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Progress

Posted by Barbara TX on 9/18/00 at 11:30 (028521)

I know I am making progress... I am walking with more ease, that is, with a full stride instead of little, wincing steps. I notice DEFINITE improvement in my left foot (the one that was SO VERY bad). Now I am noticing that my right foot is getting worse. I don't know if it just feels worse because I'm not distracted by the left foot. It feels like the left one did at the beginning of this whole thing and there was not a thing I could do to halt its 'decline.' Scary!

I went to a STORE (a place where actual, financial transactions of goods and services take place) for the first time since APRIL, folks. I parked right in front, walked in and sat on the floor next to my son's shoe size, and we picked out a pair of sneakers. What joy! What bliss! I was second in line at the checkout and got out of there fast and went home and iced and popped a Celebrex. And I was not the worse for wear. No setbacks. In fact, the next day I was walking around BETTER than the day before. I stood a little bit at church and I walked to a bench at the park (40-50 steps) so the kids could fish. It is amazing what just a little bit of mobility can do for your spirit. I still have a tendency to 'wear out.' I never had much pain in the morning, but as I stayed on my feet, it got worse. BUT, I wear out at 50 steps instead of 15.

Physical things I credit for going from wheelchair to walking around in two three weeks:

1. Night splint (worn religiously, although it is evil)
2. Celebrex
3. Stretching only without causing more pain. If I feel the stretch immediately transfer to the PF, I quit immediately. I keep the stretch in the gastroc. No achilles stretching. That just hurt the back of my heel.
4. Deep massage of calf muscles (I am rather rough with them)
5. Starting motion VERY SLOWLY. I even rock a little bit on and off my feet while sitting on the side of my bed. I adjust to my weight very gradually. I step right into Birks.
6. A low-arch pair of Birks (Boston Clog). The high-arch ones (Montana?) made my problem transfer from my heel to my arch.
7. Swimming EVERY DAY (sometimes for two hours until the kids and I are completely pruned) and putting my foot on the pool out-spout for a little massage. I 'water-jog.'
8. Walking two or three minutes out of every half hour.
9. Toe 'push ups.' I start flat footed while sitting and push up a little with just my toes. This motion always felt better than just being motionless.
10. I try never to cross my legs and ankles. My chiro warned me about this. Before, it was the only way I sat, ever. I even sat this way in the wheelchair, which looked absolutely ludicrous.

You may remember that I did the chiropractor thing in the beginning. He diagnosed a 'stuck' ankle joint that limited my mobility and caused unnesessary tension in the plantar F. He tugged on that for a couple of weeks and loosened up my big toe until he was satisfied with my flexibility. He then did myofascial release, which felt good at first, but then got worse. I was in so much pain that I think we overdid it. The cycle of imflammation just got the better of me and I had to go on prednisone for a week, and then the Celebrex). I would never do something like that again when I was already so inflamed. Still, I am so glad I did the chiropractic thing first. He solved the underlying mobility problem, because before there was a real difference in flexibility from foot to foot - now they are more similar. Hopefully I will continue to improve - but y'all know how this can be. Like the waves that Dr. Zuckerman describes. We'll see. B.

P.S. Two shots, five weeks apart, helped minimally for roughly two days (the first) and one day (the second). Ultrasound never seemed to help either. Just not worth it for me.

Re: Progress

BarbSCO on 9/18/00 at 12:26 (028524)

Hey there fellow Barbara of PF! I thought I had been through a lot of pain but reading your post showed me I've been through NOTHING compared to you. You are a trooper! I'm glad to hear your left foot is getting better. Do you think the right might be hurting worse because it has been making up for the disability in your left? I've had that problem before plus lower back pain due to limping. Keep up the good spirits. Hopefully someday, none of us will have to suffer again.:)
BarbS in CO

Re: Progress

Nancy S. on 9/18/00 at 15:57 (028542)

