Filed Under (Uncategorized) by 2ndtimer on 09-11-2009

One of my first goals was to be able to resume our regular week-end walks to the harbour (7K return). And yesterday I managed!!

After 8 and a half months, for the first time I walked it all the way! True, I took two breaks, but it was the most gorgeous day, 16 C and sunny, not your typical November weather in Ontario, so it felt good to sit a bit by the lake and watch the world go by. I was still conscious of my injury but that was more a general tiredness. As I was forced to lay around for 6 months this year, even my good calf was complaining after this. Getting home of course I spent two hours recuperating on the couch.  Just have to keep practicing!

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by 2ndtimer on 05-11-2009

I have seen the surgeon today - the last time, unless I have problems.

He liked how the tendon feels and said there is not much scar tissue, the tendon is not too thick compared to many other cases he sees. Dorsiflexion is still way less than in the good foot, but improving. Sitting down I can lift the ball of my foot about half an inch from the floor.

He said I could do any amount of walking, light jogging, swimming etc. as I feel.  Only plyometrics (jumping around) I am not allowed to do until the 6 months mark. And martial arts….  (no doctor, that was only a one time stupid idea on that fateful day back in February…)

So my PT is getting excited and full of plans trying to keep me busy for the coming weeks. She wants me to come twice a week so I can benefit from muscle stimulation that I will get while doing heel raises. Unfortunately I can not raise my injured heel as high as the good one yet.

She added the very challenging (at least for me) one legged bridges to my routine, and all sorts of variations on heel raises : putting 80 % weight on bad leg, or going up on 2 legs, then lifting the good foot and down on one leg. (until I can manage it on the bad foot alone) Also on stairs, with heels hanging down. I can use the leg press in the gym, but I find the heel raises on the stairs more natural. I am also trying to imitate a slow lunge stepping back with the bad foot while holding a counter for balance. Getting used to putting the weight on the stretched tendon. Also trying to go up stairs not putting the heel down.

As a result I start to feel my calf muscle again… a bit sore but good to know it is there. The atrophy is still bad. (about 3 cm difference ) I told the ortho surgeon that my forefoot aches often when I walk. He said strange…. maybe I lost some bone density from being NWB for 3 moths? Suggested to take some calcium and vitamin D.

So I see I will have to spend a lot of time on my exercises in the coming months to put some spring in my steps… Otherwise my daily activities are going pretty smoothly: if I do not need to stand too much I do not have any pain in my heel. But I faithfully always wear running shoes…  I try to go for a 45 min. walk several times a week. I find that challenging but enjoyable, walking non stop does not come easy yet. Best is not to go alone and the conversation distracts me from the effort. Also it is good to have to keep up the speed with someone.  But often the first 10 minutes are more tiring than the last, so I will try to make these walks longer.

So there. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Even if the tunnel is very long sometimes… Hard to believe that 2 months ago I was hardly hobbling around. Hey it is easy to get used to good things.  :-)

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by 2ndtimer on 23-10-2009

Today marks 16 weeks post op. I celebrated it with purchasing new boots for the winter  - comfy with no heels - but still a wonderful change after wearing running shoes 24/7 for the past month.

I feel great in the mornings, less and less stiff, and after a night’s rest for my heel ready to  exercise an hour or so. Charged with energy I can go about and do my activities (I am a home maker, so cleaning, washing windows, shopping, a lot on my feet), but by 2 pm the fatigue and heel pain sets in, and have to take a break.  Still, it is pretty good. My limp is barely noticeable in the morning, more pronounced by noon…. When I get little needle prick pains in the tendon is when I get shivers and stop. I wonder if that is the permanent stitch I feel?

My latest physio activities are holding a hand weight balancing on one foot, bending down, touching the ground, and lifting it up. Also walking on my toes, and a bit on heels. The lunges are getting better, but still  only bad foot forward.

My tendon is getting more flexible, I manage the stretch when I put my toe to the wall and gently touch my knee to the wall. The calves feel firmer, but there is still the 4cm or so difference between the two.

I am very hopeful that things are progressing well, will see the surgeon at 18 weeks  (that is when I re-ruptured first time).

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by 2ndtimer on 11-10-2009

This weekend I managed several fairly long walks ( 2.5K max) at a good speed without any serious discomfort and no swelling. I am impressed. Finally things are looking good. Of course I still limp a bit and sometimes lose a bit of balance, but I do not feel my tendon at all.

The latest PT exercise was passing the ball standing on one foot - quite fun, especially when the therapist purposefully misses, so I have to reach far to catch it. And I got to go on a tiny trampouline, too, just to remind myself what it feels like to bounce.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by 2ndtimer on 06-10-2009

I am happy to report that my walking is improving a bit every day and though I get aches in the sole of my foot, the PT is happy with the progress.

So she added new exercises to my repertoire: I am doing squats not just by the wall but freely, with my feet apart in v shape, and lounges (standing by a counter for balance) with my bad foot forward. Also she wants me to put more weight on my bad foot while doing the heel raises, as much as I can, 60-70 %.

