Bri can still fix things!

Busy is how I’ve been since Bri’s accident. I don’t actually mind and he’s getting much more helpful. He can now cook and do dishes. Today exemplified the typical strategy of me always trying to squeeze in one more thing. It’s been raining here for days and the lawn is getting so long. It’s starting to seed (Bri said I’m 100 for noticing). I had gotten groceries, cleaned the house, started laundry, painted the basement living room and was enjoying delicious lasagna soup Brian made. However, I just kept staring out the window at the yard. It’s getting really long and it’s supposed to rain for five more days. NORMAL people wouldn’t care if their yard got too long, but I have ulterior motives for keeping mine short. I’m deathly afraid of snakes. They are all over out here and when my yard is too long, it looks like prime snake territory.

I decided to Google whether you could mow wet lawns. BINGO, Google told me it was better to mow than let the grass grow long. It was getting late (about 7:45pm) but I knew I had some daylight left. I promptly finished eating and headed outside to mow the lawn. First thing my neighbors to the left came out and said “you’re not supposed to mow your lawn when it’s wet”. I assured them that it was okay and that I had cleared it on Google first. I’m not even sure they know what Google is (all my neighbors in the cul-de-sac are retired). I then proceeded to mow the front lawn. In the meantime, my neighbor across the cul-de-sac sat outside and shook his head at me. I could tell I was creating quite the ruckus amongst the neighbors by breaking the age old “don’t mow your lawn when it’s wet rule”. Oh well I was thinking ….. I’ll show them!

Off to the backyard. The grass out back was really, really tall and it was almost stalling the mower but I persevered. Then it happened, I heard the loud clang and I stopped the mower. I turned it over, cleaned it out and everything looked okay, but the belt was loose. Then I went to start it again and nada, the cord wouldn’t even pull. %*$&! I thought, if I don’t fix this then I’m going to have to borrow the neighbors lawn mower. I knew they’d say “well you shouldn’t mow wet grass.” I had seen my dad and brothers fix lawn mowers before so I figured maybe I had a genetic predisposition. I went into the garage and assembled the necessary tools for taking apart the mower. I got the top plate off and realized it was way more complicated then I’d thought. That’s when I went and got Brian. I told him he had too fix the lawn mower so I could save face amongst the neighbors.

I rolled the lawn mower into the garage for Brian too work on and I started raking up the grass. Then I heard it, the rumble of the lawn mower. I ran into the garage and yelled “how did you fix it?” Bri looked at me laughing and said “I pulled the cord.” Sa-weet, now I can finish mowing tomorrow.

2 weeks post-op

Ahh, 2 weeks post-op. I had my two week checkup yesterday. The doc said everything looked good. They removed my splint and stitches and put me in a cast. I’ll have it on for four weeks.

The cast is actually more comfortable because it’s less bulky that the splint was. It’s more rigid than the splint (obviously) so it’s a little less stressful moving around.

Keeping my leg elevated and iced isn’t mandatory any more - it’s based on my comfort level.

Here’s a few pics from yesterday:

No infection!

Now that’s just weird lookin!

Should have went with the camo.

2 Weeks Post ATR

2 weeks post ATR and 5 days until cast - hopefully!

Things have been mostly the same around here for me. I can get around a lot better now that I got a Roll-About (thanks Ron and Karen!). I feel really old when I’m using, but I’ll get over it.

Keel’s still been busting her butt to make sure the house, our finances, her work, and everything else stays in order. She’s even found enough time to paint half the basement!

I’m staying fairly comfortable and have only had to take a couple Ibuprofen in the last few days. It doesn’t hurt much, but it’s uncomfortable enough that it makes it hard to fall asleep sometimes. I haven’t had much of an appetite since the surgery. For the first few days, I figured it was due to the surgery, but now I’m thinking it has more to do with my body acclimating to my new, sedentary lifestyle.

I just now grabbed a couple of pics of the camera. Here’s one of my leg before surgery. It doesn’t look too bad, but if you compare it to your own leg, you’ll notice how there is no tendon between the heel and calf.

This is AFTER the nurse shaved it, thank you.

Here’s a pic of the Roll-About. It can be a bit clumsy to maneuver around in the house, but this thing will be a lifesaver when I need to leave the house.
My other vehicle is a pair of crutches.™

I wanted to say thanks again to everyone who has sent me cards, emails, comments, stopped by, and offered to make beer runs for me! Laughter is truly the best medicine.

Chopping down trees

It’s day four post-op and no … Bri isn’t chopping down trees. However, we did have two bona-fide mountain men come down from Neder-Nederland to do the job for us.

