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Please...I need you all...

Posted by Suzanne D on 9/22/01 at 07:57 (061233)

Dear Friends,
It seems ironic: through the years since the advent of e-mail, I have written missionaries in three countries to encourage and inform, to friends' children who went off to college, to my friends everywhere to encourage - so much so that my family has laughed and called me 'the e-mail queen'. And now I write to you - people I've never met - and say, 'Please help me. I am so discouraged.'
None of my friends understand. I have just about stopped saying anything about my feet as I nearly always am met with one of three responses: 1)Oh, your feet STILL are bothering you? 2)What ARE you doing about your feet, Suzanne? (as if it is somehow my fault) or 3) (with a little smile on their face) WHAT are you going to do when cold weather comes? (seeing my Arizonas).
If I could just see some consistent improvement. But everything seems to help at first and then lose effectiveness even though I continue as prescribed: steroids, then NSAIDS, stretching, icing,inserts, Birks. The Birks were really helping and then about 2 weeks ago I think I overdid it and some of you have read where I said the tops of my feet were hurting. I went to the POD Thursday and he said he didn't think I had enough arch support, so he took out some foam about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, peeled off the back, and stuck them in my sandals in the arch area. Walking out, that felt better across the tops, but after a day in them at school, they feel like 2 big lumps in the arch area and the tops are starting to hurt again...
I stand at my closet each morning and wonder 1(what still fits - some weight gain since all this 2)what remotely will go with whatever shoes I try to wear.
I AM trying but feel like I am whining...I am sorry. At least I think you will understand! It is just so hard to ever get the problem off my mind because both feet HURT! And they feel so stiff, and I have to move so slowly.
I must get ready now to head to my daughter's college. It's Parent Weekend and we band parents are being recognized at the football game. I am thinking of all that walking and standing, and I am about to cry.
Well, thanks for reading this long post from a stranger. I just had to get it out!

Re: Please...I need you all...

Scott R on 9/22/01 at 08:37 (061236)

You could give us a list of their email addresses and we could set them straight.

Re: Please...I need you all...

Carmel M on 9/22/01 at 09:30 (061243)

Hi Suzanne,
I understand EXACTLY how you feel. I have stopped saying anything about my feet. Most people (husband included) think that just because we carry on with our lives and are not crying ALL the time, that our feet must be healed!

I too stand in front of my closet and wonder 'ok, what won't look too dorky with my beat up sneakers.'

Please don't feel like you're whining...that's what we're here for.

Take it easy at your daughter's college...rest often and try to have a good day.

Carmel

Re: Suzanne,we understand

Tammie on 9/22/01 at 09:35 (061244)

Hello, I am sorry for what you must endure through ignorant people who do not understand that pain is not always seen
with there eyes. Or maybe I should state it the 'cause' of pain lol. It seems to be in most cases people that do not know or
have thease foot troubles just don't understand. It is very frustrating to be met with thease comments as most of us can relate
to this!

I keep hoping that people will be eduacated and hear about this more and then will understand it and people that have thease
troubles better! I have seen some who are trying to get some word out but it seems as tho untill people learn more we will have
to endure the remarks . It is very frustrating and please don't feel as tho you are whining as we all understand and this is a
relitivly safe place to do it with out repercussions!

It is sad that we look like grannie and grampy bodies before our time lol but tho we may do the shuffle or waddle or whatever
walk we at least have our thoughts and minds about us at this time! So tho there is a cloud we still have a rainbow! It must be very
hard to think about walking the field with your daughter as it is hard to walk to the bathroom let alone that I am sure.
Maybe a sweet angel will walk with you or carry you thru your walk so as to not let you feel any pain in such a important time.
I will pray for this for u as I am sure your daughter would be sad if you were not there. My sons college parent weekend is
this weekend also and we will not be able to be there,it makes me feel sad to. So walk with pride my friend hold your head high
and proud and I hope that the wings hold u up so that u will not feel the pain and you may enjoy your time with your daughter!
After all you do deserve it as you have mothered so many ^ by your posts above!

Oh yes, who is the stranger? Not you , you have become family a part of a large loving family here!!!!! Good Luck today and
I really hope that you enjoy your time without to much pain! Hugs to u and be sure to give your daughter a extra hug as
it will help with your pain .

