The Broken Wheel

Strange doctor’s visit
July 25, 2008, 8:45 am
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After four weeks of PT, the doctor wanted me to come in for a checkup. I told him I was concerned about three things that I was not sure were normal:

  1. That I had constant swelling that made most shoes uncomfortable and even socks.
  2. I had almost constant numbness in my heel
  3. I had pain directly on the spot where the tendon ripped and was sewn together. It feels as if its bruised, but more than bruised like hit-with-a-lead-pipe bruised. 

He said not to worry about No. 3, that there was scar tissue I needed to break up. This was normal and that I should work through the pain rather than stop an activity.

The doctor felt it unlikely but worried that No. 1 and 2 was a blood clot. Doppler test — an ultrasound looking at the arteries — came back negative.

Not sure what to make of any of this, but there it is.

You DO get better. I did
July 9, 2008, 9:20 am
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July 9, 2008 To all of the recently disabled, you do get better. Those are flip flops. Three months after my injury I am able to walk and, on occassion, walk briskly. I can do stairs. I can climb a step ladder. I remember when these things seemed to be fantastical feats. But they have come slowly. My only advice, enjoy your down time. Use it to slow your world down. Think of it as forced peace. Read a book. Then, go to physical therapy even when you can’t. Your recovery will benefit yourself and others more than putting off a hour or so of important therapy.

Thanks to everyone who has built a blog, logged into the marathon, posted their experience. Once I found this place I learned a lot, certainly more than from my HMO doctor who treated me like a widget passing by on the assembly line. 

Riding the bike
June 20, 2008, 11:10 am
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Second day of physical therapy today. I’ve been getting heat, massage, stretching and stationary bike.

Anyone riding a REAL bike at 8 weeks post op? I would love to.

Walking man limps
June 18, 2008, 4:50 am
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Now nine weeks post injury and eight weeks post op, I am walking almost everywhere except for my commute to work. At times I feel soreness at the spot on my heel where the tendon attaches. I use a heel lift, though sometimes I’m not sure if that helps or hurts. I also have a paranoid fear that the tendon has come apart again. Really, the stiff-legged walk I exhibit these days is not unlike the one I had back in April shortly after the injury. I also wonder why people talk about shriveled legs, mine has been swollen since it was removed from the cast 16 days ago.

Tonight is the first physical therapy session. I’m anxious to sweat a little. Thanks for this site to help me chart my progress.

No boot, no problem
June 14, 2008, 7:32 pm
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After trudging to work Friday with the boot, I took it off to go to the pool today. That was just the beginning. After we got home, my wife took a long nap, so I started dinner and ventured to take a few steps in kitchen to get water for spaghetti. I wouldn’t call it walking, but I put all my weight on this freaking thing and it held me up. Took a few more steps without crutches. Very cool. PT starts next week, but I’m feeling really good.

Unauthorized leaning on the wheel
June 9, 2008, 12:50 pm
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Without my doctor’s permission, I have decided to quit wearing the boot. I iced my ankle this morning and then took my leg out for a spin today and it felt great. Using crutches, I put just a little weight on it and boy was that a sensation.

After a few tries, I found that the leg can bear some weight and that the ankle has a little flexibility. The only problem is the swelling. 

I have been trying to move my foot ever so slightly in the evenings.

OK. So, I’m an impatient patient. But I feel good and I’m seven weeks removed from surgery. Physical therapy starts in a week.

Day 53 — but why??
June 5, 2008, 1:33 pm
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Six-plus weeks after surgery, my doctor has me in a boot. Discovered achilles blog a couple of days ago and immediately noticed that my recovery seems to be taking longer than everyone else’s:

  • Spent six weeks in a cast.
  • Ordered to wear a brace (boot) two to three more weeks.
  • Ordered to begin physical therapy no sooner than nine weeks after surgery.
I find this a little disconcerting. I’m not particularly heavy or out of shape. I weigh 175. I’m also a marathoner. Is my doctor being too conservative?