One step forward two steps back.

Posted on July 18th, 2013 in Uncategorized by 1shann

No. I am not a Paula Abdul superfan, I just have heard that song in my head ever since my atr journey began. It has definitely  been on replay for the past couple of days.

on Tuesday I saw a new doctor and traded in my cast for an aircast boot. New doc gave me much more info than my ortho surgeon would give. I found out that I had actually experienced a full rupture. I was told pre surgery that it was a partial tear and I never had a reason to question it. This doc also listened to my concerns about the pain in my left achilles and is sending a note to PT provider to address proper stretching and exercise.

My foot had been swollen since falling on Saturday. The doc referred to it as sausage foot. Between that and my scaly , hairy, smelly  toothpick leg I felt quite glamorous. He thought things looked good but when he asked me to flip over so he could compare my legs he was not quite satisfied with how they lined up. He asked me to go back to NWB. He put 3 wedges in the boot. I will take one out each week.

The last week in the cast had been difficult and I was counting the hours until I would get the boot. The first few hours with it were great.  When I felt breeze from the fan on my bare leg I nearly cried with delight. Immersing my sad limb in water and giving it a good scrub was amazing! That night, all happy and scrubbed, I strapped myself into the boot and tried to sleep. I then had one of the most painful nights since surgery. The following night was less painful but equally uncomfortable. I do think it will get better as I get used to it and when this heat and humidity wave calms down a bit. Loosening the straps and deflating the air pockets at night seems to help.

if anyone wants to chime in about boot life I would appreciate it. In particular I wonder about socks- I have not been wearing any. Tried a soft and relatively loose ankle sock and it felt like barbed wire on my incision. I have also shied away from socks because it is already so hot. I also could use any pointers about sleeping in the boot. I am trying to be - I wear it anytime I move around but whenever I am reclining I need to let my foot out or at least open up the front of the boot.

Hope your healing journeys are all moving on quickly :)

15 Responses to 'One step forward two steps back.'

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  1. craiger9er said,

    on July 18th, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    I didn’t have an aircast boot, but a Breg. It has a foam liner and on the first night I found that the sock for me was a MUST. It felt like the bottom of my foot was on fire. After 10 minutes of slowly putting a sock on, it helped. The next day my leg was visibly swollen above the sock, too tight. Somewhere on here I read that someone cut a slit in their sock, to open it up a bit where the elastic was - I did and it worked pretty well. I always tried to use a longer sock to go above the incision which worked for me also.

    For sleeping in the boot, I used a long body pillow, folder over at the top. The folded part went under my knee to keep my knee up then I rested my boot on the un-folded part. Luckily I got the ok to sleep without it pretty quick.

    Hope you can find some comfort and it get’s easier for you. Hang in there.

  2. loumar747 said,

    on July 18th, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Hi 1shann - sorry you’re having trouble getting used to the boot. I used to loosen the straps and deflated the air pockets too. I used to try and put boot out from under the cover and hang out on it’s own. It does get better and you’ll soon hardly notice it. When I got my boot, the nurse gave me several ‘tube socks’ - not really a sock at all but some soft elastic material open at both ends. She just cut them from a bandage like roll. I would imagine your dr. should have them too. She said it was important to wear it otherwise boot gets very smelly or so she said. Maybe you could ask your dr. or PT.
    Believe it or not, I actually miss my boot! Anyway, hope things get better with you.It does get better!

  3. superjewgrl said,

    on July 18th, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    I’m hoping I get put into a boot tomorrow. I hate this cast. I never really got the hang of NWB so I hope I’m not going to hear bad news at my visit. Are you back to crutches?

    Do post what your PT says about your good achilles hurting. Mine hurts everyday.

    Thanks for your post.

  4. 1shann said,

    on July 18th, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks, Craig :) my aircast has a foam liner and it feels almost fleecey and soft to the touch but it irritates the incision. I thought that I would be more uncomfortable with the added warmth of a long sock but just gave it a try. It made a huge difference! Thanks for the advice. I hope that you are healing well.

  5. 1shann said,

    on July 18th, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Good luck tomorrow SJG, I hated the cast as well but my boot is dramatically heavier and bulkier. My dainty little cast definitely looked cuter in a dress :) I am loving the fact that I can open up the boot and get reacquainted with leg but it is going to take some getting used to…. And I am still on crutches. Le sigh.

  6. 1shann said,

    on July 18th, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Hi Lou :) I know exactly what ‘tube sock’ you are thinking of. I got well acquainted during my many cast changes. I’ll stop by the doc’s and see if I can score some. I am surprised they didn’t recommend the sock in the first place. I do not wear socks in ‘real life’ from may to October :) I also can see how you would miss the boot. I imagine you must feel exposed and vulnerable without a hard shell to protect the poor little skinny foot. I am still afraid to take a bath because i do nt want to bang my foot on the way out (I usually hang the cast over the side of the tub).

