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the pain continues......

Posted by jan on 12/19/00 at 19:27 (035212)

Hello .. thankyou Julie for asking about me...I just got back from physical therapy, she iced my foot down, about 15 min on each foot, until it hurt because it was so cold, then she did ultrasound on my foot I believe with a cortisone cream. It has beeen sooooo busy at the post office and of course I have been on my feet for the whole day. By thge time I got to the physical therapist I kicked the the walking boot off and my other shoe and started rubbing my feet I was near tears they were so painful..My Posdiatrist (I left the first Dr, and found another one) ordered blood work to rule out Arthritis and lyme disease ans said I might have to have the surgery. I have been wearing a walking boot but have the pf in both feet.I asked him if it was job realted but he doesn't really answer. If I have surgery I will be out of work with no pay, since I don'yt have sick leave left, if he said it was job related they would have to pay for everything and even provide me with light duty until it healed. i thought i read on this website that pf is a repetitive motion injury that many people who work on their feet get, it seems like my co workers have no problem getting l;ight duty for carpal tunnel syndrome and they say it is job related.I am just really frustaed it seems I went from 44 yrs old to 84 yrs old in 3 months...I tried to walk the dog last night but only got a little way down the street before I had to hobble back home, and how will I get better working full time on my feet, isn't rest necessary for pf, the Dr. never mention that just gives me a walking boot and off I go to work and walk so much with the boot on I get blisters..I am really scared to get the surgery I have heard some horror stories and if the mess up my feet you can say I have lost my job.. because they will never give me a desk job..because its not 'job related'!!!!I really hate getting depressed over this because I know there are alot of other people out there with much worse problems..I just feel like i will never have the abililty to walk again with out pAin, any feed back appreciated.. Jan p.s. by the way both the podiatrists i saw don't believe in hard casts yet I read here that many people have them and have success with it..

Re: the pain continues......re Jan

Laurie R on 12/19/00 at 20:51 (035219)

Hi Jan,
Maybe I can help you.I am on workmans comp ,I hurt my foot at work 18 months ago .I have been off work now for a little bit over a year. They have paid for everything so far. My Pod also said that my PF was work related.If I can answer anything at all for you please ask .I 'm in a hard cast right now . The walking and air cast did not help me at all.My best to you and let me know what I can do to help you.Laurie R

Re: the pain continues......

Nancy S. on 12/19/00 at 21:41 (035223)

Yes, Jan, rest is needed for PF, no question about it, especially if you have an on-your-feet job.
If your doctor, whether he's the second or tenth you've seen, is not responsive to your need for rest and to the job-related aspects of your PF, you need to find one who is. It's more than likely that your job in the post office caused, or at the very least contributed greatly to, your PF. It's good he's doing tests to rule out other possible illnesses -- that's more than some do unless you twist their arm! Nevertheless, it sounds to me that your PF is job-related -- as you say, just as much as carpal tunnel would be. Please fight for what you deserve, Jan: Find a doctor who will believe in the seriousness of this condition and the effects that your work has had on it and will continue to have if you don't rest and get compensated for it as people with other ailments are.
How long have you had PF? I can't remember. It may be too soon to be considering surgery, which you say your podiatrist mentioned. Before surgery, in my opinion, you should be trying every conservative treatment out there, including, for example, serious rest, physical therapy, possibly casting, custom orthotics if you have any structural or gait foot problems, a gentle and progressive stretching and strengthening program, etc. -- please read Scott's PF Book on all the conservative treatments to try before surgery. Also, before surgery I would consider ESWT, a non-invasive and increasingly successful alternative.
But if I remember right, you're more in the beginning stages, and it sounds acute. I would find a doctor who will back you up with your work situation, prescribe rest and physical therapy, and give you good guidance through this thing. I just wince at the pain it sounds like you're going through every day on the job -- the more that continues, the longer it will take to heal. I was self-employed, and so there was no coverage for me. But the post office! You deserve coverage, and don't give up until you get it.
I know the discouragement you're feeling -- but most PF cases clear up, especially with early and good treatment. It will probably take some time, but you'll get there, so don't despair. Just make your feet your Top Priority and get the coverage your deserve. Many employers and HMOs haven't realized yet that this condition is a life-breaker and an employee-loss if they don't get with it. Help pioneer this reality both for yourself and for others -- there are millions out there. You will get better again, as long as you don't let someone throw obstacles in the way of proper treatment for yourself.
Nancy

Re: the pain continues......

Julie on 12/20/00 at 01:34 (035236)

Hi Jan

I was about to leap into replying to your post when I saw Laurie's and Nancy's. Please do take up Laurie's offer of help: she has been through it can can give you good advice.

I was going to say exactly the same things as Nancy has. If your condition isn't job-related, I'm a monkey's uncle! See the doctor again, quickly, and don't 'ask' him if it's job related, TELL him, firmly, that you are sure it is, and ask him for a letter to the Post Office. You are right, you won't get better if you continue to be on your feet all day long, so you MUST be assertive with the doctor. If he won't support you with a letter, or as many letters as it needs to get the PO to see sense, then you must find a doctor who will.