Re: Please...I need you all...

Steve P on 9/22/01 at 09:58 (061246)

Hi Suzanne --- We can all really relate to your post, believe me.

Most podiatrists say that about 90% of PF cases eventually clear up by conservative means (the types of things you listed above). The concensus seems to be that tough cases can often take 2 or 3 years, but the 90% is still a figure we hear often. The only item in your treatment program I would question would be stretching. The more I learn about PF, the less convinced I am that stretching should be done.....and certainly not weight-bearing stretching.

For the 10% or so that can't get there with conservative treatments & rest, the alternative used to be surgery but is now ESWT.

Have you thought about being evaluated for ESWT? It may be time to look into it.

Hang in there & keep your chin up!.........Steve

Re: Suzanne and Steve

Carmen H on 9/22/01 at 10:26 (061250)

I have to say I disagree about the stretching....I have had no luck with anything else BUT stretching. It truly has made a huge difference in how my legs and feet feel. I do agree about the weight bearing stretchng though....for some it is definitely not good.
Of course every person is different and some people have too serious of a situation to add that to it BUT in the long run it should be beneficial.
When you go to bed at night your body sinks into neutral...basically it seems to shrink (muscles) and when we wake up most of us are stiff and not at all flexible. Stretching wakes up the muscles and tells them it's time to start a new day...get the blood pumping.....get things moving. If we don't stretch it is definitely hard to get the body to cooperate and could cause strains and more problems.
Does this make sense?
Suzanne~I hate that you are suffering so much. I know it's a bad feeling and we ALL understand that it's hard to keep telling people the same thing over and over again. BUT you know what I do? When people ask I say 'Oh it's the same..no better yet. BUT I think I have educated a lot of people and hopefully have helped prevent this from happening to others...because it CAN happen to ANYone. You should be careful too.' Most of them are like 'Geez...I had no idea about that. I am going out for new shoes before I run again..you've scared me.'
'Good' because I would hate for anyone else to get this problem.
So WHO cares what they think...you just come here any time you are feeling alone.
Take a bag of ice in a insulated lunch sack if you are going to be in the car.....stick those tootsies in the ice for 10 min. and get them ready for a little standing. Heck go back to the car if you have to and put em on ice again.....whatever you have to do to get relief.
My lunch sack has an Oscar Mayer Weiner truck on it...but hey! It's the perfect size for a bag of ice and a foot!
Hang in there....

Re: Please...I need you all...

Laurie R on 9/22/01 at 10:51 (061255)

Dear Suzanne , Frist off you are not a stranger , I have never like the term 'Newbe' . If I went to a new board and someone called me a Newbe I would feel real out of place. So what I am trying to say is welcome to our PF family . Not that anyone called you a newbe , I was just pointing it out.

I understand your pain . I get the same questions and answers as you do . I always hear from people I have not seen in a while , your foot still hurts. Can't your doctor fix it ??? So many don't understand . Plus we are the only ones that can feel our own pain .

We know your pain is real , please vent anytime you need to hear. Their are so many wonderful people here that care . And you are not whining , you are venting . Read down just a little bit and see my post about being sad and mad. Plus all the the wonderful people that replyed . That alone made me feel so much better ....So we are here for you too.

I hope you have a wonderful day .

Much love and peace to you , Laurie

Re: Please...I need you all...

JudyS on 9/22/01 at 11:12 (061258)

Stranger? What stranger? I thought we'd already arranged to marry our kids off to eachother :)
Suzanne you could have substituted my name for yours in your post today. Like others here, my experience, over time, was identical to yours. I finally got to the point with friends that I just shrugged and said 'oh, they're about the same - referring, of course, to my feet. Because people can't SEE the problem, they don't understand it and have a hard time believing that it is severe and chronic.
I have been every bit as discouraged as you. I've had PF as severe as anyone, but.....after 3 years and a tenacious need to avoid surgery, I can honestly say I'm hovering at the 1-2 pain level. Now, keep in mind that a year ago I could never have gone to my son's college open-house.
If you can, try to keep an open mind about staying consistent with your treatments - especially remember that it will take time but the real key is staying consistent. You will overcome, one way or another, I promise you that.

