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dealing with pf discouragement or depression

Posted by nancy s. on 10/21/03 at 14:56 (134827)

because the physical pain of pf and its fellow 'itises' so often leads to emotional or psychological pain, i thought i'd re-post a thread from a while ago that dealt with this issue. having emerged from a serious depression myself brought on by a long bout with pf etc., a flag always goes up when i see a new poster mention feeling discouraged or depressed. yet often this aspect goes unaddressed or gets lost in the midst of the need to deal with the physical problem itself. so here is a thread i remembered and found via the search feature:

Is there only PF?
This is a thread posted in category: Social / Support . . View All Heel Pain Categories
Posted by pauls on 1/12/02 at 11:33
Two and a half years into PF and with numerous failed therapy attempts behind me, I'd appreciate some insights on how to live with this monster. It overshadows everything I do during the day and fills every waking thought of night after sleepless night. Should I try to achieve some kind of peace and come to terms with the fact that I will never again enjoy even the shortest time on my feet without pain? Or do I fight it - and allow it to continue to pervade every moment of my day and night?
Reply to Message # 69741

Don't lose hope!
Posted by Valerie S on 1/12/02 at 13:14
I saw your post, and want you to know that you are not alone in your desperation and pain of PF. I can see that you are feeling hopeless and let me tell you that I have had many sleepless nights and too many long hours of crying over my poor 'lost' feet. I am sorry you are having such a hard time.
I wish I had an easy answer for you, but the most important thing I would say to you is not to lose hope.
You ask for insight on how to live with this monster... undoubtably, you have already experienced some lifestyle change from having this chronic case of PF. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, it could just be making it worse or at least delaying your healing. Also, as a 'Catch-22,' lack of excercise and the inability to do the things you want can be big factors in causing depression, and your feelings of helplessness are only natural. Even though sometimes it feels like the pain is going to take over your life forever, it doesn't have to be that way. It is never too late to get better... I and we all have to believe that!
Not knowing anything about your treatment history, I wonder what treatments you have tried, and hope that you have been working with a doctor that understands what you are going through and has given you a thourough and accurate diagnosis. A second opinion may be in order... maybe your question 'Is there only PF?' could really be an answer for you: you may have other contributing injuries that you don't even know about.
I don't think you need to let the PF pervade every moment of your life forever, but you do need to listen to your body and do what is necessary. Print out and read the heel pain book, located at this website. You will find valuable information and advice in how to live with this monster. In addition, continue reading from other posters here at the message boards. You will find many compassionate and informed people here. I personally, was saved from helpless desperation by talking to the wonderful people here.
So, pauls, you are on the right path by coming here. I'm sure if you look around here, you will find that you have already found an answer to help you come to find at least a kind of peace in knowing that you really are not alone... even though you feel like you do.
Anytime you need a friend, you will find many here. Just please, don't give up hope!
Your friend, Val.
Reply to Message # 69749

Re: Is there only PF?
Posted by Suzanne D on 1/12/02 at 16:01
Valerie said it so well to you, Pauls, in her post above. I echo what she has said and encourage you to keep coming here and reading, reading, reading. Read what people say they have tried, read the heel pain book, read what the doctors say. You may come away with some new ideas, and if nothing else, you will be able to find understanding sympathy! You can vent your feelings and realize you are not alone.
You are so right in the fact that having to have the pain on your mind at almost every moment is SO frustrating!!!
Read and ask questions on this board, and I hope it will help you find some answers! It has helped me tremendously, and although my feet still hurt, things I have learned here have helped a great deal, and the pain is not as bad - both physically and emotionally.
Take care,
Reply to Message # 69770

Re: Is there only PF?
Posted by paulS on 1/13/02 at 04:57
Thanks Valerie and Suzanne for your kind responses. My question Is there only PF? was my way of expressing the way PF seems to have taken over my entire life. In fact, I have other complaints that have all stemmed from the lack of exercise that PF brings with it. A little more background: I posted on this board a few times about 18 months ago, and for a few months more I checked in every day to read the new messages. Around this time I went to three different doctors who prescribed the usual stuff and I have a cupboard full of orthotics. But this constant preoccupation with my feet was just causing an incredible amount of tension. I decided to go a few months without doing anything in particualr to combat the PF except for stretching and gentle cycling. This worked to the extent that the tension disappeared and my feet neither got better nor worse. Around Christmas however, for no obvious reason, things got bad again, hence my reappearance on this board. I marvel at the way some of you out there manage to keep your good humour in the face of PF adversity and my first email was a request to let me into the secret!
Reply to Message # 69846

Re: Is there only PF?
Posted by Suzanne D on 1/13/02 at 07:30
Yes, it seems to me you have hit upon something: if we can just keep PF and everything it changes about our way of life from 'taking over' our lives, then we have won a measure of something, it seems to me.
The friendships and support on this board enable me to 'keep my sanity' (reaching out to others lessens the preoccupation with self for me) and also learn new ideas which provide help and hope. For instance, I learned about Birkenstock shoes here, and I wear them or Birkenstock inserts at all times. That helps to keep me going. I also have learned better stretches to do and about taping, which had been helping me until I got some cuts on the bottom of my feet which I now have to let heal.
Around Chtistmas time I experienced some worsening in my pain, too. I have wondered about the effects of cold weather. I don't really know as I began my battle with PF in June, so I haven't gone through a year of seasons yet.
'Hang in there!' It is nice to meet you! :-)
Reply to Message # 69847

