6 Weeks Post OP

Everything seems to be going good, so far.  Started PT last Friday and it went well.  He took some measurements (swelling @ 31 cm and flexion @ 91 degrees), gave me a “gentle” massage (Not as gentle as you think), and did some ultrasound treatment.  I rode the bike for 10 minutes and did some exercises on the big round board (placed foot on board and did 100 revolutions clockwise then counter clockwise making the edges touch the floor).  I felt great afterwards.  I told him about my commitment to play in March and to push me and my recovery as much as possible.  He said he understood and would treat me like a professional athlete in terms of the recovery process.  He said after 2 weeks of working with him that he could more or less gauge how long it would take to fully recover.  I ended PT with contrasting baths (30 secs in ice water bucket then 30 in warm water bucket), was told to ditch the crutches completely, and was sent on my way.

I felt great the next couple of days.  I was able to take my wife out to dinner and a movie(no problems walking up the steps in the theater) which she greatly deserved.  We missed out on her 29th birthday because of my injury and for all the crap she had to put up with while I was in the cast.

I was able to hit another milestone this week.  I took off the boot and would walk around the house for awhile.  I was not walking normally, more of a limp, on Monday. But I could some what take a step now.  I know I shouldn’t be doing this, but I would occasionally reset the boot to give me 7.5 degrees of dorsiflexion while walking around the house.  It would give me a little stretch, kind of like when I would do the exercises, but nothing that would cause pain.  I even got rid of the pillows I use at night to elevate the foot.  I could sleep normal again, any way I want.  I even had one of those stupid dreams again but this time with no pain.

I also started working out again.  I do upper body on Mon Wed and Fridays with abs and single leg exercises on Tues and Thurs.  My upper body exercises consist of push-ups, single arm DB rows, DB presses, DB flyes, DB presses, DB curls, Side laterals, Overhead extentions, upright rows, and shrugs.  Each exercise is done for 15 reps for 3 sets with 60 secs of rest between sets.  My Tues/Thurs workouts consits of single leg negative squats (attempt to sit on a chair and slowly lower myself approximately 5 sec down to a seated position).  Single leg RDLs with DBs and standing calf raises(take 5 sec up 5 sec down).  For abs I do standard crunches, bicycle crunches, and bridges (left, right, and center).  My upper body exercises take 40 minutes to complete and gives me a pretty good aerobic workout as the rest periods are short.  I take 1-3 minutes of rest between my lower body exercises as I’m trying to maintain my lower body strength until I can get back into the gym and start squatting heavy again.

I took beginning measurements and started two journals (1 workout log and 1 nutrition log) to help in the process.  This will help by 1. Letting me know what I am putting into my mouth, holds me more accountable, and 2. What exercises I am able to complete, if I check next to that exercise I need to up the weight or reps depending on desired outcome.  I started out 264 lbs with a 48″ chest, 48″ waist, 47″ hips, Calfs L (injured side) 16 3/4″ R 17 1/2″, and Arms R 16 1/2″ L 16.  My left calf was always bigger than my right pre injury, I had it measured at 18″ in Dec.  That just shows how small it got in 7 weeks.  My body fat percentage is 31.49% which gives me 181 lbs of lean mass and 83 lbs of body fat.  Most of my body fat accumulates in my torso area, as you can see by my measurements, so I included fat burner to help me shed those unwanted love handles and man boobies.  Since my lean mass is 181 lbs, I keep my protein intake to at least 190 grams a day while trying to keep my carbs to a minimum (200-250).  I will take another set of measurements in 2 weeks to gauge my progress.  If I am not making any progress I will look into making changes, that were your journals come in handy.  As for now, I feel good. My fat burner is working as I can feel thermogenesis setting in and my spirits are up.  Til Later.

