Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

PF is debilitating and depressing ...Please Help

Posted by Chloe M. on 6/04/03 at 23:13 (120997)

I am at my wits end with pain. Any constructive opinions on the course of action I could take to relieve my symptoms would be appreciated. I will try to list information that may be beneficial to understand my plantar fasciitis difficulties I have taken this semester off my college studies because the pain interferes with my thought process. Please help!

I am a 45 year old woman, with diabetes (A1C= 7 diagnosed 1998). I have not to my knowledge had any neuropathy symptoms. I inject 15 units of lantus per night and a 1:4 ratio of Humalog
I am 50 pounds overweight
I have irritable bowel syndrome
I walked on my tiptoes for the first 7 years of my life causing a broad pad and a smaller heal bone. Two of my children also walked on their tiptoes for years and were told by doctors that it was due to very short calf muscles, which could be why I did the same.
I have hyper-mobility in my joints, as do two of my children. (I am still able to bend my toes back to the top of my foot without too much trouble.)
I had a car accident ten years ago and crushed my sciatic nerve in my left buttock, leaving me with chronic pain, an unusual gait, some atrophy and numbness in the calf muscle. I overcame most of the pain with hydrotherapy, driving a car with a heater in the seat, and using a T.E.N.S (trans electronic nerve stimulator) which I found especially helpful on long flights. (my recovery time was about 3 years, which was when I gained most of my excess weight)
I have had sore heals (front of heal on inside of both feet) for about 8 years.
For the last seven months I have had extreme pain in my left foot (got to where I was crawling at times to prevent the pain) and was diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis by my GP and sent to a podiatrist who performed x-rays of both feet and found heal spurs on both heals.
When my pain is at it's worst it aggravates my sciatica, which in turn causes spasms from the tips of my toes to the top of my buttocks (sometimes at the rate of one spasm every 3 minutes for hours)
I had terrible experiences with massive full side body spasms after crushing my sciatic nerve (it became so severe that I was hospitalized and put into a drug-induced coma for 3 days at a time to try to stop themů which did not work.)
I was prescribed Vioxx on my first visit to the local podiatrist, which did nothing, and so I had 1 cortisone shot in my right foot one month later. There was some pain relief for a period of two weeks after the injection.
I was prescribed Bextra x 2 per day, which I take religiously, but do not notice a difference
The only things my podiatrist offered was to 'take the pills, lose weight and come back if you want another cortisone shot.'
I asked if a night splint would work and his reply was 'anything is worth a try,' and 'you will have to find one on the net or something.'
I am terribly frustrated with the pain in my feet, because exercise is imperative to the control of my diabetes.
I feel I have become depressed after 7 months of constant pain and slowly seeing the quality of my life go down the toilet!
Chloe Miller

Re: PF is debilitating and depressing ...Please Help

Chloe M. on 6/04/03 at 23:30 (121001)


I did buy a night splint and have tried sleeping with it on and have found it stops the normal 'get out of bed like a 100 year old person' type of pain in the mornings, but it makes every other muscle from the tip of my toes to the top of my calf ache and have spasms.
I also get pain if I try to stand after I have been sitting for even a short time.

Re: PF is debilitating and depressing ...Please Help

marie on 6/05/03 at 09:06 (121020)

Hi Chloe,

It sounds like you have come to the right place. Have you read Scott's heel pain bok. It has been very helpful to many of the folks here. When I first visited this board I was downright depressed about my inability to do much of anything and needed some advice that my doctors weren't giving me. Be honest with your GP about your depression. It is a common side affect. Perhaps he can perscribe something to help. Understand that PF takes a long, long time to recover from and may need surgery. I have tarsal tunnel and PF amongst other things. Last fall I started the school year teaching from a scooter and a wheele chair. About a month ago I walked two miles in the MS walk. You may or may not recover altogether. I know I haven't but I am not in horrific pain anymore. Come to the board as often as you need to for support. We are an 'ornery bunch and somtimes downright entertaining but the one thing we have in common is sore feet and podiatrists.


Re: PF is debilitating and depressing ...Please Help

Sandra D on 6/05/03 at 09:09 (121021)

I found this site only a few months ago and already I have learned so much that my doctor did not tell me. Read the Heel Pain book and try things that work for you. I use the yoga exercises I learned at this site. I still have pain but it is bearable. Good Luck with the depression I've been there. Sandra

Re: PF is debilitating and depressing ...Please Help

BrianG on 6/06/03 at 16:28 (121193)

Hi Chioe,

I sounds as if you have more than paid your dues. There are many people on this message board, who all use a variety of different methods to help with the pain, and try to cure the problem. There are people like myself, where none of the conventional treatments have worked. My life was hardly worth livng, to tell you the truth.

What I finally did, was to find a doctor to treat my pain, which actually gave me back some quality of life. I still have chronic pain, but I can now get through the day wthout the real intense pain I had been having, for years! Have you thought about a pain management specialist, or clinic? They can be lifesavers, when nothing else can be done. I have heard that Methadone is the best pain reliever for nerve type pain, which sounds like you might have. There are other long acting opiates which may work better for inflamation type pain.

Just something to think of, if you think your reaching the end of that rope.
Good luck
BrianG, not a doc

Re: PF is debilitating and depressing ...Please Help

Pam S. on 6/06/03 at 23:24 (121230)

I want to agree with Brian's advice. None of us are docs but we have all dealt with pain issues. I want you to know that YES pain can cause depression. I did not realize I was depressed until I went to see a dr. who was sensitive to this. She put me on a low dose of an anti-depressant which has helped me so much. I just want to say do not let the depression go untreated. Addressing the depession really helps you to cope with all you have to cope with and helps you get thru the day. You will have more energy and will sleep better. You certainly have been thru alot. Good luck to you.

