Archive for May, 2010

May 27 2010

Profile Image of bigbill
bigbill

February 23, 2010 - What’s the Prognosis Doc?

Filed under Uncategorized

The following Tuesday, 2 days after injuring, I met with the Doctor. By that time I had been on the internet for probably the past 48 hours straight trying to absorb every ounce of information I could on Achilles tendon rupture trying to figure out an explanation for the injury how long I would be down and out for. I did learn that the people that are typically affected by this injury are males (check), 30-60 years old (double check), that are weekend warriors (triple check.) But what I couldn’t get a handle on was how long it would be before I get back to normal. I had read so many people’s stories, that I didn’t know what to expect. So that was my main question going into the appointment.

After a painful Thompson test confirmed it was indeed ruptured, the doctor explained the two options I had for treatment (surgical vs non-surgical) and the pros and cons of each. Knowing (from my reading) the rerupture rates and the amount of strength expected to be recovered for each approach, there was no doubt in my mind which approach I was going to elect; surgery. My question to the doctor was then, “What’s the prognosis? When can I expect to be back to normal?” And to my amazement he said, “You’ll be back to basketball in 3 months.” Say what? 3 months!!!! At the time I was just so happy at the thought of having my summer back and being able to play golf this year that I never stepped back to think that, “doesn’t 3 months seem a little too optimistic?” But it didn’t matter. I got the answer I wanted to hear. That I was going to be back to normal SOON. I was anxious to get this show on the road.

After informing the doctor of my decision to go with surgery, I was told that I could be brought into surgery the very next day. So that required us (myself and my wife, who had become my care taker) to make an appointment with my primary care physician that afternoon to get a pre-operation check up. Fortunately, he was able to get me in and I was ready to go for surgery the next day.

10 responses so far

May 27 2010

Profile Image of bigbill
bigbill

February 21, 2010 - The Infamous Pop

Filed under Uncategorized

Holidays are always a tough time to stay motivated and committed to your fitness goals. Like a lot of people I became victim to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, eating too much and exercising too little. All of the snow fall we got this year certainly didn’t help either. With the holidays now behind me, I wanted to refocus on eating well and getting to the gym, like I normally did.

My normal routine involved going to the gym 3 times a week where I either ran and lifted weights, participated in a Tae Bo class, or played Basketball. I also played in a basketball league on Thursday nights, which I would count as one of my 3 times a week. I had been struggling getting into a routine, but had finally just started to become more consistent.

That Saturday morning, I did an hour of Tae Bo. The next morning, Sunday, it was my normal pick up game. Prior to playing, as I learned from my back injury, I made sure I stretched thoroughly before getting out on the court. Hamstrings, calves, quads, back, stretched and ready to go.

I was in the middle of my 3rd game that morning when I felt the pop and like many other’s experience, it was a very unspectacular event. I caught a pass from a teammate and tried to make a quick move to the right pushing off on my left foot. As I pushed off of my left foot, I felt what I thought was a basketball come onto the court and hit me in the back of the calf. As I fell to the floor I looked back only to see there was no ball on the court (to this day I don’t know if I fell because my achilles popped or my achilles popped because I fell). In that split second I immediately knew that something was wrong with my leg. I yelled, “my leg!” and repeatedly said, “I’m done! I’m done!” as I scooted off the court on my butt trying to get out of the way so the game could continue. Playing basketball, I have become accustomed to spraining fingers and ankles and figured this would just be something that would prematurely end my day that I’d eventually be able to walk off. I had felt a pop, but didn’t feel much pain to make me think it was serious. Sensing it was more serious than I thought, the guys I was playing with crowded around me as I laid on the sideline. I told them, “I don’t know what’s going on. It felt like I was hit in the leg with a ball.” One of the guys said, “Yeah, you ruptured your Achilles.” He then kneeled down to message my calf putting pressure from the middle of my calf progressing down to my heel, repeatedly. The pain was excruciating every time he reached the area of my Achilles… 1000 times more painful than when I actually injured it. At the time I was thinking, “what in the world is the dude doing? Does HE even know what he’s doing?” In retrospect, I think he may have trying to prevent the Achilles from retracting into the calf. Whether or not what he did helped in my recovery, no one knows. As I lay on the floor rolling in pain, with my hands on my face, from this guy rubbing on my tendon, I could hear people talking. “He ruptured his Achilles…. What? A young guy like that? Yeah he’ll need surgery?” (I play ball with the 30 and up crowd now ) Surgery? Wow this is more serious that I thought.

Because the car that I drive is manual, I had to call my wife to bring me to the emergency room. At the emergency, the doctor on duty performed the Thompson test and confirmed that it was indeed a rupture. When I heard the diagnosis, I felt like I could have cried….had my wife not been there, I probably would have. It had been a long, cold, snowy winter in Maryland and I was very much looking forward to the weather breaking and being able to go out and enjoy it. Instead, thinking it was a minimum 6 month recovery, I thought that the entire summer was lost to injury. After I struggled to hold it together, I was splinted up and sent on my way with crutches. I made an appointment to see an orthopedic the next day.

That night I racked my brain with the question, “Why?” I could not understand how this could happen. I made it a priority to stretch before I went out to play. I had just did Tae Bo the day before. I’m only 31 years old…. I know that’s starting to get up there, but that’s not that old. Right? Why did this happen to me?!

No responses yet

May 27 2010

Profile Image of bigbill
bigbill

Better Late Than Never

Filed under Uncategorized

I know for a fact that everyone who participates in this blog can never truly understand how the simple act of writing about your experiences with this injury touches so many lives. For each person who blogs about their experience and gives supports to others through the comments, there are MANY people who receive comfort and encouragement who read the blog, that never write a single word. How do I know? Because for the past 13 weeks I have been one of them.

Since the day I injured myself, this has been my favorite, most visited site on the internet. I could not get enough about people’s experiences with this injury. Your stories let me know what I was up against, gave me hope, and also were a form a therapy. With all the ways this site has helped me, I thought how great it would be to share my story and help others the same way the site helped me, but, like with many other things in life that I should or want to do, I never got around to it…. Well that’s until now!

Although it’s a little later than I wanted, I’ll try to retrace my journey up until this point. Bear in mind, my memory is not the greatest, but I’ll do what I can to recall exactly how I felt at the time.

So a little background about myself. Obviously, my name is Bill. I am a 31 year old male that was a former highschool athlete (primarily Baseball and Basketball) that now sits at a desk for 40 hours a week. In recent years, within the last 6 or so, I picked up golf, which has quickly become one of my favorite past times in the world. I enjoy staying active, playing in Basketball on the weekends, basketball and golf intramural leagues, all while trying to make it to the gym 3 times a week to run, Tae Bo, or do light weight lifting. About 1 year and half ago, shortly after turning 30 (and ironically a few months after getting married), I strained my lower back for the first time I playing basketball. I saw a physical therapist for a few weeks to receive treatment. What I learned from the experience with the PT was how much I lacked flexibility in general and how important stretching is. From that point forward, I made it a point the stretch prior to doing ANY activity.

No responses yet