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What is wrong with me

Posted by Rachel W. on 7/30/02 at 14:26 (091006)

For three months my feet have been severely painful so much so that I don't go anywhere from the house unless it's in the car and I can sit down straight away. My heel of my right foot is painful (had steroid injection but pain has come back with a vengeance). The top of my left foot where it joins with my leg and underneath left ankle hurts when I move my foot.
Also bottom of both feet burn when sat down after walking around house.

Since end of May my right knee has been swollen and painful.

My right elbow became very painful at the same time as my knee.

My lower back hurts at the moment. Cannot sleep at night as it's very uncomfortable when I lie down.

I have had two lots of bloodtests for Arthritis. First lot came back showing that I had inflammation. Second lot came back showing that it had improved.

Saw foot specialist today to mould my feet for another set of orthotics which should be ready in about 4-6 weeks. I asked her what if it doesn't improve with the next orthotics. She said that she would have to refer me back to my Doctor. She seems convinced that I have arthritis even though I explained to her about the bloodtests.

I'm going out of my mind what is wrong with me. I have tried everything but nothing seems to work and everyone I see contradicts each other.

I've got an appointment with a private foot specialist with BUPA next
week. I'm not sure whether I'll get any answers from that. I'm sure its going to be very expensive though.

I just need to know what's wrong with me.

Re: What is wrong with me

Rachel W. on 7/30/02 at 14:36 (091007)

p.s.

I'm sorry about whingeing. I know there's a lot of people on this message board that are a lot worse off than myself but I feel that when I talk about my situation to Doctors and Foot specialists that I have seen, they seem so vague and act like they haven't got a clue. I get the feeling that they don't care and think that I'm putting it on. All my friends and family don't know what I'm talking about either. I feel alone apart from when I read this website.

Re: What is wrong with me

Dan L on 7/30/02 at 15:38 (091015)

If you find out let me know, please. I have had symptoms for a long, long time. In fact, years. No doctor has helped and I've been to many.

Re: What is wrong with me

J. King on 7/30/02 at 16:18 (091018)

Rachel

I have had the same kind of runaround from my many doctors about my feet. You are not alone. Some said I should have surgery and some said that would be a mistake. I don't know what to do except that my feet still hurt and disabled me.

Re: What is wrong with me

Carole C in NOLA on 7/30/02 at 16:20 (091019)

Rachael, you can still have arthritis even if the blood tests come out negative. It's diagnosed clinically. That means that you have to be examined by a rheumatologist that takes the time to listen to you, and who knows how to diagnose arthritis.

Those blood tests are just a diagnostic tool. There is a lot more to diagnosing arthritis than just a blood test. In my case, the blood tests came back positive for rheumatoid arthritis several times, and then came back negative. So, after a complete physical examination and listening to what I had to say, my rheumatologist decided that what I have is osteoarthritis and not rheumatoid. Later on he saw the osteoarthritis on the x-rays, but not at first.

Hope this helps. There are lots of great treatments for arthritis now that didn't exist ten years ago, so you may be in luck! Persist. Try another rheumatologist if the one you saw isn't helpful.

Carole C

Re: What is wrong with me

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/30/02 at 19:27 (091029)

It sounds like a thorough workup by a rheumatologist is in order. What is BUPA?
Ed

Re: What is wrong with me

Gail R on 7/30/02 at 23:12 (091066)

I am not a doc but my arthritis doc pointed out the fact that the knuckles on my fingers have little bony nodules on them is a dead give away to arthritis. I had never noticed them! Do you have stiffness after sitting or riding for a while or getting up in the morning? These are some of the signs. As in previous post , I have more pain with my feet than any other. I have had 2 releases, a haglands surgery and I now have insertional tendonitis, bursitis of heel. I also like you have hip pain in the same hip of my painful foot. I have always prided myself as never sick but I am beginning to feel like a hyprocondriac! I get tired of hearing my self complain. Pretty bad huh! My hubby has so many worse , serious health problems, hypertension, diabetes ,takes 9 precripition meds a month, he hardly ever complains, poor guy. Any way, hope you find a doc to help. Some of them don't want to treat you for so many ailmants or may be just not their speciality.. Gail R

Re: What is wrong with me

Rachel W. on 7/31/02 at 03:30 (091081)

BUPA is a company that have private hospitals and do private treatment in England.

Rachel.

Re: What is wrong with me

Rachel W. on 7/31/02 at 03:40 (091082)

Thanks for your response.

