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more hope+++

Posted by Nancy S. on 12/07/00 at 14:31 (034420)

Hi! Just got back from PT, and I cried all the way home...because I AM getting better and now I believe it!
Today's was a totally different kind of session. She watched me walk from the waiting room down the hall, and was very pleased and said, 'This is what I was hoping to see.' (I've been practicing walking since I saw her a week ago, as you may recall.)
I've graduated to the gym room -- we went in there and she put me on the treadmill. She set it very slow at first and told me I could increase the speed if I felt like it as I went along. Well, I did feel like it. After a minute I increased it from .7 to 1.1, and then to 1.2. After 4 minutes, and making sure I felt fine, she elevated the treadmill, you know, slanted it more. I went for over 10 minutes that way! With NO pain.
Then I balanced on an oval board with a smallish knob under it, making it go clockwise and then counterclockwise with the rim touching the floor all the way around, for ten times each way. I was not too coordinated the first time. So I rested three minutes and then did it fine, 15 times each.
Then she had me walk long halls, heel to toe of course, increasing speed like I was in a big hurry. No problem!
Then we practiced walking up and down stairs -- this will take more practice for me. When walking up the stairs, the point is to toe off as you're leaving a stair. When walking down the stairs, the point is to land toes first and control the subsequent landing of your heel, not just let it flop or crash.
These are all things to add to my tiny but now growing list of activities I have not been able to do for a year and a half and now can do. I'm ecstatic and hardly know what to do with myself.
I gave my therapist a big, exuberant hug as I was leaving.

Don't give up, anyone! This has been the worst year and a half of my life, with more depression and despair than I can even describe, and pain that went on so long I couldn't remember life without it. But it's fading, it's going away, and if it can happen for me, it can happen for anyone. No, it's not perfect, and I have many challenges ahead of me, but the road is looking sweeter by the day, and I do believe.
Nancy

Re: more hope+++

Nancy N on 12/07/00 at 15:01 (034423)

Nancy--

That oval board sounds like the BAPS board I used in PT! Boy, did I hate that thing, just because it seemed like all the pressure was hitting my problem area. It would probably not phase me now--it does take some practice to get a smooth motion going on it, though. I found that if I concentrated on doing it well, I tended to screw up. If I could think about other stuff while I was counting (and boy, was I tired of counting after I'd been in PT for a while!), I did much better with it.

I'm so thrilled to hear that you're feeling so much better, though! I bet your list keeps getting longer and longer. Good for you! :)

Re: more hope+++

Laurie R on 12/07/00 at 16:59 (034432)

Way to go Nancy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so happy for you ,I can't even tell you in words.You also brought tears to my eyes. Your right we must always keep the hope. Yes we all can get depressed and down but there is always hope that brings us back up.

You have worked so hard for this day. Keep up the good work ,you sure deserve this. Again I am so happy for you.......your friend , Laurie R

Re: more hope+++

Robin B. on 12/07/00 at 17:28 (034434)

Good for you, Nancy -- recovery couldn't happen to a nicer person. I am soooo very pleased to hear that you are getting better.

As you know, I don't check in here much anymore. I do view myself now as pretty much having recovered from PF -- even though I still wear Birks all the time and still take my bromelain. But I also -- finally -- live a relatively normal life.

You are right about the despair and depression. And you are right too about the pain. I remember months and months and more months of non-stop, 24-hour a day pain and wondering if I would ever be able to even do grocery shopping or vacuum the carpet without agony. PF was (and is) one of the worst things that has ever happened to me -- and to this day, I take steps to ensure that it doesn't return full bloom. I can remember when the pain actually started to decrease -- and how aware I was of little tiny things I could do again -- and how afraid I was that it was only a momentary gain and that it would come back full force.

In my new job, I do a moderate level of work with trade shows and conventions where I am now on my feet in an exhibit hall for sometimes 8 or 10 hours, off and on. Thanks to my Birks -- I have been able to handle it with only minor pain -- and then, given a day of rest or so, my feet have returned to normal (or what's now normal for me-- which isn't close to the abuse I used to put on those poor puppies).

