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Giving UP

Posted by ElishaJ on 2/23/05 at 17:58 (169727)

Sorry to be the wet-blanket of this site. 2 years of false hopes. I've done everything, tape, orthotics, splints, heel cups, ice, ibruprofen, physical therapy, ESTW, stretching and massaging, ultrasound, and I recently had EPF 3 weeks ago. I just wonder if there are people out there that just simply stop fighting, and if so, how is that method of therapy? It is sooooo frustrating to try something new, get excited that maybe this time it will be the one thing that gives relief, to discover...NO, again, disappointment upon disappointment. Maybe just accepting the problem as forever, letting go of the daily stuggle and knowing that this is something you need to understand just is and then just let go.

So, has anyone just stop caring and accepted the pain, and if so, how is that working for you? I become more tearful as my options become less and less. I'm only 25 and can't even go grocery shopping without breaking down after out of frustration. I used to run, walk, enjoy life. Now I just find life is such a chore. My dreams are all broken, I cant even consider big dreams like having a family to little things like making a cake for my boyfriend. Maybe if it was just one foot, it would be more managable, but it is both. I used to care about helping others and listening to their problems, but now I cant get over my own selfishness. So, has the method of just giving up worked for anyone? Or should I just cut off my feet? (which we all know I really wont do)

Re: Giving UP

Dorothy on 2/23/05 at 18:23 (169731)

ElishaJ -

Bless your heart. You're not a wet blanket of this site; most of us have been where you are right now emotionally and many of us have setbacks from time to time of one kind or another and we revisit that emotional place again. As to your question of acceptance of the pain, letting go of the daily struggle and so on....there are a variety of interpretations of that. Julie here has addressed it in certain ways. Some writers have written on the subject. It depends on what one means by 'acceptance' and 'giving up' - one can find a measure of peace in acceptance, depending...
Dreams aren't written in stone. Not for anyone at any age, but certainly not for a 25 year old. Dreams for all of us are written in sand. Make new dreams. You can consider 'big dreams like having a family' - many of us here have families. Many people with big pain and big problems have families. It's hard, you are right and life sure can feel like a chore when things are no longer easy. But you have a challenge in your life that you didn't have before. Find out what you are made of. I bet it's sturdier stuff than you are giving yourself credit for.
I'm sure others wiser than I will write well to you, but I hope you take heart, ElishaJ. Things can be worse and they can be better; it's life.
Best wishes to you~

Re: No, don't "give up"

Julie on 2/24/05 at 03:08 (169772)


But do stop 'fighting' your pain. Try to accept it. Because if you don't resist it and fight it, if you accept it and let it in, you will have less pain and the pain you do have will be easier to tolerate and to live with. The simple physiological explanation for this is that fighting and resisting create muscular tension which worsens the pain. This naturally affects your emotional state and your capacity to cope with your whole situation.

It will help you greatly to learn to relax your muscles and your mind. Look around in your area for classes that offer relaxation and meditation, and attend one until you are able to use the technique(s) you learn at home, and use them every day. With regular practice, the effects are cumulative. If there is no such class near you, buy a good relaxation cassette or CD there are many, and use it every day. I've made one (a cassette) myself that has helped a lot of people, and can recommend others: go to this website http://www.syclondon.com/ and on the home page you'll see a paragraph about CDs by Swami Pragyamurti. They're all excellent and effective, and the one I would recommend for you is 'Deep Relaxation, Sankalpa, and Yoga Nidra'. Or you can email me (julie fried @ clara. co uk - without spaces) and I can send you mine (but Swami P's is better).

I would also suggest you read 'The Power of Now' by Eckart Tolle. He has a great deal to say about pain, and dealing with it, and the book was immensely helpful to me during several weeks of intense, constant back pain.

I've limited my comments to things that I hope will help you to cope with your physical pain. If you go down this road, you will find that you are helped with your emotional pain as well. It IS terrible to be 25 and to fear you are facing a lifetime of disability. But that probably is not true, difficult though it may be for you to believe this right now. If you tackle the physical pain, and your response to it, you will, I think, begin to feel better at every level.

