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Hi again this week!

Posted by Rachael T. on 1/31/04 at 12:36 (143324)

Hi to all esp. those oldies who know me well. I am merely dropping in while at library as yes, I am still wintering in Fla. Won't go home till March & I am enjoying the sun & moreso - I am enjoying the fact that my SDOs from Dr. Kiper are doing me good!!! I am biking daily, swimming on most warm days, have shopped at the mall, & ride a horse weekly - I continue to improve & have not had a major nor a minor setback for sometime....I PRAY this continues. I see a sox conv. going on here--& I like Thorlos too - but they're too warm down here.....so, I am presently wearing Haines which are ok when they're fairly new...the padding under the foot, does breakdown aft. some washing times. I hope you all are doing well too....I didn't read all the posts of late as I am not at lib. daily -- but I did see that Carole C. was in some pain of late....is that correct? I am sorry & hope to hear differently soon! Steve G.....? Are you still Brooksing it - or otherwise? I continue to wear my Brooks regularly & for lots of hrs. daily w/ my SDOs - I thnk the SDOs are helpful.

Re: Hi again this week!

Suzanne D. on 1/31/04 at 14:57 (143332)

So glad you're still doing well, Rachael! Soak up some of that sun for the rest of us. It's COLD here in KY right now!

I think it was Carol C., not Carole C., whose post you read. That almost through me off, too! Our Carole C. is doing well, I believe.

Take care, and keep doing well!
Suzanne :)

Re: Hi again this week!

Carole C in NOLA on 1/31/04 at 16:36 (143338)

Yes, I'm fine! My feet are not hurting, I'm losing weight, and I'm gingerly attempting once again to ride my exercycle more regularly. Glad to hear you are doing well, Rachael. :)

Carole C

Re: Hi again this week!

Kathy G on 2/01/04 at 09:05 (143363)

Nice to hear from you, Rachael. I'm glad you're enjoying the warm climate and doing well!

Re: Hi again this week!

Rachael T on 2/04/04 at 11:42 (143620)

Way to go Carole C -- weight loss congrats to you! Great to hear from you....& it is nice to post to all of you!

Re: Hi again this week!

Carole C in NOLA on 2/07/04 at 13:36 (143870)

Thanks, Rachael! I am still very heavy but I've lost 16.2 pounds since January 3rd with Weight Watchers. I am riding my exercycle 2-3 miles every day. Today I also walked briskly for 2/3 mile for exercise. No pain at all!!! This is more exercise than I used to do before PF, so I'm pleased. I plan to keep at it and increase my distance.

To those in pain right now, please know that it is possible to return to your former level of activity after PF!

Carole C

Re: Hi again this week!

Dorothy on 2/07/04 at 14:20 (143873)

Carole C. - If you don't mind my asking - what kind of surface are you walking on? What do you have on your feet? What all have you done for your PF? Did you have any other foot conditions along with PF? How long did/do you have PF? Do you attribute anything(s) in particular with your apparent full recovery? Has your mood changed because of improved foot/body health or has your foot/body health improved because your mood changed? Do you have a lot of weight to lose (you say you are 'still very heavy' but that means different things to different people.)I am happy for you and I want to know your 'secrets'. If you don't want to/don't want to take the time to share all this information - no problem.

Re: Hi again this week!

Carole C in NOLA on 2/07/04 at 20:38 (143893)

Dorothy, I'd be glad to answer your questions. For convenience, I have numbered them and will follow each with my answer.

1. 'what kind of surface are you walking on?'

I'm just walking on a sidewalk. When I can do 2 miles, I plan to walk on the 2 mile asphalt track in a local park. Grass is probably better, but that is my honest answer. I would urge anyone reading NOT to walk on a sidewalk if it causes even the slightest pain, though.

2. 'What do you have on your feet? '

New Balance 991's, no orthotics, when I walk. I do wear my custom orthotics when I ride my exercycle, though, because I seem to get PF if I don't.

3. 'What all have you done for your PF?'

I got my PF in September, 2001, and it was diagnosed in November, 2001 by my rheumatologist. He sent me to a C.Ped, who made me some wonderful custom orthotics the first week in December, 2001. After that, I just treated my PF myself. I rested my feet to the extreme, and did not even do grocery shopping or anything else except go to my desk job at work. When I overdid it, I iced my feet by placing them on a bag of frozen peas on and off for a half hour or so. Every day I did gentle stretching similar to Julie's Yoga stretches (click on the word Yoga for a description). I always stretched before standing or getting out of bed. I did not stand for even a minute or walk even a step without my custom orthotics or Birkenstock sandals, and I wore shower shoes in the shower and had a shower stool. I was on Celebrex for my arthritis, though it didn't seem to do much for my PF. I also tried a whole lot of things that didn't work for me, until I figured out that the self treatments I'm describing were what helped me.

It took about 9 months to become totally pain free, but then I got PF a second time and though milder, the second case of PF took longer to resolve. Both times my PF was caused by riding my exercycle incorrectly. Now with the seat re-adjusted, the tension lessened, my orthotics in use, and paying attention to my form to make sure my feet aren't flopping around, I seem to be doing fine with the exercycle.

4. 'Did you have any other foot conditions along with PF? '

Yes, my doctor specifically mentioned Achilles tendonitis and other tendonitises, and bursitis, and said there was more but that these often seem to appear together in a sort of syndrome. The Achilles tendonitis was pretty bad, and I found the gentle stretching to be absolutely vital in treating that.

5.'How long did/do you have PF?'

The first case began on September 22, 2001. It was a very severe case and I was miserable. By March, 2002, I was able to lead a relatively normal life again although I had to keep up the treatments I described above. But, I could go grocery shopping, go to Walmart, and so on, if I took care not to overdo. I even went to sea on a working cruise that month (I'm an oceanographer). By June, 2002, I was pain free.