You're right -- there IS hope. For a long time, I didn't have any. Reading this board and seeing posts from people who wrote about their recovery gave me a combination of hope and fear -- clearly, hope that someday I too would recover, and fear that I might be a person who never did.

The ticket is not to give up--and that's awfully hard to do when you're in agony. But throughout my more than two years visiting this board, I have indeed seen hard core PF cases recover -- some through accupuncture, some through night splits, some through PT and others through oddball cases like my own with Birks, bromelain, rest and a strange diet. For all my time here, I have remained convinced that it's a matter of trial and error. Some of us try 4 or 5 things, others try 20 or 30. I'm convinced that it is always a matter of finding exactly the right combination of treatments and therapies that work for the individual.

Nancy -- my biggest congratulations to you. You have been a trooper on this board and are so very deserving of the good fortune finally coming your way.

Re: Diet

KathyB on 12/07/00 at 18:11 (034435)

Would love to know what changes you made in your diet that helped bring about relief.

Re: more hope+++

Beverly on 12/07/00 at 20:11 (034441)

Nancy,

Reading about all your doing is just amazing! And it is so good for the rest of us who think it will NEVER get better and need to be reminded that it will.

You have suffered so much and tried so hard to get better. If one of us is going to have a sudden improvment on a grand scale, I can't think of anyone more deserving than you! I am very happy for you.

It also gives me hope. I feel like I keep hitting more deadends, but it's good for me to read about how you are doing.
Keep us posted,
Beverly

Re: more hope+++

Bob G. on 12/07/00 at 20:42 (034447)

Good post, Nancy! Wow, that's great - I am sooo happy for your progress!

We CAN win this war! BG

Re: more hope+++

alan k on 12/07/00 at 20:46 (034448)

Congratulations Nancy!

All this momentum will not likely stop, I'm betting. Once I started to get better, it just didn't stop and hasn't stopped yet. I have everything I really want back in my life.

If I had been given a deal with the devil a year ago, I would have signed on for much less than what I have now. Now you are in the same boat-- you can definitely look forward to things getting better and better, slowly or quickly.

When you have been through what you and I have been through, who cares as long as it happens!

Yippie!

alan k

Re: more hope+++

wendyn on 12/07/00 at 22:16 (034455)

Nancy - that's awesome! Now. If you can just do better than I do - AND KEEP IT UP! I always chose to believe I am fully cured in a short period and then wait until I have significant pain to get back on track. I am in perpetual denial - but what you're experiencing is proof positive THAT THERE IS HOPE FOR ALL OF US. Have a great night.

Re: more hope+++

Nancy S. on 12/07/00 at 22:42 (034458)

I just realized that three days from now (Dec. 10) will be the one-year anniversary of my first finding heelspurs.com. I don't know where I'd be without it and without you all, but I doubt I'd be having a happy day like today. And your posts have made it far richer.
Beverly, you hit on why I posted to this board instead of social/support -- I'm hoping that others will be heartened by what's happening to me and didn't want to hide it.
And like Robin said, I too believe it's finding the right combination for each individual. For every single thing I think has given me progress, I probably tried five (or was it five hundred?) that didn't. Trying to sum it up, I think these are what helped the most (in the order I encountered them, not in order of importance):

1. Finding heelspurs.com.
2. Birks (which helped my excruciating PF a lot but I couldn't wear after eventually developing the big three tendonitises).
3. Rest.
4. Finding a good sports med. dr. who took an active interest in my case.
5. Wearing an aircast on my worse foot for seven weeks (which I suspect helped only a little but was an important rest for my very inflamed tendons, which I'd been trying to ignore -- who said ignorance is bliss!).
6. Getting good (and lengthy -- 5 months) physical therapy.
7. Strengthening and proper, gentle stretching with the Acu-Flex (thank you, Alan!).
8. Orthotics via an orthotist -- both my doc and PT believe that all of the above could not have helped as much as they have if I hadn't gotten the support my feet need (flat feet, hyperpronation). I believe this too, and I was a hard person to convince after my first experience with bad orthotics over a year ago.

