2 shoes

You know I never realized the big deal with the 2 shoes posts until now!!!  Had my 8 week doc visit yesterday and was cleared for shoes.  Man on man….I was excited to shuffle around the house.  I was given 3 simple strengthening exercises to do twice daily, and could even feel the ole calf working…that was more exciting than 2 shoes!

I asked the doc about lifting a couple weeks ago…he said he advised against it.  I started two days ago.  I just can’t let myself go turning into a blob.  It felt great getting into the gym.  Frustrating because of regression…but great anyway.  Every Tom, Dick, and harry wants to know what happened…..and they all make the same cringe face after I tell them.  I just laugh and ask them if they want to see how badly my calf is destroyed….kinda like a conversation piece.

I also asked the doc about upcoming deer firearm hunting season, he didn’t like that idea either.  BUT, I’m just gonna wrap that baby up to give it a bunch of support and walk slowly to my stand.  I have roughly two months to build up strength, so that’s my goal.

Asked the doc when I’d see him again….he said a month….I was pumped to hear that.

I have a buddy who’s a PT, and he’s putting together a plan for me, approved by the doc to work with him.  I’ll probably still use the boot when I leave the house for now til I feel more stable in shoes, but all is going great.  Just the last two weeks of being able to get around and be more productive have brought my spirit back to life.

Hope everyone in achilles rupture land is hanging in there.

6 Weeks (post op) - Into A Walking Boot

6 weeks after surgery and into the docs office for my walking boot.  The nurse was taking my splint off, and when she got back to the scar site she pulled off that fluffy crap they put underneath the splint and off came a piece of tape.  She noticed right away it didn’t look quite right.  She cleaned the rest up, and took the rest of the tape off without incident, and got the doc.  He said I have a little bit of granulation tissue.  Really it just looks like a couple little heads of red cauliflower.  He said he’s seen it before but not very often, and found it odd that it didn’t show up two weeks ago at my last doc visit.  Only thing I can figure out is he put more tension on the tendon last week, which tightened the skin around the scar site, which for some reason caused this.

Good news is it didn’t prevent me from getting the boot.  I’m just supposed to redress the scar twice a day and put on some topical agent they gave me (didn’t look at the name).

He gave me one very basic exercise to perform 6 times twice daily and said see ya in two weeks.  WB as pain allows, allowed to shower without boot.  I can’t wait to get rid of the extra dead skin.

I got home and decided I was gonna take a few steps in the house in the boot.  That wasn’t gonna happen.  I guess do to dead skin build up at the heel, it kinda hurts at the heel putting a lot of weight on it.  I did partial weight bearing, still using crutches.  Tried to work myself up to walking without them, but maybe I was just too chicken.  I guess my crutches are my ….crutch.  I’ll be working on getting off them in the next day or two.

The amount of dead skin on the bottom of my skin is crazy!!  I was hoping to just come home and take a nice hot bath soak to get that crap to loosen up so I could remove it, but after they put the topical stuff on my granulation tissue I figured I’ll just wait til tonight when I need  to redress anyway.  A little hesitant to submerge my foot with this stuff hanging outside the skin, but doc said it’d be fine.

That’s all for now.  Here I thought I’d be walking all over in this boot….not so much.  Guess I gotta do my own PT on myself to get walking in this deal.  That said, not having a splint/cast is next to bliss.

1 Month Down

Well, went back for my second doc post op.  I was worried I might have screwed my surgery up by accidentally putting weight on my foot while slipping on the wet tile floor in the bathroom.  I wore green today for good luck.  I told him what happened, and he smiled and said that always seems to happen.  He felt my achilles and said all seemed in tact…then turned my foot and put significant tension on it.  He asked how that felt, and I told him that felt like quite a bit of tension.  He said, I think you’re fine were gonna go ahead and cast it.

MAJOR relief!!!  This time he put what he called a medium amount of tension on it.  It felt weird after that tendon being dormant for so long.  I have another two weeks in this cast/splint, then I get a walking boot.  Funny because after getting that boot at my first doc visit pre surgery I never thought I’d be sooooo happy to have two weeks til I get it back.

