This is posted with due respect for people who are struggling with more than just straightforward ATR rupture/surgery. Some of those stories are quite humbling and inspirational. They too will get there.

My ATR was a huge blow as I was rehabbing for other injuries knee/ankle, not getting younger, yet really at a great place with sports in my life with access to multiple pickup/rec league sports and loving every minute of sports….my music, my art. Did not realize how being fast, quick and agile on my feet was such a huge part of my life. I was told pretty much immediately that I was looking at 6 months out and started to realize maybe a year and some doubt as to whether I would come back with the same ability. Although 6 years away, I imagined doing backflips for my 50th.

When people see the cast and sympathize, I automatically come up with an optimistic response. That was what I had left for a competitive sport spirit. There are so many silver linings as life happens. I thought it might be nice to share the positive’s arising from ATR. I have a few but will start with one. Be serious or even state a humerous brighter side, or share a story expanding on something positive someone else has posted.

In case you need a hobbling start….. "I don’t recommend and ATR but if it wasn’t for my ATR…._________________________(something positive)…

16 Responses to “ATR silver linings… optimism”

  1. bionic Says:

    I reminisce about a time when people were courteous…and post ATR realize human beings still desire to be nice. Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas/Ramadan/Gungheefatchoy etc. etc. wherever you may be, you have the spirit of generosity post ATR whatever time of year it may be.

    Strangers are extremely kind when they see you in a cast and in a large city you realize people have learned to be cold but wish to be kind to others. We should think of every stranger we see as having their own little ATRs in their lives. I might have a bit of withdrawal from less attention when crutches/cast gone, but I will remember that it’s OK for me to be a bit friendlier in a busy city.

  2. normofthenorth Says:

    Nice thoughts. Thanks.

  3. superjewgrl Says:

    I thought you were out of a cast bionic?

    If it wasn’t for my ATR i never would have known “shower chairs” existed and I really hate having a cast.

    No really, I’m pleasantly surprised people are so willing to help and be supportive, it’s okay to ask for help and the kindness of strangers goes a long way.

    But mostly, I’ve learned I take way toooo much for granted. Little things, big things. Before this, I moved way too quickly through my life to fully live and be mindful in the moment. It’s okay to be alone with my thoughts and it’s okay that i have a chink in my armor.

    I’ll be 50 in a little over 6 years, I hope I’m skipping by then.

    Happy Healing xx

  4. bionic Says:

    sj you’ll always be skipping…as you sound like you’re still doing in slightly different ways. So important to be in the moment as you say. We have busy lives and something always fills the little gaps also. When that happens constantly we are ironically out of touch. I’m not the best at it but I think it’s part of ‘basic nutrition’ to learn to be alone in one’s thoughts (and thus ‘in touch’ and ‘with all’).

    I was never in a plaster type cast. I had the aircast post surgery, removed at day 9 just to take out stitches and add wedges. Told at day 9 ok to sleep without cast…tried it, but extrapolated from collective approach on blog and stopped. Changed to vaco at day 15. Now, when home sitting for long periods I take cast off but my foot does not step without the vaco boot.

  5. debuff Says:

    Last year while standing on a dock I had a 30 Ton houseboat gently float into my thighs just above the knees and pinned me against a mooring post. I had severe contusions but no crushed bones. Unaware I was bleeding internally, I hobbled to a restaurant but fainted within the hour. Fortunately I was taken to an emergency room and given oxygen. I came very close to both losing my legs and possibly my life. While my Achilles tendon problem is unrelated to my boating accident, I feel incredibly lucky to have legs and be in good health and able to recover from such an extensive surgery. It’s a long painful journey, but so much better than learning to use prosthetic legs like the poor people in the Boston marathon. Everything is relative.

  6. bionic Says:

    Debuff, wow! That is certainly perspective! You might be amongst record holders to be hit by the heaviest object and move on to empower others.

  7. debuff Says:

    I truly had a guardian angel watching over me. It took less than ten seconds during which I was completely frozen. Thank goodness i
    t hit three inches above my knees. I’ve since found out if I hadn’t gotten oxygen, I would have suffered compartment syndrome and probably died. So I’m so very thankful to be alive and to have both legs, even if it’s recovering from reconstructive Achilles tendon surgery.

  8. superjewgrl Says:

    You sure do Debuff. What a story. Glad you are making progress. xx

  9. loumar747 Says:

    Great post debuff. Yes, there is a silver lining in this ATR recovery. While I’d rather not have been a member of this elite club, having ruptured my achilles has allowed me to:

    1. Get to know my husband again! We’re spending ALOT of time together. He has been a terrific caregiver although I had to send him off on a camping trip with friends for a little respite.

    2. Save money. Being reliant on my husband and friends for outings, I am not spending money as much on garden flora and fauna, golf, dining out, shoe shopping (according to my PT my already wide good foot is wider so I’ll probably save money for the rest of my life as I’ll be wearing shoe boxes), clothes shopping ( taking ‘boot’ off and on to try on clothes is exhausting), gas, etc.

    3.Meet new people. Just yesterday a cute 20 something said “Nice boot” . As I was trying to think of an intelligent retort, I saw her shapely leg encased in my boots twin! Even a panhandler inquired as to my condition. Of course, I then gave a generous donation.

    4. Make blog buddies. I’ll miss you all when I finally reach my goal.

    5. Be thankful I have two legs! Seriously, this experience has forced me to give thanks for all I do have and is a constant reminder to ’stop and smell the roses’.

  10. bionic Says:

    Loumar great post. I mentioned I had a few silver linings. I find myself smiling alone slightly shaking my head at the positive ironies. There are more to come but here is a very very light one. Before you read on you’ve been warned that you won’t get these 2 minutes of your life back.

