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Sobbing, is this normal?

Posted by Maria S. on 11/20/03 at 13:59 (138102)

I have never cried over pain in my adult life. Not during three childbirths, not in the Army when I was made to lie down with my elbows driven into hard gravel for hours at a time (my previous all time pain high). Not with a serious back injury, or with tendonitis so bad I couldn't raise my arm. But THIS.... this PF is a whole new level- it made me cry. :(

Last night I had to take my daughter to a school function and through circumstances beyond my control had to park way out in the parking lot and after traversing that had to go ALL the way around the stadium to find the school group. On the return trip, when we finally got into the parking lot I started crying from the pain. Uncontrollable sobs. Racking, gasping, shuddering sobs. Step by step I finally made it back to the van. My daughter was appalled. I was embarrassed.... but what can you do? I HAD to get to that van to get home.

Has this sort of thing happened to anyone else?
I'm new to this, can you tell?

Re: Sobbing, is this normal?

Suzanne D on 11/20/03 at 14:13 (138106)

Yes, Maria, you are normal! I think it is the unrelenting, ever-present pain which is so hard to get off your mind! I don't have much time now, Maria, but I'll quickly say I understand. Once I was at a Parent's Day at my daughter's college at which all the band parents were to be honored. We had to walk a LONG way to the football stadium and then out to the field to be recognized. I thought I wouldn't make it...I understand!

Suzanne :)

Re: Sobbing, is this normal?

marie on 11/20/03 at 14:50 (138116)

You're not alone. It has happened in some way to all of us here.

best wishes marie

Re: Sobbing, is this normal?

Maria S. on 11/20/03 at 15:07 (138124)

Thanks. The look on my daughter's face was rather.... unforgettable. For that reason alone, I'm gonna be careful about overdoing it from now on.

I wonder if I ought to invest in a wheelchair. Seeing as how I'm just starting out on this.

Re: Sobbing, is this normal?

marie on 11/20/03 at 15:49 (138128)

I found a used wheel chair in the trader. It cost $100. but it was worth it. It gave me some freedom. Also consider asking your doctor for a temporary handicap sticker. Your daughter will grow from this experience. It's hard to be in such pain. Listen to your feet. It's more important to care of yourself now. Give yourself a break, talk to your daughter and help her understand how serious this is.

best wishes marie

Re: Sobbing, is this normal?

Sher A on 11/20/03 at 16:01 (138131)

>Has this sort of thing happened to anyone else?

Sure Maria, all the time. Wait until you ask a doctor to help you out with the pain. My sobbing and crying has turned to pure anger at the doctors who refused to believe that I had any kind of pain and that I just made up this whole thing and spent so much of my hard earned dollars for the heck of it, and who blacklisted me at my darkest hour. This kind of pain will take anyone down.

I had the second shot in my heel and I am hoping so much that this will have finally kept it in remission forever. I'll be happy with even for awhile. My pain is now at a 4 instead of a 10.

I'd just like to tell the doctors who decided that I was an addict, or a criminal, or wasn't really suffering to shove it, and may they get to experience it for themselves one day. Now if only my nerves would heal, it would be a great help. Just try to keep your chin up, follow the advice here, and make yourself determined to beat this thing.

Re: wheelchair

Maria S. on 11/20/03 at 16:06 (138132)

Ahhh... good idea! I'll have to take a look at the local ads, or run one myself. Thanks! :)

Re: wheelchair

Kathy G on 11/20/03 at 17:29 (138147)


I, too, am kind of in a hurry right now but I want to tell you that I truly believe that most of us have felt like crying, from both the pain and utter frustration of PF! Constant pain can just wear you down. It doesn't matter how strong you are; it's the fact that it is just unrelenting.

Definitely ask your doctor for a temporary Handicapped Permit and use it! Don't do as I did and keep it in the glove compartment thinking that you shouldn't take up a space that someone else may need. YOU need it.

I'd also suggest talking about pain management with your doctor. I can't remember, forgive me, if you are taking anything but it would seem you should be.

Good luck and don't worry about your daughter. I used to embarrass my daughter (and son) just by my very existence when they were in high school!:D Seriously, she will only grow up to be a more compassionate person if she's exposed to other's suffering at a young age. Those were the words of my mother's neurologist regarding me when I was in high school and was her primary caretaker. I'd like to think it worked!

Take care and don't worry. This will pass; it really will. Okay, I'm off to my meeting!

Re: Sobbing, is this normal?

