Archive for December, 2015

Christmas Progress

Not much to report on since my last post. I have been full weight bearing for about 2 weeks now and things seem to be going alright. I worked full time up until Christmas, which made my ankle a bit sore, but I think it likely did more good than bad because it was forcing me to walk and stretch out my tendon. I was even a bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding that weekend too! All went well except for the tremendous amounts of snow that kept getting into boot, which then forced me to think about ordering a walker boot cover. It is currently being shipped to my apartment :)

Before I left for the holidays, I met with my physiotherapist because it was “Wedge Removal Day”! I had 2 heel lifts in my walker boot and took one out. My physiotherapist did a good job of stretching out the area and giving me a nice scar massage to help make the transition easier. Now I have been sitting for about a week and keeping up with the scar massage and physio exercises. The incision looks pretty good and even the swelling has come down significantly. It’s like I have TWO normal sized ankles again!

And today is wedge removal day again! So later today, I will be flat to the boot! How exciting! (You have to celebrate the small achievements!)

So I think this recovery has been going quite well and I am very excited about this. But it has been difficult since I haven’t been active in any way for the last month. How has everyone else got around this? I think I might try to do some upper body stuff with my boot on and hopefully that will make me feel better! I meet with the surgeon again in 2 weeks and I think that means I no longer have to sleep with the boot on. HOORAY!

Until next time!

1 comment December 30th, 2015

Back to Work

A lot has happened since my last post!

Potentially failed a final exam on Friday. You’d think after being 2 weeks of NWB and constant leg elevation I would have studied enough in my boredom to at least be prepared for the exam. Apparently not!

Had to go back to work on Saturday. That wasn’t so bad. I had lots of fun rolling around in computer chairs and using my crutches here and there. But it’s really scary to use crutches on snow and ice! My colleagues have been really great and supportive - bringing me coffees, driving me to work, picking my papers off the printer, etc. I am definitely a lot more tired though since I have to be be “brain active” all day. I managed to wean myself off coffee during my 2 weeks post-op at home but think I might have to start again.

I met with my physiotherapist for the first time since the surgery the day after I had my cast removed. My ankle was still pretty swollen so she just tried to massage the area and move the fluid around. It felt wonderful! I was a little hesitant at first but the incision site held up and all was good. She gave me “ankle pulses” to do at home three times a day just to get the blood flowing. We also discussed the recovery plan and I feel a lot more optimistic about this recovery now that a concrete plan is in place.

And then to the big achilles related news - I can walk again! I slowly started trying to stretch out my achilles just by transferring my weight to my boot foot while still using my crutches. I would hold the stretch for about 30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. I took deep breaths because it hurt! But then last night I just decided that I was going to try walking and it worked! It’s not the prettiest walk, but it feels okay. I certainly get tired and my tendon feels worked, but I think this might be a good thing. My surgeon said I should try to weight bear as soon as I could to help the recovery, so I am glad that this worked out. Now let’s just hope I don’t overdo it and injure myself or fall/trip at home or outside in the snow.

Until next time!

4 comments December 13th, 2015

The Next Step(s)

It is now exactly 15 days since my achilles surgery. Things were going smoothly in the last few days with my cast, but wow, I was sure ready to get that thing off my leg! It seemed like the hours were crawling by as I waited for my appointment, and then when the time came to go to the Cast Clinic, I still had to wait 2 more hours in the waiting room. I didn’t mind though; my surgeon is extremely busy and it was nice to be surrounded by people who all looked like me (feet in walker boots or casts).

So like I said, not having the cast on is fantastic! But now comes the real work. My surgeon said “You need to start physiotherapy NOW”. He flexed my foot to activate the tendon and WOW - excruciating pain. I don’t think I have ever felt something like that before. The tendon is so tight with all the inflammation from the surgery and immobility that this is going to really take some work and perseverance. ¬†However, it is good to know that the pain is normal and hopefully with activity and such it will gain its flexibility over time. I am going to see my physiotherapist later today, so hopefully she can whip this ankle back into shape.

I have titled this post the Next Step(s) because I am working on the next step of my recovery, but am also literally learning to walk and weight bear again so I can take steps normally.  I am a little disappointed that I still have to walk with crutches, especially since there is so much snow and ice outside. I can weight bear a little, but like I said, the pain is just too intense right now. My surgeon has high hopes for me though, and that in 4 weeks I should be walking flat in my boot without any heel lifts (I currently have two in right now). I hope he is right!

Has anyone else experienced this severe tightness in the back of your ankle after surgery? Will the physiotherapist have some tips/exercises on how to improve my walking in the next few weeks? I just don’t see how I can work up to it alone when I was completely immobile for two weeks and now I have to get walking again.

Hopefully, the next time I post I will have some drastic changes to report :)

Happy healing!

6 comments December 10th, 2015

Post-Op Day 10

So post-op day 10 finally! Things are about the same. Definitely have been more positive and the days seem to be going by quite quickly! Have even motivated myself to study for final exams but it is still very uncomfortable to be sitting that long.

My cast comes off on Wednesday! I cannot wait. I am excited to just have the freedom to scratch my leg and not have to bear the weight of it anymore. I am okay with using crutches, but the cast is just so heavy and uncomfortable! Also sick of sleeping on my back - prior to this I was solely a side sleeper. Really looking forward to be able to do that again too. I’m kind of nervous to see what the back of my ankle looks like when they remove the cast.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to help with the itchiness of the cast? I tried blowing cool air into it to no avail. The cast is just too tight to my leg. Also tried an ice pack on the outside of the cast, which may have had a cooling effect, but still not the best.

Hope everyone else is recovering well!

Add comment December 5th, 2015

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