Just another Achillesblog.com weblog

Archive for the ‘Weekly Updates’

Week 32-Jogged 2 miles, biked 26-working my way back to full AT strength

Today I reached 32 weeks post op so I am getting closer to the end of the marathon.  I went for a 2 mile jog this week and it went fine, no pain, AT felt good.  Today I biked 26 miles and have been doing that type of mileage for a few months.  All in all recovery is going well but I am not back to full strength just yet.  I can do a few one leg toe raisers but not nearly as well and my good leg.  The AT still gets  sore after long workouts or a long day on my feet so I can tell there is more work to do.  Early on it was hard to understand when people kept saying it will take a year to recover but I am seeing how true that is.  Even though I can do most of what I did before, it’s not with the same power and strength.  So I press on day by day as IowaJim likes to say!  He’s so right.  Just take is one day at a time and DO NOT give up on your recovery efforts as it’s all worth the effort.  We all have a whole lot of living left to do and repairing the AT is crucial to future years of enjoyment.  My kids and the expectation of grandkids sometime in the distant future keep me going.  I want to be active to enjoy them.  All the best to my fellow ATR Recovery Friends!!  Cheers, Bode.

Back to Mt. biking-Week 21

I’m happy to report I am back out on my mountain bike and ripping up the singletrack.  Well, okay, not really ripping it up just yet, but definitely back to riding intermediate trails and climbing hills again.  I can handle most rocks, roots, turns, climbs etc. as before but have not even attempted any of the most difficult technical trails and no jumps or log piles just yet.  Mostly it’s great to be back riding and having fun on my bike.  I took my 9 year old son camping this weekend and we rode a 10 mile trail called Rock Lake Trail in northern Wisconsin.  We both were challenged by the terrain but finished well.  Then today we rode Lebanon Hills 6 mile intermediate loop and it felt great.  So if you are just starting out or a few weeks in, please be encouraged and know you CAN return to your favorite sports.  Lot’s of patience and lots of work will help you get there.  Keep going ATR friends!!

Week 19-Life is getting better!

Seems a while since I gave an update.  Life is getting better as the healing continues.  The worst is soon forgotten as walking becomes a normal everyday activity instead of a desired future state.  Of course there are still days when my AT is sore but only because I am working it more all the time.  I have managed two bike to work days, 12 miles each way which is great.  Also started a bit of jogging/running.  Still doing therapy every other week–helps me stay focused on doing the exercises needed to regain full strength.  Still not able to do one legged calf raises.  Hopefully soon.  It’s easy to get lazy now that I am getting back to normal life so my PT gave me a good pep talk about now is the time to “double down” and work hard to get your leg back in shape or I may never fully recover so I will keep at this long journey and stay focused.  Mostly I’m greatful that God created our bodies to heal themselves, sometimes with a bit of help from a surgeon.  Even so, once their work is done the body still has to heal all the cutting and sewing and what seems a miracle to me-the body just goes on and heals itself–how cool is that!  A great mystery indeed!  For that I am most thankful!!

14 weeks-finally walking without a limp!

Week 14–I really thought I would be a lot further along on the recovery by now but the sad reality is that my body is taking it’s own sweet time to heal.  I am somewhat encouraged today though as I was able to mow 1/4 of my lawn (1/2 acre total) pushing my self-propelled mower.  I decided that mowing is now part of my physical therapy so I’m going to mow a small chunk each day and maybe I will have a decent looking lawn this year–by the time  it’s done, I can just start mowing it again–like getting your hair cut so often no one ever realizes you got it cut!  I will also be taking walks with my dear wife who LOVES going for walks and I’m usually too  busy or just not interested in walking.  Well now I am interested in walking, basically it’s all I can do.  So walking it will be. Don’t worry, I’m still dreaming of doing all sorts of high intensity sports again some day!  Now I will walk.  

The other day I was walking to the train and I see it coming down the tracks and decide to make a “run” for it.  Well it was more like a speedy hobble, I made the train and it really did not hurt too much so maybe running is not that far away.  Oh the small victories on the long journey to full recovery.  My marathon tracker says I have completed 7 miles–still a long way to go.  I think I am learning to be more patient.  Can that be possible?  Am I actually more patient?  Am I more tolerant of others who move slowly through life? Am I more compassionate of those with disabilities?  I truly hope so–there has to be some benefit to this whole ordeal.  All the best to my fellow ATR survivors.  I hope your journey going well!

12 weeks-Suffering with heel pain, any ideas?

