So, I told that podiatrist to go pound sand.
I did get used to wearing the splint, but that didn't help. I went out and got a new pair of shoes--new brand and everything. That seemed to help, some. I even went out for a run--barefoot. That didn't hurt a lot, just a little.
Then after about 2 weeks and 4 runs of about 2.5 miles each, I went to a new podiatrist and filled him in on the whole story going all the way back to July. The new diagnosis: plantar fasciosis. It's the chronic version of the fascitis and basically is what happens when that goes untreated for too long.
Treatment: platelet rich plasma therapy. In 2 weeks.
So, I have 2 weeks to play. I go get a pair of Vibrams and started using them around the house and office. I could actually feel the difference in the way they made my feet work when I was wearing them. Parts of my legs were sore in ways they hadn't been sore in ages. I took that as a good sign.
I even started running again. Because I figured if it hurt when I didn't run, and it hurt when I did run, then I might as well run.
Interestingly enough, the pain wasn't that bad. At first. After a couple of days, though... YOWZA! Yea, I definitely still needed the treatment.
So, 2 weeks later (just last Friday), I went in for the treatment. And what can I say? It hurt like a mother. I couldn't put any pressure on my foot for a full day and the thing throbbed relentlessly for another day. But I'm several days on the other side of it and I dare say that I'm mostly pain free. Not entirely, mind you. But this morning I woke up with zero pain. The proof in this particular pudding will be when I string together several days with no pain. I'm not allowed to run before Friday, and I may take the weekend off just to be safe, but if I can get through a run that's pain free, that'll be fantastic!