Ellen J on 11/20/03 at 18:36 (138153)

Hi Maria,
Wow, I'm sorry your feet hurt so much. I've read some posts where some people were able to get their doctors to help them get handicap stickers (or whatever they are called) for their cars so they can park closer to buildings. Also, you might want to call the doctor, hospital or local medical supply store and see if you can rent a wheelchair, as others have suggested. I'm not sure if you can, but it seems I have heard of them being for rent, which might be alot less expensive for short term use. Also, I was at my local medical supply store recently and saw a relatively inexpensive wheelchair for sale. It was small, sleek and lightweight. Might be worth checking into--but call around first to save your poor feet from doing unnecessary legwork.
Ellen J.

Re: Sobbing, is this normal?

Pam S. on 11/20/03 at 22:02 (138182)

Dear Maria:
Your post is very compelling and I truly feel for you. We all have pain in common and yes we have all experienced what you are going through. I just think early on it is a helpless feeling. Just follow what these good folks tell you and never give up. You WILL get better but it takes alot of patience and willpower. You will learn to be your own self advocate like you never have before. I hope your healing process it not too lengthy. I know it is hard when you have school age children. Most of us do/did. Thinking of you, Warmly,Pam

Re: Sobbing, is this normal?

Dorothy on 11/20/03 at 23:41 (138191)

Sher ~ I posted an article yesterday about some current thinking about pain treatment and pain from nerve problems. If it sounds useful to you, you might want to print it out and give it to your next doctor.
It might help pave a way for you.

Re: Sobbing, is this normal?

Julie on 11/21/03 at 02:06 (138194)


You've had lots of yes answers, but I'll add mine too. Yes. It's normal. I think it was even good for your daughter to see you crying: she will be in no doubt now how bad your pain is. One of the difficulties with PF is that because it is an 'invisible' affliction - no blood, no missing limb - it's hard for family members and friends to take it seriously (unless they've experienced it themselves). Now your daughter knows, and that's a good thing.

The pain of PF is particularly intense because your entire weight of your body is being carried by the injured part. When you had tendonitis you weren't walking on your hands. Not were you walking on your elbows when they were boring into the gravel!

Someone mentioned a disabled permit. You really should try to get one. The regulations vary from state to state, and some people here have found it difficult; others have had little or no trouble. You shouldn't ever have to walk the distances you walked that night just because you couldn't get a parking place near your destination.

I know it's a real 'sea change' from being able to do everything you want to do, walk any distance, etc, to suddenly NOT being able to and having to 'watch your steps'. It's very hard for an active person to adjust to that. It was almost unbearable for me. But try and get that strong mind of yours working on accepting the reality of your situation: you have to, if you want to heal. It helped me to keep telling myself: This is how it is now.

Think creatively about what you can do to help yourself. High on the list is developing strategies for minimising the time you spend on your feet.

Crying is a great release. So don't be embarrassed!


Maria S. on 11/21/03 at 08:56 (138218)

It was FEAR, not pain that was making me cry. Fear that I wouldn't make it back to the van. Fear that someone would notice. Fear that my daughter was hating me for embarrassing her. Fear that I was injuring myself further.

Fear is a pain amplifier!

Eliminate the fear- and the pain just isn't very important any more. Sure, it's there.... but so what? It's not like my brain is going to explode from pain overload or something.

WOW! I feel better already. It's like this black cloud has been hanging over my head for the past couple of weeks, and now the sun has come out again! :) So many, many fears I've had since this PF started (that I hadn't consciously admitted) -- but now that I examine them I find that they aren't that scary.

Eliminate the fear..... Tricky to do, but WORTH IT! :)

(Admittedly, this is a very fine morning and I really don't know if I'll feel this way when I'm tired and worn out at the end of the day and REALLY hurting---- but it sure seems logical right now! :) )

Re: wheelchair

Aly R. on 11/21/03 at 09:20 (138220)

Hi Maria,

I was able to buy a used wheelchair from a local medical supplies company that rented them out. You might see if that's an option in your area. (Getting a w/c gave me back a big part of my life! I highly recommend it...)



Carole C in NOLA on 11/21/03 at 09:39 (138222)

It really IS scary to be out in the middle of a huge parking lot like that, and not know if you can make it to the car! The idea of drawing everyone's attention is embarrassing, too.

I'm glad you had this 'revelation'! It's a lot easier to deal with the known than with the unknown.

