Posts Tagged “”

(June 17 - June 25)

All those nerves and butterflies before the surgery were gone now, but now the frustration of the long road ahead sets in.  I will be out of work, which surprisingly I love, I will not be able to play basketball; I will not be able to do much on my camping trip in July; I can’t teach my son this summer to ride his bike without training wheels; I can’t really play with the kids like I would in the summer; I am not much of a help to my wife in regards to chores: cutting the lawn, gardening, house cleaning; and I, just in general, won’t be doing much of anything this summer, at least from an active standpoint.  I have stayed somewhat sane in this first week, and have gotten out of the house just enough to not have cabin fever.  I was able to attend my sons school function for father’s day, called donuts with dad,  as well as his Kindergarten play, which I was extremely happy (so was he), that I made both of those.

The first couple days in regards to pain, I was okay.  The numbing agent still didn’t wear off so couldn’t really determine my pain level.  It wasn’t till day three where I noticed any pain, but it was just minor.  Uncomfortable is the way I have described this stage, as I seem to have to move my leg around in different positions, as each one is comfortable for only 10 mins.  The pain was never excruciating, just annoying, but for me worthy of taking some medication, especially at night when it always seemed worse than during the day.  I was automatically a pro at the crutches, moving around pretty well, but it definitely hurts my armpits and is causing calluses to form on the palms of my hands.  I did attempt a shower after my wife placed a garbage bag, saran wrap, and medical tape over my splint and bandages, and although I was able to clean pretty good, it just seemed dangerous, and have since changed the way I clean my stank ass.  Stairs are a no go, and only out of necessity have I gone up and down, kneeling up and sitting as I go down.  My son just finished school, but up until yesterday was still there.  He is 6 years old and very independent, self-efficient, and well behaved that he will stay home with me, no problem.  My daughter, on the other hand, is only 2 and not as easy to watch as him, so she goes to daycare still, and one or two days my amazing, saint of a mother watches her.

I have actually been eating really healthy, knowing that I will be mostly a couch potato, I don’t want to get any fatter than I already am, HEY I’M NOT THAT FAT!  So, a silver lining of all this time off, I might actually lose some weight.  I have done a lot of blogging, on here as well as on my Tumblr account, caught up on some shows, watched a lot of sports, played some MLB The Show and Battlefield, and have rearranged some financial situations around while I am out of work.  Trying to stay as busy as possible has help time go by somewhat fast and makes the days less boring.  The aftermath of the surgery has not been that bad.  I will be going to the doctors for my post-op appointment on the 29th and I hope the report and status is good.  I am very interested to see what it looks like and I hope the doctor lets me take some pictures, so I can share with you all.

Before I close out, I just have to share a very close call that I had.  I was at my Mom’s with the family for dinner one night and they set me up in a chair and foot rest outside on the deck.  I was out there as my step-dad grilled some chicken on the grill.  He is legally blind, but a great griller, nonetheless, but I was out there as an extra set of eyes on the grill.  The grill was set up on the sidewalk, just at the bottom of the deck stairs, and I was stationed near the stairs, keeping an eye on the food.  Everything was going fine, until I decided to try and get a closer look.  I stood up, with out crutches, holding the post by the steps.  I then proceeded to attempt to go down the stairs, still with no crutches, holding the post as I hopped down.  As my good leg almost landed on the step, my bandaged leg, hit the top step behind me, causing me to lose my balance.  I feel, and my natural instinct was to catch my balance by putting other foot down, MY BAD ONE!!!  That did not work to well, and I proceeded to falling right of the steps and onto the grass just off the sidewalk.  I was down on the grass, laying flat on my back, loudly saying some choice words and phrases, and in some definite pain.  My mom and wife, in the kitchen, saw the whole thing and came running out to my step-dad trying to help me out.  The morale of the story is USE YOUR CRUTCHES or whatever form of medical mobility device you may have and STAY OFF OF STAIRS!  I was extremely lucky to not have seriously injured myself, breaking a bone, busting through my suture, or worse doing more damage to my very tender and healing Achilles.  I am an idiot, I know, but I did it for all of you, as an example of what not to do.  I was in some minor pain that day and the next but am fine.

Next up:  Doctor’s appointment on the 29th!

