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End of my rope...

Posted by Carolyn M on 11/15/01 at 19:03 (064843)

I have been reading these posts since I got PF over 2 years ago but this is my first time posting and I'm typing through tears. I just returned home from the podiatrist, who cancelled my appointment (again). Apparently, the 'low priority' patients get bumped back when the schedule gets busy. Well, I am 31 years old and after a day at work as a kindergarten teacher, I am hobbling because my feet hurt so bad. Since June 1999, I have tried almost everything (except surgery and ESWT). My insurance is not the best and I have seen both of the pods in my medical group. I realize this post is sounding 'whiny', but I am truly depressed and I figured if there's anyone who understands how I'm feeling, it's those of you who have been going through this too. Thanks for your shoulder.

Re: End of my rope...

Suzanne D on 11/15/01 at 19:18 (064845)

Carolyn, i am a teacher, too (first grade), so i DO know how you feel! (And excuse my lack of capital i's! For some crazy reason, if i type a capital i, from then on nothing that i type shows up!)

Anyway, i am older than you (49), but have always been an active person and on my feet most of every day before this PF 'hit' almost 6 months ago. Since you have been reading these posts for 2 years, i assume you have tried Birkenstock shoes? Without my Arizonas, i do not know how i could be teaching this year! i consider them the single best thing i have tried that has helped me! Once the weather got cool, i just wear socks with them, making a kind of 'game' out of getting cute ones for different ocassions. i am also breaking in a pair of Bostons which are good, too, but i still bring the Arizonas to school with me and change into them whenever my feet get too tired. if you have not tried these, i urge you to! What shoes do you usually wear to school?

i am sorry your doctor cancelled your appointment. And you do not sound whiny! i wish i could make you feel better, but i am glad to listen if that helps! i'm sure you do this already, but think creatively about how you can save steps during the day - even a few can help. Are you on concrete floors?

i read on this board about stretching when you are seated by pulling your leg back under the chair and trying to put your heel down on the floor. This is non-weight bearing and can be done while you are working. i have found that helps me not feel quite so stiff when i first get up from my chair.

Take care, and i will be thinking of you!! :-)

Re: End of my rope...

Steve P on 11/15/01 at 19:49 (064850)

Hi Carolyn -- First of all.....Please don't ever worry about sounding whiny or depressed on this board. We all understand what you're going through! Please feel free to post here any time.

From your message, it sounds as though you've been through the standard treatments & are probably taking an anti-inflammatory med, applying ice, doing some self-massage, etc. ???? I assume it's difficult to rest your feet much as a kindergarten teacher. Have you considered taking some time off or even changing jobs if necessary?

I am approaching the 2 year mark with PF & have found ESWT to be the only thing that really helped me. Since you've had it for 2 yr+ you may want to begin seriously looking into it.

Keep your chin up. Remember that 90% of PF cases are resolved by conservative means. You can still be among them.

One question: how much have you improved overall to date (i.e., compared to the worst that it ever was)?

Steve

Re: Thanks for listening...

Carolyn M on 11/16/01 at 09:21 (064864)

Hi Suzanne and Steve-

Thanks for your ideas, I appreciate it. I too, am a fan of Birks. I wear them about 80% of the time and I also wear a $200 pair of Vivo shoes with my custom orthotics. One would think with all the money I've spent, I could have bought new feet by now.

I have tried combinations of stretching, icing, massage, taping, cortizone shots (too many of those), I've been casted several times and gone through numerous physical therapy sessions. Steve, to answer your question about overall pain improvement, it's hard to say...I rarely experience the excrutiating pain that brought me to the doctor originally, however, I have at least a level 5 pain every single day and more if I'm on my feet any longer than normal.

I am so in love with teaching that I have not considered switching professions...I feel there has to be another answer. This is one of the reasons I am scared to consider surgery: I have seen stories on this site of people who had surgery and got worse, having to trade their jobs as nurses or teachers for a sit down job. If I thnk I'm depressed now, I can't imagine how I would feel if I had to leave the job I love.

I am interested in ESWT. I have a rescheduled appointment today and I'm hoping that my doctor (1)keeps the appointement and (2)has some information on the ESWT. Is it possible for an insurance company to cover this? Can an MD refer me to have it done? I must admit, although I read the posts a lot, I don't understand a lot about ESWT.

Thanks Again!
Carolyn

Re: End of my rope...

BrianG on 11/16/01 at 10:53 (064869)

Hi Carolyn,

I think I would be thinking about seeing another doctor if I was was you. It sounds like the Pod's in your group have done all they can do. There are other doctors who will also treat PF, like Orthopedists, or sports medicine doctors. Are there any of them in your plan? About the ESWT treatments. If you go to the ESWT section, you can find a list of doc's who have the machines. Unfortunatly they are not in every area. It's sort of a new treatment in the country. As far as I know, you do not need a referrel to see one of these doctors.