Gail, I'm not sure what you mean about boney modules on my knuckles. I suppose I do have them but I thought that was normal. Waking up in the morning, my lower back is so stiff, it feels like i've done 10 rounds with Tyson. My knee also is painful but then it is throughout the day as well. My feet are usually bad after walking around the house a bit or the next morning if I've overdone it the day before. I, too, feel like a hypocondriac.

Re: What is wrong with me

Rachel W. on 7/31/02 at 03:42 (091083)

Thanks Carole.

Re: What is wrong with me

Rachel W. on 7/31/02 at 03:44 (091084)

I know it's a pain (literally). I feel like an old woman and I'm only 36.

Re: What is wrong with me

Andrue on 7/31/02 at 05:54 (091087)

I haven't had the lack of sympathy from doctors but I agree that it's b****y hard to find anyone who can really treat PF in the UK. They just all prod my feet a bit, call it PF and then suggest NSAIDs (which do seem to be working quite well for me) and/or orthotics and leave it at that.

The best pod. I've seen was a chap based in Rushden, Northants. He was the only pod who actually had me stand on my feet while he checked them out. Even then he just said they looked normal and offered me three quarter length arch support insoles. FWIW he didn't do a sale job - he was quite upfront about them probably not helping since my arch was already okay.

The problem with them (and here's another mystery) is that they don't fit in any shoe I own. All my shoes (trainers/sneakers, casual shoes, walking boots even my slippers) all have the toe area slightly below the level of the heel. The threequarter orthotics have a stiff and flat base and this leaves the forefoot hanging a couple of centimetres above the sole.

They fit my feet really well when I'm barefoot but are useless in any kind of shoe. What's the deal on that?

Re: What is wrong with me

Sharon W on 7/31/02 at 07:39 (091101)

Andrue,

What kinds of shoes are you using? My daughter tried using her orthotics with her Birkenstocks but found that it was making her pain worse. Then I bought her some walking shoes WITHOUT any arch support inside them, which did nonetheless flex right at the forefoot and have good left-to-right stability and sturdiness at the arch. She has found them quite comfortable with the orthotics, and says she wears them all the time now. It really does require a different kind of shoes, to use orthotics successfully, than the shoes that are best for those who are NOT using orthotics.

Sharon

Re: Ed - BUPA

Julie on 7/31/02 at 07:51 (091103)

Ed

BUPA (the British United Provident Association) was the first of the private health insurance providers in the UK, and is still, I think, the biggest. PPP (Private Patients Plan) is another of the big boys. The number is growing as people who can afford their extremely expensive products lose patience with the National Health Service and its lengthy waiting lists for non-urgent operations.

It's a sad commentary on the NHS for those of us who believe in it, but at least a reasonable standard of health care is still available to all, and when urgent hospital treatment is needed, everyone can rely on getting it.

Julie

Re: What is wrong with me

Andrue on 7/31/02 at 11:06 (091142)

At present I am wearing Nike Cross trainers. They have pretty good arch support and my feet seem to like them. I did ask the Rushden pod. about the fact they were flexible (they fail the two twist/bend tests although the toe flex is okayish). He said that my feet were unusually flexible (my PT and another pod. said the same thing) and that I was probably better off letting my foot 'do its thing' instead of trying to restrict it. It's certainly true that I didn't get on at all well with NB motion control shoes.

FWIW I don't think I do need the arch support but I am curious as to what kind of shoes they are supposed to fit. I don't own any footwear with a completely flat sole and this makes them unusable. They are made of something like polstyrene only much tougher and have a completely flat underside which extends to just infront of the first joint of the toes.

Re: Andrue & Rachel

Pete R on 7/31/02 at 13:46 (091158)

As a fellow Brit I totally sympathise with you, your stories are a replica of mine i.e NHS (waste of time), Private treatment (little better than the NHS). I ,too try explaining my PF to colleagues and family etc and they look at me as if I'm mad (probably going that way after all of this)

The problem in England appears to be the lack of any one person who has an idea how to treat PF and apply the treatment plans, I've learned off this site. e.g I got charged £300 for orthotics which are the best I've had and fit in most of my shoes, but I didn't get any real advice on stretching / taping etc. Most pods are experienced in in growing toe nails and v little else.

Anyway I've had my rant..... and could go on forever !

I've recently spoken with Ron McCulloch at London Podiatry who was helpful and I may and go and see him if my ESWT doesn't work. He successfully treated Julie of 'Julie Stretches' !

Let me know how you both get on (Rachel, I've dropped you a separate e mail regarding ESWT)

Re: Pete

Julie on 7/31/02 at 17:14 (091186)

Yes, do try and see Ron. His great strength is as a diagnostician: he has all the gear - treadmill, video etc - necessary for proper evaluation of biomechanics. Although my PF was classic and straightforward, I've got a feeling he would not misdiagnose you if in fact you have something else. he really does know about feet, and he helped me a lot.

