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

d Pf for two years----please help

Posted by Kristie R. on 8/21/03 at 11:44 (127515)

I don't think I've ever been this sad. I want my life back. I'm so tired sitting here in the house all day long with nothing to look forward to but when the mail comes. All I do is sit in this house waiting for something that never comes; Getting better.

I don't know what to do anymore to get better: I've gone to seven doctors, had three sets of orthics made, gone to PT since last year -two or three times a week, took a three week disability from work last year at sat on the couch the entire time, spent a ton of money on a chiropractor that didn't work, have been seeing another chiropractor that makes life a littlie more livable, have taken a ton of drugs--pain and anti inflamatroty, have had electric shock theraphy and sat on the couch for four weeks hoping it would work.

All this have gotten me is poor and depressed. I want to know what can I do to get rid of this pain. I so want my life back.

Somebody please help me,

Kristie

Re: d Pf for two years----please help

Aly on 8/21/03 at 13:21 (127541)

Dear Kristie,

I so understand your pain. I have gotten severely depressed at times from what I consider to be the worst thing that's ever happened to me. I would like to share my story with you in the hopes that it might help you - sorry that it's long.

I too had moments when I wondered if life was worth living this way. I nearly died from pneumonia 2 years ago, and I have to admit that I would honestly rather through that 2 more times than deal with this indefinitely! At least I understood the recovery time involved; with PF you just never know.

By January I'd really begun to lose hope, and was honestly miserable every day. I wanted to cry all the time. I couldn't go out and do the things I used to do, and I felt that no one really understood (how could they?). I became desperate not only to 'fix' my feet, but be happy again. Thankfully, while we may not be able to cure our feet, we do have more control over the latter. So there are a couple of things I did that have really helped me. The first one has been an ongoing process, and a difficult one at that. It started with the question: 'How would I be reacting if I'd been permanently paralized from the waste down in an accident? Would I kill myself?' I didn't think so. I knew I'd be devastated, but I'm a fighter and I'm stubborn as all heck, and once I'd gotten over the devastation of the disability, I'd find away to get my life back as much as possible. I thought to myself, re my PF: 'What's the worst case scenario here? --That I never get over this.' If that were to occur (unlikely but theoretically possible), would I want my life to be ruined by it? Do I want to let some frigging never-ending foot injury ruin the rest of my life? Hell no! Why the heck should I give it that power? I didn't deserve this, and I'm not going to take it lying down (literally OR figuratively!)

All that thinking got me really mad - how dare this thing take away my life! I'd already spent a year on my butt in my house; my family was planning a trip to Australia that I'd never be able to take part in; my relationship with my boyfriend was suffering; my life was being ruined before my eyes. I couldn't take it anymore. So I decided I had to change the way I looked at my condition - it was the only thing I had control over. So I began to consider myself as disabled. That may sound negative to some, but actually it really wasn't - it was freeing. I'd been spending so much time trying to fix myself, obsessing and doing anything and everything, and failing miserably - THAT was truly depressing! So much energy spent praying to the powers that be, please SOMEONE take this away from me. My new view was to stop focussing so much on the need to get better - if you're truly disabled, you aren't going to get better. You have to cope with your limitations and not obsess over them.

I accepted that foot pain is going to be a part of my life. I pray it isn't permanent, but I'm not going to wait around to find out. I've continued to take the best possible care of my feet (icing and elevating and all that). I bought a shower stool. I got a wheelchair (rented it at first, bought it last week.). For the first few months I was embarassed and self conscious in it and felt that everyone was staring at me. And some of them were. But that's where I focussed on being stubborn - screw anyone who will judge me for using a chair when I'm in so much pain and when my body is unable to heel if I walk. I have to repeat to myself regularly I DON'T CARE. (that one's hard for me). I use it in at all times when I'm not at work, and I do suspect that if I used it full time my feet might actually heal...but that's another post! [And I've also had some cute experiences with kids & the wheelchair. One little 3 year old asked of my legs 'Do they move?' It was so cute. I wiggled them around and said 'Yes, I can move them, but it hurts to stand on them.' He found it all very interesting. :) ]

The other thing I did at the same time was to break down & ask my doctor to try anti-depressants. When she asked why, I came so close to crying. I explained to her that my feet had gotten so bad, and had so limited my life that I'd become very depressed, and couldn't seem to snap out of it. She didn't bat an eye - she said she imagined I would get depressed under such circumstances and gave me a Rx for Celexa. It has REALLY helped. Kristie, some of us have to treat our feet AND our heart/psyche. You're depressed for a very real reason. All these crappy chemicals are released into your system (maybe they're the 'opposite' of the endorphins you get from working out that make you feel so great) and they can be treated with medication. Within just a few weeks, I started waking up feeling ok again.