Nancy N, the BAPS board IS hard to manage, I agree with you. But I did have to concentrate on it totally -- if I'd had to count, forget it! My therapist counted for me.
Uncle Steve, very perceptive -- now that I 'feel better about feeling better' -- I didn't expect that to be another step in this process, but it most certainly is for me.
Bob, I meant to congratulate you on your long run the other day -- terrific!
Alan, you say you have 'everything I really want back in my life.' How wonderful. I do remember when it seemed like neither of us would ever be able to say that. I can't say that yet, but I can see it, and from here I don't care about the pace. As you say, it doesn't matter.
A couple of months ago when I felt some improvement and had an especially good day, I wrote about it to Laurie and of course qualified everything by saying something like 'I'm not letting myself get thrilled or anything, though, because I know what can happen tomorrow.' And Laurie wrote back and said, 'PLEASE be thrilled!!!' And she was right. For every good day, for every new improvement, I will be thrilled.
Thanks, everyone. By the way, I'm not going anywhere! I haven't landed. I'm still on this road.
Nancy

Re: more hope+++

Matt P on 12/07/00 at 23:57 (034462)

Nice to hear all these supporting words. Robin,I read many of your past posts, it is very helpful to me, Thanks.

Re: more hope+++

Julie F on 12/08/00 at 03:27 (034469)

Nancy, what is all this? I wake up this morning, not having checked the board since late yesterday afternoon (got home too late and have been asleep since) and I find your miraculous post and all the wonderful replies. Isn't this board terrific? I hope it's not too late to add my congratulations to the general chorus. It is SO wonderful to hear you sounding so buoyant. You are an inspiration to us all, and I am so happy for you!

Love to you, Julie

Re: Diet

Robin B. on 12/09/00 at 17:47 (034557)

Kathy, mostly I went to a low carb diet. The main culprits for me were wheat and flour -- I found that when I eliminated things like bread, pasta and any junk food, I felt better. You can do a search on this board re low carb diets and get some good information. Also, a guy named Gordon (search by his name) had a lot of good information about the effect of diet.

Happy to report -- I eat pretty normally now. I don't go to excess with bread-type foods, but I do eat fruit, vegetables and dairy products without much difficulty. I think it requires a lot of trial and error to find the right combination. Good luck if you decide to attack it this way.

Re: more hope+++

john h on 12/10/00 at 11:53 (034588)

Then, in such hour of need
Of your fainting, dispirited race,
Ye, like angels, appear,
Radiant with ardour divine!
Beacons of hope, ye appear!
Languor is not in your heart,
Weekness is not in your word,
Weariness not on your brow.

matthew arnold

Re: Thanks for the diet tips

KathyB on 12/11/00 at 19:33 (034703)

Thanks, Robin, for the info on your diet. I don't know if it's a weird coincidence or not, but I just picked up a book on low-carb diets. I know that I have a problem in that area, in that I usually crave carbs and eat way too many of them. I'm going to give low carb eating a try and see if it helps. The Adkins Diet is a little severe to me (I'm a little afraid of that ketosis thing), but the Suzanne Sommers diet is a little more moderate, but still low carb. Thanks again!

Re: more hope+++

Nancy N on 12/07/00 at 15:01 (034423)

Nancy--

That oval board sounds like the BAPS board I used in PT! Boy, did I hate that thing, just because it seemed like all the pressure was hitting my problem area. It would probably not phase me now--it does take some practice to get a smooth motion going on it, though. I found that if I concentrated on doing it well, I tended to screw up. If I could think about other stuff while I was counting (and boy, was I tired of counting after I'd been in PT for a while!), I did much better with it.

I'm so thrilled to hear that you're feeling so much better, though! I bet your list keeps getting longer and longer. Good for you! :)

Re: more hope+++

Laurie R on 12/07/00 at 16:59 (034432)

Way to go Nancy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so happy for you ,I can't even tell you in words.You also brought tears to my eyes. Your right we must always keep the hope. Yes we all can get depressed and down but there is always hope that brings us back up.

You have worked so hard for this day. Keep up the good work ,you sure deserve this. Again I am so happy for you.......your friend , Laurie R

Re: more hope+++

Robin B. on 12/07/00 at 17:28 (034434)

Good for you, Nancy -- recovery couldn't happen to a nicer person. I am soooo very pleased to hear that you are getting better.

