I’ m fervently knocking on wood because it seems like something’s are coming together…

Posted on August 6th, 2013 in Uncategorized by 1shann

Hola! Sorry I haven’t checked in for a while… Not much has been going on. Just riding the bumps and curves of a life recovering from an atr injury. I was stille quite stuck in the emotional quagmire aspect of the injury. I could have filled a hundred bathtubs with tears. My son went on vaca and suddenly I was left to do everything on my own… The thought was overwhelming and scary, and then…

*badabam, badaboom!*  I got friendly with my aircast (well, friendlier, I supposes). I set up my kitchen to be much easier for me to navigate and started cooking to bounty of produce that I have been getting in my CSA and I started feeling somewhat normal. Phew. I was ready!

The ionto treatment along with daily stretching alleviated all pain in my left Achilles. I received a second treatment today. It has made a world of difference.

Last week I started 25% weight bearing last week and took the last wedge out. Of course I tried to experiment with more weight but pulled back when it got to the level that I call ‘icky discomfort’. My shoulder and hands were achey throughout the week and my booted leg swelled slightly but consistently throughout the week. Especially if I was on it most of the day. It is also elevated less now. I had enough discomfort through these changes to take a Vicodin on two occasions this week. I was also told that I could start sleeping without the boot. Guess what? I kept it for a night or two, then wore it 1/2 of the night for a couple of days, but now I have been boot free for 2 nights.

After most of a lackluster (but at least NOT catastrophically emotional) week at 25% I kept trying a bit more weight. I continued to have jolty/hot/pins and needles pain  when I would roll through to my toes and is I would back off.  Monday I could do it :) I have been walking gently (not jerky and rough) with one crutch (and even a little without). It now feels right and ready. Yesterday I carried a plate of my hot lunch across the room. No Tupperware - a plate, a plate with no cover! For the first time I am actually starting to see the light. Today I was officially supposed to start 50%, 75% next Tuesday and 100% the following week (will be my 12th week). What a long strange trip it’s been :)

7 weeks out… Getting used to the boot

Posted on July 25th, 2013 in Uncategorized by 1shann

Hello folks ~

this week marks my 7th week past surgery and the end of my first week in the boot. My first few days in the Aircast were rough. After experimenting with a few different kinds of socks and playing around with the tightness if the straps and the air pockets it became much more comfortable. In fact, I was given the green light to sleep sans boot next week and I can imagine letting my leg out of it’s protective case is going to take some getting used to.

I went out for something other than a dr appointment on Saturday! I went to hear some music. The chairs at the venue were placed very close together and I could barely fit the boot under the seat in front of me. After a couple of hours I could feel my foot swelling so I braved crutching up the narrow and dark aisle with worries of going ass over teakettle in front of the entire music hall. I made it out just fine and the bartender actually set me up with a tall barstool away from the crowd for the second half of the show.

Another first this week was tackling the bus. I rode it to an acupuncture appointment. I was surprised and pleased that the stairs to get in turned out to be easy peasy (I am back to NWB). Also made a stop at the pharmacy. All in all it was productive and tiring and I am now certain that I am not ready to make the 35 mile (and 2 bus changes) that would get me back to work.

Also had my 1st pt appointment. They gave me an exercise and a stretch for my left leg because my Achilles on that side had become very painful. That ankle also got an iontophoresis treatment. The therapist was very helpful and she gave me more info about my injury than anyone else has. She showed me a litte scar massage and eased my mind (an left leg) by telling me that it was okay to use the boot occasionally for balance… On the same day I removed a wedge.

Yesterday I was still feeling strong so I worked on many chores around the house. The more I did the more ‘normal’ I felt so I kept on pushing. Today I am paying the price. Even my fingers hurt. It has been a good lesson about pacing myself.

So, in a nutshell, that has been my week. As always, I have a few questions for te group. Please chime in if you would like. The knowledge and experience of this group is what has gotten me through thus far. Thank you all :)

Scar sensitivity and healing. Any thoughts? I had been using vit E but stopped because it seemed to get super tender. Now it is getting dried out  and angry again.

Bathtime. Is hot water bad for my healing leg? The rest of my so badly wants to soak but it gets tingly and seems more swollen after being in the hot water. Is this common?