Re: Giving UP

april l on 2/24/05 at 07:45 (169779)

EPF surgery takes 6 months to a year to become pain free. I am totally pain free now, but 3 weeks after the surgery I was in WORSE pain than ever! Please know that it can get better. Are you in physical therapy? Stretching too, will help the healing process. I strongly believe that healing from EPF is work and babying your foot makes it worse. I had the surgery on both feet, 7 years apart, and the same exact thing happened both times....a long recovery. It's worth it.

Re: Giving UP

Kathy G on 2/24/05 at 08:47 (169781)


I'm so sorry that you are feeling so down. Everyone here has given you good advice. We've all had those days when we figure we will never get any better and may as well throw in the towel. But things will get better. You're young and you'll beat this with proper post-surgical therapy. Of course, people with foot pain have families and if you want one, you will have one someday. It's just that in the wave of post-surgical pain and depression, it seems to be out of the question. But that's now and thing will change for you.

Keep in mind that many of the posters here are completely cured, at least to the point where they have learned to 'listen' to their feet and as long as they don't overdo it, they have returned to their prior way of life. The odds are in your favor that you'll join their ranks eventually.

Julie is right. You need to accept the pain because pain seems to feed upon itself. The more pain you have, the tenser you become. The tenser you become, the more pain you have. It's a vicious circle. Having said that, I must ask if you have discussed your pain level and your discouragement with your doctor or physical therapist? Are you on the proper pain medications and rehabilitation regime? If you don't let them know how much discomfort and despair you're having, they can't help you.

It takes the human body a minimum of six weeks after any kind of surgery to recover. If you're particular surgery has a rehabilitation period of six months, don't give up after just three weeks.

I know this is all very easy for me to say; I'm not the one who just had surgery. But try to keep your chin up and think positive thoughts and we will all do the same for you.

And don't ever hesitate to come here and vent! That's what we're here for!
Good luck to you and may you find the pain and despair improve daily.

Re: Giving UP...NOT...dealing with, YES

Linda V. on 2/24/05 at 10:19 (169789)

When someone on this board suggested a book called THE MIND BODY PRESCRIPTION by Dr. John Sarno, I figured, hey, why not? I had tried a lot of other things like you. So I spent 14 bucks on this book, and was amazed at what I learned about pain, and how to deal with it. I saw myself in each chapter...things like...'My pain is the first thing I think about in the morning, and the last thing I think about at night.' I learned how being tense can make your blood vessels smaller, and therefore not let healing blood and oxygen get to the distant areas (like feet!) He specifically mentioned PF in several areas.
Best money I spent in a long time. That book, along with the other methods of stretching, orthotics, rest, etc....and patience...have helped me tremendously as I now feel I am 90% better than I was at this time last year. Like you, my PF was in both feet. So, ElishaJ, think about this small, easy to read paperback. And HANG IN THERE and keep posting on this board. Its a wonderful place.

Re: Giving UP

ElishaJ on 2/24/05 at 12:50 (169801)

I think you are wise and I like what you say about are dreams being made in sand. I am reading all the great advice everyone from this site is giving me, and it is tough to feel so sorry for myself when you are all so positive. Im not sure why I think I could give up--it's not human nature. Thanks for the reassurance, it helps.

Re: No, don't "give up"

ElishaJ on 2/24/05 at 13:46 (169804)

Wow, thanks for the assurance. You are right, that I do need to learn how to relax, I find myself worrying all the time, and my boyfriend probably wonders if anyone else cries more than I do. I actually already looked at those CDs to help with relaxing and they look intriguing and a little stranges. SO, do you just listen to them, or is it interactive??? I guess I sure am learning a lot about acceptance and struggling with how to do that.

Re: No, don't "give up"

Julie on 2/24/05 at 14:14 (169808)

A relaxation CD is meant to help you practise relaxation. You don't just listen to it, because the aim of it is to help you let go of muscular tension and you can't do that by just listening.

The best position for relaxation is lying on the floor, on your back, with some padding such as a carpet or a folded folded blanket under you, and possibly a small cushion under your head. If you have lower back pain and you aren't comfortable with your legs straight, you can put a few pillows, or a bolster, under your knees: this will take the strain off your lower back.