I didn't agree with his wall-stretching recommendations (typically advised by pods, I still can't understand why when they make so many people worse) but as soon as I told him they weren't doing me any good he agreed that I was right to stop, and kitted me out with therabands for strengthening. And the orthotics he casted me for, and had made (in the States) have been fine.

He may possibly be a bit too keen on surgery - I got that impression from talking to him, but it didn't arise in my case. And you said he put you onto someone who does ESWT - a good sign!

If you've drawn a blank with other foot doctors, I'm sure you could do worse than see him.

Re: What is wrong with me

Rachel W. on 7/30/02 at 14:36 (091007)

p.s.

I'm sorry about whingeing. I know there's a lot of people on this message board that are a lot worse off than myself but I feel that when I talk about my situation to Doctors and Foot specialists that I have seen, they seem so vague and act like they haven't got a clue. I get the feeling that they don't care and think that I'm putting it on. All my friends and family don't know what I'm talking about either. I feel alone apart from when I read this website.

Re: What is wrong with me

Dan L on 7/30/02 at 15:38 (091015)

If you find out let me know, please. I have had symptoms for a long, long time. In fact, years. No doctor has helped and I've been to many.

Re: What is wrong with me

J. King on 7/30/02 at 16:18 (091018)

Rachel

I have had the same kind of runaround from my many doctors about my feet. You are not alone. Some said I should have surgery and some said that would be a mistake. I don't know what to do except that my feet still hurt and disabled me.

Re: What is wrong with me

Carole C in NOLA on 7/30/02 at 16:20 (091019)

Rachael, you can still have arthritis even if the blood tests come out negative. It's diagnosed clinically. That means that you have to be examined by a rheumatologist that takes the time to listen to you, and who knows how to diagnose arthritis.

Those blood tests are just a diagnostic tool. There is a lot more to diagnosing arthritis than just a blood test. In my case, the blood tests came back positive for rheumatoid arthritis several times, and then came back negative. So, after a complete physical examination and listening to what I had to say, my rheumatologist decided that what I have is osteoarthritis and not rheumatoid. Later on he saw the osteoarthritis on the x-rays, but not at first.

Hope this helps. There are lots of great treatments for arthritis now that didn't exist ten years ago, so you may be in luck! Persist. Try another rheumatologist if the one you saw isn't helpful.

Carole C

Re: What is wrong with me

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/30/02 at 19:27 (091029)

It sounds like a thorough workup by a rheumatologist is in order. What is BUPA?
Ed

Re: What is wrong with me

Gail R on 7/30/02 at 23:12 (091066)

I am not a doc but my arthritis doc pointed out the fact that the knuckles on my fingers have little bony nodules on them is a dead give away to arthritis. I had never noticed them! Do you have stiffness after sitting or riding for a while or getting up in the morning? These are some of the signs. As in previous post , I have more pain with my feet than any other. I have had 2 releases, a haglands surgery and I now have insertional tendonitis, bursitis of heel. I also like you have hip pain in the same hip of my painful foot. I have always prided myself as never sick but I am beginning to feel like a hyprocondriac! I get tired of hearing my self complain. Pretty bad huh! My hubby has so many worse , serious health problems, hypertension, diabetes ,takes 9 precripition meds a month, he hardly ever complains, poor guy. Any way, hope you find a doc to help. Some of them don't want to treat you for so many ailmants or may be just not their speciality.. Gail R

Re: What is wrong with me

Rachel W. on 7/31/02 at 03:30 (091081)

BUPA is a company that have private hospitals and do private treatment in England.

Rachel.

Re: What is wrong with me

Rachel W. on 7/31/02 at 03:40 (091082)

Thanks for your response.

Gail, I'm not sure what you mean about boney modules on my knuckles. I suppose I do have them but I thought that was normal. Waking up in the morning, my lower back is so stiff, it feels like i've done 10 rounds with Tyson. My knee also is painful but then it is throughout the day as well. My feet are usually bad after walking around the house a bit or the next morning if I've overdone it the day before. I, too, feel like a hypocondriac.

Re: What is wrong with me

Rachel W. on 7/31/02 at 03:42 (091083)

Thanks Carole.

Re: What is wrong with me

Rachel W. on 7/31/02 at 03:44 (091084)

I know it's a pain (literally). I feel like an old woman and I'm only 36.

