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

Illness focused?

Posted by Rich on 11/07/03 at 10:56 (136672)

I have PF for 4 months nnow. Recently, I have been experiencing depression. I hit a low point a few weeks ago, but I am (or was) starting to come out of it. I tried taping my feet and it feels a little better. My spirits were improving until last night.

At dinner, I said casually to my wife that I wouldn't mind taking it easy this weekend. She got upset with me and said she was fed up with my illness-focused attitude. She said that is what I do - focus completely on my illness. I do see her side of things, because I have been dwelling on it and it has taken over my life.

But I thought I was coming out of it and my comment was based on advice that rest is the best thing for this. I didn't mean I wanted to sit in a chair all weekend. This has been hard on my wife, I kbow that. We have 2 small kids. I agree that I need to focus more on the family and less on my PF. I would like to find a happy medium.

Any suggestions??

Re: Illness focused?

Rick R on 11/07/03 at 11:24 (136676)

My wife is a wonderful understanding person but when it comes to PF she never 'got it'. To this day she may call me to execute some vermin that made it past the defenses and she just doesn't get the fact I don't come a running if I don't have my shoes on. I have come to understand I play a role in her life that makes it difficult for her to accept any malady I have be the feet or back or just plain sick. This sounds corny and perhaps a rationalization but I think I still am that protector in her eyes and her sense of security is derived to some extent from my physical ability. I believe she is so much of a provider for others (well beyond normal) she just can't fathom the thought of not having me to depend on let alone having to provide care for me. I'm not sure if this helps, hope so.

Rick

Re: Illness focused?

Suzanne D on 11/07/03 at 11:40 (136680)

That's a good answer from a sensitive perspective, Rick! I imagine that will help Rich a great deal.

And, you know, NO ONE ever 'gets it' if they have never had foot problems! They just don't. And I guess our families don't have to be as polite as outsiders, so they just let us know more often that they can't understand our limitations.

If they could just realize that we don't want to be focused on our feet all the time! It's just hard to get it off one's mind when it is so ever-present.

Rich, we do understand.
Suzanne :)

Re: Illness focused?

Julie on 11/07/03 at 11:48 (136682)

We certainly do understand, Suzanne, and I too think that Rick's post was sensitive and helpful.

And you're right that it is well-nigh impossible for people who haven't experienced PF or other painful foot conditions to understand and sympathise. There's no blood, no obvious swelling, it just hurts - but no-one can see the evidence of the hurt.

So Rich, I would suggest that you try to involve your wife a little more. For starters, get her to read the heel pain book (I'm sure you have read it by now). And also to read these message boards and discover that PF affects lots of people and that it is a serious, life-changing ailment. It may not be a broken leg, or cancer, but it limits one's activities and options, and can lead to depression. If you can get your wife to understand your problem a bit better, you may find that she becomes more sympathetic. I hope so. Meanwhile, you can always come here to talk to people who have been there, and know.

Re: Illness focused?

Dorothy on 11/07/03 at 12:28 (136695)