Hi Barbara, I'm very very glad for you -- I know how wonderful even the small steps toward freedom feel. Recently when I experienced progress due to my exercises, I felt absolutely thrilled . . . then I got nervous (the rollercoaster syndrome). I wrote Laurie R that I was thrilled but afraid to be too thrilled. She replied, 'Please be thrilled!' And she was right. If it's a good day, if even small progress has been made, revel in the moment. Congratulations!
Nancy

Re: Progress

Barbara TX on 9/18/00 at 16:35 (028546)

I AM nervous, constantly thinking 'Is that how its supposed to feel?' or 'Is it worse than this morning?' and mostly, 'What if I post the board and then have a total disaster?' One thing is for sure - I don't feel like I'm walking on thin ice anymore, always feeling like I'm 'tearing' something (awful word). I hate to be thrilled over just walking a few more steps without pain, but I can do things I haven't done in months - like kissing the kids in their beds one last time when they are finally asleep. I missed that so very, very much. I may be being optimistic, but maybe now I can start filling in and painting all the wheelchair gouges in my walls and cabinets. I tipped into nearly everything in sight. But I promise not to STAND and paint! B.

Re: Progress

Beverly on 9/18/00 at 17:06 (028550)

Barbara,

After all you've been through, you needed a ray of sunshine and hope. I'm glad you are getting it.

I too have this in both feet. I find that the 'bad' foot switches around. To the best of my awareness, I walk normally and do not favor one foot over the other. My PT says I am still probably favoring the 'good' foot ( a relative term since I have this in both feet) over the other. So, it goes back and forth.

How long have you had this? I am at the sixth month point. I have improvements and setbacks. However, I have not ever been setback as far as I did back in the beginning/first few months.
Beverly

Re: Twelve Months!

Barbara TX on 9/18/00 at 23:01 (028613)

To answer your question, I have celebrated my 12 month PF aniversary. The pain started out very mildly in September '99. Suddenly I bounced from bad to worse in April, and by the end of May I could no longer walk. What a year from hell! I've gained 20 pounds and I feel weird when I walk a bit outside now - like I have gone from spring to fall with no summer in between. All summer I felt cold in the house because my movements were so restricted. It was a very bittersweet summer. The kids did their best to make me happy although they are very little. Just today my little guy made me 'medicine vitamins' out of playdough for my 'hurtie foot.' I don't know what in the world this summer was for in the grand scheme of things... maybe to help me be a more interior person than an exterior one. Hmmmm. B.

Re: Progress

JudyS on 9/18/00 at 23:10 (028615)

Barbara, yours is another great story of slow but steady progress. And it follows the basic theme of traditional therapies. I especially like the idea of coming to load-bearing gradually by standing for a bit before walking and I've added it to my regime. Can I ask one question? How do you stretch the gastroc without stretching the Achilles? I know that's a good, basic stretch to do but I keep getting sore achilles when I do it. Good for you TexBarb - I'm proud of you!

Re: To BarbaraTX: On the "interior" person and positive outcomes of PF

Beverly on 9/19/00 at 17:26 (028697)

Barbara,

Like you, I have often wondered 'why did this happen?' I have done the anaylsis by paralysis' ad naseaeum' (Despite two degrees, I am a terrible speller but you get my drift.)

I have come to the conclusion that there is some lesson God wants me to learn from all of this. I've yet to figure it out. Perhaps, I am suppose to have more compassion towards the sick and injured. It may be a test of faith (especially since I hurt myself on a track during Lent while doing my 'Lenten promise' to take my couch potato self to the gym!) I have met people whose faith was increased dramatically after an illness. I have the utmost respect for those kinds of people. I'm thinking about people with terrible things like AIDS or cancer.

For me, it has been a struggle. I've had to work at keeping that sense of 'faith in a storm.' Although I am merely a layperson today, in the past I was a minister and I still do a little volunteer work in my church. So, I of all people, should be well fortified for handling the 'interior' side of PF.

But 'theological book/head' knowledge does not neccessarily mean I process all of this any better than the average person on the street.

I was always a type A go-go person before. This has forced me to slow down and get to know me better. I am an extravert who has been forced to stay home alone many days when I could not go anywhere. I know good things have come from this, and some days my final conclusion is that I am learning that I can cope with more than I thought I could.

