One month anniversary of ATR

My story begins on March 19th, 2016. Like a lot of younger retired snowbirds settling in Mesa, Arizona my husband and I decided to take up tennis. We were enjoying it immensely and we were already planning to practice this summer and come back stronger next year. Well perhaps my husband can follow the great plan but I am thinking of spending more time doing Yoga after I ruptured my achilles playing tennis on March 19th.
It was early in the morning and I hadn’t stretch properly and later learned didn’t have the correct court shoes.
I went for the ball and thought the sole of my shoe had come off. After sitting down on the court I realized my shoe was fine but my foot was not.
After visiting the ER and an ortho surgeon and talking to the insurance company we were flown home one week later.
I opted for the surgical route and was operated on at home 8 days after my injury.
For the first few days after my injury,  I found my back, neck were causing me more pain than my actual leg. The crutches took a beating on my body.
I started using the knee scooter with a basket and it was a lifesaver. Not only was it more body friendly but I could carry my own glass, dish etc. It gives you more freedom. I find it is so difficult to ask for everything beyond your reach.
I had leg cramps a few times and found my calf felt very tight. After reading about possible blood clots I did check with a doctor and was given an ultra sound which was negative. Phew!

Today was my first check up with the surgeon 23 days after surgery. I had a half back slab cast and it was taken off today. I saw the stitches and all was good. I’ll post a picture later.
I was given an option of a cast or an air boot. The cast was free with our government insurance but the air boot and wedges costs about $250. I chose the air boot after reading the blogs. I wanted the freedom of removing it.  The boot is very big and reminds me of the boots worn by Herman Munster.
My advice to date.
Time is your friend. Keep your foot elevated above your heart. Rest.
I think the cramping I experienced was because I didn’t elevate it above my heart. Listen to your body.
If using crutches, a back pack is handy to tote items around.
If you don’t have stairs in your home a knee scooter with a basket really helps.

Also thanks to those of you that have gone before me.  I really learned a lot from your blogs and didn’t feel as lonely in my situation.

Speedy recovery to all.

6 Responses to “One month anniversary of ATR”

  1. Hi Brenna,

    Thanks for sharing your story and great advice! I am not too far ahead of you and feel like we have had a lot of similarities so just wanted to share a few things…

    I also had lots of pain through out my whole body from the crutches. Unfortunately the scooters we looked into were too big for me and I just decided to deal instead of order a kids one. This probably affected a period of the recovery where I couldn’t get motivated to basically move. But, finally, one day that changed I did some yoga on the living room floor. Just arms over my head or bringing one leg to the opposite side felt so amazing! I wish I had done this sooner. If you need some ideas I can look for some youtube videos or informational pictures of poses that I found particularly useful.

    I was given the Herman Muster boot as well, and that was a good call on your part. Now I am back to walking and some exercising with the boot on. At week 6-post surgery was when my recovery started accelerating in terms of less soreness, walking without crutches, and because of that, able to do more. I am now on week 7 and doing physical therapy and riding a stationary bike. My energy level is up and I looking back I would say that the first month is the hardest. You are almost there!!

  2. Hi, I’m just a few days ahead of you. An apron with pockets it’s very useful when using crutches and also I have an office chair in the kitchen to manage small cooking.

    @tonozzi I certainly will try some of your yoga positions, thx

    We can do it;)

  3. Hi tonnozi, thank you for your suggestions and motivation.
    I am in the boot with no weight bearing for another 3 weeks. In total 6 weeks NWB after surgery. My surgeon is taking the conservative approach. He said I’ll make up time once I start physio because my tendon will be stronger and I am motivated. So your idea of Yoga fits in well with following Dr orders. I will start today. Thanks.
    As for the boot - I have found my foot has swollen more. In my previous cast I was able to wiggle my toes more. How often are you removing the boot to wiggle your toes.
    Thank you and looking forward to following your recovery.
    We can do it!

  4. Hi chinaepat,
    Love the apron and office chair idea. Whatever we can do to make life almost normal.
    Just had a massage today which has helped the back and neck.
    Fast healing!

  5. So sorry to hear about your injury, right when you were starting to learn tennis…. Like you, I also injured myself in a tennis match, but I had been playing for many years, and never been injured. Hope everything goes well and keep us updated with your progress.

  6. Hi all,

    Yes we can do it!! Especially with everyone’s support here. Glad you went for a massage and feeling good!

    My surgeon has had a similar approach to NWB for 6 weeks and starting PT at that time too. Im glad I took it slow because now I feel pretty confident during the PT sessions and doing the home exercises they gave me.

    I agree, the boot feels constraining. Between 4-6 weeks I was sitting on the couch or bed and elevating my leg with the boot on. I took the top part of the boot off and wiggled my toes when I knew I would be sitting for a while. Once I started getting around and then weight bearing I iced a lot without the boot on. The ice seems to provide the best relief for the pain. I am still getting some swelling still at week 7, especially after a ‘long’ walk or sitting upright for over two hours. Once my doctor said I could shower without the boot on is when I started to take it off completely more often. Moving your toes whenever possible is good and will get you ready for moving your foot up and down when your doctor okays you for that. Thats challenging at first, but also provides a step for accomplishment!

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