36 Days Post Op

Monday was a good day, I had my cast removed and was given my walking boot.  Dr said try to start walking on it and get rid of the crutches when I am comfortable walking without them.  The first couple of steps were awkward and I was a bit hesitant to put weight on the foot. My ankle felt weak and unstable in the boot.  I had taken some steps while in the cast FWB and would usually just use one crutch throughout the day, but this was different.  He set the boot to have 30 degrees of plantar flexion and 0 dorsiflexion, told me exercise it 3 xs a day (30 reps of pointing my toes up and down out of the boot), prescribed me pt of 2 xs a week for 6 weeks, and then sent me on my way.  For the rest of the day, I used both crutches to get around and to get used to the boot.  By 700 that evening, I was down to one crutch and was much more comfortable walking.  That night, while asleep, I had one of those stupid dreams where your falling.  I tensed up and plantar flexed my foot.  Ouch, but the pain was not that bad.  It hurt for a minute but went away.

Tuesday was another good day for me.  I was able to put my daughter in her car seat and drive my kids to school.  That was a big step for me.  I was actually able to do something that I was able to do before I got injured.  The tendon and ankle felt really tight today though.  Maybe it was because I had pushed myself too hard on Monday.  With a little bit of massage and exercise I was able to loosen it up a bit.  While massaging my ankle I noticed that I have no feeling on the outside part of my ankle.  I can feel it, but I can’t feel it.  It’s hard to explain, but I’m sure some of you out there know what Im talking about.  I was able to ditch the crutches today for awhile and walk without them.  I even took a trip to the grocery store to pick up some things.  I was walking around the store without crutches, FWB and it felt great.

Who knows what today brings for me and what kind of progress I will make. Even if I don’t make any, that will be fine to me, knowing that I can do simple things I couldn’t do last week.  I’m going to start to working out today, I got a couple sets of light dumbells I can use.  It’s not going to be the hardcore workout I used to do, just some push-ups and upper body stuff to get the blood flowing.

If it don’t kill you, it will only make you stronger!

Thanks for the support.  I had surgery to repair my achilles on Feb. 19 and I’m in my second cast (I went black, I was bummed out at the time).  I have a Dr. appointment on the 24th to remove the cast and to set me up with a walking boot.  I have little to no pain, I get an occassional twitch at the base of my foot, and just a little tightness when I first get up in the morning.  I even put a little weight on the foot on occassion and it feels fine.  I’m a pretty good healer though, I usually come back from a sprained ankle in a couple of days.

On the drive to the hospital I had a lot of time to reflect.  The first person to come to mind was Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers.  I heard him say in an interview that just before you get hurt you are in the zone, you can do no wrong.  That is so true, I was in the zone that day, everything was good.  I’m not a real religious person, but I think that was God’s way of telling me he can take anything from me when he wants and to not take for granted the gifts he has given me.  I even asked him to take away some of the pain and he did.  Really, no kidding.

It took so long for them to diagnose me with a ruptured achilles which was the reason why my surgery was 10 days later.  The ER doctor said it was sprain, my PCP said it was a sprain, so I didn’t see an ortho til Fri Feb 15 where he scheduled me for surgery on the 19th.  I was kind of lucky though, the hospital was full as we see alot of people with the flu over here.  After the surgery, the ortho told my wife that I had some complications (the tendon had retracted into my calf which required a bigger incison, and that I had alot of scar tissue and the ends were frayed).  After my wife told me what he said, I thought to myself and knew why it happened.  Back in 2005, Jan. I think, I went out and dusted off my 1993 Strenght Shoes and worked out in them.  Big Mistake.  The next day I had developed achilles tendonitis.  The heal of my foot killed me.  I asked a friend of mine (Personal Trainer for Bally’s) it there was anything I could do to help fix this and he told me to massage the tendon to break down the scar tissue and to soak my foot in warm water.  I said “Ok” sounds good, but did nothing.  I continued playing basketball (adult league) and did nothing in terms of rehab.  Biggest Mistake Ever.  It was bound to happen, I am now glad it happened sooner that later as healing decrease with age (Im 32).

