History: In early 2007, after a lifetime of running and fitness and aerobics and teaching dance to little kids, I woke up one day and couldn't walk. It turned out that my left foot was full of deformed bones (and some extra bones, just for good measure) and that, coupled with a freakishly high tolerance for pain, led to a tremendous amount of damage to my foot. I had reconstructive foot surgery in March of 2007 and had three screws installed in my foot to fuse the midsection, thus ending my running career but not ending my pain odyssey. In March of 2008, we moved from Texas to New York and I found a new podiatrist, who, after much trial-and-error (including a brief period of time when it looked like I might end up in a wheelchair) diagnosed the pain as coming from an entirely different part of my foot (the sinus-tarsi cavity.) He built me some custom orthotics in May of 2009 which restored my mobility.
Why It's Called A FULF: When I first went to see my new podiatrist in Queens, after much examination of all that had been done during surgery and all the areas in which I still have pain, and an MRI, and multiple conversations with my doctor back in Austin, etc., etc., he gave me his Official Diagnosis. I have a FULF-- a "F**ked Up Left Foot.
I dunno. Will insurance pay to treat that?
The Miracle: I still had pain with every step I took, even with the orthotics, but it was sort of manageable. I started yoga in November of 2010, which helped stretch and keep the foot supple. There were still some days when I couldn't walk, though, and there was this sort of low-level hum of pain to everything I did. Then, in January of 2011, I started seeing an Acupuncturist, who, in conjunction with the yoga, ended my chronic pain. I still don't really understand how it worked but, as my husband says, "There was Before Acupuncture and now there is After Acupuncture." I feel like I am living a miracle.
I still see the acupuncturist every week for continued pain management, as well as a variety of other issues (like, since I limped for so long, my hips were out of alignment and had to move back into a normal position. This was painful.) and sometimes, he does a tune-up on some other weirdness from the FULF. But the pain from my sinus tarsi cavity is primarily GONE.
It's hard to explain the difference in my life. It's kind of like when I first got glasses and I walked around looking at every leaf on every tree, amazed at the clarity. Life with chronic pain is like walking around without my glasses--can't see much beyond the haze of pain. Life with glasses is SO MUCH BETTER.