    Who would have thought a private person like me would share re my sock drawer. I have some socks with a hole in them. I can never recall if I have only 2 or possibly 4-6 of the same sock. The inability to figure that out in the daily AM rush keeps me from throwing any socks out. My disorganization slightly stresses me out every morning. I only realized that because of the following experience.

    The other day I pulled out one sock of a pair and it had a hole in it. I then proudly pulled out the other and made use of it on my non-cast foot. It still worked if there were only 2 of that sock!! I was smiling at what I now claim as conservative genius of not throwing socks out. I had previously been weighed down every morning with the sock routine that i did not have time to organize before work. However, it turns out I was being an environmentally friendly genius. In lieu of running, I also felt a surge of athletic prowess by perfectly balancing hoarding and spartanism.

    It tripped up my rushed AM zombie like inefficiency and made me smile. As soon as I’m in two shoes I’m going to celebrate by organizing and cleansing my sock drawer.

  11. 1shann Says:

    Great post. I. Hope to have more to add to it sometime very soon. For now can say that for once in my life I am probably drinking an adequate amount of water. I am also being much more mindful about what I eat ( I am on the ‘eat what you can carry’ crutches plan ;) ). Also, I was not a daily smoker but did smoke in social situations. I ave not had a cigarette since 6/1. All in all I could come out the other end of ths more healthy than when I started…. Happy healing, folks :)

  12. Kiki Says:

    How about this one: I am now more sensitive to, and awed by, the permanently disabled people who navigate the public spaces of our world every day. I never thought I was *in*sensitive to the disabled, but like most of us, I took my mobility as a given…not as a gift. Now when I see a public restroom with a pull bar, a push-button opener to a heavy set of doors, a ramp alternative to stairs…I am so grateful to everyone who lobbied for the Americans with Disabilities Act back in the 1970s. (Fill in the blanks for your country.) We’re still far from universal access, but because determined people put pressure on government to instigate these requirements, my temporary disability has been made much easier. In perspective–this is nothing!

  13. lodinpdx Says:

    First of all bionic - you post such kind thoughtful posts so thank you!

    Second - debuff. Wow an amazing story and you most certainly had an angel watching over you.

    I have to admit I sometimes find it hard to find the silver linings. Early on people who say things like I hope you find some peace in all this or now you have time to relax. To which I smiled but thought some very unkind thoughts in my head. I have more often then not hated this and have thrown myself quite a few pity parties. But - thank you bionic for making me really think about some of the positives.

    I have had quite a few aha moments but I will share one of my favorites as it happened last night. I think I overdid it yesterday so as soon as possible I got into bed and that was that. I heard the normal chaos going on in the rest of the house. The did you brush your teeth, someone take the dog out and why is the towel on the floor? Then I heard Cole (my crazy 11 year-old) why aren’t you in bed? And just then the door burst open and Cole jumped up in bed with me to give me a hug goodnight. We just sat there together hugging.

  14. kellygirl Says:

    Great post, bionic! I think this injury forces all of us to re-evaluate and re-prioritize. It has made me more patient and more attuned to people with disabilities for sure. I’ve also surrendered some of my neurotic and control tendencies–how long that will last is, of course, questionable. All in all, I can think of a lot of worse things that could have happened so I feel pretty lucky to be in this elite club :)

  15. bionic Says:

    I had a few positive’s in mind when i posted. Another one that I was thinking about IS the inspiration from norm that I would not have run into if no ATR. Pre-ATR, I’ve had other injuries, lingering flare-ups, and ongoing rehab. Despite competing strongly, I had recurring thoughts about sports having to disappear from my life as I get older. I wanted to interview someone and ask ‘what is the age your body falls apart’? How do you that?

    I read norms posts including his volleyball participation. Those blew me away and offered much inspiration toward continuing to participate and rehab. My limitations may still come and I may or may not be able to compete at norm’s level but his nonchalant talk about participating made me believe that there would be somewhere I could continue to enjoy sports. Norm probably isn’t aware, but his story is firmly planted in the back of my mind and has settled concerns I had pre ATR.

  16. bionic Says:

    I just noticed that this thread has already been started here….another positive i guess on links to left at http://achillesblog.com/achilles-injury-positives/

    My last positive on this…

    My ATR is right side. I’ve rolled my left ankle to point of having surgery recommended over a decade ago. Did not get surgery and rolled a number times over the years. Had a minor sprain weeks prior to right ATR. Pre ATR I’ve been to PT numerous occasions for L ankle with exercises, balance boards etc. to build back the propioreceptors (balance sensors).

    Post ATR during NWB and PWB, I would be naturally balancing on my left foot. And if I stand and reach for something I would be doing balancing exercises on my left ankle. Sometimes when my boot is off and I stood momentarily I was very careful to do so only on my left ankle. In the shower with the stork stance, I would get this exercise for 5-10 minutes (careful this can be v dangerous for some). At no point was I thinking about PT.

    My inadvertent rehab with my L ankle has been more successful than all of my past focussed PT! My left ankle needed and has had the most amazing rehab it could possibly get because I was NWB/PWB on R ATR.

    Pre-ATR (left) I also had knee issues flare up due to a R partial meniscotomy (20 years ago) and rolled R ankle a couple of months prior which was not fully recovered. I was in a football league and with a combination of pressure on myself to not let the team down and immaturity (at 43!) so kept playing and then ATR.

    The ATR has put a halt to my immaturity to play through injuries. My knees and ankles are going to get some needed rest from aggressive sports and Rehab will include building up entire lower limbs. Having no choice but to not participate is far easier than choosing to sideline yourself with more minor injuries. Others who love their sports might be able to relate to that.

    Hence my ATR is just what I needed.

    p.s. I do wish to reserve my right to have a breakdown down the road should I need it.

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