I was given a prescription for a heel lift…which they gave me a couple places I could go.  Boot + heel lift sounds great.  I asked if I’d be walking or still on crutches when I get my boot.  The doc said walking…maybe not right away, but you’ll be walking.  Walking….ohhhhh sweet walking!!!!

I also asked if I could start upper body workouts when I get my boot…doc still advised against it…and I told him he was killing me!!!  Anyone else being told not to work out upper body?????

This cast feels a little weird with the tension on the achilles….but doesn’t hurt.  Guess it’ll take a while to get used to it.  All in all a great day….and the next two weeks can’t go by fast enough.

Achilles brothers and sisters hang in there.  I wish we had an instant chat so we could all instant message our grief!!!!!!!  Somebody make that happen.

2 weeks post surgery - doc visit (8/17/10)

Went fishing Sunday. My buddy Kevin was kind enough to carry everything to the boat, and carry it back to the car. My friend have been great, even stopping by to hang out and watch movies, or play the PS2 I borrowed from my brother inlaw. I can’t thank them enough. Without them I would probably be going insane. Anyway, fishing was great…..not the most comfortable in the little jon boat, but great to do something that almost made me feel normal for a couple hours.

Doc visit today. They removed my splint, and the nurse took out my stitches. She said if he had done them individual (he did a continuous stitch on mine) there would be about 17 stitches. The stitch removal didn’t hurt much at all, and the nurse told me the incision site looked really good. (good as in clean, not infected, etc…..not aesthetically) Doc came in after they cleaned my incision site…felt the achilles….then promptly put another splint on, with what he called a hair of tension on the achilles. I asked for timelines and how soon I would be doing flexibility exercises and be in a boot. He said at 5-6 weeks I’d be in a boot doing the PT. Two more weeks of the splint, then see doc and put a little more tension on the achilles…then another 1-2 weeks in another splint…then on to the boot.

I like lifting weights and asked the doc if I could start lifting again…at least upper body. He told me no, and that straining while lifting I could flex my calf which is a no no. I was a little perturbed because I really didn’t think it would be a problem, and I hate to regress in my lifting. I at least thought I’d be able to lift enough to maintain. I’d like to hear if others heard the same advice, because I’m seriously thinking about starting lifting upper body anyway.

Well…that’s where I’m at. I’m in the abyss of recovery…..sick of my couch, tired of watching T.V., hate asking for stuff all the time (but my girlfriend is great about it all) I’ve found I can take a shower on one leg…I just triple bag my leg and use some giant rubber band we got off some produce we bought at the store. I’ve found out weird things like it’s better to wear boxer briefs than boxers for the simple reason that the boxer briefs won’t give you a wedgy when you go down the stairs on your butt.

I found out the hard way that water on tile outside shower is bad!! I was on my crutches after taking a shower, slipped on the water, put weight on my bad foot while the other foot slammed into the toilet (I have the knot to prove it) The achilles throbbed for a minute…but I think I freaked out about a rerupture more than it hurt. The knot hurt worse.

Oh and once going down the stairs my good foot slipped off the step and I went down about 3 stairs on my butt. I was smart enough to just keep the bad leg in the air until I finally came to a rest. My butt hurt for a while….as did my pride.

It’s been three weeks since the rupture…and the thought of 3-4 more weeks before a boot is daunting. This site is great….and like so many others, I visit it often to read other peoples stories, and I think it’s comforting. Anyway, to all the others out there in recovery land, I feel your pain. Well, not so much pain as I feel your boredom and cabin fever.