I was really bummed out for a couple of weeks.  I couldn’t help out around the house or help take care of my kids (I have 4: 12yrs, 6yrs, 5yrs, and 4 month old).  I felt worthless.  I let myself go, didn’t shave, cut my hair, and showered twice a week.  Then one day, I thought to myself and said “Stop feeling sorry for yourself, there are alot of people out there in worse situations than you are right now.”  I got up cut my hair, shaved, and showered.  Ever since that day(March 7th) I believe my recovery has improved greatly along with my attitude.  Prior to injury I had thought of becoming a performance enhancing specialists.  I had even designed my own program to improve my athleticism.  I was in week 5 of the program and had made some noticeable gains ( I was able to grab the rim with 2 hands with no step).  I had a goal to improve my vertical to 40 inches by Dec.  Once I get the ok from the Doc, I going to achieve this goal.  This is only a little speed bumb in my life and I’m not going to let it take control of my life.  God doesn’t throw anything at you that you can’t handle.  If it don’t kill you it only makes you stronger.  I WILL come back from this, faster and stronger than I was before.  I even plan on playing football in March of 09.

Starting March 24th 2008, I plan to post any progress I make in this attempt to play.  I will post my starting weight, body fat %, and any strenght gains I make.  I will post my program that I will be following along with my diet.  March 24th 2009 I plan on being 6′4″ 226 lbs with a 40 inch vert and can run a 4.5 40.  That is my goal and I will get there.

How it all happened

Before I tell my story, let me tell you about my self.  I grew up in Central California and have been involved in sports all my life.  I was a 3 sport athlete in high school all 4 years (football, basketball, and baseball) and even had a couple of brief stints of basketball and football in jr. college that didn’t pan out.  So I got my education and worked toward my profession in law enforcement where I am currently employed as a correctional officer.

Now fast foward to Feb. 9 2008, I got a call from my brother-in-law and he had asked if I wanted to play in a flag football tournament.  I had said yes since I was currently training to play semi-pro football in march of 09.  I figured I could get a good workout in on a Saturday and have some fun.  I was in fairly good shape as I had lost about 20 lbs the past month (I was 6′4″ 265 at the time of injury) and my cardiovascular system was up to par.  I was not what you would call a weekend warrior.  My wife was dead set against me playing, she would always say that I would get hurt, but I went anyways.

The first game went good.  They used me as lineman with my size and quickness I was the perfect fit.  I got the game winning sack on 4th and goal with a minute left.  We won 7-0.  The next game was better, again they used me as lineman but they had me go out for passes on occasion.  I had 2 catches that game, 1 for a 70yrd td and another for 55 yrds.  We won 28-7, again everything was good.  We were ranked as the #1 seed in the tournament and had a game at 100 which gave us about 90 minutes of rest time.

First game of the playoffs, the game started out good, I had 4 good runs that would have been touchdowns if it wasn’t for good diving defensive plays.  Then it happened, 3rd and Goal 30 secs left in the first half, we broke the huddle and I was “supposed” to run a corner route, it had been open before but I was overthrown.  I got in to a basic wide reciever stance, left foot back knees bent. I knew I was going to score.  At the sound of “go” my life changed.  It felt like someone had kicked the back of my cleat and I went down.  I immediately looked back and did not see anyone, so as the play was still going on, I got up and tried to run again I fell.  I then knew something was wrong.  Even in excruciating pain the only thing that went through my mind was “..my wife is going to be pissed!”  I got up a second time and limped off the field.  I sat on the sideline, looked at my ankle and knew that I had ruptured my achilles.  I had a visible 1 inch gap.  I changed my cleats and hobbled to my car.  I was parked about 200 yrds from the field and during that long agonizing walk, I called my wife to meet me at the hospital.  I drove myself (it was my left achilles) approximately 20 min to the hospital.  I was dripping with sweat the whole ride.  It was a fairly cool day and I had  broken a little sweat playing, but after it popped it felt like a 100degree day.  I was drenched.  Feburary 9, 2008 at 134pm a time I will never forget.

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