Swelling after removing wedge. Normal?

phew, sorry for going on and on.  :)

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 :)

Approaching 6 weeks…check in and question.

Posted on July 15th, 2013 in Uncategorized by 1shann

Tomorrow I should be getting my cast off for good. Of course I am pretty stoked by this notion. Remarkably, the cast has not been  itchy as I thought it would be. The past 3 or so nights have been annoying but nothing too awful. I hit a small puddle in the kitchen Saturday night with my crutch (dogs? Son? I am not sure and pointing fingers will not sooth he situation at all). I went down hard am d I hope with all hope that I was not reinjured. My toes are definitely more swollen than they were pre fall but they are not red or purple. I was pretty shook up yesterday so I went back to elevation and staying put. Today I have gained some confidence back but am still feeling skittish.

i have noticed that across the board it seems like stationary bike exercise is a big part of healing. I have been checking Craigslist and other online sites to purchase one as I there  is not  a feasible way for me to get to the gym. Anyone have suggestions on what I should look for? I would like something that doesn’t take up much space but also want something sturdy.

Hope you all had a nice Monday :)

Tomorrow is 5 weeks…

Posted on July 9th, 2013 in Uncategorized by 1shann

Today I got my last cast and was told to begin PWB. I should go into a boot next week and have a PT appt the following week. Milestones, right?  I should be happy and a movin and a groovin… But it has been a heavy day. The past week had felt like progress. Less swelling & need to have cast elevated constantly. I also had become much more comfortable on my crutches. Things finally had started to feel normal and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The nurses all remarked that I seemed so much better today at my appt. (This might have something to do with the fact that I was not crying, hissing or growling this time round). However, something changed when my foot was released from the cast and I was able to give it a good scrub and a rub. It felt so weird. So foreign. So….. Icky. I was scared.

now I am back at home. As I step gingerly on my tingly yet numb foot it feels so wrong. Not painful, just wrong. I am back in my weepy dark mindset and it is strong enough that I am going to let myself wallow in it tonight. Tomorrow I will take a deep sigh & will  hop back on the mean old  Achilles ‘horse’ and will keep moving forward but right now it just feel like this is never going to end….

Pics of the progression of casts… And incision just shy if 4 weeks…

Posted on July 5th, 2013 in Uncategorized by 1shann

Located on tumblr blog.


12 day post op appt is tomorrow.

Posted on June 16th, 2013 in Uncategorized by 1shann

Acceptance. That is what I have been trying to focus on. Am still struggling daily with the radical changes my life has gone through in the last couple of weeks. Had to spend the weekend alone while everyone else went to my Grandmther’s 90th bday celebration. It was too far for me to travel with a full cast and if I do not keep my leg elevated high enough it ends up feeling horrible. The giant cast a constant reminder of the things i cannot do at he moment. The weekend also brought tragic news and work drama and I am left with worry and dread when I really wish to be focusing on acceptance and going with the flow.

Hopefully my cast will be shortened to the knee tomorrow.  I think that it will give me more independence and less discomfort. It was pointed out by a couple of you that a full cast is not the usual protocol for this injury and unless she has a damn good reason I am going to insist on be shorter cast. I will not cheat and I will take off as much time from work as necessary. In the beginning I had no idea that this was so serious and I thought that I could work around it. Now I know that healing is going to take all of my attention and it needs to be my #1 priority.

Am still taking a muscle relaxer and pain pill at night but have not been in physical pain during the day for mst of ths weekend…. Also, little brother getting married this weekend and I honestly do not think I can go if I still have a full leg cast…. Sorry, I am just ranting at this point. Thanks for the space in which to do it….

Surgery (June 5)

Posted on June 12th, 2013 in Uncategorized by 1shann

When the ortho doc/surgeon 1st mentioned cutting my leg to stitch the tendon back  together she used words like ‘little’ and ‘tiny’ and I assumed she was  talking about something that could be done in the office. Nope. She was talking a  ’knock you out & put in an IV’ kind of procedure. The following day was her surgery day and they had a slot for me at 9:00. I agreed and the rest is now histort (or perhaps HERstory).

i had never had surgery before but have waited for friends in the recovery room many a time and The notion of me being on the stretcher was daunting at the least. when the time came I was anxious and my bladder kept insisting that I get up to relieve myself again and again. Each time I nearly ripped out my IV causing a mini panic attack. In the  end waiting for the surgery was worse than the procedure itself. The surgeon never fully explained the procedure but I had a couple of great nurses that set me at ease.