Hello ATR World,  I’m now over 12 weeks into my recovery and all was progressing well when about 2 days ago I started getting this intense heel pain which seems to have come out of no where.  It’s worse when I straighten my leg out and dorsiflex, does not hurt if leg is bent, only when leg is straight or almost straight.  Also hurts when walking when landing heel first.  Is this because of 3-4 weeks of walking improperly with a limp–is this what I get for my gimpy walking?  Just when my calf and AT are feeling a bit better and I can almost walk with no limp a whole new source of pain arrives.  And this is not just a mild burning, this is shooting pain right in the bottom and back of my heel.  My next PT appt. is on Wed. so I will be asking him what the deal is but wanted to find out if anyone else in the ATR World has had this and do you have any remedies?  All help, suggestions, treatments are welcome.  Thanks, Bode

First Bike Ride and a New Pair of Shoes

Recovery has it’s bright spots. Yesterday was a beautiful day in MN and the sun was out so I had to try riding my bike outside. It was a short ride (about 6 miles) but felt great to be rolling again. I attached my flat pedals vs. clip-ins just to be safe and wore my 3/4 top mtb shoes which have extra ankle support. The AT felt pretty good and it’s one more milestone and the road back. I was so inspired I went out today and bought myself a new pair of running shoes, not that I am a runner, but just to have something comfortable to walk in and to inspire me to be able to run again. These shoes are amazing. I have not taken them off since I left the store. They are Nike Equalon+3. The cool thing was I got a 20% discount because of a referral from my PT who recommended I get a good pair of running shoes that matched my foot type. In my case I have mild over pronation which this shoe is supposed to help. All I know is that they feel great to walk in and I’m glad to have them. My wife was also impressed with the style so I got points for looking good too. I am almost limp free when wearing these shoes, my next trick will be to run a mile–hopefully before the end of May.

Ups and Downs-11 weeks postop

I’m really feeling the weight of a long recovery–the ups and downs, and the plateaus.  At 11 weeks I have now been in 2 shoes for 3 weeks.  The first week was part-time  2-shoes and then full time 2 shoes and walking more and better as time goes by.  A few days ago, after a rigorous PT session my leg was especially sore and swollen and I thought I was never going to get better and I will always walk with a limp.  Today was a little better, walking a little better, leg a little less swollen, with a little less pain.  Okay, already I get it.  This recovery is SLOW compared to what I WANT it to be.  I guess that is how most endeavors of any significance go, development of mastery takes time.  In this case the mastery is simply to walk and then run again.  So I’m back to being patient and slowing down.  Just to make myself feel a bit better I took both of my bikes to the shop last week and tonight I picked them up all tuned up and ready to ride–one a commuter bike that I hope to ride to and from work this summer to get back in shape and the other my off road, full suspension Gary Fisher HiFi Pro, with newly slimed tubeless tires is ready for action some time later this summer when I am up for it-hopefully sooner rather than later.  Just having them “ready” to ride gives me hope.  Tomorrow I visit my Dr. again for a checkup to see how my progress is going.  For all those just starting out, remember to pace yourself and stay the course and don’t worry when you have bad days as they are likely to show up.  Just know that you also will have many good days on the journey.  Best of luck to all!

8 weeks post op-First day 2 shoes

I spent most of the day wearing 2 shoes for the first time in 8 weeks and it felt good to be walking again–well sort of walking.  I am moving very slowly and with a limp but happy to be progressing and starting to walk is a great step forward.  I did wear my boot for the trek to the train station and to the office as it’s several blocks, but the shoes were on the rest of the day!   Still doing ROM and light stretching several times a day, PT to start next week.  Here’s to a safe and speedy recover for all ATRs!!

Weeks 7 post op-FWB is wearing me out!

Just hit 7 weeks post op–walking with the boot on is slow and awkward and near the late afternoon my leg is sore, swollen and it hurts.  The good news is that I found a new job at my same company after being laid off on Jan. 20th, one week before ATR.  So the “time off” was perfect for recovering on the couch but now I am back to work and commuting to and from the office, walking through the skyways in downtown Minneapolis and all the trips to the bathroom, conference rooms, break room etc. are so much more work than lying on the couch at home (am I allowed to whine on this blog?).  I assume that all the walking on my bad leg in the boot is good for me because my muscles will eventually come back to life but it’s still no fun.  So the good news of having a job far outweighs the bad news of having to “go to the office to work” especially in this massive recession.  All together, I am feeling humbled and blessed with this unique trial.  Like others have posted, it could be much worse and for that I am grateful.  Chances to be patient, rely on others, slow down, think about what matters in life are all positive outcomes from this experience.  I know I still have a long way to go so I just keep taking it one day at a time and hope that each day brings me a bit closer to doing many things I enjoy.  My family is fabulous and have been extremely helpful in chasing things down for me and helping me get around.  Also thanks to my fellow blogging ATR warriors for sharing your stories.  I read the blog every day and it is very helpful!  Cheers, Bode

Too much crutching about

It was a long day out and about.  Driving kids to school and to an orthodontist appt. that did not exist (it’s tomorrow) crutching over snow banks, navigating icy sidewalks, crutching 4 blocks thru the skyway to get to a job interview and back again because the closer parking lot was FULL.  Finally got to the Dr. office to rent a TLC (turning wheel caddy) and used it to zip around the office for some meetings and finally got back home.  The caddy works great but now my knee hurts (I have Osgood-Schlatters that flares up after kneeling too long) so maybe I should stick with crutching.  At least my kids were happy to see the caddy because of course it was yet another fun contraption to play with.  3 Advil, a Newcastle and a bag of ice on my leg and the pain continues.  Maybe tomorrow will be better!