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(June 16, 2015)

My Achilles was ruptured, the pain proved it; the doctor’s physical examine proved it,and the MRI only confirmed all the evidence to be true.  I had a complete Achilles tendon rupture and the best way to fix this, and the docs recommendation, was to have surgery.  The surgery was scheduled for five days after the injury occurred.  During that long, well it felt very long, stretch I had done everything the doctor ordered; rest, elevation, wearing the walking boot, and in general, put as less weight and stress on the foot as possible.  The night before continuing into the morning of, I fasted; not eating or drinking, a single thing.  The day was here; my first ever surgery in my life. Time to go!

I was told to arrive at 11:15am for surgery at 1:15pm.  My daughter decided to get pink eye, so instead of her going to daycare and my Mom coming with my wife and I, my mother had to watch her at her house.  We dropped her off in the morning and made our way to the ambulatory center at ECMC.  We were about 20 minutes early, which actually worked out great.  I filled out the paperwork right away and was nearly immediately sent with the nurse to my pre-op/recovery room.  Shortly after getting in my beautiful, and not at all awkward hospital gown, I was hooked up to an IV, answered some questions for the nurse and anesthesiologist, and then was ready to go.  My wife was allowed to come back at that time and we watched some TV and just waited for the doctor (surgeon) to take me back.  It ended up being a couple hours before they came for me; a time filled with butterflies and about three pee breaks (thanks to the IV).

The doctor came in with the anesthesiologist and told me I was up!  The doctor ran down again what exactly was going to happen during the procedure and the anesthesiologist explained how the anesthetic works and what to expect when I woke up after the surgery.  The anesthesiologist put “something to clam my nerves”, that is what she called it, into my IV and almost instantly I felt it go through my veins and right to my face.  My face then started feeling like I just received Novocaine and I got light-headed, but still completely coherent.  I kissed my wife and they wheeled me down to the operating room.  The room was freezing and looked just like something, for those who have never been in one (like me), exactly from Grey’s Anatomy.  I was nervous as they wheeled my gurney next to the operating table and once again they explained that after the anesthetic they would turn me over on my stomach in order to perform the procedure.  For those who never had a surgery, do not Google it, like I did, because that is all I could see, the videos of procedure playing in my head.  Surprisingly, that is the last I remember about being in that room.  I don’t remember the anesthetic, I don’t remember the doctor coming back in, and I definitely don’t remember the surgery, which is obviously a good thing.

My next recollection was me back in the same room I started in.  I woke up from the anesthetic to the doctor and the nurse saying something to me about something, I just had no idea what.  I remember singing “Kumbaya” for some reason, no idea why though and just feeling very loopy, light-headed, and heavy-eyed.  My wife was back in the room shortly after that.  The surgery was almost two hours long, a little longer than expected, and the doctor also said the rupture was even worse than he thought.  He had to place my foot in a ballerina position during the procedure in order to get the tendon closer together.  He said that my tendon was really frayed and my issue almost seemed hereditary.  I received stitches, was placed in a hard splint, and wrapped in two ace bandages.  I was given a set of crutches and a prescription for pain medication and very specific instructions to be a couch potato and put absolutely no weight on the foot whatsoever.  I was cleared to go home and was wheel chaired to my jeep.  My next appointment was scheduled for the 29th, where they will take out the stitches and put me in a plaster cast.

The surgery was complete!  The road to recovery begins!

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(June 12 - June 15, 2015)

The first blog recounting my injury, was called “Kicked in the Heel”.  For those that read it or heard the story about the injury, that is exactly how I described it happening; “I was kicked in the heel”.  One thing that was cleared up during the initial orthopedic visit, was the fact that I actually was not kicked in the heel. The doctor said that I most likely wasn’t even touched when it happened.  I texted my one boy I played with the night of the injury and asked him if I was kicked or hit or anything.  Crazy as it is, except for those that have had this injury, I wasn’t kicked, touched, or punched.  I went up for a layup, jumping off my right foot, and “SNAP”, the rupture occurred and down I went.  It still just blows my mind, that such a strong part of the body can just rupture like that.  As I started looking online for more information about this type of injury, I found that both professional and novice athletes alike, described the injury just like I did; as if they were kicked or even shot in the back of the heel.