There is a scripture that says 'God won't give us more than we can bear.' I take comfort in that. Whenever I get on a pity party, I meet someone in some horrible condition far worse than me, and I realize how lucky I am.
Beverly

Re: To Beverly: On the "interior" person and positive outcomes of PF

Barbara TX on 9/20/00 at 09:08 (028734)

So true... I am grateful that I don't have something much, much worse, and that my kids and husband are so healthy and happy. But I SO TOTALLY fell apart when I was unable to walk and I was astounded at how weak I was. My husband even thought it was a disproportionate reaction and very hesitant about me trying anti-depressants. I kept asking God 'Why can't you give me just physical pain? Why do I have to be losing my mind too?' Then I realized that mental wards are full of people given more than they can handle, and it frightened me to the extreme. It made me just a wee bit mad at God. Also, I didn't want to give up nursing the baby - I really BEGGED God to spare me that. But, I must say that her weaning went smoothly, which is a miracle because she was so attached to me. That, at least, was a blessing. I am learning a lot about myself here at home, that is for sure, but it's the hard kind of learning, because I realize just how dependent I am on God and how attached I am to my health to make me happy. But, as you know, there is a kind of happiness that runs even deeper than physical wellness and I'm just beginning to understand the nature of that happiness. I hope I have not been getting too weird here! When I see someone who is worse off than me, I am not relieved at my own relative wellness anymore, but I ask God 'How could you let that happen to them?' I mean, the whole world is set up that way - you never really grow without pain. Even Jesus, on the cross above my bed - God Himself in pain! I mean, I have that hanging there because I am a Catholic, and that's the kind of thing that nice Catholics do, you know - but I never really thougth it would have something to do with ME. I thought it was a reminder of Jesus - when in fact, now I see that it is a reminder of LIFE. In every life there is a shadow of the cross, ugly and hidden and terrifying. I, like you, had been a 'helper' of people, and now I just really need to be helped, and I am embarrassed by the stream of platitudes that I have leashed upon others in times of pain. What in the world did I know about it? I know people tell me this will make me deeper and stronger. But this is a mystery. I have no idea how. If you find out, please tell me Bev!

Re: To Beverly: On the "interior" person and positive outcomes of PF

Beverly on 9/20/00 at 10:08 (028742)

Barbara,

What helped me cope with this emotionally was getting into therapy.
It has done wonders for my depression. If your insurance will pay for it, it's well worth it. And if insurance won't pay, many therapists work on a sliding scale. Also, if you belong to a large parish, your church may have a counseling center. (With churches I always want to know if the counselors are liscensed therapists.) Or your priest may be able to help you find a therapist who works on a sliding scale.

If I had not gotten into therapy when I did, I think my depression would have gotten so bad that anti-depressants would have been the only solution. And I still have the samples my doctor sent me home with just in case I end up needing them. I had my therapist give me a sophisticated clinical test that would allow her to determine my depression level. I decided that if she thought I was depressed enough to need to be on anti-depressants, I would definitely take them.
I scored within normal range (although at the low end of normal). So for the moment, I'm still taking the psycho-therapy approach thanks to insurance.

The important thing is to do something about your depression. Wishing it away does not work. In my own situation, I concluded that 'God helps those who help themselves.' So, I got myself into therapy. It has been one of the best things I've done (along with getting into physical therapy for my feet.)

Barbara, since you are obviously a deeply religious person, have you asked your priest about reading suggestions on 'why bad things happen to good people?'

Here are things I've read:

A real classic: 'What Happens to Good People when Bad Things Happen'
by Robert Schuller (Author is a protestant pastor of one of the largest churches in the world.)

'When Life Falls Apart' by Warren W. Wiersbe (puts a contemporary spin on Job's suffering in The Book of Job and applies it to life today.)

My Catholicism is very weak (raised Catholic but many years a Protestant). But I do recall that many of the greatest saints endured tremendous suffering.

