May 26 2015

Four year update!

Published by ali39 under Uncategorized

Hi, I have just realised I am approaching my 4th year anniversary! Lovely to see old friends still popping up on here. Stuart I thought about you this week - I saw a TV programme with a clip of the Blue Mountains (with horses..)
I remain cautious after 4 years. Not just because of the Achilles but because I still sense plantar fasciitis in my ‘good’ foot. Sometimes my feet go into ’spasms’ at night. I just don’t trust the PF won’t kick off if I overdo it….
I suppose things are not quite so exciting in some ways but… I am out the other side, I can walk for which I will always be grateful. I know what it is like to not be able to stand up, to be dependent on other people, to be in pain and sometimes to be frightened I might never walk again properly. This community helped me so much. I will NEVER forget you guys and I will always be grateful to Denis.
I have been on walking holidays and spent some of my time sketching and painting, also carried out more photography. Sounds a bit less exciting but at least I am still vertical!!
Keep healing everybody. It seems as if it will go on forever at times but this too shall pass…!

3 responses so far

Jun 06 2014

3 years post surgery

Published by ali39 under Post 1 year

Is it really 3 years!!! So good to see a few of my old buddies on here, giving sound and much needed advice as usual. To Stuart and Norm, I especially want to say hi and thank you.

My surgery happened 6 months after the initially injury, I didn’t have a rupture but tendinopathy. Dark days indeed but there is joy on the other side. Hang in all those of you who are new in your recovery. I am back to all previous activities but am careful now, but this is mostly because I dread getting plantar fasciitis again therefore I am reasonably cautious. (I had this in the ‘other’ foot). I do climb but having a temporary break due to some minor finger injuries.

I am so grateful to be back in my job in health care, kept busy all day and on my feet most of the day. I think I have changed now I know how it feels to be on the other side. I hope I am more compassionate. The blog is close to my heart, so much support from the community helped me beyond words.

Hang in folks, the injury demands so much patience but recovery will come before you know it x

6 responses so far

May 15 2013

Recovering from bilateral tendonitis…again….

Published by ali39 under Post 1 year

This is getting boring!!!! (Its esoteric I guess). This morning I woke up and suddenly I have improved. Its like Im waking up, its as if a switch goes on and I can walk again. Not sure if its due to medication Ive taken the last few days or just chance but I just know Im once again over the worst. At the height of it last week I was pushed round in a wheelchair at work by a colleague. This time it has lasted around 2.5 weeks, last time a few weeks ago it was a few days and the the time before that it lasted around 6 weeks. ( Oct/Nov). I am a Christian and this has been a real test of my faith over the last 2.5 years. (and for years before that but things got much worse Dec 2010).
Just as well I can only visualise me mountaineering proper in the future and I can’t see that won’t be the future.
Its unpredictable but at least the blog is helping me keep some kind of record of the general pattern. I don’t know if Im getting increased flare ups or more flare ups with less severity if that makes sense.
I will still give the shock wave treatment a go. I have also been advised to keep taking medication between flare ups, I have been reluctant to do this and usually come off as soon as I improve but this time I think I will carry on for a while.
Thanks for keeping me sane folks and happy healing everyone. x

17 responses so far

May 09 2013

Bilateral tendonitis…again….

Published by ali39 under Post 1 year

Hi guys, I always try to remain positive but…Im having (another) flare up of achilles tendonitis and could do with a bit of moral support!!! I have to keep reminding myself… I can WALK, I am fully weight bearing, I do not have to keep my leg elevated constantly, to keep looking on the bright side…I WILL get over it. I know from past experience it will last around 2 or 3 weeks. I realise I just have a weakness there, its not the end of the world, I will get over it. Thanks for reading folks. Heal well everybody :)

9 responses so far

Nov 04 2012

Back to basics

Published by ali39 under Post 1 year

Spent the last 10 days doing eccentrics, stretches, stationary bike, icing, massaging. Its definately paying off. Last week the massages were really painful almost like electric shocks, now much better. I usually find the gym a bit boring but Im getting into weight training a bit these last few days and actually quite enjoying it. At least Im able to get to the gym fairly easily this time not the old struggle having to take taxis. My gait still does not feel entirely normal. Last time I used to try and distract myself doing normal things (walking around shops while talking to a friend) so I wasn’t constantly thinking of my gait so this is helping this time.

18 responses so far

Oct 26 2012

Don’t forget the orthotics

Published by ali39 under 13 + weeks, Post 1 year

Hi guys, I was doing so welI, I do check in most days and read posts but I haven’t written a new post for some time. I’m around 16 months post op and was doing really well. I did get back to climbing but was very cautious, stopping as soon as I experienced pain and sticking to easy grades. It felt amazing to get out and dance until the early hours, I will never take my mobility for granted again.

Around 3 weeks ago I decided to get my orthotics re evaluated. I didn’t have a spare pair, or at least I did but these were all pre op and I was reluctant to get a new pair until I was sure they were still suitable. I learned the hard way pre op by not making the time to get them re evaluated. They were taken away to be recovered and repaired. I thought I could manage with a heel raise for a few days.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. ATs started aching and I thought I just needed to do a few more exercises/stretches duhhhhh. What happened in a few days both ATs deterioated. I have my orthotics back but even with the orthotics everything deterioated over the next couple of weeks. Im in pain and have gone back to basics, PRICE currently sitting with both on a bag of ice.