She said to strenghten my atropheid muscles I need to do lot of weight bearing exercises. And walk making sure to push off at each step. I hate the treadmill, prefer the park (or the shopping mall - I need to catch up with fashion after such a long time being away ;-D )

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by 2ndtimer on 29-09-2009

I was euphoric to be free of the boot a week ago, and being able to do heel lifts, however now reality set in.

In theory I can walk, but in practice it does not take me far. With such an atrophied leg walking takes a lot of concentration. I am trying to push off and roll my foot at each step so I do not hurt my hip.  So in 45 minutes I can cover maybe a kilometer before intense pain in the heel, arch etc sets in… Now that does not even cover a good grocery shopping.  So then it is back to sitting, resting, exercising. More patience required.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by 2ndtimer on 25-09-2009

12 weeks after the surgery, today is the big day: finally officially I am free of the boot.

(O.K. I cheated a bit. The last few days I was wearing my shoes at home.)

I went to physio today, where they happily added “new” (we went through this in May once…) exercises to my boring routine: besides the 10 minute on the stationary bike (without boot today) I got to stand on the wobble board, move weights with my ankle…. and the big deal: try heel raises standing up. For the past 3 weeks I was doing heel raises sitting down, adding a few dictionaries the last week onto my knee, but now I got to try the dreaded heel raise with my full weight. And guess what: I did it. 20 times. NO PAIN. ??? This is not how it felt in May after the conservative treatment! Thank you Dr. G.!

The PT did the usual massage on my tendon and remarked how nicely the tendon is getting back to its normal thickness, save for the repair area, where still there is a hard knot.  But looking better every day. She worked it hard - so that feels a bit sore, a tiny bit of burning feeling.

I have not walked far yet in my 2 shoes, but the 500 m or so I did felt painless, just tight, it was rather my knees that felt wobbly, and of course I am limping. But if I go slow and concentrate,  not even much.  Barefoot is a different story.  The muscle atrophy will be a serious challange for the following months. But I am eager to get down to work.  I still can’t believe the lack of swelling. Keep checking my ankle if it has started yet. The PT allowed me to go swimming if I want, I will see her in 3 days and we will try the treadmill.

I celebrated with my faithful driver of these past times (thank you dear neighbour!) with a fine duck curry at my favourite Thai restaurant.

Hope it does not rain tomorrow and get to take my first short walk with hubby by the lake. Good week-end everyone!

So this where I stand.


Filed Under (Uncategorized) by 2ndtimer on 11-09-2009

Yesterday I had my 5 minute appointment with my Ortho (these guys have to look after 20 patients per hour according to the booking!)  and though he found everything fine he wants me to wear the boot another 2 weeks just for safety reasons, as it is a re-rupture…. And he does not want me to do any strengthening yet for 2 more weeks (that takes me up to week 12) and only gentle stretching.

Afterwards he suggested I wear (forgot to ask for how long, all the time?) a heel pump ankle brace thingy, I am not sure what it is. I have the prescription have to check it out at the store.

As before the surgery he said I would be in cast for 4 weeks and the boot another 4, I was extremely disappointed. I was anticipating the “freedom” as my tendon feels well, ( I actually tried a few steps in house a with the crutches the day before to see how it feels barefoot and it felt great!) and was looking forward to the next stage.  A real emotional roller coaster.  So housebound for 2 more weeks.

That is 7 months from the original injury by the time I can kick the boot. (6 months not driving. )

Not happy.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by 2ndtimer on 01-09-2009

September 1st for me usually means the end of summer and start of a new year.  Normally I am full of excitement looking forward to a new routine, being the mother of school aged children.

This year it is a bit different…. especially that my eldest is going to be off to university in a few days.

This fall I will have to concentrate on myself for a change, finally getting back on my feet.  I am happy to report that  I do not need the crutches to walk around anymore. Yesterday my PT decided that gradually I can start strengthening, so I pedalled for 10 minutes in the boot. I am itching to get out of the boot, they are very cumbersome.  However I know I am safe in them, I will have to be more careful afterwards.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by 2ndtimer on 25-08-2009

So I started physio again… In the spring after the first rupture with conservative treatment I commenced the PT only after I got out of the boot, at 12 weeks.  Then I started with strengthening exercises right away. The first heel raises felt pretty awful.

Now however, I am still in the boot with FWB  so I am allowed to do only range of mobility exercises, gentle stretching with an elastic band. My favourite exercises are the towel sweeping and scooping on the floor. They especially feel good, I think my toes and front of my foot are the weakest, they are eager to move again. The PT wants to see me 3 times a week, they use ultrasound and laser, and massage it with a homeopathic cream,  called Traumeel, to soften the scar tissue.

Though I got the boot 11 days ago, I still can not manage without the crutches yet,  but the last two days  I walked around with only one crutch. It is very disappointing, as the first time I managed to ditch the crutches 2 days after I got the boot. After 2 rounds of immobilization my leg is very weak.  However I am very happy with how the scar is healing and how little swelling I have.

At our hospital the surgeons make the lower part of the incision curve towards the inside of the foot not straight down the tendon, so we will be able to wear high heels more comfortably in the future! :)  Nice. Looking forward to it!