If you decide to go this route, do your homework. There are a few different type of machines. Some have 1 treatment, others might have up to 5, as they are used with less power. Some isurance companies will pay for part of the bill. Once you find a doctor thay you feel comfertable with, his office can help you with the insurance part of it. In most cases it's more expensive than surgery, but less invasive. Have you read Scott's book? It has quite bit of info that may help you with your choices. You may want to print it out. Good luck, there are no easy answers, unfortunatly. An informed patient can make the best choices.

BCG

Re: End of my rope...

Suzanne D on 11/15/01 at 19:18 (064845)

Carolyn, i am a teacher, too (first grade), so i DO know how you feel! (And excuse my lack of capital i's! For some crazy reason, if i type a capital i, from then on nothing that i type shows up!)

Anyway, i am older than you (49), but have always been an active person and on my feet most of every day before this PF 'hit' almost 6 months ago. Since you have been reading these posts for 2 years, i assume you have tried Birkenstock shoes? Without my Arizonas, i do not know how i could be teaching this year! i consider them the single best thing i have tried that has helped me! Once the weather got cool, i just wear socks with them, making a kind of 'game' out of getting cute ones for different ocassions. i am also breaking in a pair of Bostons which are good, too, but i still bring the Arizonas to school with me and change into them whenever my feet get too tired. if you have not tried these, i urge you to! What shoes do you usually wear to school?

i am sorry your doctor cancelled your appointment. And you do not sound whiny! i wish i could make you feel better, but i am glad to listen if that helps! i'm sure you do this already, but think creatively about how you can save steps during the day - even a few can help. Are you on concrete floors?

i read on this board about stretching when you are seated by pulling your leg back under the chair and trying to put your heel down on the floor. This is non-weight bearing and can be done while you are working. i have found that helps me not feel quite so stiff when i first get up from my chair.

Take care, and i will be thinking of you!! :-)

Re: End of my rope...

Steve P on 11/15/01 at 19:49 (064850)

Hi Carolyn -- First of all.....Please don't ever worry about sounding whiny or depressed on this board. We all understand what you're going through! Please feel free to post here any time.

From your message, it sounds as though you've been through the standard treatments & are probably taking an anti-inflammatory med, applying ice, doing some self-massage, etc. ???? I assume it's difficult to rest your feet much as a kindergarten teacher. Have you considered taking some time off or even changing jobs if necessary?

I am approaching the 2 year mark with PF & have found ESWT to be the only thing that really helped me. Since you've had it for 2 yr+ you may want to begin seriously looking into it.

Keep your chin up. Remember that 90% of PF cases are resolved by conservative means. You can still be among them.

One question: how much have you improved overall to date (i.e., compared to the worst that it ever was)?

Steve

Re: Thanks for listening...

Carolyn M on 11/16/01 at 09:21 (064864)

Hi Suzanne and Steve-

Thanks for your ideas, I appreciate it. I too, am a fan of Birks. I wear them about 80% of the time and I also wear a $200 pair of Vivo shoes with my custom orthotics. One would think with all the money I've spent, I could have bought new feet by now.

I have tried combinations of stretching, icing, massage, taping, cortizone shots (too many of those), I've been casted several times and gone through numerous physical therapy sessions. Steve, to answer your question about overall pain improvement, it's hard to say...I rarely experience the excrutiating pain that brought me to the doctor originally, however, I have at least a level 5 pain every single day and more if I'm on my feet any longer than normal.

I am so in love with teaching that I have not considered switching professions...I feel there has to be another answer. This is one of the reasons I am scared to consider surgery: I have seen stories on this site of people who had surgery and got worse, having to trade their jobs as nurses or teachers for a sit down job. If I thnk I'm depressed now, I can't imagine how I would feel if I had to leave the job I love.

I am interested in ESWT. I have a rescheduled appointment today and I'm hoping that my doctor (1)keeps the appointement and (2)has some information on the ESWT. Is it possible for an insurance company to cover this? Can an MD refer me to have it done? I must admit, although I read the posts a lot, I don't understand a lot about ESWT.

Thanks Again!
Carolyn

Re: End of my rope...

BrianG on 11/16/01 at 10:53 (064869)

Hi Carolyn,

I think I would be thinking about seeing another doctor if I was was you. It sounds like the Pod's in your group have done all they can do. There are other doctors who will also treat PF, like Orthopedists, or sports medicine doctors. Are there any of them in your plan? About the ESWT treatments. If you go to the ESWT section, you can find a list of doc's who have the machines. Unfortunatly they are not in every area. It's sort of a new treatment in the country. As far as I know, you do not need a referrel to see one of these doctors.

If you decide to go this route, do your homework. There are a few different type of machines. Some have 1 treatment, others might have up to 5, as they are used with less power. Some isurance companies will pay for part of the bill. Once you find a doctor thay you feel comfertable with, his office can help you with the insurance part of it. In most cases it's more expensive than surgery, but less invasive. Have you read Scott's book? It has quite bit of info that may help you with your choices. You may want to print it out. Good luck, there are no easy answers, unfortunatly. An informed patient can make the best choices.

BCG