I share others' opinion of Rick R.'s comments and would only add that I love them for their insight and lovely heart. It is possible that your wife is responding to you as she did out of fear - and any illness, particularly one that seems to be lingering, can arouse fear. Sometimes what sounds like anger coming out of the mouth is actually hurt, fear, sadness. These can be very difficult things for couples to talk about because they touch on so many potentially painful, and profound, issues - but any illness or injury can raise issues of dependency, mortality, security...and on and on. Lots of the 'biggies' in a shared life. When one member is ill, he or she has their own fears and worries that the other member is very likely quite sensitive to - but that other member also has fears and worries about the illness, about their partner, about their own health and so on. It can get complicated. Your wife might be experiencing (and maybe holding back from talking about because of your own health) some needs and problems of her own but feels that she can't share with you and is kind of walking on eggshells and it all worries her and makes her angry and being angry with you for being sick makes her angry with herself for being angy with someone she cares about who is sick.....and so on. Complicated.
With the obvious exception of abusive speech, it is possible to learn from what others say to us; sometimes there is a kernel of truth in even the most painful-to-hear comments. Only you and she can know that. So you might want to think about that, too. There are issues of abandonment that are very important, too, related to fear and anger (which I think is fear and hurt in disguise. Illness and its terrifying relative hiding in the closet, mortality, are forms of abandonment. Above all, though, it sounds like your physical problems and related emotional difficulties and her reaction to the current situation, point out that the two of you need to talk - and maybe beginning with the fear that illness introduces to our lives - and maybe with the help of someone outside. Has 'in sickness and in health' been tested much in your relationship? They're too often just words parroted in a healthful, youthful ceremony but they take on their deeper meaning at the most challenging times.
Finally, it may be possible that your wife is feeling displaced by your attention to your illness and that is the subject she is actually needing to convey to you - that SHE also has needs and problems and wishes. People need to be heard and paid attention to, sick or well. Maybe you and she would want to consider that aspect, too. A relationship can grow and mature during the tough times - and there will always be some of those. Best wishes ~

Re: Illness focused?

Suzanne D on 11/07/03 at 12:45 (136697)

Very thought-provoking post, Dorothy! It was good to hear from you here on the social board. I've missed you!

Suzanne :)

Re: Illness focused?

JudyS on 11/07/03 at 12:53 (136701)

Hey Rich - yours is SUCH a common issue! I was lucky, in a way, in that my hubby had PF concurrent with mine (he had the surgery) so he's always empathised.
It's been suggested here that a PFer have their spouse, family, friend, whomever, look at this website a few times. Then, possibly, they'll 'get it'.
PF is invisible, to be sure, but it's darn difficult NOT to focus on it given that it's just plain there all the time.

Re: Illness focused?

Rick R on 11/07/03 at 13:40 (136711)

When I started having trouble with my back I was amazed at how many people were so sympathetic. Within the family there was no such contrast but in the outside world it was hudge. So many people have some idea of what back pain is like. The more common cases of PF actually work against us. Have you had the 'oh I've had that' comment like it's no big deal, as if they wanted to say just walk it off ya wimp. Not to mention that those folks condition our doctors expectations.

I have to go off and kill something with my bare hands now to stay balanced with all this sensitivity least I bring into question my gender identity and tendancies therein.

Rick

Re: Illness focused?

JudyS on 11/07/03 at 13:42 (136712)

No worries, Rick. We totally know you're a macho dude! :)

Re: Illness focused?

Rick R on 11/07/03 at 14:18 (136714)

Thank You, I feel better now, the living creatures within my reach thank you. Lord knows I'm not running anything down and there didn't happen to be any really old turtles wandering around at the moment.

Rick

Re: Illness focused?

Suzanne D. on 11/07/03 at 15:31 (136727)

That's funny, Rick! :))

Suzanne :)

Re: Illness focused?

nancy s. on 11/07/03 at 16:54 (136736)

just to be safe, though, rick, you'd better drop the quiche-eating if you're doing it.

nancy
.

Re: Illness focused?

nancy s. on 11/07/03 at 17:08 (136740)

i got my husband to read scott's heel pain book, he took a great interest in it, and for all i know it saved us from a long separation (which i might've been the one to instigate, because i cannot stand to be thought of as a big baby). just kidding about the separation part. he is THE most understanding man i ever met. but it took several months for him to come around to the maximum amount of understanding a person without pf can have. and even then, it's complicated; rick obviously knows, and dorothy mentioned many of the ways in which it gets complicated and covered the bases really well.

the pf'er and the non-pf'er have to try their darndest to communicate and to listen, but in the end there is no substitute for experiencing the limitations yourself. we're basically alone with it -- except for this message board and spouses or friends who manage to love us anyway. that last part is a process when it comes to pf. actually, i learned a great deal from that process, so it was by no means all bad, as i look back even on the worst of it.

nancy
.

