20wks and still improving

Time flies, been busy at work and also planning some additional changes so it’s been a while since I have been able to check in… good to see familiar people also improving and progressing.

So 20weeks, I can sort of run, sort of hop… but this is down to a really low level of fitness.

I can’t single heel lift beyond approx 2″ - but I am able to hold a heel lift if I raise with both legs, take the left foot off of the floor and lower on the ATR leg…..not bad considering I was 16st before the ATR and right now I weigh in at over 245lbs or 111kg or 17.5st so it’s a lot of weight to lift on one leg :) - the downside of giving up smoking and snapping ure achilles.

Fitness - I am fast walking 30mins a day now, with a decent gait and slowing down when I tire to make sure gait is priority over speed - I am continuing with the regular physio exercises - I want to lose a bit of weight before I entertain the gym again… I’ve become quite self conscious about it, but this also adds to the determintation.

The ATR ankle region is still a little swollen compared to the other foot and I get a lot of heel pain, feels like a mix of “pins and needles” and a dull ache on the underside of the heel, it’s not enough to make me want painkillers more of a continual niggling sensation.

Overall though the ankle and calf feel strong, the pain at the front of the ankle disappeared, plantar and dorsi flex are equal to or better than the non atr leg.

I feel the return of a “spring” in the step (a more natural cushion) and a more natural gait, I am really looking forward to getting back to sports and becoming even less ‘weighty’ than before the original event that started this roller coaster.

20wks ago, heck even 13weeks ago I thought this nightmare was never going to end but things really started to progress and by week 10 I was feeling ‘too’ confident (watch out for that people) because in terms of walking around and traversing stairs etc, things became easy again….reading this blog site and the unfortunate re-ruptures of some of my fellow ATR’s was a real wake up moment for me to slow it down and be patient once more.

I consider myself lucky not to of re-ruptured during this period and taking things steady focusing on flexibility, although I really really wanted to get back into the gym ASAP I am glad I tried it, but also glad I did not continue at that time, clearly it was too early for me - stamina and strength would have to wait.

There are some people who have healed quickly, became mobile and more active quickly, I have been amazed by some of the stories of what people achieved…….. I’ll be honest, the very thought of doing what these people did at those points in recovery scared the bejooblies out of me… but was impressive all the same.

Looking back, for me, an overweight 41yr old with a family and mortgage, with the exception of “should of been out of the cast sooner” I don’t think I would change a thing about my recovery so far. It’s been relatively low risk throughout and I’ve never really stopped improving.

It’s been important for me to remember that most re-ruptures happen upto wk16 it helped me focused on recovery and listened to the feedback my gave me when I tried doing new things, if it hurt or felt wrong I didn’t do it. I now realise that some weeks the recovery gain is greater than others.

I am looking forward to my focus on fitness and stamina now over the next 3-4 weeks, hoping that the weight will fall off and a single legged calf raise will be the reward for the persistence.

My 2cents to people embarking on this journey, be patient, the first 4-6 weeks are a big drain on you and everyone around you, amazing how quickly we can adapt when forced to though - beyond that life gradually gets back to normal in terms of “day to day”…things like getting back to having showers, losing the crutches, two shoes, walking to the shops, driving, all massive wins on the road to recovery, but it’s still a recovery and as you can see on this site, anything can happen during the ‘danger zone’ up to 16 weeks remain vigilant and be aware of where you step.

Happy healing to all - hang in there, things get better with patience, control and determination :)

4 Comments so far

  1. marltom on October 19th, 2012

    Sounds like your doing great. I made it to week 20. I was doing great in PT could do what ever they gave me, but no leg lifts. I could even climb stairs. Dr. went in to clean out little sore at end of scar that had never healed. But when he got in there screw from tendon transfer had worked loose, infection and scar tissue. 2 days in hospital and back to square one. Today is better, stitches are out back in boot 24/7 no weight on foot. But you know what I can do this again. The tendon repair is still holding, it is a beautiful day and God has been good.

  2. eva10 on October 21st, 2012

    Glad to see you’re still doing well Andrew!!

  3. Paula Glodowski on October 21st, 2012

    I too am at 20 weeks of recovery. I am cycling, swimming, doing leg presses/squats and walking more and more each day. I still have a limp and am no where close to a single calf raise, but am so happy to have my life back. At about the 12 week mark, I was really depressed and anxious to get back to things, but like you, learned from the many re-ruputures due to pushing too hard.

    This journey is not over yet - I would like to walk and eventually run without a limp :) But recovery is truly like a marathon and not a sprint. Along the way I have learned how to enjoy things like spin class, dancing with my son (ok, moving my body around) and carrying him piggy back.

    Hang in there everyone!

  4. pauls on October 22nd, 2012

    Keep it going, not been on here myself for a bit! 16 weeks now. Going to start running! Have been cycling about 21 miles no problem and have been for a few weeks! Everyone I’d different. Me I always push the boundaries! Take care

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