Your feet should be a comfortable distance apart, about 12 inches, and your arms a little away from your body, with your palms facing up and your shoulders sinking into the floor, your head and neck in good alignment with your spine, so that you're lying in a nice straight line.

In this position you'll listen to the CD and follow the instructions, which will probably include focusing on different parts of your body and letting go of tension in them. It may also include visualisation. If you've chosen well and the instructor and the instructions are good, you will eventually (probably not the first couple of times) find yourself entering a more relaxed state.

You do need to practise regularly - and don't be impatient.

Good luck, and let me know how you get on.

Re: Giving UP

ElishaJ on 2/24/05 at 16:45 (169818)

I like what you say. It is wonderful to know that someone has had this procedure--and that it actually worked!! Personally I'm doubtful, if one of these methods were going to work, it should've happened by now. Did your fascia start to grow back, and when it did, did it feel very sore right in front of the inside part of the heel? I guess either the tendon will reattach longer and with less pull or it will just reattach the same way it was before.

Re: Giving UP

ElishaJ on 2/24/05 at 17:29 (169820)

Gee, when I read your comments it really helps to feel better about the surgery and that I still have hope. I really thought that I should know the outcome within 5 weeks, but 6 months is a new realization.

Re: Giving UP...NOT...dealing with, YES

ElishaJ on 2/24/05 at 17:47 (169823)

Linda, I hope someday I can be at a place where I can give the same good reccomendations to others that you have given to me. (also I wouldn't mind be 90% better either), do you really just think it was the pain book that allowed you to heal? Also, I do think that I will keep coming to this site, because everyone seems geniunely concerned.

Re: Giving UP...NOT...dealing with, YES

Linda V. on 2/24/05 at 21:26 (169849)

I don't think the pain book itself allowed me to heal physically, but I truly believe it helped put me in a frame of mind that made me NOT focus on the pain...and yes, I believe THAT helped my healing. It healed my mind a bit, and I think that it also helped me look at other areas of my life that had (emotional) pain I was NOT dealing with. And that stagnating pain in my mind was coming out PHYSICALLY in other areas (namely, my darned FEET!
I am a nurse, and I have seen quite a bit in my career. I have seen people with positive, healthy attitudes do so much amazingly better than those who tend to focus on the problem and the pain. I have seen a spontaneous cure from a terminal patient.
I believe, that in some cases, your brain can dictate what your body does. Isn't that why an anxiety attack can cause you to sweat, your heart to race, etc? My chemo patients could just 'think' about chemo and could instantly vomit if their brains programmed them that way. So, yes, I think its possible for some of us, in some degree, to 'tell' our brains that we don't ACCEPT this pain...by the way, Ann Bancroft and Howard Stern both suffered from chronic back pain and say this book changed their lives.
There is nothing you can lose by reading this book. Except 14 bucks (cheaper on e-bay, free borrow from a library. I'll bet you an ice cream sundae that you wouldn't regret reading it. Just keep an open mind..and also continue with your other healing methods. You can lick this. You need to---you have way too much healthy living to do!

Re: Giving UP...NOT...dealing with, YES

Julie on 2/25/05 at 01:04 (169856)

Elisha, if you keep that hope in the forefront of your mind - that you will someday be at a place from where you can help others as you have been helped - you will be all right.

Re: Giving UP

Suzanne D. on 2/26/05 at 08:11 (169939)

Elisha, I don't think you are selfish. You are, naturally, caught up in your pain because you cannot get it off your mind. It is ever-present, and I believe that is the most insidious thing knowing that can help you a little.

I wouldn't say I ever 'accepted' the pain and stopped caring, but I would say that I accepted the fact that the pain wasn't going to go away quickly and that nothing was going to be an instant cure. After reading on this site, I determined to do everything I could to make myself get better, and I set to work doing those things. Then, every improvement, no matter how slight, was cause for celebration and hope. I sincerely hope it can be that way for you.

Keep reading and posting and doing all you can do, Elisha. Know that we are here for you!

Suzanne :)

Re: Giving UP

Ed on 2/27/05 at 19:47 (170082)


I went through all of the treatments you went through and had EPF surgery in December of 2003. My pain was only transferred to other areas of the foot and I don't expect it to get any better. Maybe yours will work. Good Luck.