As the story begins

I am probably fairly typical in my recovery at this stage, five weeks post surgery.   The beginning of my ATR story is a bit more unique.  I was on  a mission trip to the epicenter of the AIDS pandemic, in the Kwa Zulu Natal region of South Africa (near Durbin).

We were on a walking tour of a rural township, seeking to better understand the nature of their neighborhoods.  Part of the tour included playing basketball with the teenagers at a local ministry that draws kids with sports so they can also become involved with life skills training.  We were on our second rousing game when I went down with my ATR.

I was not in much pain, so we continued with our night in the township.  Except now, rather than walking, I got around between the strong shoulders of two friends.  I went to the ER about 24 hours later.  The physician had not worked with an ATR before, so she phoned the Orthopedic Surgeon.  They put me in a plaster “back slab” and I came back the next morning so the Orthopedic could see me.  It sure was nice to have the stability of the partial cast after having no protection for a day.

The surgeon did a 5 minute evaluation and confirmed the ATR.  He encouraged me to wait until I got back to the states a week later to have my surgery.  He suggested 24 hours of flying and airports is not the best post-op environment.  I concurred, as I really wanted to continue the trip and it wasn’t bothering me at the time.

All went well on the rest of the trip, including the 34 hour trip home.  Thankfully I got an extra seat next to me on the long flight so I could rest my leg in a semi-elevated position.

On Tuesday, two days after getting home I had my surgery.  I was nauseated by the anesthesia and Vicodin, so on Wednesday I quit taking pain meds.  I kept the leg elevated almost continually for the first 48 hours after surgery.  On the Friday I went back to work in the afternoon, thankful that I now had the long Memorial day weekend to lay low.

The first cast (white) came off after two weeks so the stiches could be removed.  All okay with incision at this point, and very little discomfort.  Now I have the new cast (blue) for the next six weeks.

The only exercise I have had so far, other than crutching all over the place, is one 30 minute, 1-legged spin on the indoor bike.  It went pretty well, averaging just over 100 watts.  Tomorrow I am going to give pilates a shot.  We’ll see how it goes.

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