  7. normofthenorth said,

    on July 18th, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I started wearing a high/long ski sock inside the boot, as soon as I thought I could put it on and take it off without risk of injuring my AT. Worked for me, but my incision wasn’t especially sensitive or sore after my one surgical ATR (#1). I THINK I may have had a dressing (bandage) on it for a while, and that would prevent the boot liner from rubbing against it. Could be worth a try, or a question to a Doctor. . .

  8. kellygirl said,

    on July 18th, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    I think the incision is going to make any sock except a loose one uncomfortable. I used XL men’s crew socks from Target–they were cotton blend and pretty easy to get on and off. I thought (briefly) about knitting one–seeing as I only ever manage to knit the first sock before giving up on a pair but decided it would take me too long. I, too, was amazed at the difference between the boot and the cast. The cast is SO much lighter–the boot made me feel like a storm trooper. I didn’t have to sleep in mine and don’t know that I would have been able to. Good luck! Hang in there!

  9. lodinpdx said,

    on July 18th, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    I followed Kelly’s advice and got a tall tube sock which helped a lot. Unfortunately a little late as my boot stunk! For sleeping I never got an actual body pillow but slept with literally 5 pillows, I slept in a pillow nest leaving little room for husband! He never complained - I think he was afraid I would kick him with that thing.

  10. brokendad said,

    on July 18th, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    I also wore the tube socks for comfort and to keep my lining free from sweat. Yes- the boot is a pain, but it better than crutches.

  11. normofthenorth said,

    on July 18th, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    There’s another “jock” trick that might help: A lot of people who are prone to getting blisters from running or agressive sports, fix the problem with some version of two layers of socks. In the old days, you’d just wear two relatively thin socks. More recently, several companies have started making and marketing socks made out of two thin layers — effectively a sock sewn into another sock. Some of them are marketed or guaranteed as “blister-proof”, and some have 10,000-mile warrantees.
    The reason that works is that the inner sock clings to your foot, the outer one sticks to your shoe (or boot), and the friction is between the two layers of sock fabric, not between one of them and your skin. It’s the friction-rubbing that normally causes blisters, and that’s now causing scar irritation.
    Seems worth a try — unless getting into even ONE sock makes your AT too nervous.

  12. 1shann said,

    on July 19th, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Thank you all! I slept last night for 8 hours straight because of the sock. Most of my discomfort was being caused by the sensitivity of the incision. I am a certified sock-o-phobe and pre ATR i could not bear the thought of sleeping in them especially during a heat wave but it gave me immediate relief.
    Boot overall is much better now.

    Feeling a bit deflated about going back to NWB and also because my PT was pushed back a number of weeks. I still get to go next week to address the left Tendon’s tightness and pain.

    Hey Norm, do 10,000 mile socks really exist? :)

  13. superjewgrl said,

    on July 20th, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Hey lady….. I hope your doing well. I saw that Aircast sells socks. Your the first person I wanted to tell. I’m sure they are overpriced. Anyway, I hate my aircast. How is your healing going?

  14. 1shann said,

    on July 20th, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Hi! I am hanging in. Do not want to e a debby downer but this week has been hard. Tonight I actually went out for a while and… It was hard. But it was good. Depression is really getting the best of me and I have cried rivers this past week. Some of it is probably hormonal, but this is hard shit, lady! So give yourself props because this s impossible without a helping hand (so in other words, you are kicking ass, Sistah ;) ).

    Give yourself a few days with the aircast. I was in intense pain for the first two nights. Funky, girls target knee socks have made a huge difference to me. Also playing around with the tightness of the Velcro & the air pockets has helped (especially w sleeping).

    We will make it through this. I know firsthand that it feels impossible but I do believe it is true. I cannot say that I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel but I can say I have caught some glimpses.

    Are you finding any relief yet? I am going to get some acupuncture on Monday focusing on depression, anxiety (job worries are killing me) and sleep. I am willing to try anythng at this point. I am pretty much solo with this ordeal. My son does live with me but he as cerebral palsy and has his own difficulties navigating. We are quite the team. He is likely going on vaca for a couple of weeks so I will be doing it all on my own soon. If you ever want to exchange emails I have 2 good shoulders and ears… Well, I guess eyes are more useful for emails and I have 2 of those as well! ;)

    Hang in. You got this :)

  15. superjewgrl said,

    on July 21st, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    I’m sorry your down. Actually, kudos to you and your son. I can’t imagine taking care of another person going thru this. Friday night I went and had to sit. Totally defeats the purpose having a boot. Anyway, I am much better than yesterday. But this move out of the cast into the boot and then the wedge shifting has left me with way more pain than the actual injury.

    I take ambien. Woo Hoo. I totally recommend that of this would have total hell for me. I’ve also started journaling to get these toxic feelings out.

    The air inflating and defating really annoying. I wish I asked what are good aircast feelings and what are bad aircast feelings.

    I think you are kicking more ass than me, as you may have seen glimpses of the light at the end of the tunnel, I’m convinced it’s the light of an oncoming train signaling me that I’m on the wrong track. ha ha.

    Take care.

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