Best of luck,
Beverly

Re: To Beverly: On the "interior" person and positive outcomes of PF

Barbara TX on 9/21/00 at 23:54 (028852)

Thanks, Beverly... I did try the 'talk' therapy route, and all concluded it was time to try the drugs. They have helped considerably, and I think that now I've got a grip and I don't dread each day. Setbacks are so hard, though. I'm having another one right now - and I can't say what on earth caused it. I didn't overdo, didn't change a thing. I have a real fear of this pain and its intensity. I really don't even want to pray about it anymore, because I find myself begging and about to cry. I have been disappointed by every doctor and every treatment - so much so that I break down right before each visit and I don't want to go (because I just can't stand the disappointment anymore). I cancelled my orthopd appointment today. I need to be away from medical people right now. I think I'll try ESWT next if Dr. Z thinks I'll be a good candidate. At least it is out there for me to hope for.

My biggest fear is that I will always be in pain. Sorry for the sad post. It has been a sad day. B.

Re: To Barbara-TX

Nancy S. on 9/22/00 at 07:53 (028866)

Hi Barbara, I just woke up and saw your post to Beverly from last night. I'm so sorry you had such a sad day yesterday, and my heart goes out to you. Some days the emotional pain from PF is as bad as the physical -- especially when in the middle of a setback and your hopes feel dashed and fear looms large.
I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to let the tears flow on a day like that. This is a very hard and frustrating condition, and sometimes crying releases tension and leaves some room for building back your emotional strength and seeing realistically whatever progress you have made and getting a glimpse of that light at the end of the tunnel. (It is there . . .)
I think most of us have had these setbacks, and I found that the only thing to do at those times is to 'honor' what your feet are telling you -- by resting them through it and doing whatever things you have found in the past that nurture your spirit. Rest at acute times is a healing thing, so please don't feel you are doing nothing at those times. Accept that it's needed, and you _will_ come out of it, you won't always be in pain.
Setbacks stink, but each time I've had one, if I took extra special and gentle care of my feet, I found that the next bout of progress got me a bit farther along than the last. Now I'm trying to take this period of progress so gradually that setbacks won't happen. But maybe they still will. I've had enough to know now that it doesn't mean I'm starting over after a setback, back to square one. Feels like it in the middle of one, but it's turned out not to be true -- especially if I keep listening to my feet and acting accordingly, day by day.
I do hope you have a better day today. If it's even a tiny bit better, that's progress. Please try not to give in to the 'I'll always be in pain' fear -- it adds to pain, I think, and can distract you from paying attention to what your feet need today.
Take care, Barbara, and hang in there.
Nancy

Re: To Barbara-TX

Barbara TX on 9/22/00 at 09:12 (028868)

Thank youy so much, Nancy. I've printed out your post and I'm keeping it with me today and reading it when I feel low. Last night when I started to cry (the pain always seems much worse at nignt) my husband said he thought I was 'obsessed' about PF and was angry instead of comforting. I was brave and had not cried all day, but at night I fell apart. He cannot understand why I'm fearful and if he can't by now, I don't ever think I can explain it to him. Two little kids and not being able to walk? Who wouldn't fear that? I was hopping mad and disappointed that he seemed not to have learned a thing from this whole mess. He would go through hell and back for me, but comforting me is not his 'thing.' So, I must admit that a good deal of this pain is emotional. I hate having to come up to him in tears and pain and the first words out of my mouth are 'I'm sorry.' I constantly apologize for being in pain. I think today he is most likely thinking long and hard about what I said last night. He let me down. He really does adore me, so when I said this I know it sent him into a swivet. But it is a much needed swivet!

Thanks again for your kind words. I want to think that this will get better. I'll take it easy today... I have to cling to the progress that I've made in the past and hope for it again. B.

