Past the 6 month mark…

All things considered, 41yrs old, overweight, unfit, weekend warrior with a snapped achilles, family and regular working life, 6 months on, it’s all good.

I am still unfit, overweight (compounded by giving up smoking and comfort eating during the worst parts of the injury recovery) but exercising toward the comeback to the courts to play badminton - The scene of the crime on May28th 2012.

I can hop, skip, jump, balance, do 1/3 of single leg calf raise, hold my body weight on the good leg hanging off the foot of my stairs… balancing, I have good and bad days for that, good days it feels like I could hold a position forever, bad days it seems less than a minute into the balancing and I wobble, but once I have wobbled I find it challenging to re-gain a stable balance.

Running properly takes some practice - it kind of starts of a bit ‘ropey’ but after a few shuttles the stride etc comes back to me - there’s no real speed (not sure there ever was :) ), but the form is there so I am happily working toward that in my own time.

My walking regime caused all sort of troubles - my good calf tired quickly and I got some cramps so I switched to cycling last week…..I was cycling in the dedicated lanes around our local park when coming toward me was a familiar face of a guy who plays badminton on the court next to ours, I’ve not seen him since the accident - we chatted for a few mins and I started to go on my way, I probably got up to about 70% of my desired speed when BAM!!! next thing I know I am hitting the tarmac with an almighty thud - turns out I’ve just experience my first cycle chain breakage - bruised body, some aches and pains, ego hurt more and I am a good 3miles walk from home :( ……..Pete, the guy I stopped to speak to was his usual comedic self “I’d give you a 9/10 for that fall” we both laughed, some things never change.

The elliptical cross trainer is a really good tool to use as part of your recovery and I am able to pump up the resistance now…. going backwards gives my calves a complete work out.

Physio put me on one months notice - that is to say I no longer have to go back, but of I have any reactions or concerns in the next 30days then I can re-enter the rehab program for assessment and physio.

Summary - I feel good enough to want to go back to badminton, wise enough to probably give it a few more weeks (maybe postpone until January), determined enough to continue with the exercise focus and the desire to lose the excess 40+ lbs during 2013.

My experience:

0-6 weeks is painful, everything is a chore, cleanliness is an undignified process - toughest time of the process for me by a mile.

7-16 weeks is a period of caution and continual improvements, trying to do normal things but within the limits of the achilles (walking, stairs, driving), even when finally out the boot, always keeping the achilles at the front of every thought and keeping the boot at hand 100% of the time for those moments where you want the freedom to do more without the risk - just remembering this is the highest chance of a re-rupture and installing that into my mindset when exercising or outdoors.

17-27wks sticking with my rehab program build on resistance and balance, progress seems to just happen naturally, whereas the middle period was one of milestones that really made you smile - everything for me has been coming back together nicely, there’s not quite that bounce in my foot that I really want, but it’s not as flat as when I started.

I’ve not engaged in the most modern recovery protocols, but at this point in time I am happy with everything, I’ve taken things in my stride had good weeks of exercise and bad ones (either through injury or the occasional lazy few days) and I look forward to reporting back when I hit the courts for the first time.

Happy healing to all my fellow ATR victims - This injury is not permanent but it is life changing, it’s horrible at first and gets better over time (once you’re off the crutches, everything is immediately better) - be mindful of what you choose to do in the first 16 weeks and listen to your body when you exercise - most of all, thank all of those around you, so grateful of the support I got from family and friends :)

This is not goodbye but I think the time is right to say to all on this site whom have been on this journey with me thus far, I thank you all for your support and advice.

Without this site to lean on and learn from, I am certain that this process would of been much worse, we’re all in it together and I am truly thankful for the exisitence of this site and it’s community.

9 Comments so far

  1. sheena on December 7th, 2012

    Here Here re the site! Sounds good Andrew.

  2. brokenbride on December 7th, 2012

    Congrats. Made my Friday - so nice to hear.

  3. kkirk on December 7th, 2012

    I agree to. Achillesblog has been a life and sanity saver. Happy healing Andrew

  4. Natalie on December 9th, 2012

    Hi, my name is Natalie, I’m 16 years old. I am interested in this blog because of a health project I am doing for my school. I injured my Achilles tendon in April of this year during a soccer game and it still hasn’t healed. The doctors aren’t sure what’s wrong with it but I have had two MRIs, one boot and have been through physical therapy. I have found your blog very helpful and I was wondering if you were in a boot and if it helped you or not. When the doctor I was seeing put me in a boot and it caused more pain than I originally had and this is what my entire project is based off of. Thank you and I hope you have a good day!

  5. andrew1971 on December 10th, 2012

    Hi Natalie, I am not in the profession of Achilles rupture speciality or indeed medically trained.

    But I would definitely ask for some more medical opinions other than the ones you have had already - if we use my rupture as an example, I was walking around the house (and for physio) without crutches or boot (and driving) within 12weeks (3months) - at that point I was able to return to work.

    If you are not healing already, I’d say (again not a professional opinion just stating what’s obvious) something is definitely wrong….good luck and keep us posted.

  6. kkirk on December 10th, 2012

    Natalie: my advice would be do what Andrew says and get a second opinion. If you still have issue for this long after you were injured something is wrong. Good luck and keep us posted.

  7. jimminyc on December 15th, 2012

    Andrew, good post, keep in touch. Agree re AchillesBlog, a massive positive boost to my recovery!

  8. andrew1971 on December 17th, 2012

    Thanks to you for getting me to this site in the very beginning Jimminyc :)

  9. kimjax on December 27th, 2012

    Andrew - good to hear how well you’re doing. Just checking in during vacation and it seems all is well and improving with everyone. I laughed all the way through your post - good to hear there’s another “underachiever” in company, haha! I may have to try a treadmill and quit being happy with just the bike. :) Good to hear from you and all of the above, and still thankful for the support of this group during the darkest and scariest moments! Blessings to all! Kim

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