Days Post Surgery

The day after surgery my pain never went below a 5-6….a lot of throbbing…and I didn’t feel like the Vicodin did much. It says to take every 4-6 hours. It takes about 30min to feel it…and then it felt not terrible (see: but not good) for about an 1 1/2….then the last two hours my pain quickly escalated til I could again take more pain meds. The last hour waiting to take another pill was miserable. The only time I slept was about 1 1/2 hours from about 6 to 8:30am the following morning. I called the doc office the following a.m. and got a prescription for percocet. The good news was by 11 a.m. the following morning the pain had subsided down to about a 2. I still picked up the percocet… I was worried about another sleepless night if the pain picked up again. I took Vicodin and Percocet (not together…just trying each to see what worked) but didn’t really feel like they did much. When the pain came down.. I probably would have been fine with ibuprofen. I was off pain meds within four days post surgery. During that time if the leg was elevated I was fine…but when I got up to do anything..it would start throbbing.

The last two weeks were mind blowingly slow. I had the usual problems…showering, getting down stairs, trying to make myself food (not so much making it was the problem…but trying to carry things is a pain)

I was religious about elevating the first week….and by the end of the second…I could not have it elevated and not feel much if any throbbing.


This was my first surgery….so I’ll be honest, I was a little spooked. I got to the office and they told me to put on the robe…had to take shirt off, but could keep the shorts on (no butt shots for anyone) My nurse was cool, and talked quite a bit, which kinda took my mind off my thoughts of the slasher film that was going to be my ankle. They hook up heart monitors…which spooked me again. Only one needle to the hand for the IV…and all other drugs would be pumped through there. Not a fan of needles. Don’t mind the pain, but the sight of them makes me queezy. I told the nurse to tell me when she was gonna break out the needle and I’d turn the other way…she was kind enough to oblige.

The doc came in and talked to me as did the anesthesiologist asking if I had questions. Next thing ya know I was given something in the IV that they told me would sedate me a little. Into the surgery room I went…feeling a little goofy. They laid me back….put an oxygen mask on me….and that’s all I remember. Woke up with a splint already on….and an all to familiar throbbing in my achilles. I was asked how the pain was…I told her about a 6. The nurse gave me demerol through the IV. I have no real recollection of time…but I remember her asking again how the pain was….it hadn’t gone down at all…so I told her still 5-6. She gave me more demerol. The third time she asked….the pain still hadn’t changed..and she told me she couldn’t give me more demerol. The final time she asked I was maybe down to a 5….she told me I had to be under a 5 to go home…..so I told her I was surely a 4 1/2. Not that the pain was less….I’m a guy…I don’t want to spend any more time around a healthcare facility than I have to. Out came the IV and off I went.

First Doc visit

I ruptured my achilles on 7/26, called on 7/27 and got an appt. with my orthopedist on 7/29. As long as my leg was elevated…and I wasn’t moving around, it really didn’t hurt much while I waited for the first doc visit.

First doc visit it took the doc all of about less than a minute to determine I had ruptured my achilles. Put me in a boot, told me not to put weight on it, and set surgery for 8/3.

How it happened

My rupture occurred on 7/26. I was playing second base on my softball team. A ball was hit my way and took a bad hop about 3-4 feet in front of me. I jumped to make sure I wouldn’t take the ball off my face, and at least try to knock it down if I missed with my glove. That when I heard the dreaded pop. I’m not sure if it was in my head…or it was actually made the sound. I felt what so many on this blogging site felt, like someone had kicked me in the calf. After I cam down from the jump (I can’t jump high anyway…so this didn’t take long), I went after the ball. I didn’t make it to the ball…and crumpled to the ground.

The best way I can describe the pain associated with the actual tear was like having a pretty bad ankle sprain. It was more of a throbbing pain than a sharp one. I was helped off the field..and started icing it immediately. I couldn’t put any weight on my foot. I was hoping I just strained something. The next day at about noon I was a little more worried that it was torn. I started feeling around where the tendon should be…and instead of that tight feeling….it felt mushy. Started doing some research and had my girlfriend perform the Thompson Test. After that I called and set up an appt. with the orthopedist

Tendinitis leads to rupture

You can read more in my second post, but I was dealing with tendinitis before my rupture, and pretty sure that was my precursor.  I am now a firm believer in the power of proper footwear.