Glad you are enjoying this fine morning, and I hope your feet are doing reasonably well so far. :)

Carole C


JudyS on 11/21/03 at 10:17 (138225)

Maria - you WILL feel this way at the end of the day even if your feet are killing you - here's why...
You've already discovered a component of the biggest part of PF - the component is fear and the bigger part is a sense of no control. Because you know that the fear can be somewhat controlled by your thought process you've cleared a hurdle.
Now, we all know that mere thinking can't eliminate the pain in our feet but we can at least GIVE ourselves a sense of control. Even if the control is simple - like a measured amount of rest each hour, or taping every day, or icing, or ibuprofen - at least we're the ones in charge.
PF is not a mystery - it's just a plain old inflammation! It's just that it's in such a testy spot - as Julie has described so well. Therefore it's very tough to work with. Just by virtue of it's location, it cannot heal as quickly as other inflammations.
But Maria - that doesn't mean that it can't heal. It can. It can with commitment to the traditional therapies described at HS.com but it takes awhile. Some folks can't wait the weeks or months it can take or some, after trying for awhile, opt for ESWT or surgery.
The point being that, now that you know about the fear, you can begin to give yourself a sense of control. Go for it!

Re: Sobbing, is this normal?

Sher A on 11/21/03 at 13:38 (138252)

No Dorothy, I gave up on it a long time ago. They are all in in the same mindset that if you can't prove your pain with it showing up in a test or on an xray, then it isn't there, and you are just out shopping. And they won't treat you. Yes, there are some doctors who do realize that not all pain holds up a sign to identify itself, but finding them is a very long and uphill battle and there are a lot of dead ends to run into before you can get help, at least over in my part of the country. I have a lot of friends who have just turned 50 and are consequently beginning to experience discomforts, and are discovering the frustrations of trying to find someone willing to help them without physical proof of pain - they don't see it in an xray, bloodtest, or other means. That is one of the awful things about PF, you can't look at an xray or a blood test and say 'look, this person has chronic PF and needs help'. I think it's going to take a whole movement to change things.


Dorothy on 11/21/03 at 15:42 (138270)

You have reached a VERY significant insight, Maria S. This is an extremely important revelation for any person in pain to achieve. It is one of the key elements in Dr. Sarno's treatment of back problems/pain. It is something that I, too, realized - much later than you! - in the past with back problems. I realized again that it was rearing its ugly head in my life with PF. Your statement 'Fear is a pain amplifier' is brilliant.
Fear also creates its own pain, independent of its amplifying pain already in place. So it's a 'loop' worth exploring and understanding. Even for people who are otherwise optimists in life, pain can throw them a curveball. For those of us who might be given to a darker view of things, it is a very short leap from pain to every worst case scenario imaginable. Well, I won't go on and on about this - except to say 'good for you'. It's a special kind of breakthrough. How we see things, our perspective, can make a tremendous difference in what they do to us.
Last night, I was watching 'Mystery' on PBS and one of the characters said 'You can look at the world and think it's full of hate. You can look at the world and think it's full of love. It's the same world...'
(Approximate quote) Same with how we approach anything in life.
I'm no expert. Still learning these 'lessons' myself. Best wishes~


Julie on 11/21/03 at 16:01 (138275)


You ARE taking control!

Do you remember FDR's often quoted remark: 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself'? Fear IS frightening, and it can be overwhelming, crippling. But, like the child's nighttime 'monster' lurking in the dark closet, when we open the door and shine a light on it, it loses its power over us.

The key to facing fear and dealing with it is to look clearly at the reality of whatever situation we're in, and see it as it is.

You're doing that, and PF can't win now.



Ellen J on 11/21/03 at 16:40 (138286)

I think that is true, and it's easy to be afraid of alot of things with P.F. I remember being afraid to walk for fear of causing my feet to get worse. In turn, the altered gait caused by the fear did make my feet worse, I think. Although I do think it's helpful to walk slower, at least, and take smaller steps. Also, the fear of never getting over it was a biggie. There is one fear that can be helpful and I would label that 'healthy caution', which would take the form of trying anything new very carefully. The hard part to figure out is when to be more daring and try something new like walking farther or faster. That's when your instincts can be your guide, I guess. I think you'll feel less fearful as your feet start to heal up. Great that you figured it out. I think it took me a lot more time to figure out that fear played such a big role for me.
Ellen J.


marie on 11/21/03 at 18:05 (138300)

It's so nice to hear that you are feeling better and in control. Fear is an overwhelming emotion.

Best wishes to your continued success!