Re: To Barbara-TX

Nancy S. on 9/22/00 at 15:23 (028885)

Hi Barbara,
Have you tried having your husband read Scott's PF Book? My husband read it, the whole thing through, when I first found this site last December. After that he understood the condition much, much better, and ever since then he has been much more of a partner in fighting this thing -- including ability to be more comforting on a bad day. Of course, I've discovered after all this time that _he_ has bad days because my foot problems too. It certainly isn't as bad as having PF yourself (!), but it can be hard living right next to it.
Every now and then I find myself apologizing, like you. I'm learning to stop this -- except for every now and then when I realize how much more he has to do to keep us afloat while I try to get better (I don't know if this is true in your case, though). I do feel bad about that and give some sympathy for that -- but I don't apologize for my pain anymore. It's nobody's fault. Sympathy and apology are two different things . . . I think I'm finding that more of the former and less of the latter can help our partners.
Anyway, I hope this idea helps you! The wreck that PF can make of parts of your life is really hard for others to understand, so I think education like that found in Scott's PF Book can make a difference. Say, if he still doesn't get it, maybe a joint letter from some of here would help! -- especially from other mothers with PF and young children.
Best of luck to you on this, Barbara, and keep hanging in there.
Nancy

Re: Progress

Barbara TX on 9/22/00 at 15:48 (028887)

Hey Judy - you asked a question about keeping the stretch in my gastroc that I forgot to answer. I stretch so many ways - in bed just bending toward my locked knees and flexed feet mostly, and I also put my hands on the side of my bed to hod some of my weight and do a runners stretch behind (sort of half weight-bearing). I never do fully weight bearing, like on a wall. I feel it in my foot too quickly. I just go by feel - the minute the stretch is not felt in the area where achilles and gastroc meet, then I stop right away. I hold only 20 seconds on a chiro's advice.

Anyway, I should be asking YOU these questions - you have made such progress. I am in another setback so I am not to be trusted! Nancy and Bev are lifting me from the dumps, thank God for them. And your progress is a joy to read. Scott should have a special board or archive for recovery stories. Good luck to you, B.

Re: Progress

BarbSCO on 9/18/00 at 12:26 (028524)

Hey there fellow Barbara of PF! I thought I had been through a lot of pain but reading your post showed me I've been through NOTHING compared to you. You are a trooper! I'm glad to hear your left foot is getting better. Do you think the right might be hurting worse because it has been making up for the disability in your left? I've had that problem before plus lower back pain due to limping. Keep up the good spirits. Hopefully someday, none of us will have to suffer again.:)
BarbS in CO

Re: Progress

Nancy S. on 9/18/00 at 15:57 (028542)

Hi Barbara, I'm very very glad for you -- I know how wonderful even the small steps toward freedom feel. Recently when I experienced progress due to my exercises, I felt absolutely thrilled . . . then I got nervous (the rollercoaster syndrome). I wrote Laurie R that I was thrilled but afraid to be too thrilled. She replied, 'Please be thrilled!' And she was right. If it's a good day, if even small progress has been made, revel in the moment. Congratulations!
Nancy

Re: Progress

Barbara TX on 9/18/00 at 16:35 (028546)

I AM nervous, constantly thinking 'Is that how its supposed to feel?' or 'Is it worse than this morning?' and mostly, 'What if I post the board and then have a total disaster?' One thing is for sure - I don't feel like I'm walking on thin ice anymore, always feeling like I'm 'tearing' something (awful word). I hate to be thrilled over just walking a few more steps without pain, but I can do things I haven't done in months - like kissing the kids in their beds one last time when they are finally asleep. I missed that so very, very much. I may be being optimistic, but maybe now I can start filling in and painting all the wheelchair gouges in my walls and cabinets. I tipped into nearly everything in sight. But I promise not to STAND and paint! B.

Re: Progress

Beverly on 9/18/00 at 17:06 (028550)

Barbara,

After all you've been through, you needed a ray of sunshine and hope. I'm glad you are getting it.

I too have this in both feet. I find that the 'bad' foot switches around. To the best of my awareness, I walk normally and do not favor one foot over the other. My PT says I am still probably favoring the 'good' foot ( a relative term since I have this in both feet) over the other. So, it goes back and forth.

How long have you had this? I am at the sixth month point. I have improvements and setbacks. However, I have not ever been setback as far as I did back in the beginning/first few months.
Beverly

Re: Twelve Months!