As you know, I don't check in here much anymore. I do view myself now as pretty much having recovered from PF -- even though I still wear Birks all the time and still take my bromelain. But I also -- finally -- live a relatively normal life.

You are right about the despair and depression. And you are right too about the pain. I remember months and months and more months of non-stop, 24-hour a day pain and wondering if I would ever be able to even do grocery shopping or vacuum the carpet without agony. PF was (and is) one of the worst things that has ever happened to me -- and to this day, I take steps to ensure that it doesn't return full bloom. I can remember when the pain actually started to decrease -- and how aware I was of little tiny things I could do again -- and how afraid I was that it was only a momentary gain and that it would come back full force.

In my new job, I do a moderate level of work with trade shows and conventions where I am now on my feet in an exhibit hall for sometimes 8 or 10 hours, off and on. Thanks to my Birks -- I have been able to handle it with only minor pain -- and then, given a day of rest or so, my feet have returned to normal (or what's now normal for me-- which isn't close to the abuse I used to put on those poor puppies).

You're right -- there IS hope. For a long time, I didn't have any. Reading this board and seeing posts from people who wrote about their recovery gave me a combination of hope and fear -- clearly, hope that someday I too would recover, and fear that I might be a person who never did.

The ticket is not to give up--and that's awfully hard to do when you're in agony. But throughout my more than two years visiting this board, I have indeed seen hard core PF cases recover -- some through accupuncture, some through night splits, some through PT and others through oddball cases like my own with Birks, bromelain, rest and a strange diet. For all my time here, I have remained convinced that it's a matter of trial and error. Some of us try 4 or 5 things, others try 20 or 30. I'm convinced that it is always a matter of finding exactly the right combination of treatments and therapies that work for the individual.

Nancy -- my biggest congratulations to you. You have been a trooper on this board and are so very deserving of the good fortune finally coming your way.

Re: Diet

KathyB on 12/07/00 at 18:11 (034435)

Would love to know what changes you made in your diet that helped bring about relief.

Re: more hope+++

Beverly on 12/07/00 at 20:11 (034441)

Nancy,

Reading about all your doing is just amazing! And it is so good for the rest of us who think it will NEVER get better and need to be reminded that it will.

You have suffered so much and tried so hard to get better. If one of us is going to have a sudden improvment on a grand scale, I can't think of anyone more deserving than you! I am very happy for you.

It also gives me hope. I feel like I keep hitting more deadends, but it's good for me to read about how you are doing.
Keep us posted,
Beverly

Re: more hope+++

Bob G. on 12/07/00 at 20:42 (034447)

Good post, Nancy! Wow, that's great - I am sooo happy for your progress!

We CAN win this war! BG

Re: more hope+++

alan k on 12/07/00 at 20:46 (034448)

Congratulations Nancy!

All this momentum will not likely stop, I'm betting. Once I started to get better, it just didn't stop and hasn't stopped yet. I have everything I really want back in my life.

If I had been given a deal with the devil a year ago, I would have signed on for much less than what I have now. Now you are in the same boat-- you can definitely look forward to things getting better and better, slowly or quickly.

When you have been through what you and I have been through, who cares as long as it happens!

Yippie!

alan k

Re: more hope+++

wendyn on 12/07/00 at 22:16 (034455)

Nancy - that's awesome! Now. If you can just do better than I do - AND KEEP IT UP! I always chose to believe I am fully cured in a short period and then wait until I have significant pain to get back on track. I am in perpetual denial - but what you're experiencing is proof positive THAT THERE IS HOPE FOR ALL OF US. Have a great night.