Re: PF is debilitating and depressing ...Please Help

Kathy G on 6/07/03 at 08:56 (121243)


You have really had a rough time! I was thinking about your post last night and couldn't remember where I had seen it. I am not a doctor, just a person with PF, but your post touched me.

You need to find a doctor, one doctor, who will sit down and listen to you. Someone who has the time to review all that you've been through and can advise you of your options. I think Brian is on the right track about seeing a Pain Management Specialist. Maybe you could get a referral from you Primary Care Physician.

In the meantime, you need to speak to him about depression. Chronic pain will most certainly cause depression and usually does. An antipressant could help you because a) That amount of pain could easily cause depression; and b) An antidepressant would boost seratonin levels which would better help you cope with the pain.

Ask your doctor. You need everything available to help you cope with these really tough conditions.

Good luck!

Re: PF is debilitating and depressing ...Please Help

Chloe M. on 6/07/03 at 19:37 (121275)

A huge thankyou to all those who replied with suggestions. I am at that stage where I cant see the forrest through the trees. I have just spent Thursday in the ER with what they think was IBS(irritable bowel syndrome) with diverticulitis, but I have never had vomiting with IBS before. Every time I moved I vomited. They couldnt explain the vomiting :( and after watchign me for 8 + hours just said to come back if it doesn't stop. They gave me shots of bentyl and Demoral for the stomach spasms. I went to a new doctor friday, however, I think I was still affected by the demorol, because I can't remember much of what she said hehe. I know I started back on Paxil, which is an anti anxiety medication that seems to help with calming the bowel, so maybe it will help my depression too. The new doc did ask to see me next week, when this bout of whatever it is had gone and she will have been able to get my medical info from previous doc. I have an appointment with a gynaecologist next thursday to see if the tumors outside my uterus are cancerous... I know I just have to get on top of all this .. it just seems overwhelming at times. I know I need to take baby steps, but it seems that while i am taking those baby steps ... my health issues are taking giant steps .. I am probably not making sense now. I Have read the heel book and it makes sense. I know I have to lose weight to help my foot, but it is a bit hard if you cant exercise and are a type 2 diabetic. If I do slow my eating or follow say the Diane schwarzbein or aktins diet, my metabolism just slows .. I need that exercise to kick start, but I can barely walk.
Thanks again for your support,

Ps. make that 45 lbs overweight now .. I Have lost 5 lbs this week.

Re: PF is debilitating and depressing ...Please Help

Chloe M. on 6/07/03 at 19:49 (121277)

I was in and out of a pain clinic after my accident ten years ago. My sciatica really is controlled unless the plantar fasciitis flares it up. But, I agree with you that pain clinics can be very beneficial. I also know that when you are ill sometimes you just want to be with family and my family are in australia and i am in the usa ... I can't go back right now either. Finding a doctor that will take you can understand the broken english and who takes longer than 5 minutes on the first visit is the key I think hehe. I have had 3 bad days with IBS and diverticulitis, ending up in the ER, and had some demorol .. never had that before, it sure takes the pain away hehe. Thanks for your reply

Re: PF is debilitating and depressing ...Please Help

Kathy G on 6/08/03 at 08:50 (121293)

You lost it the hard way, Chloe! Hope you start to feel better. Paxil is an excellent antidepressant and after a week or two, it should start to help your depression.

Good luck with your new doctor. I hope he will help you with all your problems!

Re: Chloe:about anti-depressants

Pam S. on 6/08/03 at 10:43 (121299)

Dear Chloe:
I think your issues have certainly touched many of us and I find myself really wanted to help you. Remember non of us are docs, just have been to alot of them!!!

I take a form of Celexa called Lexapro for depression. I am not by any means clinically depressed but all my issues just caused my to get so down I found myself not getting dressed until noon, no energy at all etc etc. I went to a pharmacologist who really knows meds and about depression. This is a brand new drug with few side effects. This doctor told me there have been some very compelling new studies that show that Lexapro helps irritable bowel also. I have a mild case of IBS and now I am perfect in that area. It is worth a mention to your doctor. Paxil is good also but can cause you to feel sleepy during the day and can cause you to crave carbs the dr. told me. Everyone is different I am just telling you what she told ME for my situation.

Good luck to you. Let us know how you are. There are very special people on these boards who really care. Happy Sunday....pam

Re: PF is debilitating and depressing ...Please Help

Pauline on 6/08/03 at 20:37 (121327)

You sure have had more than your share of health problems and what your going through would overwhelm anyone of us.

I find the best way to deal with overwhelming things is to brake them into smaller units. Prioritize like they would do in the E.R. for someone presenting with multiple things going on. Treat the emergency
condition first.

Certainly the depression and anxiety is important and may very well be number one on your list. Anxiety by itself can cause many symptoms.

As one person suggested, one good doctor at the helm may be able to help you put things in order for you. Sometimes a good Gyn. can be very helpful by making referrals to other physicians that you need to see. Since that appointment seems the closest see if he/she will help you by calling and making connections with colleagues perhaps a good internist and maybe even a phychiatrist.

Remember no one can help you unless you let them know what's going on.
Help yourself by putting things on paper. List all your symptoms, all your medications, and any doctors and tests that you've had. This way you'll be ready to ask for the help that you need and reply to the questions that are asked.

Your in a really tough situation with what seems like all the walls closing in on you, but your strong and will be able to get through this with some help.