Could be worse

Yesterday was not one of my better days.  So, after my fall last week, I was extremely nervous about my appointment this week with my OS. I knew my foot was bruised and all I could imagine was that I did real damage.  I took it extremely easy this week, keeping my foot elevated as much as possible and not pushing myself with any flexing in the evening.  When I saw my OS, I told him what happened.  He pushed and prodded on my foot, flexing it more than I can on my own unassisted, ran his finger all along my tendon, checked out the scar, etc.  End result - I did not tear or re-rupture my tendon (yay) but I did stretch it a slight bit as he could feel the gap where the stretch was (boo).  To be honest, I could feel that myself but I thought it was far worse.

Relief? Just a little, because I then got totally deflated as he told me that he wanted me to do one more week NWB.  Ugh! My heel is pretty bruised and banged up - the discoloration is slightly greenish and it is very sore to the touch.  I still have some scabbing on my scar where my foot had re-bled as well.  At least I can still take my boot off at night and to shower using a chair. And, starting Thursday I will begin the NWB portion of my journey.

The boot I am in keeps my heel flat - 90 degrees or neutral? - as I don’t have any lifts in it and have always been at this angle since starting in my boot.  And I can flex my foot on my own without any assistance a bit. I continue to do that every evening as well as lightly massage my leg a bit to warm up the area and along the scar. I also ice it at night a bit since this hot weather and the fall makes it a bit swollen, though not as bad as the first few weeks.

Anyway, this is what my scar looks like right now. You can see the bruising along the ankle.


Took a fall today

Been doing so well until today.  I am still NWB, 4 weeks post-op and using crutches when I have to go out. Tonight was a night out with family for a family birthday.  Did well until I had a bad fall forward trying to step into my sisters house.  It is just one step up, but my foot got caught on the ledge and down I went.  Although I fell mostly to the right I did hit my left foot hard in the boot.  Painful!  I crawled to the couch, got up on it and Immediately elevated my leg.  We took off my boot and put ice on the ankle.  Took some Advil as well. Had a little bleeding in one spot where the stitches were but that stopped with some gauze and light pressure.

Hopefully I did not do any real damage as I am due to go to PWB this Thursday as that will be 5 weeks post-op.  My foot is definitely swollen and I think I bruised a bit by the ankle.  My prayer is that nothing tore and that this does not set me back any.

NWB Boot Week 1 down

First week of being NWB in the boot is over! Two more to go before I see my doc again and hopefully  move to PWB.  I know it’s a long road ahead, but I have to say I’m already tired of this boot that I can’t wait until the end. :) The highlight of the day is taking it off at night to sleep.  By the end of the day I need it.

This week I went to the office for 2.5 days and worked home the rest of the time. Definitely an effort to get out and about, but it felt good to be around others and in a different location than my living room. It sure was tiring though. Decided to order a portable desk that I can use while working from home so I can keep my leg up and comfortable. Should get that tomorrow so I’ll have it for the next few weeks as I plan on working from home most days for awhile longer.

I finally managed to take a look at my incision. The stitches were removed a week ago. Every night I make sure to put some lotion on my leg and foot, though I am avoiding the incision at this point. I wash it carefully in the shower though. Mostly it’s my foot that feels dry and tight so the lotion helps with that.


Back to work in the office… at least a little

This week I went back to work in the office.  Although I can work from home, I felt that I need to get in the office at least a couple days of the week so I could meet with my team and others.  I managed okay, but boy, is it exhausting! I never realized how difficult it is to get around the city if you are on crutches.  First of all, I can’t use the subway so I ended up getting a car service to bring me to and from the office. Expensive to do, but totally worth it so I don’t have to worry about trying to find and catch a cab while waiting around on crutches. When I got to the office, one of my colleagues met me at the curb to help me get out of the cab, into the building and up to my office. Not that I needed it for all of that, but it was awfully wonderful of her to offer and I appreciated the extra support.

Made it through the day pretty well, though keeping my leg elevated and comfortable was challenging. My leg definitely got tired by the end of the day and definitely had a bit of swelling.

All in all, it was nice to get out of the house and back in the office around people, but in the end it was more tiring than I expected. Since I do have permission to work from home, I will do that most days while I am still NWB, and save my times into the office for when I need to be there for meetings in person.  I am definitely looking forward to when I’m beyond this phase of recovery!

First post-op appt

On Thursday, July 3, I had my first post-op appointment.  The goal was to take the plaster cast/splint off and if all looked well, put me into a boot.  It was a major relief to get the splint off, because that darn thing was so heavy on my leg. It was now 14 days since the surgery and I managed to do real well and not step on the injured leg with the exception of two small slips. Both were in days 11 and 14 so I figured I was going to be okay as neither slip ended with my full weight on the leg, just a hit on the toes.

