What just happened here?

As I sit here with my leg raised on day 20 of Full ATR, I’m determined to heal and share my story to help others. I’m 44 years old and have always been active. I played Division 1 College Soccer, NCAA Tournaments, a Final Four and now I love to play tennis, golf, run, walk, yoga…you name it. I do not sit still. I’m a realtor, mom, with 2 busy kids, a golden-doodle that is now glued to me and a husband that commutes to NYC. I work out to keep my mind clear and to stay healthy. In all my years of playing competitive soccer, I’ve witnessed a ton of injuries, but never an ATR…until 10/3/15.

I was at the gym, feeling great, our class was finishing with burpees into sprints! Probably my last sprint of the day and then SNAP & POP! I literally fall and tell everyone…that was my Achilles, get me ice, a box to elevate and medicine ASAP! Surprisingly, I was super calm, probably in shock. I even received an offer on one of my listings during my workout and was able to call the other agent on my way to the ER!

Went immediately to the ER, where they could tell just by looking at my left foot, I had a complete ATR.  Less than a week later after 2 visits to the doctor and an MRI, on 10/9/15, I have the surgery to repair!   The most uncomfortable part of the week in between the rupture and the surgery was the feeling in my heel that it wasn’t attached, besides that, the pain medicine helped along with R.I.C.E. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

So, I’m feeling great post-op and rest all weekend. Monday, my kids are off from school (10/12/15) and we’re outside enjoying the beautiful day. I’m on this cool little scooter my husband rented so I didn’t have to solely rely on the crutches and could get some fresh air and what happens? I fall! In my head, I just didn’t realize that my balance could be so off and that my body was needing to truly rest. If you told me, I could try to run with the post-op cast-like contraption, I’d say "let’s go!"

It honestly was the worst pain I’ve felt. Shooting, burning, up my leg. My kids ride their bikes to get help from my neighbors (we live in the woods) and thankfully, they come to my rescue. I couldn’t move from the ground.  My point in sharing this is…that you need to realize what your body has been through and that this is a serious injury. If you are an active person like myself, do not try to scoot around outside at all 3 days post-surgery. Your body is healing and reconnecting. Be extremely careful on the crutches, as well.

So, off to the doctor the next day, for what was the most unpleasant experience of this whole thing. To lay on my stomach while 4 doctors poked and prodded my leg, was absolutely awful. I didn’t scream as loud when I popped out my son during natural childbirth. The good news…my Achilles was still intact!

Stitches were removed 10/20/15 and now my new BFF is this big ol’ boot. It’s heavy and clumsy. I’m scared to take it off at all due to the feeling of lack of support. My toes are pointed down and I’m not allowed to drive yet. Another challenge!

I’m beyond thankful for friends,  family and neighbors that are shuttling my kids daily! This is hard for me to accept, but I also had my favorite yoga teacher visit me last week. I’m learning how to meditate and am reading "Real Happiness, The Power of Meditation." I had an awesome "chair yoga" session with her and am focused on "lovingkindness," reconnecting (mentally and my Achilles, physically) and essential cohesiveness.

Take it easy. Elevate above your heart. Accept that others want to help. Ice. Rest. Be kind to yourself.

Like this blog tells us all…it’s a marathon to recover from an ATR, not a sprint. Embrace this and take each day as it comes.

New pains and challenges have come at me daily, but I’m learning from each and every one of them.

I will come back stronger and better…but will always pass on doing a burpee into a sprint!

5 Responses to “What just happened here?”

  1. Thank you for your description. It make me feel lees alone in my self. I ruptured my tendon this week and I’m feeling a bit down. I have to cancel my holiday cruise with my wife and it was something i have been looking forward to for months. I will have an MRI next week to determine if i need surgery but I’m hoping I don’t as Im a Diabetic and that will cause complications. It seems from what Ive read it will take time to recover from this. Hope it goes well for you Thanks again for your blog.

  2. @Beth12, sorry to hear that you’ve joined the club. I’m a little more than seven months post-op myself, and I can assure you it absolutely gets better. 100% recovery is typical, and being athletic and active will help you as you know how to train.

    I journalled a lot early on, so that I could see progress, as it’s hard to recognize it day to day. At seven months, I’m biking, hiking, and very close to running again (I probably could, but am being conservative). Getting to FWB was the big step for me, which happened on day 35 (many do it sooner).

    Good luck, and hang in there! It’ll be a distant memory soon enough!

  3. Really glad you shared your story. We are close in age and appear to both be active people that aren’t good at sitting still. Perhaps I should try to read the book you noted or finally start the meditation class I downloaded but never started!

    Wishing you a great (dare I say speedy) recovery!

  4. Thank you for sharing, great attitude an always reassuring to hear from other kindred spirits.
    At what stage did they clear you for driving again.
    I ruptured my right achilles just over three weeks post op.
    In the boot for another 5 weeks before seeing OS again and now walking in the boot and have ditched the crutches.
    Sadly I am not able to drive either and I certainly understand why. Just curious to how long it takes to get the strength back enough for safe driving.
    For now I feel very happy that I can at least move around hands free now, and manage a few more tasks than when on crutches as support. Baby steps each day brings a little more satisfaction towards moving in the right direction.
    Wondering if I should start PT prior to see the OS on the 17th December. Im doing the gentle excersises daily, heel rotations, gently point toes up and down, any others that are safe now would be greatly appreciated.

    Love this blog, keeps the spirits up

  5. @Beth12 I’m so glad I ran into your blog (and maybe now I will start my own). We have lots in common and it was comforting to hear your story. I am a 44 yo mom of two. I played Dlll basketball and also made it to a Final Four and NCAA tourney games. I’m only moderately active, I like spin and cardio kickboxing but I had a hard time fitting it in consistently due to a long commute. Anyway I knew immediately and was shocked to think that I had torn my Achilles while helping coach at my daughter’s basketball practice. My tear was on 11/1415 and I had surgery on 11/19/15. I returned to a Cam Boot on 12/2. I was allowed to return to work on 12/3 and had to ride metro because the tear is on my right foot. I’m using a scooter and ending up having 2 big mishaps on the commute. The second one involved me banging the front wheels into a raised sidewalk and me standing up quickly to avoid flipping over. It really hurt and I starts to get a small amount of bleeding on my incision! I saw the OS the next day and although he wasn’t pleased he wasn’t overly concerned. The boot is very irritating and I also had a blister form at the top if or incision. This has been a real learning experience. So far the pain has been minimal (especially in comparison to that natural childbirth). For me it’s more losing independence, asking for and receiving help, and slowing down that have been difficult. I’m getting into my bible and learning new ways to engage with my family. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to hearing more of your progress.

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