Re: more hope+++

Nancy S. on 12/07/00 at 22:42 (034458)

I just realized that three days from now (Dec. 10) will be the one-year anniversary of my first finding heelspurs.com. I don't know where I'd be without it and without you all, but I doubt I'd be having a happy day like today. And your posts have made it far richer.
Beverly, you hit on why I posted to this board instead of social/support -- I'm hoping that others will be heartened by what's happening to me and didn't want to hide it.
And like Robin said, I too believe it's finding the right combination for each individual. For every single thing I think has given me progress, I probably tried five (or was it five hundred?) that didn't. Trying to sum it up, I think these are what helped the most (in the order I encountered them, not in order of importance):

1. Finding heelspurs.com.
2. Birks (which helped my excruciating PF a lot but I couldn't wear after eventually developing the big three tendonitises).
3. Rest.
4. Finding a good sports med. dr. who took an active interest in my case.
5. Wearing an aircast on my worse foot for seven weeks (which I suspect helped only a little but was an important rest for my very inflamed tendons, which I'd been trying to ignore -- who said ignorance is bliss!).
6. Getting good (and lengthy -- 5 months) physical therapy.
7. Strengthening and proper, gentle stretching with the Acu-Flex (thank you, Alan!).
8. Orthotics via an orthotist -- both my doc and PT believe that all of the above could not have helped as much as they have if I hadn't gotten the support my feet need (flat feet, hyperpronation). I believe this too, and I was a hard person to convince after my first experience with bad orthotics over a year ago.

Nancy N, the BAPS board IS hard to manage, I agree with you. But I did have to concentrate on it totally -- if I'd had to count, forget it! My therapist counted for me.
Uncle Steve, very perceptive -- now that I 'feel better about feeling better' -- I didn't expect that to be another step in this process, but it most certainly is for me.
Bob, I meant to congratulate you on your long run the other day -- terrific!
Alan, you say you have 'everything I really want back in my life.' How wonderful. I do remember when it seemed like neither of us would ever be able to say that. I can't say that yet, but I can see it, and from here I don't care about the pace. As you say, it doesn't matter.
A couple of months ago when I felt some improvement and had an especially good day, I wrote about it to Laurie and of course qualified everything by saying something like 'I'm not letting myself get thrilled or anything, though, because I know what can happen tomorrow.' And Laurie wrote back and said, 'PLEASE be thrilled!!!' And she was right. For every good day, for every new improvement, I will be thrilled.
Thanks, everyone. By the way, I'm not going anywhere! I haven't landed. I'm still on this road.
Nancy

Re: more hope+++

Matt P on 12/07/00 at 23:57 (034462)

Nice to hear all these supporting words. Robin,I read many of your past posts, it is very helpful to me, Thanks.

Re: more hope+++

Julie F on 12/08/00 at 03:27 (034469)

Nancy, what is all this? I wake up this morning, not having checked the board since late yesterday afternoon (got home too late and have been asleep since) and I find your miraculous post and all the wonderful replies. Isn't this board terrific? I hope it's not too late to add my congratulations to the general chorus. It is SO wonderful to hear you sounding so buoyant. You are an inspiration to us all, and I am so happy for you!

Love to you, Julie

Re: Diet

Robin B. on 12/09/00 at 17:47 (034557)

Kathy, mostly I went to a low carb diet. The main culprits for me were wheat and flour -- I found that when I eliminated things like bread, pasta and any junk food, I felt better. You can do a search on this board re low carb diets and get some good information. Also, a guy named Gordon (search by his name) had a lot of good information about the effect of diet.

Happy to report -- I eat pretty normally now. I don't go to excess with bread-type foods, but I do eat fruit, vegetables and dairy products without much difficulty. I think it requires a lot of trial and error to find the right combination. Good luck if you decide to attack it this way.

Re: more hope+++

john h on 12/10/00 at 11:53 (034588)

Then, in such hour of need
Of your fainting, dispirited race,
Ye, like angels, appear,
Radiant with ardour divine!
Beacons of hope, ye appear!
Languor is not in your heart,
Weekness is not in your word,
Weariness not on your brow.

matthew arnold

Re: Thanks for the diet tips

KathyB on 12/11/00 at 19:33 (034703)

Thanks, Robin, for the info on your diet. I don't know if it's a weird coincidence or not, but I just picked up a book on low-carb diets. I know that I have a problem in that area, in that I usually crave carbs and eat way too many of them. I'm going to give low carb eating a try and see if it helps. The Adkins Diet is a little severe to me (I'm a little afraid of that ketosis thing), but the Suzanne Sommers diet is a little more moderate, but still low carb. Thanks again!