Day 1 - The Rupture and 27 Days Afterwards

September 22 was an eventful day - both good and bad.  The bad–I fell over a tackle box in the great room floor (yes I knew it was there!!) and ruptured the AT (achilles tendon).  The good news–the CT scan on my greyhound Gracie Lou didn’t show any tumors, brain cancer, etc.  The emergency clinic where she was admitted the night before with seizures and loss of limb usage were not sure what had occurred but thought she would recover with time and physical therapy.   I drove myself to the local emergency clinic where they diagnosed a hairline fracture of the ankle and bruised AT and put me in a boot. (bad diagnosis but I wasn’t going to argue at that point!!  I had to get Gracie Lou back on her feet before I could even think about going to see an orthopedic!!)

Fast forward - October 16 - Gracie Lou has had 10 therapy sessions and is back on her feet with human support - wobbly but on her feet - big thanks to her wonderful Physical Therapist - Cassy Englert!!    

October 21 - I had appointment with my orthopedic who has treated my heels spurs in the past.  He wasn’t happy that I waited 1 month to see him.  I explained the situation with Gracie Lou and he reluctantly accepted my excuse!  Verdict–immediate surgery to repair the AT.  Immediate NWB until surgery which was scheduled for five days later - October 26.  Bear in mind I have never been in the hospital, never have had surgery and played competitive sports for 25 years+.  Needless to say, I wasn’t looking forward to surgery.  I had alot to do between October 21 & 26 to prepare for the surgery — at work, at home and mentally!!!!

October 26 - the dreaded day!! We arrived at hospital about 2 hours ahead of surgery.  Dr C came in about 30 minutes before surgery and scolded me again for waiting so long to do something about the ATR.  He also told me that the surgery would be about an hour because he would have to do major reconstruction (because I waited so long….)  and explained about the splint and bandaging that I would have after the surgery and that in 2 weeks I would see him in the office for a cast and have the stitches removed.

October 27-November 2 - Tough week even on pain meds.  I gained an appreciation of what leg amputees must go thru.  It was awful!  It took forever to get anywhere in the house (and we have a small house!!) on a walker with weight only on 1 leg/foot.  So on Friday, Nov 2 - I called the doc office @ a wheelchair.  They ordered one and I had it by late afternoon.  What a lifesaver!!  I could now get around the house somewhat easier and somewhat quicker!!

November 3 - Feeling better but still frustrated with the lack of mobility.  I was headed back to the bedroom using the walker and lost my footing and fell forward on the bed with my leg/foot stretched out behind.  It scared the doodle out of me!!  Once I was able to get turned around and on the bed, I called Dr. C and his nurse returned my call within minutes.  She assured me that if I had torn anything loose, I would be calling them on my way to the emergency room.  She recommended ice packs and keeping the foot elevated which I had already been doing constantly since surgery.  Thank goodness!!!  Needless to say–I had a major pity party on Facebook that night!!  I was 1 week into this long  journey and couldn’t believe I had 12-15 more weeks to go.  I received so many uplifting messages from my FB friends and family that I quickly picked myself up by my boot straps realizing this was only temporary and I could get thru it!!

November 9 - Appt 1 with Dr C to have stitches removed and cast put on.  The nurse cut the bandaging/splint off which revealed 21 stitches–Wow–halfway up the back of my leg.  My foot was almost straight out from the splint.  Dr. C came in and reminded me (and the nurse this time too!!) that he had to do major reconstruction because I waited so long to have the surgery.  I wanted to say–ok ok–I get the message!!  But I didn’t, I just smiled and nodded!  The nurse cleaned up & washed my leg  - lots of betadine leftover from the surgery.  Dr. C and the nurse said the incision looked good - thank goodness - and applied a cast (orange of course–GO VOLS!!!).  I mentioned to them that I was having a tingling/burning sensation on one particular part of the incision.  They assured me that was part of the healing process so I left his office feeling pretty good.  The cast was much lighter than the splint/bandaging and the incision was healing.  Yea!  A major milestone!!  Made appt for November 23 to have the cast removed, foot flexed/stretched more and new cast to be applied.  It is my understanding we will repeat the same process 2 weeks later which will be December 7.  So stay tuned for updates in the next couple of weeks.