Achilles Tendon Rupture (ATR) was the diagnosis.  The surgery was now scheduled but it was still five days away.  I was placed in a walking boot, which I was able to take off when resting it.  I was told to keep my foot elevated as often as possible and to stay of my foot as much as possible.  In the boot, I was able to walk, with a huge limp, and some pain but I was able to still get around.  I even went to go see Jurassic World with my wife and son, and surprisingly felt okay.  I wasn’t prescribed any pain medication, but did take Advil throughout the day, and Tylenol PM at night.  Nighttime during this stretch seemed to always be the worst time.  I had to sleep with the boot, which was very uncomfortable, constantly changing positions.  Not working and just in general, not being able to do much, I looked for things to do.  Watching TV, playing video games, writing this blog, and I even picked up my guitar for the first time in many years.  I was given the instructions to be a couch potato and that is what I tried to do the most of, relaxing and staying off the foot.  That is pretty much how the days were leading up to the surgery.  The night before the surgery, I had to fast, not eating or drinking anything after midnight until after the surgery.  My family was and still are very helpful.  My wife has been amazing, catering to my every need; my Mom pre-cooked some meals for us, watched the kids, and my Step-father even had to cut my lawn for us.  So many family members, friends, and co-workers have reached out with their concerns and kind thoughts, giving me all the positive support and reinforcement I need as I recover from this injury.

Surgery is next!

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June 10th 2015

For nearly thirty years, I have played some-kind, some-sort, and in someway shape or form, a sport.  Baseball to Basketball, to Swimming to Volleyball, to Track and Field to Football.  I have played all the above competitively at some point in my life, but above all, Basketball was my passion.  Through all the competition, all the rolled ankles, bumps and bruises, I have made it this far in my athletic life, with just that, bumps and bruises.

Recently, I joined an 18 and over men’s league, where although doubtful of my skills and overall basketball “shape”, I still was able to handle myself.  I may not have been the best player on the court, but I definitely proved to myself, that I still had it.  I knew that, just like anything, with more time on the court, my game, bit by bit would come back to me.  The league went eight weeks, and I felt my game improve week to week.  I was sore every night afterwards, having tendinitis in both my Achilles heels in addition to the typical 30 year old knee and ankle pain, but overall I felt good.

Two weeks after the league ended, one of the guys I had played with invited me to his buddies open gym.  It was five on five, from 11pm till almost one in the morning, pretty much, non-stop ball.  Competitive to say the least, these “boys” were pretty good, and they just kept running.  Although, I had the next oldest guy by nine years, I was playing the best ball I have played in years. Both sides of the court; passing was on; jumper was on, and I felt GREAT!  I couldn’t wait to get out there again, and thankfully that opportunity came just a week later.  Mostly the same faces, with a couple more players, but we had five on five with a couple dudes having next games.  We played maybe five games to 16, straight up, and again I felt great.  My legs were under me, my skills were on display, and I felt again, after some years away, back in my element, in a gym with a ball and a basket.

Before the last game of the night, I was sitting on the sideline, stretching out and getting some water, ironically joking with the other old guy ( 9 years younger than me) about still being able to play with these “boys.”  The game began and soon enough we were winning 12-10.  A fast break opportunity arrived after a turnover and off we went.  The ball came to me and driving down the left side of the court I went up for a layup, when all of a sudden I was “kicked in the heel”.  I never completed the layup, falling to the ground before even getting up in the air.  I was down on all fours; scouring in pain, and in that moment, I knew something wasn’t right.  I felt something I have never felt before, a “kick in the heel”, almost like I was shot from behind directly in my Achilles.  I was able to get up, with the help of some comrades, and for the remainder of the game, I gingerly hobbled the sidelines, hoping to walk it off, thinking maybe it was just a bad ankle sprain.

Talking to one of my boys, I tried to rise on the balls of my feet, trying to stretch it out, and I just simply couldn’t, describing to him that “something wasn’t right, and I couldn’t feel myself trying to stand on my toes.  I waited a couple more minutes before leaving, and somehow, painfully, none the less, drove home, cringing with every pump of the gas and brake pedals.

I came in the house limping painfully, and crawled up the stairs to the bedroom where my wife was almost asleep.  She, being the nurse she is, took my sneaker off, and elevated my foot and immediately applied ice.  She felt around my ankle area and my Achilles, where I told her I was kicked while going up for a layup. Compared to the left leg (the non-injured one), my wife described the right one on the Achilles heel, as if “something was missing.” Already feeling it, and then hearing that awful phrase, I knew something was not normal.  I proceeded by taking some Advil and somehow managed to fall asleep.  Whatever was going on, maybe could be slept away, and I’ll figure it out in the morning.

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