leg and foot at the end of ultrasound and massage -- and boy, I really need that after the massage, which is gradually getting deeper. I wouldn't want to leave without having the ice. Do ask about it, because it would probably help you more to have it right away rather than waiting till you get home. Good luck!
Nancy

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

Nancy S. on 8/30/00 at 22:09 (026785)

Hi Robin! It's so great to hear from you, and I'm thrilled for you that you're still doing so well. My hearty congratulations to you (and also for your eleventh and twelfth pairs of Birks -- you take the cake, and now I am Really envious, because I'm not able to wear them right now, and my PF does miss them).
Thank you so much for your understanding and support -- it really means a lot right now. As someone who struggled and succeeded at keeping her eye on the ball and got to where you are, you have always shown the kind of determination that I aspire to.
Giving up the antiques business hopefully means that I'm now completely committed to doing WHATEVER it takes to get better. I thought I was completely committed, but I couldn't have been -- I was still trying to get away with something that stood in the way of healing (but doing a miserable job of it since the tendonitis developed, so while I've been trying to hang on to the work I love, it hasn't been very satisfying this year--painful in other ways besides the feet).
This told me something about my priorities recently: I was talking to my sister and expressing my grief over not being able to do more work. I said something like 'It's just so frustrating and painful not to be able to do what I love most' (thinking antiques). And my sister said, 'You mean, like, WALK??!'
I am sad, but I'm hoping not to fall into the depression of last winter when I took the three-month break from that work. I think that depression pretty much covered the black-hole territory for a long time to come; god, I hope so. I still have 'those' days, but it's just a plain fact: the feet have to come first. And I have to try to look forward (not easy for a throwback like me!). I will get there.
Thanks again for writing, Robin. I've been wondering how you are, and I appreciate your good wishes.
All the best, from Nancy

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

Meghan on 9/01/00 at 08:50 (026873)

Nancy:
I was browsing the internet today, desperately searching for some information that might help me. I have had terrible foot pain now for over a year, am trying to locate a podiatrist that takes my insurance....I printed off a lot of great info that makes me feel that there may be some relief for me one day. I needed to read the message boards, to feel some sympathetic words and that is when I read your E-mail. It really touched my soul...firstly because you are so brave, on several levels...firstly for bearing the pain, then because you had been so brave to go out on your own and start your own business in the Antiques Field and then perhaps having to give it up... I work in retail and have just finished working 110 hours in a week, pounding the hard marble aisles, climbing ladders and wanting to cut my own feet off, because the pain couldn't be any worse I think! However a few months ago I began making jewelry and I have been selling some stuff. I know that I eventually have to give up retail, my feet cannot handle it and I eventually want to make jewelry on a full time basis. I just wanted to offer you a glimmer of hope.... have you considered selling your antiques online? At least until you recover? I have a friend who left retail and moved his antique store into a new phase, he sells his stuff on e-bay and is doing quite well.Perhaps you could take photos of all your stock and post them there and see how you do...It's worth a shot, and will keep you going until you are better. Perhaps you may find some magic where you thought there was only silence and sadness. Keep being brave, you have given me strength that I have a REAL problem and that I can get some relief from this pain. Perhaps this is a twisted show of Fate, that we need to find different routes for our lives. In our darkest hours, we shine through.
Good luck with everything
Sincerely Meghan

Re: Follow-up visit with dr. today -- "There is no magic"

Nancy S. on 9/01/00 at 14:12 (026891)

Hello, Meghan -- Thank you for your very kind post! You made my day.
I'm glad you found this site, because there is so much information and help and support here. I'd be crazy by now if I hadn't found it last December. I hope you find a good doctor too. It took me a long time, but I finally found one (a sports med. dr.) in July.
You sound like you need to make some kind of work change soon. I hope you can manage that, for feet's sake (there's a tiny joke in there).
Yes, giving up my business is very hard -- I do love it. I've struggled over this since I first got PF 16 months ago. So I'm sad, but there is some relief in knowing that it's just a fact now -- just have to face reality and look ahead. I can't do antiquing via e-bay with webtv -- and even if I could, I'd still have to be out there on my feet finding stuff. So it wouldn't work for me, but thank you for the thought.
For the foreseeable future I'll be doing some book editing (which I did for many years and kind of burned out on), and I hope to get back to artwork, which I used to do a lot of and was able to make some income from. So it'll probably be a patchwork of activities that takes me from here -- and maybe something new will catch me, who knows? It's great that you've discovered jewelry-making! It sounds like you're pretty much off and running with it -- I wish you a lot of success and satisfaction with it.
You know you can always come here for support when you're having a hard time or when you decide to make that job change -- and of course, for any foot questions, large or small.
Thanks again, Meghan, you were really nice to make your post!
Nancy