I think I’m a PWB!

December 2, 2009

A ‘partial weight bearer’ that is.  Though I’m sure there are more inventive and certainly more offensive possibilities for ‘PWB’.

It’s now six weeks since I suffered my ATR playing football.  After going to A&E immediately I was diagnosed and given the options.  I chose the conservative path.  Yesterday I went in to my fourth cast.

The three previous casts have taken my foot from equinus gradually towards a 90 degree position (I don’t know the fancy name for that) where I can lay my foot flat on the floor.

I’m about 5% off that now.  I was given a kind of shoe, a bit like a flip-flop that an elephant might wear, with straps to keep it attached to the bottom of my dashing blue cast (again Kevin!  I just like blue.).

Anyway, I didn’t see the consultant, but Colin, who put it in plaster, said that I would now be able to put some weight on it.  Initially when standing still, but then I might be able to hobble around unaided!  That was exceptionally good and unexpected news.

Does it make me a PWB?

I think it should!  I’d like to mark the occasion by updating my profile, as I’ve been getting pretty sick of the crutches, and although I’ll still be using them for a while, it would be nice to mark a step towards the day I can throw them out of the window for good.

So, I’ve got the current cast for another two weeks, then I’m into a space boot for a month.  I think this will be the one with the wedges under my heel that are gradually reduced to bring my heel down.

Yesterday my calf muscle was quite a bit smaller than at the previous recasting.  I know this is normal but it was a bit of a shock.  I’ve always been secretly proud of my calf muscles.  I’ve never had much to boast of muscle-wise up top, but thanks to lots of cycling I had developed chiseled calf muscles.  Now I have one that’s got the droopy, squidgy feel of a beer belly.

If I’m good and do what the physiotherapist tells me, how long till I’ve got a nice chunky calf muscle again?

Otherwise, I’ve been bumbling on with work, trying to get out as much as possible, and having dreams where I’m walking only to realise mid-dream that I can’t do that at the moment.   It’s a bit like dreaming of flying.

My girlfriend has been very supportive.  However, I secretly suspect she finds the whole situation agreeable in some respects.  As I said to her the other day: “Every girl wants a temporarily disabled boyfriend don’t they?  So you know where they are all the time, and they aren’t able to go out late and eat kebabs while walking home from the pub.”

Don’t you worry Sarah, I’ll be coming back late with bits of kebab down my shirt before you can say: “Extra chilli sauce please”.

Plenty to think about, plenty of time.

October 26, 2009

I suffered a full rupture of my Achilles tendon playing football on Wednesday 21st October. There were no warning signs but as soon as it went I knew what had happened. I’m 32.

I was taken straight to Accident and Emergency, and less than three hours later I was back home in a cast.

The treatment I was given was excellent. But, it was all so quick I didn’t get the chance to ask all the questions I wish I had.

I’m off to the Fractures Clinic tomorrow where hopefully I can get answers to these.

In no order, here are some of the questions I hope to get answered:

1) Should I go for surgery or not? I suspect at my age that would be best, but I was told that both operative and non-operative treatments were decent options - with the understanding that non-operative treatment results in a higher re-rupture rate. However, surgery comes with a risk of complications. How big are these risks?

2) How long will I be immobile for? Will I be able to get back in to work on my crutches soon or not?

3) Will I ever be able to play football again? And when is that likely?

4) When am I likely to be driving again?

5) How is this likely to change my life in the long term? Will I always need to be cautious?