Re: Suzanne and Steve

JudyS on 9/22/01 at 11:20 (061259)

Carmen - I agree with you about the stretching but 'stretching' conversations around here generally evolve to differentiating between stretching and loosening. Hard to believe there's a difference, isn't it?
Many have found that stretching for the sake of stretching tends to seem to worsen PF in it's chronic stage. So the idea stretching for the sake of keeping things relatively loose seems to have evolved. As you know, lots of stiffness occurs when we are off our feet so it seems to be a goal to loosen things up before getting back on our feet - which is what some folks do in the mornings before getting up. I'm very certain that I only exacerbated my PF when, following doctor's orders, I stretched like crazy in the first year or so. I finally figured out that things were only getting worse. Now I stretch for looseness, not for conditioning. Like you, I believe that some gentle, and especially consistent, stretching is absolutely necessary to keep the feet and legs loose while the healing takes place.

Re: encouraging

Judy on 9/22/01 at 11:42 (061261)

Your words are encouraging......I enjoy reading your posts!

Re: encouraging/SUZANNE

Donna M on 9/22/01 at 16:23 (061286)

Suzanne, we all know how you feel! If people can't 'see' what hurts, they can't understand!! We look healthy otherwise! It's just that we have 'rotten' feet! :)
Have you gone to the Birkenstock-cn.com site? Since you have Birks and you know the size you wear, you can go there and buy more~~cheap!! They are usually half and less than half of what you pay in town! You can get a pair for every occasion and outfit!! LOL
Others may have a different opinion, but to me the Birkenstocks and the Birkis have the best/highest arch support! They even have some Boston styles now with stars and stripes!! (And yes they are red white and blue!!
I've bought 7 pairs, so far!! Fun, Fun, Fun!!!
Good luck and at least go look!! We are all here for you anytime!!!

Take care, Donna

Re: Judy ......and what is going on?

Carmen H on 9/22/01 at 16:53 (061289)

Judy this happened to me earlier on a post to John! I wrote his name in the subject to write him a little note and my post came out like it was HIM that posted. Like above...I posted to you that YOUR posts are encouraging and it came out like YOU had posted! i am not crackers or light in the head! I swear....! Things have been posting twice lately too..?

Re: THANK YOU, THANK YOU ALL...

Suzanne D on 9/22/01 at 17:23 (061293)

I got home just a few minutes ago and came to this site and was flooded with gratitude at the responses to my post this morning! Thank you, friends!! Thank you for understanding. Thank you for caring. Thank you for helping me to not feel alone. It is such a relief to realize that someone knows how I feel! I made it today, wearing my Birks with socks to start out, then after the 30 minutes or so of standing around and making pictures and walking to my daughter's dorm, I changed into my tennis shoes with inserts. I wore these to the football stadium and out onto the field to be recognized. Later, back up in the stands, I put the Arizonas back on without socks. So, changing around, I made it! I won't say I was not in pain, but it was bearable, and I did hold my head up high on the field and was proud of my daughter and thankful to be there! They played a special rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at the beginning of the game with a huge flag held up at the end, followed by the crowd joining them in singing 'God Bless America'.

You all take care. I think of you many times throughout the day and pray for you and hope that you all get better soon. I am thankful for those who ARE better and who still care enough to come to this site to help those of us who aren't there yet.

I am still confused on the stretching vs. loosening. Perhaps I will go on the treatment site and ask about that. My POD just says to do wall stretches, 2 minutes on each leg, 3 times a day. I can tell as many of you said that I am so stiff when getting up and when not being active, and yet I don't want to hurt myself further. This surely is a highly individualized ailment!

THANKS AGAIN, everyone! My best to you all.

Re: Suzanne --- No Wall Stretches PLEASE!

Steve P on 9/22/01 at 18:15 (061296)

Suzanne -- I vote against WEIGHTBEARING stretches! Wall stretches hurt me & made me worse.

I think there is a growing concensus against wall stretches. I myself will never do another one.....that's for sure.

Steve

Re: Suzanne --- No Wall Stretches PLEASE!