We’ve had these three dead Aspens in our yard since we moved in. We have tried unsuccessfully to revive them. So this summer we were definitely, absolutely, without-a-doubt going to cut them down. My hopes of that happening were kind of dashed about a week ago. Oh well I figured, there’s beauty in dead, rotting trees.

Then around noon today Sam and Justin unexpectedly showed up and they brought Knute (tied for best dog ever) and a chainsaw. I didn’t know they were coming, but the company was very nice indeed. They managed to keep Bri entertained and busy for a few hours and they did me a HUGE favor. The most remarkable thing was that they finished the job in about 20 minutes. No joking, I went outside to tell them to be careful and all three trees were lying in the yard. Less than 15 minutes later the trees were chopped up and loaded into the back of Sam’s truck. They even raked up all the fallen branches and debris for me. I was impressed and now my backyard looks much different. It’s kind of weird not having the dead trees. Thank you very much Sam and Justin, it was greatly appreciated!

It’s day four and Bri is still being a TROOPER. Sam and Justin remarked that he was “in a pretty good mood for a guy in his condition”. Honestly, I couldn’t agree more. Bri’s ability to just go with the flow has made things really, really bearable. Today was the first day his Doc. said it would be okay to move around a bit. So we moved him outside (along with phone, footrest, ice-pack, water, sunglasses, sunscreen, Kindle, and meds) onto the upper deck. He was able to spend a solid hour in the fresh air and managed to get a bit of sunshine. In the meantime I changed the linens, washed the blankets and freshened up his room. He then got to hang with some guys (he’s probably so sick of me) and watch a gory movie. Overall, I think it may rate as a pretty good day.

Pain-wise Bri seems to be having a really good day. Only Ibuprofen! He wants to thank Pity for the card and the junk-food he splurged on tonight. Turns out he did read your card…and he still has a crush on wonder-woman!

On the 7th day they slept..

It’s been exactly one week since the accident and to celebrate Bri and I slept. It’s been amazing, we hung out together all day, just lying around. I did get out of bed for a few hours and I tried to start my day, but it didn’t work. I had coffee, then slept, went to the store, slept, had ice-cream, slept…. jealous? I can’t remember the last time Bri and I spent a day in such a way. One of the positive aspects of this surgery is that Bri has been forced to SLOW down. He is always working, working, working, working, now there’s a new silence to our home and it’s very peaceful.

Bri has been a champ, little to no complaining. He patiently reminds me when he needs refills (water, coffee, meds) and he’s been following doctors orders to a T! He eats whatever I bring him and doesn’t complain about the lack of junk-food and grease. He’s been eating rather healthy (with the exception of the much deserved blizzard) b/c I assume it will only help the healing. He get’s a nightly smoothie (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, banana, orange, flaxseed, and spinach) and this helps his stomach with the painkillers he takes for sleeping. Breakfast has been toast with peanut butter and sliced apples. This fills him up for the most of the day, but he did eat a piece of lasagna tonight. His appetite is still a bit smaller than normal, but that’s not surprising.

The surgeon did come speak to me after the surgery. He said the surgery went well, but the tendon had separated about 4cm prior to the surgery. I couldn’t gauge wether he was trying to tell me this was abnormal. When I inquired, he said that the calf muscle had contracted a lot and pulled the tendon with it. I’m going to try and get the operational report from the surgery. Surgery day (as many of you know) was exhausting!!! It was like constant adrenalin rush from 9am to 6pm when I finally got Bri home. He was in pretty poor shape after the surgery but slowly recovered. When I first saw him, I realized why they don’t let people see their loved ones immediately (Bri was in a recovery room for an hour before I could visit) he looked exhausted.

Well that’s it for today. Things (from my perspective) couldn’t be going any better. I feel fortunate to be able to spend time taking care of Bri. He’s been slowing easing back into work a bit. We’ve laughed a lot and will continue to do so. Best of luck to anyone reading this blog who’s going through this.


2 Days Post-Op

The post-op experience has been fairly normal so far compared to other accounts. I felt really crummy after coming to at the hospital and then the rest of that night. My blood pressure was pretty low for a while but started to improve after some extra hydration and saltines. And finally they let me go.

I didn’t know about the option until talking to anesthesiologist, but I ended up getting a nerve block. (I think it was either a sciatic or saphenous nerve block, but I can’t remember for sure now.) Basically a local anesthetic is injected near the nerve center for the lower leg. I couldn’t feel anything below my knee from the time of injection until 5am Wed. morning. The nerve block is mainly for patient comfort, but they also know that it improves blood flow which should, in theory, help recovery. That fact also made me feel like less of a pansy for getting the block 

I had a bit of a sore throat from the intubation, but not too bad.

