Filed Under (Uncategorized) by barrrb on 29-07-2009

So a month ago today was when I ruptured my Achilles. I figured I would write out my story since I’m bored out of my mind and have nothing to do.

First a little background info. I’ve been Irish step dancing for 13 years and in all those years I had only qualified for “Nationals” twice (2008 & 2009.) Last year when I competed it was not anywhere near my best. From November to late May I was in a CAM Walker because of Achilles tendonitis, so obviously I wasn’t practicing like I normally would and needless to say my placement showed it. So this time around I was very excited. I had been working very hard and was feeling quite confident about my dancing. That is before I went to dance class on that one particular Monday.

So, it was June 29th. Exactly 5 days before I was supposed to compete at the North American Irish Dance Championships. My sister and I decided to go to a different class than we normally go to. We wanted a small class and bigger dance floor so we opted to go 40 minutes away instead of 5 minutes away. Everything was going fine. About 20 minutes into class, after warm-ups and some drills my Achilles was hurting, but not anymore than it normally does at dance class. So we started to do our steps and half way through my dance I came down from a double switch (landing on my left foot) and I heard a kind of “pop/slam” and I thought my foot went through the floor.

I didn’t feel any pain at first. Immediately I looked down and saw that I hadn’t broken the floor. I then tried to put my left foot down and it felt like the floor was slanted and then the pain started. All the way up into my calf was in terrible pain. My teacher had me sit down and put my foot up. My sister went and got my mom and I hopped to the car and waited there for 2 hours until my sister was finished with class. I was in so much pain I could barley think. So we decided to go to the hospital.

In hindsight I should have just waited until the next day anyway (it was 11pm by the time dance was over) and went to see my orthopedic, but we went to the ER. After being there for 3 hours and getting x-rays done I was told by their orthopedic that it was just a sprain, the tendon was still intact, I should be walking in a few days and to do a quick follow up with my orthopedic the next day. He wasn’t even going to split my foot or anything. Luckily my mom convinced him to.

SO I went to my orthopedic who immediately knew it was ruptured. After a long emotional appointment we determined that I needed to get blood-work re-done, and that he would refer me to a different surgeon since we were going on vacation then he was going on vacation (it was QUITE complicated.)

So here I am. One month later. I honestly cannot believe it has been a month. I am bored out of my mind and feeling really down. I’ve been reading everyone elses stories and trying to stay positive but I am having a hard time. My summers are always like 100% dedicated to dance and without I’m going crazy. I’ve tried going to class and just watching but that is just as sad as not going at all. I just don’t know what to do with myself. I stay in bed or in the couch all day since I have no where to go/not allowed to go any where. I’m just having a really tough time emotionally but what can you do?

On one final note, I bought these “Crutch Critters” in attempts to make the crutches more bareable. They make me laugh and actually work really well as coushins. (This is the best picture I could get of them)


I can’t wait until I can walk again and I especially can’t wait until I can dance again. It’s going to be a long road but Nationals 2011 here I come! This has been quite a long post. I’m finished for now.


pendersnitzel on 29 July, 2009 at 5:23 am #

You have a goal….a realistic and reachable goal of “Nationals 2011″
Keep your eye on the prize–

sam66 on 29 July, 2009 at 9:08 am #

Yes, it is very frustrating, but you’re young and fit so are sure to make a good recovery more quickly than many of us. Dame Kelly Holomes returned from a ruptured achilles tendon to get golds in bothe 800m and 1500m at the 2004 Olympics.
Ttry not to let it get you down - we’re going through this together and we’re all going to get there.

dancer on 1 August, 2009 at 3:25 pm #

Hi, i am ‘Dancer’ on here havn’t been on this site in ages i also am an irish dancer from the UK so couldn’t believe it when i came across your Blog, i blogged on here when i ruptured my Achilles last year however after a re-rupture a day after coming out of plaster it used to depress me coming on here and reading about everyone elses progress.
Reading your blog is as if i was writing it as when i ruptured mine i thought and said to everyone it felt like id broken the stage and i also looked to see if there was a hole in the floor ha! i done mine at a feis just after the world its a horrible injury.
I am so sorry to read that another dancer has done this and i know what your going through hated going to class watching everyone else and sat at home feeling sorry for myself.
I returned to dance in January and it was extremly difficult i found it virtually impossible to jump,stay on my toes and do most of my steps aswel as stamina issues, its taken an immense amount of work but i am improving agian doing most of my old steps.
You have to be very disciplined and do all the exercises as the muscle wastage makes it hard. I went to the world this year, however i wasn’t ready and it was too soon for me unfortunately i didn’t recall after getting 10th the world before my injury, i was very down but made a decision to go away take a break and work on improving i just took part in the British Nationals and got 7th Qualifying for the world next year.
Anyway cutting a long story short what i’m trying to say is that the recovery is a long and both physically and emotionally difficult process, you will cry ALOT and have bad days but if you want it enough you can get back to dancing and be good again. Be careful when you come out of plaster as you have no protection so any slip/fall could result in a re-ruptre like me, don’t give up and take your time. Good Luck with your recovery if you ever want any advice please don’t hesitate to ask

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