Re: What is wrong with me

Andrue on 7/31/02 at 05:54 (091087)

I haven't had the lack of sympathy from doctors but I agree that it's b****y hard to find anyone who can really treat PF in the UK. They just all prod my feet a bit, call it PF and then suggest NSAIDs (which do seem to be working quite well for me) and/or orthotics and leave it at that.

The best pod. I've seen was a chap based in Rushden, Northants. He was the only pod who actually had me stand on my feet while he checked them out. Even then he just said they looked normal and offered me three quarter length arch support insoles. FWIW he didn't do a sale job - he was quite upfront about them probably not helping since my arch was already okay.

The problem with them (and here's another mystery) is that they don't fit in any shoe I own. All my shoes (trainers/sneakers, casual shoes, walking boots even my slippers) all have the toe area slightly below the level of the heel. The threequarter orthotics have a stiff and flat base and this leaves the forefoot hanging a couple of centimetres above the sole.

They fit my feet really well when I'm barefoot but are useless in any kind of shoe. What's the deal on that?

Re: What is wrong with me

Sharon W on 7/31/02 at 07:39 (091101)

Andrue,

What kinds of shoes are you using? My daughter tried using her orthotics with her Birkenstocks but found that it was making her pain worse. Then I bought her some walking shoes WITHOUT any arch support inside them, which did nonetheless flex right at the forefoot and have good left-to-right stability and sturdiness at the arch. She has found them quite comfortable with the orthotics, and says she wears them all the time now. It really does require a different kind of shoes, to use orthotics successfully, than the shoes that are best for those who are NOT using orthotics.

Sharon

Re: Ed - BUPA

Julie on 7/31/02 at 07:51 (091103)

Ed

BUPA (the British United Provident Association) was the first of the private health insurance providers in the UK, and is still, I think, the biggest. PPP (Private Patients Plan) is another of the big boys. The number is growing as people who can afford their extremely expensive products lose patience with the National Health Service and its lengthy waiting lists for non-urgent operations.

It's a sad commentary on the NHS for those of us who believe in it, but at least a reasonable standard of health care is still available to all, and when urgent hospital treatment is needed, everyone can rely on getting it.

Julie

Re: What is wrong with me

Andrue on 7/31/02 at 11:06 (091142)

At present I am wearing Nike Cross trainers. They have pretty good arch support and my feet seem to like them. I did ask the Rushden pod. about the fact they were flexible (they fail the two twist/bend tests although the toe flex is okayish). He said that my feet were unusually flexible (my PT and another pod. said the same thing) and that I was probably better off letting my foot 'do its thing' instead of trying to restrict it. It's certainly true that I didn't get on at all well with NB motion control shoes.

FWIW I don't think I do need the arch support but I am curious as to what kind of shoes they are supposed to fit. I don't own any footwear with a completely flat sole and this makes them unusable. They are made of something like polstyrene only much tougher and have a completely flat underside which extends to just infront of the first joint of the toes.

Re: Andrue & Rachel

Pete R on 7/31/02 at 13:46 (091158)

As a fellow Brit I totally sympathise with you, your stories are a replica of mine i.e NHS (waste of time), Private treatment (little better than the NHS). I ,too try explaining my PF to colleagues and family etc and they look at me as if I'm mad (probably going that way after all of this)

The problem in England appears to be the lack of any one person who has an idea how to treat PF and apply the treatment plans, I've learned off this site. e.g I got charged £300 for orthotics which are the best I've had and fit in most of my shoes, but I didn't get any real advice on stretching / taping etc. Most pods are experienced in in growing toe nails and v little else.

Anyway I've had my rant..... and could go on forever !

I've recently spoken with Ron McCulloch at London Podiatry who was helpful and I may and go and see him if my ESWT doesn't work. He successfully treated Julie of 'Julie Stretches' !

Let me know how you both get on (Rachel, I've dropped you a separate e mail regarding ESWT)

Re: Pete

Julie on 7/31/02 at 17:14 (091186)

Yes, do try and see Ron. His great strength is as a diagnostician: he has all the gear - treadmill, video etc - necessary for proper evaluation of biomechanics. Although my PF was classic and straightforward, I've got a feeling he would not misdiagnose you if in fact you have something else. he really does know about feet, and he helped me a lot.

I didn't agree with his wall-stretching recommendations (typically advised by pods, I still can't understand why when they make so many people worse) but as soon as I told him they weren't doing me any good he agreed that I was right to stop, and kitted me out with therabands for strengthening. And the orthotics he casted me for, and had made (in the States) have been fine.

He may possibly be a bit too keen on surgery - I got that impression from talking to him, but it didn't arise in my case. And you said he put you onto someone who does ESWT - a good sign!

If you've drawn a blank with other foot doctors, I'm sure you could do worse than see him.