Once the cast was off, I saw that my foot/ankle was pretty swollen. It never felt so swollen and I had kept my leg up much of the time, so that surprised me a bit, but the dr. didn’t seem concerned so I figured it was all normal.  The funniest part to me was the fact that my three smallest toes kept on twitching throughout the appointment.  The doctor looked at my stitches and how it was all healing and announced that we’d be removing the stitches today.  Wow! Again it was mostly little pin pricks, but some of the stitches tugged and stung a bit more than I expected. I was happy when it was all done.  Small bandages put over the scar and then it was time to put on the boot.

We had two choices for the boot. The basic model covered by our insurance or a model that would cost us some but would have a pump to adjust things as my foot would swell.  We opted for the adjustable model and I’m happy we did.  The hardest part was the first time getting in the boot as my foot is now at a 90 degree angle as opposed to the slightly flexed position of the past 14 days. The tendon was definitely tight!  Doctors orders are 3 weeks non-weight bearing in the boot. But, I am allowed to take it off to shower (while sitting down) and to sleep! Hooray for that as my sleep has certainly been disturbed these past two weeks. Maybe now I’ll get back to normal patterns.  In addition, he told me to start flexing my foot slowly whenever I take the boot off.  Nothing major but just enough that I can do on my own without any assistance.

Next appt is at the 3 week mark of having the boot at which point, my doctor believes I’ll move to partial weight bearing.

Seems like a long time to go, but I’m hoping it will move quickly.


Surgery Day - June 20

Surgery was scheduled for June 20th.  This was now 14 days after the tear.  After learning that it was torn, I talked to my work and coordinated my working from home for some time.  Although I could move and get around, it wasn’t very easy and living in NYC, was difficult managing the subways. Stairs mostly.  Thankfully I could work from home so this was not a problem.

My surgery was scheduled for 11:15 and we had to arrive 2 hours early for checking in. It was outpatient surgery, take about an hour and then we’d be out of there after recovery.  Ushered from post to post, it wasn’t until I was put on the surgical bed that it hit me that I was going in for surgery.  Up until that point, I was pretty calm, but at that moment, I could feel the tears and nervousness come on. Thankfully my husband was with me through this time - I could not imagine doing this alone!  In no time, I was being prepped for surgery, having met the entire team (dr., assistant, anesthesiologist, student dr., etc.). There were more people than I expected. They put some kind of machine on my leg to monitor the nerve, had me flip over and before I knew it I was out. I started to come out of it a bit at the point that I was being stitched up as I could feel the small pinpricks. Nothing painful, just like being stuck with a pin.  Then I could feel them maneuvering my foot into place as they put on the plaster splint and bandaged me up.  Off to recovery and about another hour later we were on the way home. The pain was already starting - I never knew stitches hurt so much! It was now about 3pm and it being a Friday, it was a bit busy on the NYC streets.  We got in a cab and off we went.

Nothing like a bumpy ride in a cab through NYC Friday traffic! Of the day, this was the worst part. When I finally got home, all I did was head to bed, take my Percocet and sleep!

Injury and Diagnosis

Starting my blog a bit late so I’m using this one to catch up on what happened.  I tore my Achilles tendon on June 6th while vacationing with my husband in Vietnam.  We were down in the Mekong Delta and I was attempting to step up and into a boat.  I had my right leg on top of the boat, about two feet off the ground, and was attempting to push off and up with my left leg when it happened. It felt like a bat to my leg and I immediately crumpled down from the pain. However, because this was our vacation, I did manage to get on the boat and to a chair where I could put my leg up.  We got some ice and I kept it iced for most of the ride.  I could walk on the leg, with some difficulty but spent most of the day with the leg up.  We got back to the hotel, ace bandaged my leg and rested it. We were heading home the next day so we didn’t go to the hospital in Vietnam but instead chose to wait to get back to the states.  With my leg bandaged and being wheelchaired throughout the airport, it was manageable.

Upon arrival home, I called and went in to see the doctor. He examined my leg, which by now I could actually walk on fairly well, but with a limp.  I just could not bend at the ankle much.  He also did an ultrasound which confirmed a tear and off to the orthopedic surgeon I went.  In the between time I did a lot of reading of both surgery and nonsurgical methods for repair to be prepared.

On to the orthopedic surgeon, who took an xray and exam and confirmed that it was torn. We talked through all options, but he said he recommended the surgical method primarily because it looked to be fully torn and although it would heal non-surgically, the tendon would end up being longer because scar tissue would have to fill in where the tear was. In the end, both would be fine, but he felt the surgery would result in a stronger tendon.  After talking it over with my husband, we both felt surgery was the way to go.

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