Suzanne D on 9/22/01 at 18:21 (061297)

THANK YOU, Steve! Would you mind telling me what kind of stretches you do? I am sorry to ask you to write more, but I would appreciate knowing what kind you do that help you.

Re: Suzanne --- No Wall Stretches PLEASE!

Steve P on 9/22/01 at 20:11 (061303)

Suzanne -- I just do very gentle, non-weightbearing stretches & massaging. In my computer chair (or any other chair) I try to keep my feet under the chair & flat on the floor so they are in slight dorsiflexion. I also massage my arches & other tender areas several times a day, including last thing at night & first in the morning, before getting out of bed.

Also, since I swim daily, I do some gentle stretching in the pool (approximating the wall stretch, but against the side of the pool). The buoyancy of the water makes a real difference.

My opinion is that stretching has to be very gentle (never to the point of pain) & never weightbearing. I'm not a doctor or medical authority.....just giving you my opinion of what has been best for me.

best...........Steve

Re: Please...I need you all...

Scott R on 9/22/01 at 08:37 (061236)

You could give us a list of their email addresses and we could set them straight.

Re: Please...I need you all...

Carmel M on 9/22/01 at 09:30 (061243)

Hi Suzanne,
I understand EXACTLY how you feel. I have stopped saying anything about my feet. Most people (husband included) think that just because we carry on with our lives and are not crying ALL the time, that our feet must be healed!

I too stand in front of my closet and wonder 'ok, what won't look too dorky with my beat up sneakers.'

Please don't feel like you're whining...that's what we're here for.

Take it easy at your daughter's college...rest often and try to have a good day.

Carmel

Re: Suzanne,we understand

Tammie on 9/22/01 at 09:35 (061244)

Hello, I am sorry for what you must endure through ignorant people who do not understand that pain is not always seen
with there eyes. Or maybe I should state it the 'cause' of pain lol. It seems to be in most cases people that do not know or
have thease foot troubles just don't understand. It is very frustrating to be met with thease comments as most of us can relate
to this!

I keep hoping that people will be eduacated and hear about this more and then will understand it and people that have thease
troubles better! I have seen some who are trying to get some word out but it seems as tho untill people learn more we will have
to endure the remarks . It is very frustrating and please don't feel as tho you are whining as we all understand and this is a
relitivly safe place to do it with out repercussions!

It is sad that we look like grannie and grampy bodies before our time lol but tho we may do the shuffle or waddle or whatever
walk we at least have our thoughts and minds about us at this time! So tho there is a cloud we still have a rainbow! It must be very
hard to think about walking the field with your daughter as it is hard to walk to the bathroom let alone that I am sure.
Maybe a sweet angel will walk with you or carry you thru your walk so as to not let you feel any pain in such a important time.
I will pray for this for u as I am sure your daughter would be sad if you were not there. My sons college parent weekend is
this weekend also and we will not be able to be there,it makes me feel sad to. So walk with pride my friend hold your head high
and proud and I hope that the wings hold u up so that u will not feel the pain and you may enjoy your time with your daughter!
After all you do deserve it as you have mothered so many ^ by your posts above!

Oh yes, who is the stranger? Not you , you have become family a part of a large loving family here!!!!! Good Luck today and
I really hope that you enjoy your time without to much pain! Hugs to u and be sure to give your daughter a extra hug as
it will help with your pain .

Re: Please...I need you all...

Steve P on 9/22/01 at 09:58 (061246)

Hi Suzanne --- We can all really relate to your post, believe me.

Most podiatrists say that about 90% of PF cases eventually clear up by conservative means (the types of things you listed above). The concensus seems to be that tough cases can often take 2 or 3 years, but the 90% is still a figure we hear often. The only item in your treatment program I would question would be stretching. The more I learn about PF, the less convinced I am that stretching should be done.....and certainly not weight-bearing stretching.

For the 10% or so that can't get there with conservative treatments & rest, the alternative used to be surgery but is now ESWT.

Have you thought about being evaluated for ESWT? It may be time to look into it.

