Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief



I’ve had trouble with plantar fasciitis over the years, but last September it got worse than its ever been. I did everything my podiatrist told me to do. I bought expensive hiking sneakers for walking in the woods with Taffy. I bought croc flip-flops to wear all the time so I can’t be the barefoot girl anymore. I went to physical therapy three times a week. I bought the night splint to wear during sleep. I have a frozen water bottle I use when needed, and I bought the heel inserts he recommended.

That worked for a few months, but I had another flare up about two months ago. It gets pretty bad- like I can’t walk at all bad. Like the pain takes my breath away bad. I went back to the doc and asked if I am going to have to live with this the rest of my life. He said no, I could have a minor surgery where they snip the tendon. It’s 90% effective and people love it. Okay.

Enter Summer. Summer is one of those people who is almost always right. She knows stuff about stuff, no matter what the stuff is that you are talking about. There have been many, many times that I have sought to prove her wrong, only to have to come back and sheepishly tell her that she was right again. Sometimes I make it my mission to be able to come back and tell her Ha! I got ya! But it never works.

Anyhow, Summer tells me that she knows dozens of people with this condition and no one has ever had surgery. If it’s that effective, why wouldn’t more people have had it? She suggested (and with Summer that means STRONGLY suggested) that I get a second opinion. She knows my doc Grace and loves her as much as I do.

This started a big pain in the butt journey. I adore Grace and trust her with my life- literally. She only refers me to the best of the best. Always. She had recommended my doc years ago, but gave me the name of a highly respected orthopedic surgeon to get a second opinion from. Just what I wanted. Another appointment.

She is great. But after a two and a half hour appointment, she explains to me that orthopedics and podiatrists are sometimes at odds, and this particular condition is one they polarize on. Great. She NEVER recommends the surgery. She gets the people who end up with permanent nerve damage in their feet for the rest of their lives. Never get the surgery. Instead, there is a treatment with shock waves that is highly recommended. And let’s get an MRI just to make sure there is nothing else going on with your foot.

Now I am stumped. Two excellent doctors. Both adamant in their positions. What the heck am I supposed to do?

I do my own research on-line and end up in the same predicament. Both protocols are highly successful. The problem with the shock treatment, is there is only one option in all of Buffalo. And my insurance won’t cover it. It’s $500 and three weeks of treatment and I can’t get in for another three weeks. That’s the brilliance of our current insurance mentality. They won’t pay $500 for a treatment, but will pay $7,000 for a surgery. Only in America.

MRI comes back without any surprises so yesterday I meet with Grace. I tell her I plan to wring her neck. She tells me she loves me because she knows I’m going to come in completely armed with information. I’ve done all my research, done all the tests, but am completely stumped with what to do. In the mean time, I have been going out of my mind with the foot pain.

Grace tells me there are two docs in our area that have hit nerves and caused damages, just like doc #2 said. However, my doc is NOT one of them. In fact, he has NEVER botched up the surgery. Ever. She reminds me that she would never send me to anyone that wasn’t top-notch, and says I can whole heartedly proceed with the surgery. She just wanted me to have all the facts.

I was actually relieved. I’m not a huge surgery fan, but I am sick of the pain, and don’t have a spare $500 bucks lying around. So tomorrow morning, I am going in for the surgery.

Grace and I laughed. We decided if I’m the one in a million exception and my doc wrecks my foot for life, that GRACE will be the one to answer to Summer. No way in hell I’m going to tell her. LOL! We agreed Summer is a force to be reckoned with and I’m lucky to have her in my corner.

Say some prayers tomorrow morning, and if you aren’t doing anything Friday afternoon or evening, come keep me company. I’m not laid up for long, but you know I don’t well with sitting still. It makes me even battier than I already am.

Author: Help for Healing

My name is Darcy Thiel. What people say they appreciate most about me is my genuine nature. I utilize my professional and personal experiences to increase my understanding and compassion to help others. My career has many faces, so let me tell you about a few. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in NY State and am a couple and family therapist. As an Adult Planning Specialist and End of Life Doula, I take my experiences with my parents’ and husband's illnesses and passing to help others navigate the crazy, complicated medical world we live in. This dovetails with the books I have written. Bitter and Sweet: A Family’s Journey with Cancer, the prequel to Life After Death, on This Side of Heaven is an honest and raw perspective on coping with the diagnosis and subsequent loss of Tim, my spouse. I have done extensive speaking on the above topics through live audiences, radio shows, and an occasional TV spot. For more information, see my websites at,, or Copyright Help for Healing by Darcy Thiel © 2012-2019. All rights reserved.

3 thoughts on “Decisions

  1. Sending prayers; ❤️👣

  2. Good luck, also suffering with plantar fasciitis but much milder than you so wish you the best.

  3. sorry I didn’t know about our surgery. hope you are doing ok. we are back from camp just until tomorrow. stay in touch (by phone as I don’t have internet at camp) :O) love you tons

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