Barbara TX on 9/18/00 at 23:01 (028613)

To answer your question, I have celebrated my 12 month PF aniversary. The pain started out very mildly in September '99. Suddenly I bounced from bad to worse in April, and by the end of May I could no longer walk. What a year from hell! I've gained 20 pounds and I feel weird when I walk a bit outside now - like I have gone from spring to fall with no summer in between. All summer I felt cold in the house because my movements were so restricted. It was a very bittersweet summer. The kids did their best to make me happy although they are very little. Just today my little guy made me 'medicine vitamins' out of playdough for my 'hurtie foot.' I don't know what in the world this summer was for in the grand scheme of things... maybe to help me be a more interior person than an exterior one. Hmmmm. B.

Re: Progress

JudyS on 9/18/00 at 23:10 (028615)

Barbara, yours is another great story of slow but steady progress. And it follows the basic theme of traditional therapies. I especially like the idea of coming to load-bearing gradually by standing for a bit before walking and I've added it to my regime. Can I ask one question? How do you stretch the gastroc without stretching the Achilles? I know that's a good, basic stretch to do but I keep getting sore achilles when I do it. Good for you TexBarb - I'm proud of you!

Re: To BarbaraTX: On the "interior" person and positive outcomes of PF

Beverly on 9/19/00 at 17:26 (028697)

Barbara,

Like you, I have often wondered 'why did this happen?' I have done the anaylsis by paralysis' ad naseaeum' (Despite two degrees, I am a terrible speller but you get my drift.)

I have come to the conclusion that there is some lesson God wants me to learn from all of this. I've yet to figure it out. Perhaps, I am suppose to have more compassion towards the sick and injured. It may be a test of faith (especially since I hurt myself on a track during Lent while doing my 'Lenten promise' to take my couch potato self to the gym!) I have met people whose faith was increased dramatically after an illness. I have the utmost respect for those kinds of people. I'm thinking about people with terrible things like AIDS or cancer.

For me, it has been a struggle. I've had to work at keeping that sense of 'faith in a storm.' Although I am merely a layperson today, in the past I was a minister and I still do a little volunteer work in my church. So, I of all people, should be well fortified for handling the 'interior' side of PF.

But 'theological book/head' knowledge does not neccessarily mean I process all of this any better than the average person on the street.

I was always a type A go-go person before. This has forced me to slow down and get to know me better. I am an extravert who has been forced to stay home alone many days when I could not go anywhere. I know good things have come from this, and some days my final conclusion is that I am learning that I can cope with more than I thought I could.

There is a scripture that says 'God won't give us more than we can bear.' I take comfort in that. Whenever I get on a pity party, I meet someone in some horrible condition far worse than me, and I realize how lucky I am.
Beverly

Re: To Beverly: On the "interior" person and positive outcomes of PF

Barbara TX on 9/20/00 at 09:08 (028734)

So true... I am grateful that I don't have something much, much worse, and that my kids and husband are so healthy and happy. But I SO TOTALLY fell apart when I was unable to walk and I was astounded at how weak I was. My husband even thought it was a disproportionate reaction and very hesitant about me trying anti-depressants. I kept asking God 'Why can't you give me just physical pain? Why do I have to be losing my mind too?' Then I realized that mental wards are full of people given more than they can handle, and it frightened me to the extreme. It made me just a wee bit mad at God. Also, I didn't want to give up nursing the baby - I really BEGGED God to spare me that. But, I must say that her weaning went smoothly, which is a miracle because she was so attached to me. That, at least, was a blessing. I am learning a lot about myself here at home, that is for sure, but it's the hard kind of learning, because I realize just how dependent I am on God and how attached I am to my health to make me happy. But, as you know, there is a kind of happiness that runs even deeper than physical wellness and I'm just beginning to understand the nature of that happiness. I hope I have not been getting too weird here! When I see someone who is worse off than me, I am not relieved at my own relative wellness anymore, but I ask God 'How could you let that happen to them?' I mean, the whole world is set up that way - you never really grow without pain. Even Jesus, on the cross above my bed - God Himself in pain! I mean, I have that hanging there because I am a Catholic, and that's the kind of thing that nice Catholics do, you know - but I never really thougth it would have something to do with ME. I thought it was a reminder of Jesus - when in fact, now I see that it is a reminder of LIFE. In every life there is a shadow of the cross, ugly and hidden and terrifying. I, like you, had been a 'helper' of people, and now I just really need to be helped, and I am embarrassed by the stream of platitudes that I have leashed upon others in times of pain. What in the world did I know about it? I know people tell me this will make me deeper and stronger. But this is a mystery. I have no idea how. If you find out, please tell me Bev!

