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Getting a bit of my life back...

Posted by Aly on 7/21/03 at 13:13 (124896)

Hi guys,

There have been a number of messages going back & forth about coping with chronic pain and its effects on our lives. The last few months have been so much better for me - and I don't mean pain-wise.

The first thing I did was break down and start taking an anti-depressant in February. This made a HUGE difference, and instead of being tired, sad and angry every day, I started feeling *happy* for the first time in months. Despite my feet! Most people have no idea I take it - it's between me and my doctor.

The other 2 things I did were buy a shower stool (why stand barefoot for 10 minutes in the shower when I'd never do that at any other time??) and rent a wheelchair. I HATED it at first - I was self-conscious when my boyfriend Greg was pushing me around in it, and being a very independent person I found it rather demoralizing. But I was desperate to help my feet, so I started using the chair evenings and weekends, regardless of how my feet felt(I confess I can't bring myself to use one at work).

I've been using the chair for about a month, and for the last 2 weeks, I've had the first improvement I've felt since before Christmas. This weekend my Greg and I went to the Bronx Zoo, to a museum, and to Central Park - all things I could NEVER do - and it felt SO GOOD to be out in the sunshine, experiencing the world again for the first time since my PF came on. For those of you who are trapped in their homes and not able to get out and do anything - please consider this option. I didn't want to get one at first because I didn't want to admit to myself that I needed one. Both Greg & I are so glad I did this. I'm able to take part in more things around the house, and we can finally go out and do almost anything again! We really feel like we're starting to get our lives back.

Renting a wheelchair in NY is costing me $45 every 2 weeks. It's a lightweight model (~25lbs) and folds up nice & small to fit in the trunk of the car. I took it on my trip to Australia, and on most flights was able to store it in the cabin of the plane. I think I'm going to just buy one because it's starting to add up - they go for around $125 up, + shipping on EBAY.

Anyway, I know this is too long! Sorry to ramble, but I wanted to pass on my experience…

Re: Getting a bit of my life back...

BevN. on 7/21/03 at 13:30 (124898)


What kind of work do you do? Are you off of your feet at work? That is great that you got the w/c . I finally did too. We don't have any great places to go like you have (tiny town) but I do get to get out more now. Sounds as if you have lots of fun , lots of fun places to go now :)
You and Greg have a great life and lots of fun, you sure do not let this PF get you down , great for you =D>

Re: Getting a bit of my life back...

Aly on 7/21/03 at 13:43 (124902)

Hi Bev!

I have a desk job, thank goodness - I can't imagine what I'd do if I didn't. You'd think with all the sitting I do that my feet would have healed up fine! But all I have to show for it is the squishiest butt & thighs in the Northeast!! (Ah, truth be known, they weren't that great before, haha.)

But just walking to and from the parking lot & going to the restroom (could they have put it any further away?!) keeps my PF in high gear.

Say, how do you make the smiley face with those little clapping hands?? Cute!

Re: Getting a bit of my life back...

BevN. on 7/21/03 at 13:51 (124903)


See here where it says in blue 'click Here' just below 'subject' there are all those cute graphics that was put there for us to use :)

Re: Getting a bit of my life back...

BevN. on 7/21/03 at 13:53 (124905)


To what do you attribute your getting PF to ? Were you a runner like so many that get PF ?

Re: Getting a bit of my life back...

Dorothy on 7/21/03 at 15:17 (124915)

What a nice report, Aly! Sometimes it just makes sense - at least in hindsight - to stop fighting something and adapt to it and find ways to live the fullest life possible, in the circumstances we have. I wonder if you will find that using these adaptive devices will allow your feet to fully heal. Wouldn't that be a nice additional outcome..

Oh, and about your Dansko question - I have never had a Dansko 'break-in' expeience. My experience has been either they fit and feel good right off the bat or not. I don't think they have the same aspect of conforming to one's feet as much as Birkenstocks do, at least not as much, because of Birkenstock's cork and latex material.

Best wishes~

Re: Getting a bit of my life back...

Aly on 7/21/03 at 15:46 (124916)

Actually, I got PF from injuring my arches in a really worn pair of heeled boots. I first developed pain where the arch attaches just beneath the base of my big toes, and as time went by it moved down my arches to my heels.

It happened in a totally silly way, actually. Greg & I had these Star Wars nerf guns and were chasing each other around firing away like a couple of kids - in the heat of battle it never occurred to me that I should change into more sensible shoes. I learned that day that I'm older than I think! What a stupid way to come down with such a condition. Wish I could say I was a marathoner...

Re: Getting a bit of my life back...

Aly on 7/21/03 at 15:47 (124917)

Oh, I'm not terribly observant, now am I!

Re: Getting a bit of my life back...

Aly on 7/21/03 at 15:49 (124918)

Hmmm...maybe I'll have to shelf the dansko sandals for a while...

Re: Getting a bit of my life back...

Suzanne D on 7/21/03 at 22:37 (124935)

That's great, Aly, that you're happier and able to participate more in life now. Thanks for passing along your story to others!

Best wishes,
Suzanne :)

Re: Getting a bit of my life back...

Kathy G on 7/22/03 at 09:38 (124956)


I don't own a wheelchair but you give such good advice. I could never have gone to Epcot Center the year before last without one. And then in May, we visited my sister in Annapolis. We went to some beautiful gardens outside Philadelphia and they were huge. Like an idiot, I kicked and screamed when my husband suggested I use one of their wheelchairs, but I would never have been able to walk them so I'm glad I relented.

It is tough to give up that independence and I've got to remember the fellow who writes for the Boston Globe. His wife has Parkinson's which has been getting worse. She had always used a walker in public but now has started using it around the house. He said that he sees it as a sign of her independence, not her dependence. He said the walker allows her to do the things she would be unable to do without its use. Things that she would have to ask someone else to do.

I see a wheelchair as a way for people with PF to do things that they wouldn't ordinarily be able to do. You were very wise to recommend one!

Re: Getting a bit of my life back...

Dorothy on 7/22/03 at 15:30 (124972)

I need glasses. I have read your post several times, until now, as 'maybe I'll have to smell the dansko sandals for a while...'

Re: Getting a bit of my life back...

Aly on 7/22/03 at 15:46 (124975)

:)) Ha! You made me laugh.

Re: Getting a bit of my life back...

Dorothy on 7/22/03 at 22:24 (125003)

Good! I'm glad - I do think it is the best medicine and so I am happy to give some to you!