I know it's hard for any of us who is used to trusting doctors and following their advice to stand up for ourselves. Reading between the lines of your post I can see that you find it very hard indeed. But for your health, your future, your life you have to try.

I have a suggestion. Think about what you want to say to the doctor next time. Write it down, and then ask your husband to 'be the doctor'. Practise saying to him what you want to say to the doctor. Speak up! If he gets into the spirit of the game, he can argue with you and you can argue back. This will give you some practice in speaking up for yourself.

Don't despair. Once you've got over this hurdle you'll get the support you need from the medical profession, Keep us informed.

All the best to you,

Julie

Re: the pain continues......

Penny K on 12/29/00 at 16:04 (035575)

Hi Jan,
I am not a doctor but go through alot and see alot of doctors. Have you at all been diagnoised with Fibromyalgia? I have it, and the symptoms you speak of of just your feet, are what I have and I do have FMS. It maynot hurt to be checked for it.

Re: the pain continues......re Jan

Laurie R on 12/19/00 at 20:51 (035219)

Hi Jan,
Maybe I can help you.I am on workmans comp ,I hurt my foot at work 18 months ago .I have been off work now for a little bit over a year. They have paid for everything so far. My Pod also said that my PF was work related.If I can answer anything at all for you please ask .I 'm in a hard cast right now . The walking and air cast did not help me at all.My best to you and let me know what I can do to help you.Laurie R

Re: the pain continues......

Nancy S. on 12/19/00 at 21:41 (035223)

Yes, Jan, rest is needed for PF, no question about it, especially if you have an on-your-feet job.
If your doctor, whether he's the second or tenth you've seen, is not responsive to your need for rest and to the job-related aspects of your PF, you need to find one who is. It's more than likely that your job in the post office caused, or at the very least contributed greatly to, your PF. It's good he's doing tests to rule out other possible illnesses -- that's more than some do unless you twist their arm! Nevertheless, it sounds to me that your PF is job-related -- as you say, just as much as carpal tunnel would be. Please fight for what you deserve, Jan: Find a doctor who will believe in the seriousness of this condition and the effects that your work has had on it and will continue to have if you don't rest and get compensated for it as people with other ailments are.
How long have you had PF? I can't remember. It may be too soon to be considering surgery, which you say your podiatrist mentioned. Before surgery, in my opinion, you should be trying every conservative treatment out there, including, for example, serious rest, physical therapy, possibly casting, custom orthotics if you have any structural or gait foot problems, a gentle and progressive stretching and strengthening program, etc. -- please read Scott's PF Book on all the conservative treatments to try before surgery. Also, before surgery I would consider ESWT, a non-invasive and increasingly successful alternative.
But if I remember right, you're more in the beginning stages, and it sounds acute. I would find a doctor who will back you up with your work situation, prescribe rest and physical therapy, and give you good guidance through this thing. I just wince at the pain it sounds like you're going through every day on the job -- the more that continues, the longer it will take to heal. I was self-employed, and so there was no coverage for me. But the post office! You deserve coverage, and don't give up until you get it.
I know the discouragement you're feeling -- but most PF cases clear up, especially with early and good treatment. It will probably take some time, but you'll get there, so don't despair. Just make your feet your Top Priority and get the coverage your deserve. Many employers and HMOs haven't realized yet that this condition is a life-breaker and an employee-loss if they don't get with it. Help pioneer this reality both for yourself and for others -- there are millions out there. You will get better again, as long as you don't let someone throw obstacles in the way of proper treatment for yourself.
Nancy

Re: the pain continues......

Julie on 12/20/00 at 01:34 (035236)

Hi Jan

I was about to leap into replying to your post when I saw Laurie's and Nancy's. Please do take up Laurie's offer of help: she has been through it can can give you good advice.

I was going to say exactly the same things as Nancy has. If your condition isn't job-related, I'm a monkey's uncle! See the doctor again, quickly, and don't 'ask' him if it's job related, TELL him, firmly, that you are sure it is, and ask him for a letter to the Post Office. You are right, you won't get better if you continue to be on your feet all day long, so you MUST be assertive with the doctor. If he won't support you with a letter, or as many letters as it needs to get the PO to see sense, then you must find a doctor who will.

I know it's hard for any of us who is used to trusting doctors and following their advice to stand up for ourselves. Reading between the lines of your post I can see that you find it very hard indeed. But for your health, your future, your life you have to try.

I have a suggestion. Think about what you want to say to the doctor next time. Write it down, and then ask your husband to 'be the doctor'. Practise saying to him what you want to say to the doctor. Speak up! If he gets into the spirit of the game, he can argue with you and you can argue back. This will give you some practice in speaking up for yourself.

Don't despair. Once you've got over this hurdle you'll get the support you need from the medical profession, Keep us informed.

All the best to you,

Julie

Re: the pain continues......

Penny K on 12/29/00 at 16:04 (035575)

Hi Jan,
I am not a doctor but go through alot and see alot of doctors. Have you at all been diagnoised with Fibromyalgia? I have it, and the symptoms you speak of of just your feet, are what I have and I do have FMS. It maynot hurt to be checked for it.