Re: Is there only PF?
Posted by nancy s. on 1/13/02 at 10:17
hi paul s, i remember you -- and i think this board got some good advice back from you, as i recall.
in answer to your question above, i believe two things:
1. you should try to make peace with and accept the fact that (a) it is extremely likely that you will get better; (b) if you do, you don't know when that will happen; and (c) it's very difficult to have pain and not know when you're going to get better. also, 'better' may mean greatly improved but not perfect -- but you can't know that yet, either.
2. yes, fight it -- (a) by continuing to search for the right combo of therapies for you and keeping up the good ones you find; (b) by teaching your mind not to let pf take over your life.
i'm much better than i was, paul, and it took about two years for that to even start to happen. it's very tough to accept and fight at the same time; people here struggle with this constantly. and you're right, humor helps immensely! that's one reason i'm still here -- i've learned some life lessons here beyond only the mechanics of improving my feet.
i wish i could tell you a secret. but i think the secret lies in you -- to learn how to accept and fight at the same time, and to keep your spirit alive and keep the things that mean the most to you in your life; don't stop or drop them because you get low or it's hard to concentrate in the face of pain. keep doing as much as you can to keep yourself alive inside. (i learned this the hard way -- i got very discouraged, stopped doing even basic things for myself to keep my life going, and therefore became extremely depressed, which i ended up being hospitalized for.)
but all is much better now. i hope the same for you too, paul.
i tried to go back and find this great post you wrote a long time ago, and i couldn't find it.
Reply to Message # 69853

Re: Is there only PF?
Posted by Laurie R on 1/13/02 at 10:44
Dear Paul, I agree with everything Nancy said to you . She had it very bad and she has been through so much .. Even though things seem to be very hard , you must never give up ... I come to this board for a few reasons . One is to learn everythng I can treatment wise. 2,is for the wonderful support and friendship I have found . 3, is to vent to people that understand what I am going through . 4, is for the great advise .... Some don't believe in the hugs ,but I am one that does .....
My family can only understand so much , they can't feel the pain ... People here understand and know the pain so well....
I wish you only the best ... Do you have only PF or is their other foot problems as well???
Laurie R
Reply to Message # 69855

Re: Is there only PF?
Posted by John h on 1/13/02 at 18:27
no pauls do not just accept PF. I have had it bi-laterially for nearly 8 years and it has gotten much better but certainly is not gone. I keep on trucking in hopes that eventually I will touch on the magic that will cure this thing.
Reply to Message # 69897

Re: to accept and to fight at the same time...
Posted by Suzanne D on 1/13/02 at 19:31
I appreciate the thought of the secret lying within you - learning to ACCEPT AND FIGHT at the same time! That is so true, and it is something I will remember and apply - not only to my PF situation but to other challenges in my life.
Reply to Message # 69906

Re: to accept and to fight at the same time...
Posted by nancy s. on 1/14/02 at 05:50
i'm glad that was helpful, suzanne. thanks for telling me! i think it's human to assume first that you can do only one or the other, that you have to choose. it takes a lot of pain and challenge to learn that you can do both, that in fact it's very important to do both, and, like you implied, i think it does make a person stronger for life.
Reply to Message # 69944

Re: Is there only PF?
Posted by PaulS on 1/17/02 at 02:21
Thanks to all for your comments and support. The key advice is to accept AND fight. Trying to ignore PF gave me some kind of peace, but did nothing to heal me. Real peace will come only when PF has been conquered, and I realize now that I have to keep fighting - ESWT is next, an appointment has been made!
I've made a note in my calendar to post again in one year's time! Good luck to you all in your own personal fights.
Reply to Message # 70235

Re: dealing with pf discouragement or depression

Pauline on 10/21/03 at 16:22 (134839)

What a nice post. We're lucky to have people like you on the board.
This was a great idea and you certainly should post this thread from time to time.

It's a very important part of P.F. that so many people deal with yet at the same time each individual feels so alone. This post provides hope in time of hopelessness, courage when there is none, and caring when you think your all alone.

What could be more important for us to remember when we try to encourage others through their daily struggle with P.F.?

Re: dealing with pf discouragement or depression

marie on 10/21/03 at 18:33 (134854)

Yes what a nice post. We have all been there with the frustration of pain. It's funny that pain brought us all together. I have always thought that if it wasn't for the pain we have all suffered we may have never had the chance to cross paths. Sometimes in our worst despair we find a light. Thanks again for the post.

best wishes marie

Re: dealing with pf discouragement or depression

JudyS on 10/21/03 at 22:13 (134926)

Nancy - what is a good idea to post that string - have you saved it? It reminds me that some folks have, over the years, posted the same advice more than once (I know I tend to speak to posters who've expressed a sense of no control).
I wonder if we couldn't somehow 'can' the kind of responses like yours above for easy reference?

Re: dealing with pf discouragement or depression

nancy s. on 10/22/03 at 01:39 (134945)

thanks pauline, marie, judy. i had it only in my head, and it took quite a while to find it via the search. i'll save it and post it occasionally. maybe i'll even get it out during other kinds of hard times and take my own advice again! as well as benefit from the great outlooks of the other posters in the thread.