When the pain of a Morton’s Neuroma in each of my feet came on me suddenly one day in the summer of 2014 while out walking our dog with my husband, I had no idea what was happening, but it was really scary and my husband practically had to carry me back to the house. The provider at the urgent care facility I saw the next day misdiagnosed my condition as plantar fasciitis, leaving me doing counterproductive and very painful physical therapy exercises meant to treat plantar fasciitis for the next few months.

I could barely walk and hobbled around for months, pitching my weight back on both my heels just trying to make it through each day without putting weight on the balls of my feet since it was just too painful. I was getting more and more depressed, gaining weight, and wondering if I would ever be able to walk normally again. (I am a healthy, active, woman in my 40s who had always played sports, done plenty of standing, and, most of all, loved walking everywhere.) I had even had our vacation to Portland, one of the most walkable cities in the U.S., and my favorite city to explore on foot, ruined, since I could basically walk only about a block before the pain became too great and I would have to just sit down and opt out of life for the next hour or more.

I finally found Dr. Bocian November of that year.

Over the next few weeks, he took the time to ask me lots of questions and take images of the insides of my feet and discuss a variety of options with me—diagnosing my condition correctly as Morton’s Neuroma. He explained what was going on with the nerve tissue inside my feet and how he could use an experimental new laser treatment to non-invasively “re-model” problem tissue. What he told me of his successes treating a similarly afflicted distance runner sounded promising, even if a little scary. I debated and debated with myself about whether it was worth the risk. Given that my favorite way to stay active is walking, and given that walking and sometimes even running are crucial to my basic functioning in life, not to mention any hope of enjoyment or independence or reasonable performance at my demanding job, I finally decided to take the risk with one of my feet to start with, to see how it went.

We began the laser treatments.

Probably this is where I should have begun my testimonial, but I somehow felt the need to provide some context to foster understanding of what a big deal this is for me. Not being able to walk had me hanging by a thread. I was intermittently suicidal. But I can tell you that now, two years almost to the day of the initial onset of my Morton’s Neuromas, and, now, “on the other side,” having gotten access to the laser treatments, I am almost my old self again. Awesome!

I haven’t entered any road races or tried jump roping, but I was a severe, severe case and have gone from basically being crippled to now being someone who can park far out at the furthest edge of the parking lot to avoid traffic congestion (just as I always used to). I walk on the treadmill at the gym (and throughout Tucson) for stints as long as 45 minutes at a time, and feel great doing it. If I need to run for the bus, or away from someone who seems threatening, I can. I can walk!!! I am even writing this testimonial standing at a standing desk, having read about how standing is good for our backs. My life is good, again.

For anyone with Morton’s Neuromas who is on the fence, I want to tell you to try the laser treatments. For me they were life-giving.

Tucson, AZ