Re: To Beverly: On the "interior" person and positive outcomes of PF

Beverly on 9/20/00 at 10:08 (028742)

Barbara,

What helped me cope with this emotionally was getting into therapy.
It has done wonders for my depression. If your insurance will pay for it, it's well worth it. And if insurance won't pay, many therapists work on a sliding scale. Also, if you belong to a large parish, your church may have a counseling center. (With churches I always want to know if the counselors are liscensed therapists.) Or your priest may be able to help you find a therapist who works on a sliding scale.

If I had not gotten into therapy when I did, I think my depression would have gotten so bad that anti-depressants would have been the only solution. And I still have the samples my doctor sent me home with just in case I end up needing them. I had my therapist give me a sophisticated clinical test that would allow her to determine my depression level. I decided that if she thought I was depressed enough to need to be on anti-depressants, I would definitely take them.
I scored within normal range (although at the low end of normal). So for the moment, I'm still taking the psycho-therapy approach thanks to insurance.

The important thing is to do something about your depression. Wishing it away does not work. In my own situation, I concluded that 'God helps those who help themselves.' So, I got myself into therapy. It has been one of the best things I've done (along with getting into physical therapy for my feet.)

Barbara, since you are obviously a deeply religious person, have you asked your priest about reading suggestions on 'why bad things happen to good people?'

Here are things I've read:

A real classic: 'What Happens to Good People when Bad Things Happen'
by Robert Schuller (Author is a protestant pastor of one of the largest churches in the world.)

'When Life Falls Apart' by Warren W. Wiersbe (puts a contemporary spin on Job's suffering in The Book of Job and applies it to life today.)

My Catholicism is very weak (raised Catholic but many years a Protestant). But I do recall that many of the greatest saints endured tremendous suffering.

Best of luck,
Beverly

Re: To Beverly: On the "interior" person and positive outcomes of PF

Barbara TX on 9/21/00 at 23:54 (028852)

Thanks, Beverly... I did try the 'talk' therapy route, and all concluded it was time to try the drugs. They have helped considerably, and I think that now I've got a grip and I don't dread each day. Setbacks are so hard, though. I'm having another one right now - and I can't say what on earth caused it. I didn't overdo, didn't change a thing. I have a real fear of this pain and its intensity. I really don't even want to pray about it anymore, because I find myself begging and about to cry. I have been disappointed by every doctor and every treatment - so much so that I break down right before each visit and I don't want to go (because I just can't stand the disappointment anymore). I cancelled my orthopd appointment today. I need to be away from medical people right now. I think I'll try ESWT next if Dr. Z thinks I'll be a good candidate. At least it is out there for me to hope for.

My biggest fear is that I will always be in pain. Sorry for the sad post. It has been a sad day. B.

Re: To Barbara-TX

Nancy S. on 9/22/00 at 07:53 (028866)

