arielmarisa’s AchillesBlog

Just another weblog

In the Achilles Minority…

Filed under: Uncategorized — arielmarisa at 12:56 pm on Saturday, October 2, 2010

My name is Ariel, I’m 20 years old, and a junior in college. These last 2 months have been the most life changing and challenging of my whole life. I wish I had found this blog earlier because it is helping me cope with the daily struggles that this injury has brought me. But, I guess I’ll start out my first post by explaining the reasoning for my title.

On August 2nd 2010, my leg was caught in the back door of the restaurant that I work at. I was walking back into the restaurant when the heavy metal door closed abruptly on my ankle. Assuming that I had just received a cut (I was a little in shock to notice any pain) I stepped back down outside only to realize I couldn’t put any weight down on my left foot. The cut opened up and I saw my tendon. I hopped back into the restaurant, in shock, and realized I was about to pass out. I called to my boyfriend (who works in the restaurant as well) to come help me. I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit of a drama queen so it was hard for him to believe that I was about to pass out from getting my foot caught in a door. Everything at this point was very fuzzy, but I remember my boyfriend holding my face telling me to breathe. He later filled me in that my entire face was white, and my eyes kept rolling into the back of my head. The last thing I remember was him saying, "Are you able to walk?" and me responding "No." He picked me up and that’s when I passed out.

Within those next couple hours I was finally beginning to feel the pain. I remember not realizing how bad the injury was. My foot was limp and the back was bleeding, but I never would have expected my achilles to be cut. My boyfriend rushed me to the hospital which is a good half hour from our university. When I got to the emergency room, I was informed that I may have possibly nicked the tendon, but they would need to do x-rays to make sure nothing was broken and then take a look inside the cut as well. The x-ray process was long and painful because they had me contorting my leg into positions I didn’t realize would be hurtful to a cut tendon. The x-ray technician was making small talk with me (I thought to get my mind off the pain) but the x-ray session ended with him giving me his number and telling me that it  "would be so awesome for an attractive girl like you to give a guy like me a call."… if the pain and trauma of my night wasn’t enough. Needless to say my boyfriend wasn’t too pleased when I told him…but I stopped him from almost running down the hallway to put this guy in his place. =).

The night was long, as every emergency visit to the hospital generally is. After the x-ray, they put novacaine in my heel and very painfully looked inside the cut. They told me that the tendon looked nicked but I would need an MRI to decide if it was more serious. I was really upset, but still didn’t realize the severity of this injury. 8 stitches, a fiberglass splint, and some pain pills later, I was sent on my way home with a doctor’s appointment set for 2 days later. (EMERGENCY ROOM AFTERMATH )

At the doctor, they performed the Thompson test which resulted in the doctor calling in an emergency MRI. I came back later in the day for it. I’m a bit claustrophobic, so the MRI was scary, even though it only came up to my hips. I never knew how noisy an MRI would be…let alone probably the most boring and tedious thing ever. But I went home praying I wouldn’t get a call the next morning that I would need surgery.

The next morning I was (attempting) to pack up my apartment by hopping around. In the middle of this all happening to me, I was supposed to be moving out of my apartment and into my sorority house, so things were pretty stressful. My phone rang, and I was told my fate. My achilles had been fully lacerated, and was separated 5 cm. I was going to need surgery. Hysterically crying and shaking I called my Mom to tell her the news. I knew I would need to return home for the surgery and it was finally starting to hit me how serious this all was. My boyfriend packed and moved my entire apartment for me, while also packing and moving out of his apartment also. I moved in to my sorority house that Saturday, and was picked up by my Mom to go back home for surgery.

August 11th I went in for surgery at 6:00 A.M. I was terrified and in pain, but I knew it had to be done. I crutched my way to prep for surgery and was put into my backless hospital gown. I remember the hospital being freezing, but I was too scared to really notice it. The IV hurt SO badly, more than I was expecting it to.I was giving 4 sedatives to relax me, because I was absolutely terrified of getting anesthesia and getting surgery. But finally I was wheeled into a room,  and told they were going to give me the anesthesia…and the next thing I knew I was waking up. The surgery was over, but little did I know I was in in for many more months of pain and struggle. My tendon was completely lacerated, but hanging on by one thread so the surgery was only 45 minutes instead of 2 hours like I was told. I was stitched up inside and out, and probably experiencing more pain than I was ever expecting.

I was put into a non-weight bearing cast and told that I would be on crutches for 6 more weeks. I found this blog only a couple days ago, and am currently on my 8th week post-op in a PWB cast. I intend on updating this blog with the in between period and also the many months to come…but I figured this post was getting pretty long. I still can’t believe this happened to me…and my normally happy self has been pretty down in the dumps. But this injury has made me appreciate my amazing boyfriend, family, and friends. And I have to say, I am pretty lucky…I live in a sorority house filled with 40 more than willing to help sisters who have been so supportive. Finding this blog is also helping me see that I’m not alone in this struggle. While I’m still pretty far from a full recovery, you all are giving me hope that I will get there soon!



Comment by normofthenorth

October 2, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

Ariel, if you haven’t checked out yet, it’s got an “Activity When Injured” column. I count around 10 people there who lacerated their AT like you rather than rupturing it like most of us. I don’t think the post-op experience is very different, but you may find the blogs and posts of the others who “lost” their ATs to doors and flying glass especially relevant.

Good luck, and good healing. And please keep us posted, this one was good reading!


Comment by arielmarisa

October 2, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

Thanks so much! I’ll definitely check it out! And no worries, there are plenty of posts coming in the future…there’s not much to do when you’re stuck on a couch…=)

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.