Hang in there & keep your chin up!.........Steve

Re: Suzanne and Steve

Carmen H on 9/22/01 at 10:26 (061250)

I have to say I disagree about the stretching....I have had no luck with anything else BUT stretching. It truly has made a huge difference in how my legs and feet feel. I do agree about the weight bearing stretchng though....for some it is definitely not good.
Of course every person is different and some people have too serious of a situation to add that to it BUT in the long run it should be beneficial.
When you go to bed at night your body sinks into neutral...basically it seems to shrink (muscles) and when we wake up most of us are stiff and not at all flexible. Stretching wakes up the muscles and tells them it's time to start a new day...get the blood pumping.....get things moving. If we don't stretch it is definitely hard to get the body to cooperate and could cause strains and more problems.
Does this make sense?
Suzanne~I hate that you are suffering so much. I know it's a bad feeling and we ALL understand that it's hard to keep telling people the same thing over and over again. BUT you know what I do? When people ask I say 'Oh it's the same..no better yet. BUT I think I have educated a lot of people and hopefully have helped prevent this from happening to others...because it CAN happen to ANYone. You should be careful too.' Most of them are like 'Geez...I had no idea about that. I am going out for new shoes before I run again..you've scared me.'
'Good' because I would hate for anyone else to get this problem.
So WHO cares what they think...you just come here any time you are feeling alone.
Take a bag of ice in a insulated lunch sack if you are going to be in the car.....stick those tootsies in the ice for 10 min. and get them ready for a little standing. Heck go back to the car if you have to and put em on ice again.....whatever you have to do to get relief.
My lunch sack has an Oscar Mayer Weiner truck on it...but hey! It's the perfect size for a bag of ice and a foot!
Hang in there....

Re: Please...I need you all...

Laurie R on 9/22/01 at 10:51 (061255)

Dear Suzanne , Frist off you are not a stranger , I have never like the term 'Newbe' . If I went to a new board and someone called me a Newbe I would feel real out of place. So what I am trying to say is welcome to our PF family . Not that anyone called you a newbe , I was just pointing it out.

I understand your pain . I get the same questions and answers as you do . I always hear from people I have not seen in a while , your foot still hurts. Can't your doctor fix it ??? So many don't understand . Plus we are the only ones that can feel our own pain .

We know your pain is real , please vent anytime you need to hear. Their are so many wonderful people here that care . And you are not whining , you are venting . Read down just a little bit and see my post about being sad and mad. Plus all the the wonderful people that replyed . That alone made me feel so much better ....So we are here for you too.

I hope you have a wonderful day .

Much love and peace to you , Laurie

Re: Please...I need you all...

JudyS on 9/22/01 at 11:12 (061258)

Stranger? What stranger? I thought we'd already arranged to marry our kids off to eachother :)
Suzanne you could have substituted my name for yours in your post today. Like others here, my experience, over time, was identical to yours. I finally got to the point with friends that I just shrugged and said 'oh, they're about the same - referring, of course, to my feet. Because people can't SEE the problem, they don't understand it and have a hard time believing that it is severe and chronic.
I have been every bit as discouraged as you. I've had PF as severe as anyone, but.....after 3 years and a tenacious need to avoid surgery, I can honestly say I'm hovering at the 1-2 pain level. Now, keep in mind that a year ago I could never have gone to my son's college open-house.
If you can, try to keep an open mind about staying consistent with your treatments - especially remember that it will take time but the real key is staying consistent. You will overcome, one way or another, I promise you that.

Re: Suzanne and Steve

JudyS on 9/22/01 at 11:20 (061259)

Carmen - I agree with you about the stretching but 'stretching' conversations around here generally evolve to differentiating between stretching and loosening. Hard to believe there's a difference, isn't it?
Many have found that stretching for the sake of stretching tends to seem to worsen PF in it's chronic stage. So the idea stretching for the sake of keeping things relatively loose seems to have evolved. As you know, lots of stiffness occurs when we are off our feet so it seems to be a goal to loosen things up before getting back on our feet - which is what some folks do in the mornings before getting up. I'm very certain that I only exacerbated my PF when, following doctor's orders, I stretched like crazy in the first year or so. I finally figured out that things were only getting worse. Now I stretch for looseness, not for conditioning. Like you, I believe that some gentle, and especially consistent, stretching is absolutely necessary to keep the feet and legs loose while the healing takes place.