Oddly enough, I also started feeling hope again that I would heal, and found renewed strength to deal with my PF. I stopped allowing myself to think of the things I was missing - step aerobics, a million things! I started thinking 'what do disabled people do for fun?! They can't all be sitting at home, looking at the walls!' I can do almost anything anyone else can do, with a wheelchair. I went on that trip to Australia and had a great time. I can go boating, shopping for hours, 'walking' down an interesting street - anything. I have no idea if I'll ever get over this PF, but I'm not going to sit around waiting to have a life until that day.

This is a VERY long post, and for that I apologize, but I wanted to share my story in the hopes that it might inspire you to find your own path to dealing with your condition.

Do stay in touch with us Kristen; if you want to email me personally, you'll find the link on this message. You are not alone, there are a lot of us here who really understand what you're feeling.

Hang in there, and be good to yourself, and your feet. :)

Re: d Pf for two years----please help

Aly on 8/21/03 at 13:32 (127546)

Kristie, my email address is (email removed)
:)

Re: d Pf for two years----please help

rose on 8/22/03 at 13:03 (127671)

I have suffered through PF for a long time and finally had the surgery July 1. I did it since I was also having surgery on the other foot for a neuroma. Now, I am so glad I did. Two weeks ago I was playing in the ocean! Yes...with little or no pain. I got a cheap Walmart athletic shoe for $9.00 and put my orthodics in them and use for water shoes. I just got home fram a week camping trip with my family. Now I didn't take long walks, but I did most things and even swam in the river. So far I have been doing wonderfully! I expect a full rcovery, even it it takes a while. My surgeon said it could take as long as 6 months to a year, but most patients are much much better and pain free or close to it in 8 weeks! I have found that if I wear the boot to bed, I have no pain at all the next morning and for most of the day. Keeping it relaxed at a 90 degree angle helps a lot. I also have Peter Egoscue'book called Pain Free. I will now start those exercises again in my recovery.
I want to encourage you, that there is hope through surgery. It has completely cured many where nothing else has worked.
You are in my prayers. Keep in touch. Rose

Re: d Pf for two years----please help

rose on 8/22/03 at 13:09 (127672)

One more thing...I did spend a whole month in a wheel chair right after surgery since both feet were pperated on. I found that I did quite well going out of the house in a wheel chair. I can see h ow a totally disabled person could go on with life even this way. It gave me a whole new perspective on what it is like to be in a chair. I now have much more of an understnading of thoses unfortunate people who have to spend their lives in a chair. It is something to try. The pain is much less and you can do a lot. People are very nice to you on the whole and it sure is good for the triceps. I am very fortunate that all is well so far. I know many things can go wrong in recovery...but surgery has been a blessing in my case so far.

Re: Pf for two years----please help

Kristie R. on 8/22/03 at 13:57 (127680)

Hi ROSE,

Thank you so much for your wonderful note. It gave me a lot of hope. I was wondering who is the doctor that performed the surgery?

Thank you so much,

Kristie

Re: d Pf for two years----please help

BevN. on 8/22/03 at 14:52 (127686)

Wonderful news , Rose , it is so great to hear success stories like this :) Did you have ESWT first , and that did not work, is that why you went with the surgery ?

Re: Pf for two years----please help

rose on 8/24/03 at 12:57 (127822)

It was Dr. Alan Barth at Kaiser in San Diego. He is wonderful.

Re: d Pf for two years----please help

rose on 8/24/03 at 13:02 (127824)

No I did not try ESWT. I maybe should have, but I went ahead and it was fine. No charge for anything. I also had a surgeon who has performed open release for many years. He has won awards in his field for inventing a new tchnique for neuroma surgery. On top of all this...he has a wonderful bedside manner...I can call him at any time....quite intresting...as I have heard that Kaiser is not like that....but several doctors I have had, (have had Kaiser 30 years) have been wodnerful. I had my kids there and one of my daughters had her first baby there. I am very very pleased with this one here in SD.Also, I have a friend who had had three surgeries in the last 10 years from Dr. Barth and is very pleased. He did both of his feet for heel spurs ...one at a time about 8 years ago. He has also performed shulder surgery on him with great results.

Re: d Pf for two years----please help

Dr. Z on 8/24/03 at 14:56 (127837)

Hi Rose,

Kaiser has covered ESWT in the past. Anyway I am sure your foot surgeon is wonderful. Did he ever discuss ESWT with you before your foot surgery?
I just helped a patient from California get ESWT treatment from Kaiser. This was no charge for the ESWT