November 12 - Had a call from my sister who found out from one of her colleagues there was a new kind of walker on the market (not yet covered by insurance though) that was working great for the colleague who had had foot/ankle  surgery.  I immediately looked it up on the internet and called Dr. C to make sure it was ok if I used one.  Dr C’s nurse said it would be fine and wrote me a prescription for one.  I began making phone calls to local medical supply companies for availability.  Every company I talked with had the devices all rented out with the exception of one small local medical supply company.  It was meant to be!  I rented it $50 cheaper from them that I could from any other supplier,  it was the only one they had left in stock and they could deliver later that afternoon!!  The walker is the “Knee Walker/Scooter” and it has been the livesaver!  I owe my sister dearly for the information!   I highly recommend it for anyone who has a non-weight bearing situation.  It has made mobility in the house so much easier.

November 22 - I can’t wait until my appointment on Monday, November 23!!  I am anxious to see that the incision healing is still on track and let my leg breath again for the few minutes before they apply the new cast.   I plan to mention to them again the tingling/burning sensation on the incision that I am still having at night just to make sure it is still the healing process!!  Will update blog tomorrow after the appointment.   Have a greyt Sunday everyone!

November 23  - My November 23 appointment was really uneventful!  They removed the cast (my leg got to breath for a precious few minutes!!!) and stretched/flexed my foot a very small degree.  Then another cast was applied.  :-(    Same instructions - NWB, keep foot propped up & apply ice as needed.  I mentioned the nerve tingling/stinging/burning sensations that become worse at night and the nurse practitioner assured me again that was part of the healing process.  I just haven’t read on any blog that anyone was still having those sensations still at week 4.  Maybe I am because he had to do so much reconstructive repair.  Who knows!!!  I go back to the doc on December 8 for hopefully the last cast.  Nurse prac told me that doc would probably talk to me at that appointment about therapy, the boot, etc.  We’ll see!  December 8 won’t get here quick enough!!!!  I will update after that appointment!    Have a greyt week everyone!!!

6 Responses to “Day 1 - The Rupture and 27 Days Afterwards”

  1. mari Says:

    I injured my AT in 2007, tell your doc that.
    I didn’t even know it had a tear in it until surgery for bone removal.
    So instead of ‘just’ a simple surgery I ended up with an AT repair as well.

    I had that scooter, a blessing!!!!! We returned it Saturday after 7 weeks of use.

    Hang in there and heal!!!

  2. placervillemadman Says:

    Congratulations on your progress…We are right around the same timeline. I had my rupture on 10/16, Surgery on 10/27, and a cast on 11/5. I head in the morning of 11/25 to get what I hope is a boot. Doc said boot or walking cast and I don plan on leaving with another cast!

    On the burning sensations. I had that same sensation the first two weeks after the surgery right along the incision. I haven’t experienced it since though. I too was told that it was part of the healing process.

  3. golfgreen Says:

    You go Girl — I miss my running mate!!!!

  4. maryk Says:

    I was interested to read your post about the scooter- I looked into all the mobility things out there- I loved the idea of the iwalkfree and the freedom leg and the knee walker. However, when I talked to my insurance carrier, they said that my only option was the knee scooter, that they have to purchase one for me, not rent it, that they had to custom order one to fit my inseam, and that it would take 2 to 4 weeks to arrive! It seems like a real waste of money for them to buy me one that will be useless for anyone else (unless they have my inseam, I guess!) and not to rent one. So for anyone out there who is a “fresh” rupture, look into your insurance policy’s durable medical equipment benefits right away. I wish I had, then my scooter would have been here waiting, instead of just getting ordered. I get my cast tomorrow and begin my NWB but at least off the couch phase! (hopefully)

  5. Althea Says:

    Thanks for the updates! Hang in there and keep us posted!! Miss you!!!

  6. Delcie Horrigan Says:

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