I currently have the burning / fire ants sensation in my ankle area that others talk about. It isn’t the most horrible pain ever, but certainly makes it tough to get comfortable. (Anyone who has worn a pair of too-small snowboarding boots and had the joy of letting all the blood rush back into their feet at lunchtime can relate to the “fire ants” feeling.) I finally had to pop a second Percocet last night so that I could fall into a nice sleep.

Other than the burning and my appetite being a little finicky, I feel pretty much like I did pre-op. I can get up to pee, but that’s about all I let myself do. I really don’t want to risk a fall while only in a splint.

Keel just brought be a Blizzard. How awesome is that? (Thankfully my appetite isn’t THAT finicky!) Aside from the ice cream and a couple of other snacks, she’s been really concerned about my diet and has been doing a great job at getting me to eat the things I should be eating. Like making fruit smoothies and sneaking a serving of veggies in there.

Gotta go before this thing melts.

surgery over

Surgery is over!! Bri is home in bed and relaxing. He is a little lightheaded and feels “a bit off color” other than that pain is tolerable. Thanks for all the well-wishes and good thoughts. He had a smoothie for dinner, but his appetite is really small. Will post more tomorrow.

Have a great evening.


Checked In…..

Hello everyone, we’re in the pre-op waiting room right now. Bri is dressed in his surgery finest, a modest nightie and slip-proof socks, both hospital “freebies”. He also received a IV which is currently hydrating his vascular system. He is reading the Kindle (The Lords of Discipline) and very calm and ready to go. Surgery is in 1.5 hrs. We’re waiting to meet with the surgeon and the anesthesiologist. Both we’ve been told repeatedly are excellent. The nurse told Bri he choose the best doctor, “he’s who I’d choose for a family member”, she quipped. I couldn’t be more happy thus far, everyone has been prompt and kind. I am stoked b/c the hospital has wireless. That means I’ll be watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia until Bri’s done. We’ll meet up again in Post-Surgery Phase II. He gets to recover and come to his whits without me, but with the help of the nurses.

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Bri’s said he’s glad people aren’t walking around the hospital in sombreros. I’ve heard maragaritas mentioned about five times since I’ve been in the hospital.



Just a quick one to chronicle the event… yeah, 5 days later…


I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect at the ER.  Surprisingly, everything went fairly quick.  I was admitted and seeing a med tech within 15 minutes or so.  The waiting room wasn’t full of deathly ill people like I was afraid of.  Even so, Keel (i.e. The Warden) would about flip every time I touched something.  Thank God we found some alcohol swaps to protect ourselves through the ordeal.

I explained what happened to a nurse-in-training, got x-rayed and then saw the doctor.  The doctor performed the Thompson test ( and made the ATR diagnosis.  My leg was splinted below the knee, I got some crutches, signed some papers and we were on our way.

The only thing that really concerned me at the ER was the order of events.  Everyone pretty much knew what my diagnosis was before ever seeing the doctor, but yet I was x-rayed before seeing the doctor.  This didn’t bother me at the time, but did later for a couple of reasons.  First, it took the doc about 60 seconds (of which 50 of those were me embarrassingly trying to flop around onto my stomach on a two foot wide table using only one leg) to perform the Thompson test.  Which, to me, means that had I saw the doctor before being x-rayed, I wouldn’t have needed the x-rays - which leads me to my second concern.  I was told they can’t even see the tendon in the xray and it was done to check for broken bones in the ankle/foot area.  Again, seeing the doctor first would have obviated the need for the xray.  This seems like such a waste.  Needless irradiation aside, think about all the resources that were wasted that did nothing more than tax the healthcare system.

On a brighter note, the funniest part of the trip was the lady working reception at the ER.  When I hobbled through the doors and up to the counter, she asked what the problem was, to which I replied “I think I ruptured my achilles tendon.”  She gave me a crappy look and said, “I’m no doctor - I don’t know what the achilles is.  You’re gonna have to give me a bit more detail.”  I wanted to say, “That’s as detailed as it gets, just write it on the damn form” but I obliged and explained.

Recovery Room



I really want Bri to stay put for a few (2-3) weeks, so I thought I’d better make his room as enjoyable and easy to work in as possible. He has a Kindle (thanks Sam), Wii (thanks Trent), flatscreen, lovely foot rest (thanks Ang) and his sweet food serving tray (thanks Shannon). Tristen pointed out that he needs a 360, I thought that probably was a good idea, but doubtful it’ll happen. Bri doesn’t play a lot of video games, I’ll be surprised if he does play the Wii.

Today he is on his own while I’m at work. I wish I had the kneely-wheely (pictures to come) so he could carry food/drinks. I am hopefully picking that up today. 

Brian is doing well.  He just told me he’s jealous that I’m at work.  I told him to just look at this as an experiment, a really interesting science experiment.


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