The date when the second (and much, much milder) case of PF began is harder to recall but it was probably in the fall of 2002 (?). I recovered from that and was pretty much pain free for a few months, and then completely pain free for a few months, before beginning to exercise. That was because I wanted to wait and make sure that my feet were strong enough. I feel that I do better with PF if I do LESS than I think I can do (because setbacks really slow down my recovery).

6. 'Do you attribute anything(s) in particular with your apparent full recovery?'

Reading this board, asking questions, and making my feet my number one priority. I rested my feet much more than most people here. Every time I thought I *had* to do something on my feet, I'd re-evaluate it and figure out a way to not do it. Yes, I was a 'couch potato' for a few months. But now I'm doing more than ever, and some of those who decided they wouldn't be a 'couch potato' because the idea wasn't appealing, are still hurting. Rest is not appealing to anybody with any pride, and it is frankly demoralizing, but I think it is necessary during the acute, severe stages of PF, in the first two or three months. Also, besides rest I think that my custom orthotics helped, and so did Birkenstock shoes.

7. 'Has your mood changed because of improved foot/body health or has your foot/body health improved because your mood changed?'

Very definitely my mood has changed because I'm not in constant pain any more. I now experience the usual ups and downs of life, which includes some really depressing times; however, the difference is that such times only last a few days or weeks now and they were constant when my PF pain was bad. I've noticed that foot pain causes me to get depressed, but getting depressed doesn't cause me foot pain these days. I think I understand your question, because when my PF was severe, I didn't know which came first, the chicken or the egg - - the foot pain or the depression. I can say for sure that the foot pain is the cause of the depression, not the reverse.

8. 'Do you have a lot of weight to lose (you say you are 'still very heavy' but that means different things to different people.)'

I am about 140 pounds overweight. I was only about 100 pounds overweight when I first got PF, but all that sitting around with no exercise took its toll.

As for other 'secrets', I'd add that you should never do anything that is painful for your feet. Never! Avoid anything that could cause even a minor relapse because a little re-injury can impede healing. Be fanatical about doing *everything* you can for your feet. Get help with your responsibilities (especially if you have little children or a family to care for). Come to the message board for information and moral support, since most people who haven't had this awful condition aren't too sympathetic.

I hope these answers are helpful! Thanks for your interest.

Carole C

Re: Hi again this week!

Dorothy on 2/07/04 at 21:25 (143897)

Carole C.: Thank you for the truly marvelous, generous response to my questions. I appreciate it so much and am sure that many others will, too. It is a great tutorial, as well as a description that provides hope. This short little paragraph doesn't do justice to the information you provided, but I am grateful - and encouraged. And continued good health and strength and progress to you! You are doing several things that require discipline, intelligence and courage (dealing with the specter of foot problems, losing weight, exercise routine, for example..)and you have my respect. Best wishes and thank you again.

Re: Hi again this week!

Carole C in NOLA on 2/07/04 at 23:28 (143906)

Aw! You made my day with your sweet remarks. I suffered miserably with my first case of PF and the worst part was how hopeless I felt then. Back then Dr. Z helped me by giving me an encouraging statistic of what percentage of PF patients eventually recover completely. I think it might have been something like 90-95%. Other people on this site helped me and encouraged me too; I needed a lot of encouragement and I owe them all a lot.

But anyway, it makes me feel good if I can help anybody else who might be feeling as discouraged and despondent as I once felt.

Carole C

Re: Dorothy and Carole...

Suzanne D. on 2/08/04 at 19:53 (143959)

Hi, Dorothy! I've missed reading posts from you lately and was glad to see your name tonight when I came to this board. :)

And, yes, Carole does such a wonderful job of explaining things thoroughly and concisely (It's easy to believe she's a scientist!). She's helped many people here, including me!

Have a good week, Dorothy and Carole!
Suzanne :)

Re: Dorothy and Carole...

Dorothy on 2/09/04 at 01:03 (143971)

Thank you, Suzanne - that is very nice of you. I had some unpleasant, rude, and even ugly, experiences here not too very long ago. No one said anything in my defense, except for a supportive comment from Kathy, and I was troubled by that. I decided to stay away, but I do read from time to time.
There are some lovely, generous, kind and openhearted people here, and you are certainly one of them. You are quite right about Carole's post; I found it very helpful and will refer to it.

Re: Dorothy and Carole...

Suzanne D. on 2/09/04 at 06:49 (143974)

I'm sorry, Dorothy. I think I must have missed that, and I wish it hadn't happened to you. This is such a unique medium of communication, and I think we are quite vulnerable to hurt as well as open to wonderful experiences as we share our lives on these boards. We put our feelings and innermost thoughts 'out there', and sometimes we feel they are trampled on. That, of course, hurts, and sometimes others are oblivious to the fact.

Do come back and post when you feel you can. You are missed!

Suzanne :)

Re: Dorothy and Carole...

john h on 2/09/04 at 08:33 (143976)

Dorothy: Do not let rude people drive you away else they win and you lose. I have taken a few weeks away sometimes just to refresh my mind and get a new perspective. You and I sometimes disagree but I for one will miss your presence.

Re: Dorothy and Carole...

Carole C in NOLA on 2/09/04 at 08:55 (143978)

Sorry to hear that, Dorothy... I must have totally missed whatever happened because I sure don't remember anything like that. Glad to see you back and glad if my post is helpful.

Carole C

Re: Dorothy and Carole...

Dorothy on 2/10/04 at 20:09 (144063)

Thank you, John. That means a lot to me and I appreciate it.

Re: Dorothy and Carole...

Dorothy on 2/10/04 at 20:10 (144064)

Bless your heart, Suzanne. Thank you.