Hi Barbara, I just woke up and saw your post to Beverly from last night. I'm so sorry you had such a sad day yesterday, and my heart goes out to you. Some days the emotional pain from PF is as bad as the physical -- especially when in the middle of a setback and your hopes feel dashed and fear looms large.
I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to let the tears flow on a day like that. This is a very hard and frustrating condition, and sometimes crying releases tension and leaves some room for building back your emotional strength and seeing realistically whatever progress you have made and getting a glimpse of that light at the end of the tunnel. (It is there . . .)
I think most of us have had these setbacks, and I found that the only thing to do at those times is to 'honor' what your feet are telling you -- by resting them through it and doing whatever things you have found in the past that nurture your spirit. Rest at acute times is a healing thing, so please don't feel you are doing nothing at those times. Accept that it's needed, and you _will_ come out of it, you won't always be in pain.
Setbacks stink, but each time I've had one, if I took extra special and gentle care of my feet, I found that the next bout of progress got me a bit farther along than the last. Now I'm trying to take this period of progress so gradually that setbacks won't happen. But maybe they still will. I've had enough to know now that it doesn't mean I'm starting over after a setback, back to square one. Feels like it in the middle of one, but it's turned out not to be true -- especially if I keep listening to my feet and acting accordingly, day by day.
I do hope you have a better day today. If it's even a tiny bit better, that's progress. Please try not to give in to the 'I'll always be in pain' fear -- it adds to pain, I think, and can distract you from paying attention to what your feet need today.
Take care, Barbara, and hang in there.
Nancy

Re: To Barbara-TX

Barbara TX on 9/22/00 at 09:12 (028868)

Thank youy so much, Nancy. I've printed out your post and I'm keeping it with me today and reading it when I feel low. Last night when I started to cry (the pain always seems much worse at nignt) my husband said he thought I was 'obsessed' about PF and was angry instead of comforting. I was brave and had not cried all day, but at night I fell apart. He cannot understand why I'm fearful and if he can't by now, I don't ever think I can explain it to him. Two little kids and not being able to walk? Who wouldn't fear that? I was hopping mad and disappointed that he seemed not to have learned a thing from this whole mess. He would go through hell and back for me, but comforting me is not his 'thing.' So, I must admit that a good deal of this pain is emotional. I hate having to come up to him in tears and pain and the first words out of my mouth are 'I'm sorry.' I constantly apologize for being in pain. I think today he is most likely thinking long and hard about what I said last night. He let me down. He really does adore me, so when I said this I know it sent him into a swivet. But it is a much needed swivet!

Thanks again for your kind words. I want to think that this will get better. I'll take it easy today... I have to cling to the progress that I've made in the past and hope for it again. B.

Re: To Barbara-TX

Nancy S. on 9/22/00 at 15:23 (028885)

Hi Barbara,
Have you tried having your husband read Scott's PF Book? My husband read it, the whole thing through, when I first found this site last December. After that he understood the condition much, much better, and ever since then he has been much more of a partner in fighting this thing -- including ability to be more comforting on a bad day. Of course, I've discovered after all this time that _he_ has bad days because my foot problems too. It certainly isn't as bad as having PF yourself (!), but it can be hard living right next to it.
Every now and then I find myself apologizing, like you. I'm learning to stop this -- except for every now and then when I realize how much more he has to do to keep us afloat while I try to get better (I don't know if this is true in your case, though). I do feel bad about that and give some sympathy for that -- but I don't apologize for my pain anymore. It's nobody's fault. Sympathy and apology are two different things . . . I think I'm finding that more of the former and less of the latter can help our partners.
Anyway, I hope this idea helps you! The wreck that PF can make of parts of your life is really hard for others to understand, so I think education like that found in Scott's PF Book can make a difference. Say, if he still doesn't get it, maybe a joint letter from some of here would help! -- especially from other mothers with PF and young children.
Best of luck to you on this, Barbara, and keep hanging in there.
Nancy

Re: Progress

Barbara TX on 9/22/00 at 15:48 (028887)

Hey Judy - you asked a question about keeping the stretch in my gastroc that I forgot to answer. I stretch so many ways - in bed just bending toward my locked knees and flexed feet mostly, and I also put my hands on the side of my bed to hod some of my weight and do a runners stretch behind (sort of half weight-bearing). I never do fully weight bearing, like on a wall. I feel it in my foot too quickly. I just go by feel - the minute the stretch is not felt in the area where achilles and gastroc meet, then I stop right away. I hold only 20 seconds on a chiro's advice.

Anyway, I should be asking YOU these questions - you have made such progress. I am in another setback so I am not to be trusted! Nancy and Bev are lifting me from the dumps, thank God for them. And your progress is a joy to read. Scott should have a special board or archive for recovery stories. Good luck to you, B.