Being in a cast was a very frightening idea for me. The surgeon knew that I hoped to go to a concert 4 days after the surgery and she told me that I would likely wake up with a cast to the knee or perhaps a heavy duty splint. When I awoke from anesthesia I found myself in a cast that went 1/2 way up my thigh. Sigh….

The anesthesia did not make me groggy or nauseous. In fact, my throat & mouth felt worse (from tubes inserted during surgery)  than my leg for the next couple of days. Other than the long pre-op wait the day flew by. I was home by 3:30.

1st Orthopedic appt

Posted on June 11th, 2013 in Uncategorized by 1shann

Three days after  the injury I was able to see an orthopedic doctor at my local hospital. I was more than ready to gear ER say that the tendon was merely stressed, that I should take it easy for the rest of the week and that I would be work ready and raring to go by next Monday. The fat splint had been a terrible burden over the day couple of days and I was vey ready to be done with it.

I was prepared to wait at the drs office as I knew that they were squeezing me in between appointments. Finally, a nurse came in and began unwrapping my leg. When my foot and leg were revealed I immediately became queasy. It was grossly swollen and the pain certainly flared up when I was released from my  leg cocoon. Deep breathe. Enter surgeon.

surgery was not an idea that I had entertained at all.  Surely this injury was going to work itself out. The surgeon had me flip over onto my stomach and she ran her hands down my calf. Intact, she exclaimed, the nurses and I cheered and (I swear) a sunbeam flowed though the window… But the happiness didn’t last long. She found a tear. Suddenly the sunbeam was gone and my eyes were leaking. The doctor was trying to explain options and I was spouting off at the mouth about missing work, driving & fun summer plans that I had been hatching for the past several months… In the end decided to go the surgical route because the doc said that there was less chance of reinjury. Reinjury. The word alone turns my tummy… My foot felt very naked and vulnerable while I hobbled down to the X-ray dept (down a floor and many hallways from ortho) to get my preop tests done. I was so exhausted that I asked for a wheelchair ride back to doc’s office. Surgery was scheduled for the next day.

How it happened & visit to th ER

Posted on June 11th, 2013 in Uncategorized by 1shann

Late at night on 6/1 I was dancing with friends at our local tavern. It was dreadfully hot but the mood was happy. After a long winter everyone was excited to kick off our short summer season. Sometime after midnight it felt like someone kicked me in the back of my leg.  When I took a step I almost toppled over. The ‘kicked’ leg no longer ad strength to hold me up. I thought that it was a bad Charlie horse which I assumed would be gone by morning. I found a ride &  with  much difficulty I hobbled home.

the next morning it was even more difficult to walk. I still thought that I was suffering from extreme leg cramps. I posted for suggestions on how to alleviate leg cramps on Facebook and it was then that my friends convinced me to go to the ER. I have never been injured before and I avoid traditional hospitals like the plague (and at the moment I also thought hat I was uninsured) but with my pain levels increasing I started getting freaked out thinking that perhaps I had a blood clot in my leg. I hobbled/pulled/dragged myself to my car and it was then that I realized I could not push on the gas or brakes and that driving myself to the hospital was not an option.

a friend drove to the hospital. I had prepared myself for a long wait and was pleasantly surprised when a nurse called me in after a mere 30 minutes. At this point I was crying- both from the pain and fom the realization that this was a bad situation. The nurse immediately suggested an Achilles injury when I told him about feeling like I had been kicked immediately prior to the pain and weakness. Hopefully, he said, it is just a strain and not a tear. I cannot recall all of the rest of the conversation as my mind immediately became clogged with worries. How will I drive? How will I get to work? How will I pay for this (as I mentioned before, I thought that I was uninsured)? With a heavy heart a fat splinted leg  and foggy vicodin-ed mind I called for a ride home. I was to call an ortho doc in 3 days and to stay off my feet and keep my leg elevated at all times.

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