We would all like to think that we never force a PCMCIA card into its slot, but did you, even if ever so slightly, push harder than necessary?
The internal interface is fragile, and it's not unknown for a pin to bend - usually without the user having any indication. The cardbus would carry on reporting an OK status to the operating system. You are unlikely to have fried the slot, but the effect would be the same, and this isn't a repair you can do yourself.
I hope that isn't the problem, but in view of the fact that neither of your PCMCIA devices now work it's looking that way. See if you can get access to another laptop and try the card(s) - that will tell you for sure.