The positives are Im not stuggling with a split AT, not worried I might need sugery, Im convinced this is temporary and will settle down but not without a lot of inconvenience to me and everybody around me.

Well I’ve learned the hard way, I just can’t manage without the orthotics. Very frustrating and Im reminded it was not that long ago I had a serious injury. I hope this might help somebody else please don’t make the same mistake as me if you have biomechanical problems!

Keep healing folks :)

2 responses so far

Jun 17 2012

One year update

Published by ali39 under Post 1 year

Hi guys, still having problems uploading photos but no matter. A year to the day of surgery I was staying on a remote Scottish island, was swimming in the sea when a seal popped up to say hello.  Glad to be swimming with no restrictions. Travel to the island a year ago would have been impossible  as the trip required carrying several bags/putting up a tent/hopping on and off the boat. So this was fab progress. I am able to walk up hills to a point and can climb easy grades. I have to stick to easy grades so there is  decent platform for each foot. I would not say I am back to mountaineering. I walk to a certain height and come down as soon as my leg tires. Still get some plantar fasciitis, a tiny bit of swelling and a little bit of pain. As I write this update Im reminded of where I came from, and how much progress has been made.  I particularly remember the months before my surgery which were scarey times. Especially  want to thank Norm for advice back in those days.  Keep healing folks.

9 responses so far

May 05 2012

11 Month Update (or should it be 15 months…)

Published by ali39 under Post surgery

This should be a 15 month update, but it is 11 months since my surgery. I have really noticed things have improved this last month. I’m back to climbing, I have lost strength and confidence but the joy of getting back into it makes up for that. I can dance all evening and no longer need to sit down now and again for 10 minutes to recover.

I would love to think I could aim to do some long distance walks in the near future, I’m still hesitant to take too many risks and still have plantar fasciitis on the left side although much improved. I do get the odd pain in the unoperated AT side which kind of lurks but right now its outweighed by the joy of what I can do.

I am doing things now I have not been able to do since the end of 2010, it just amazes me to be getting anywhere near back to normal.

I still don’t enjoy standing up in a stationary position for too long, makes my leg ache. The biggest improvement at 11 months is recovery time. I still get some pain and swelling, but I recover a lot more quickly than I did at 10 months. Can’t believe the next update will be one year. Hang in there guys and keep healing.

4 responses so far

Apr 09 2012

10 Month Update

Published by ali39 under Post 10 months

Well 10 months post surgery, its been 16 months post injury. Main improvements - Ive done a bit of  hill walking, mostly in Scotland. I will go to around 400m then start losing confidence a bit, but there is gradual improvement. I notice Im still a bit hesitant leading with the right foot. The last few months Ive done more pylometrics, I really think this has helped a lot

I started climbing again outdoors yesterday. I was expecting to wait a year but I woke up Easter am and just knew’ today is the day’.  Ultrarunning said on a recent post anything is possible with God. When I woke up after my surgery there was a picture on the wall opposite my hospital bed - the picture was of a remote place in Northumberland which is exactly where I started climbing again yesterday. I took it as  a sign that I would be ok in the end, albeit with a loss of fitness.

I work as an occupational therapist and  I thought I knew something about disability - well now I really KNOW, it hasn’t been an easy journey, but deep down I was always grateful this is a short term problem. Many are not  so fortunate. Somebody remarked yesterday they thought I had lost a lot, sure -  but I’ve also gained so much.

I used to constantly wonder which mountain I will tackle next, you could argue I’ve just been up one of the biggest mountains of my whole life. My dreams are not quite so ambitious right now, but there is always a hope and a future with this injury.

Keep healing folks.

8 responses so far

Jan 29 2012

8 Month Update

Published by ali39 under 13 + weeks

Hey, its time to check in - almost at the 8 month post op mark. I’m still working on the consistant heel raise, its still a bit weak. I do still get a bit of pain and a bit of swelling, but I’m delighted with the progress. Since New Year I have been on a few walks (along the Northumberland coast for example- its beautiful).

I have noticed a general improvement in my gait and I’m not trailing behind others quite so much. Ive got a bit of a spring in my step now, and although I can run and jump and slowly getting back into climbing,  its the ability to participate in the ordinary tasks in life which I am so grateful about.

The ability to walk around shops, the ability to drive to where and when I want to, to sit on a bus or train and not be afraid I won’t  find anywhere to elevate my leg,  to walk around town and my place of work, to dance spontaneously, to stand in a queue - to stand in a bar… I still appreciate the every day things SO MUCH. To clarify, I spent 6 months pre op not being able to walk or stand up for more than a couple of minutes withouth a boot.

I still have plantar fasciitis, I have a new splint called an R2F if anybody is interested. I use a combination of this and a Strassbourgh Sock. I experienced a general improvement in the pain and therefore function when I started using the splints.

2011 started on a bad note and finished with a family funeral -not quite so much time to concentrate on the AT and my rehab then. Im still not brave enough to go to a ceilidh but Ill let you know when I do!

20 responses so far

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