Re: encouraging

Judy on 9/22/01 at 11:42 (061261)

Your words are encouraging......I enjoy reading your posts!

Re: encouraging/SUZANNE

Donna M on 9/22/01 at 16:23 (061286)

Suzanne, we all know how you feel! If people can't 'see' what hurts, they can't understand!! We look healthy otherwise! It's just that we have 'rotten' feet! :)
Have you gone to the Birkenstock-cn.com site? Since you have Birks and you know the size you wear, you can go there and buy more~~cheap!! They are usually half and less than half of what you pay in town! You can get a pair for every occasion and outfit!! LOL
Others may have a different opinion, but to me the Birkenstocks and the Birkis have the best/highest arch support! They even have some Boston styles now with stars and stripes!! (And yes they are red white and blue!!
I've bought 7 pairs, so far!! Fun, Fun, Fun!!!
Good luck and at least go look!! We are all here for you anytime!!!

Take care, Donna

Re: Judy ......and what is going on?

Carmen H on 9/22/01 at 16:53 (061289)

Judy this happened to me earlier on a post to John! I wrote his name in the subject to write him a little note and my post came out like it was HIM that posted. Like above...I posted to you that YOUR posts are encouraging and it came out like YOU had posted! i am not crackers or light in the head! I swear....! Things have been posting twice lately too..?

Re: THANK YOU, THANK YOU ALL...

Suzanne D on 9/22/01 at 17:23 (061293)

I got home just a few minutes ago and came to this site and was flooded with gratitude at the responses to my post this morning! Thank you, friends!! Thank you for understanding. Thank you for caring. Thank you for helping me to not feel alone. It is such a relief to realize that someone knows how I feel! I made it today, wearing my Birks with socks to start out, then after the 30 minutes or so of standing around and making pictures and walking to my daughter's dorm, I changed into my tennis shoes with inserts. I wore these to the football stadium and out onto the field to be recognized. Later, back up in the stands, I put the Arizonas back on without socks. So, changing around, I made it! I won't say I was not in pain, but it was bearable, and I did hold my head up high on the field and was proud of my daughter and thankful to be there! They played a special rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at the beginning of the game with a huge flag held up at the end, followed by the crowd joining them in singing 'God Bless America'.

You all take care. I think of you many times throughout the day and pray for you and hope that you all get better soon. I am thankful for those who ARE better and who still care enough to come to this site to help those of us who aren't there yet.

I am still confused on the stretching vs. loosening. Perhaps I will go on the treatment site and ask about that. My POD just says to do wall stretches, 2 minutes on each leg, 3 times a day. I can tell as many of you said that I am so stiff when getting up and when not being active, and yet I don't want to hurt myself further. This surely is a highly individualized ailment!

THANKS AGAIN, everyone! My best to you all.

Re: Suzanne --- No Wall Stretches PLEASE!

Steve P on 9/22/01 at 18:15 (061296)

Suzanne -- I vote against WEIGHTBEARING stretches! Wall stretches hurt me & made me worse.

I think there is a growing concensus against wall stretches. I myself will never do another one.....that's for sure.

Steve

Re: Suzanne --- No Wall Stretches PLEASE!

Suzanne D on 9/22/01 at 18:21 (061297)

THANK YOU, Steve! Would you mind telling me what kind of stretches you do? I am sorry to ask you to write more, but I would appreciate knowing what kind you do that help you.

Re: Suzanne --- No Wall Stretches PLEASE!

Steve P on 9/22/01 at 20:11 (061303)

Suzanne -- I just do very gentle, non-weightbearing stretches & massaging. In my computer chair (or any other chair) I try to keep my feet under the chair & flat on the floor so they are in slight dorsiflexion. I also massage my arches & other tender areas several times a day, including last thing at night & first in the morning, before getting out of bed.

Also, since I swim daily, I do some gentle stretching in the pool (approximating the wall stretch, but against the side of the pool). The buoyancy of the water makes a real difference.

My opinion is that stretching has to be very gentle (never to the point of pain) & never weightbearing. I'm not a doctor or medical authority.....just giving you my opinion of what has been best for me.

best...........Steve