Carl, (great name)
I'm sorry to here about your problem, I can relate to to your plight. A little over a year ago I was doing some work on my table saw, with a dull blade, no guard and in a hurry. The outcome was not pretty, all the fingers on my left hand where damaged,almost severing my index finger. After two surgeries and countless hours of p.t. I am permenently flipping the bird at the world. This past year has been rough, looking at all the great works on this forum and trying and failling to do the simplist task, I just now feel comfortable enough to mess with plastic again.
The reason I'm telling you all this is don't give up, I really can't give you any personal advice about foiling except to try some of the excellant tips that you've been given and learn and adapt.