Re: Illness focused?

Dorothy on 11/08/03 at 00:49 (136776)

That's nice of you, Suzanne, thank you. For the most part, I haven't been absent, just quiet. Apparently, I was the only one who was truly troubled by the webmaster's posts during the recent 'troubles', both his textual posts and the photos. So, for a while I didn't visit at all, then more regularly as a reader and then a post or two. I found that whole series of events to be very disturbing and I was not really accepting of the explanation given. I do accept that, for all of the people who are here regularly, it is water under the bridge. When I couldn't answer for myself what it was that I expected or wanted to happen as a result of those events, I decided to put it aside. So, that's that story.

Where has Marie been lately? And I have wondered where Sharon W. has been for these weeks. She didn't seem to be involved in those 'troubles' at all, to my recollection, so I have noted her absence and hope that she is OK. She posted so regularly and when she was absent, no one asked about her - which bothered me. But then, I am not a message board 'regular', here or anywhere else, so maybe it is the norm not to notice an absence.
I do think that the social/support category has improved recently with much good information, advice and suppport going on.

Re: Illness focused?

nancy s. on 11/08/03 at 05:15 (136783)

dorothy, marie has still been posting -- just not every day. nice to see you here!

nancy
.

Re: Illness focused?

Suzanne D. on 11/08/03 at 09:27 (136792)

Glad you are still here, Dorothy! I was troubled by many things during the 'upheaval' on the boards, but it seems that it can be so hard to communicate exactly what one means to say when there are difficulties like this. So sometimes I keep troubling thoughts to myself. Not always! :) But sometimes...

I, too, miss Sharon's posts and hope she is well. I remember reading some posts of hers on the 'other' board in which she appeared quite hurt over the challenges toward Dr. Ed and have assumed those feelings prompted her not to post if he did not. But those are only my observations; I certainly have no personal knowledge of this. If she is still reading, I want her to know that I wish her well and appreciate the many articles she shared with us.

Marie had posted during the tense times that she was beginning the work of starting a political board, if I remember correctly. I have thought that perhaps she is spending more time with that rather than posting as much here - although she still posts some. I may be wrong on that, too! It is just what I have surmised.

You ARE a 'regular', Dorothy! Anyone who posts more than a few times is a 'regular' to me! I did ask a week or two ago how you were here on the social board in case you were still reading.

I agree that there is a great deal of support, advice, and information going on here now! I am happy for that for the new people who have been posting and for all of us.

Take care!
Suzanne :)

Re: Illness focused?

UC on 11/08/03 at 10:36 (136806)

Rich:
You are chatting with a number of individuals here who may be well intentioned but they all make the same error. They are totally self focused on their own problems and situations and tune out the happenings in our country and world.

Focus on taking action for your problems but, beyond that, pay attention to what is going on in the world around you, international affairs, both bad and good.
UC

Re: Dorothy

marie on 11/09/03 at 10:41 (136860)

I'm around. I've been at an art teachers convention. Pretty cool to hang out with 700 art teachers. Please email me when you get a chnace. Missed you and glad you are posting. (email removed)

Re: Illness focused?

marie on 11/09/03 at 14:22 (136875)

I have spent some time working on a political board but do not wish to bring it up here. I don't think it appropriate under the circumstances. There is nothing that anyone here now and in the past can say or do that would make me dislike them. I guess I feel the answer is learning to live with all kinds of folks. Even rude or impolite people have the right to support. Just my philosophy. I am glad to see everyone chatting and hanging out.

best wishes marie

Re: Dorothy

Dorothy on 11/09/03 at 18:03 (136888)

Thanks, Marie. Glad you're back! There's always a noticeable hole in the fabric here when you or Suzanne and others are 'absent'.

Re: Dorothy

marie on 11/09/03 at 18:07 (136890)

We have good folks here.