Making Progress

Got the cast removed on Thursday.  Dr says things look great and that since my foot is already at the angle the he wants that I can do the first month of PT at home since it will just be some light stretching.  I’ll be in boot for up to 4 months.  Good news is that I”m full weight bearing and weaning off of crutches.  Today was first day almost completely without them.  I still keep them around when I’m out of the boot since I can’t push off at all yet.

This is painfully slow but for the first time, I feel as if I’m making some progress.

First Post Op Visit

Got the first look at the cut.  Doctor wasn’t kidding about having to slice me more than he normally does to get at scar tissue.  Cut is about 7 inches long.  Good thing my wife digs scars.  Wound is healing well and staples were taken out.  Then the bad news…got the cast instead of boot.  Doc tried to do reading on rehab protocol for 2- month-old injuries and largest sample was about 5 cases.  He is looking to be conservative, knowing that I will push myself to get back to active too fast.

Wasn’t happy Monday night but Tuesday morning when I tripped on dog bone in living room, he was my hero.  Cast took the brunt of fall and although ankle was sore, no pressure on injury.

Cast was able to set foot at 90 degrees so off to a decent start but now 4 weeks before next chance at boot.  Learning to enjoy little things like trip to grocery store and rides from friends at work.

Off the Couch

On Wedneday (8 days after surgery) I was able to go into work.  Most of the morning was a customer meeting and the afternoon relaxed as well.  I’ve turned my office into a bit of a lounge using my guest chairs as chair and leg rest rather than my desk.  This way I can still relax while on the computer or phone.

Officemates like that they can hear the creak of my crutches long before I get to their desks.

Felt good to get out of the house and back into the real world.  Took it easy working from home today and other than being a bit tired, doing great.  I’ll be back in tomorrow with then the weekend to spend on the couch.  First post op visit is Monday afternoone

Dumb Marine

The Marines taught me a lot when I was young but apparantly knowing when you are hurt itn’t one of them.

On the day of Christmas Eve, my family and I were enjoying one of the last couple of days on a great western carribean cruise.  My kids and I were participating in an Amazing Race type event on the ship where families are given clues that lead them to stations on the ship where they answer ships trivia questions or perform activities such as climbing the rock wall, playing a hole of miniture golf or in my case shooting as many basketball free throws in a minute.  While crouching to shoot, I was hit in the achilles by a ball that was being thrown back to me.  I immediately lost the power to push off of that foot and needless to say didn’t make any more shots.  Thinking that it was just a deep bruise, I hobbled along with the kids for the rest of the race. 

Against the better judgement of the smart one in my marriage, my wife, I simply iced the leg and didn’t see the ship’s doctor.  I continued to hobble around the ship and it was a week before I could see my GP at home.  When I saw him, the ankle was pretty swollen and looked like a bad strain or twist.  He tested to see if I could push with my foot and said at least I was lucky that I hadn’t torn the achilles.  He suggested continued rest and ice.

At 6 weeks with everyone in my office and my wife telling my I was nuts for thinking that my leg would get better, I went back to the GP.  He couldn’t believe that it wasn’t better and recommended that I seek some physical therapy.  To be safe, he set up an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon to make sure that I didn’t hurt anything while doing PT. 

It was day 29 after my injury when I saw the ortho and he was shocked that I was walking without aid when he saw that I had ruptured my AT.  MRIs confirmed his concern that the tendon had retracted with a gap of about 5cm.  On day 30, he had me in surgery.  He found that I had years of damage to the tendon and that he had to make a v-cut in the tendon to lengthen it enough to come back together.  He said that it was one of the trickier surgeries that he has had to do and he cut me open more than he likes to so that he could clear the scar tissue that had formed.

After a night in the hospital, I was sent home with the foot in a brace with instructions to stay on my back and elevate the foot for a minimum of 23 hours a day for five days.  I’m now on day 3 and I’m pretty bored.  I’ve been able to get some papers written for a masters degree that I’m working on and a lot of paperwork for my job but staying still is not my thing.  On Monday, I need to schedule my first follow up appointment around day 10 when he will take out my staples and either cast or boot me.  He has said both so I’m not sure what direction he will take.  He projects a tough rehab given the time that I had between the injury and surgery. 

Luckily, the pain hasn’t been as bad as I anticipated.  I’m still on pain meds but I’m weaning myself down off of them.  The uncertainty about what will happen next, when I get back to work, when I can resume traveling for my job and will I get back to running is my biggest challenge right now.  I run a sales team so I can sit a desk most of the time that I’m in my office when I’m not traveling to customer sites or meetings.  We have important customers coming in this week that I want to be there so see but my office won’t let me back in without the doctor’s permission.  I need to work out how much I can work from home or do I need to file for short term disability. 

I’m conflicted with trying to determine the breaking point between pushing myself to a speedy recovery and driving myself to the point of reinjury.  Luckily for these first 5 days, my wife stressed to the doctor the importance of writing clear, straight forward rules and he set me on my back for that period.  Now I want to know what to do on day 6.

Sorry for the long post…three days on my back with uncertainty has me ready to explode.