May 03 2012

Rehab - Day 1

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My first day of rehab went really well! The difference between both legs when it came to my range of motion was very small. On the downside the scar tissue and build up under the skin is heavy & thick due to my incision being so long. The PT massaged the area around the incision which really helped it to loosen up quite a bit. I would suggest to everyone if your therapist isn’t massaging the area around your incision ask them to do it. It may hurt a bit but it is well worth it.

I expected to be in pain this morning but I felt great. I took the advice of a few of you and did not take any pain meds prior to or after my physcial therapy session. As it turned out I didn’t need it, so thank you for the advice!!

Have a great day everyone on your road to ATR….

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May 01 2012

Cast is off….welcome the boot

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I finally got my cast off the other day what a relief! The most shocking thing to me besides the 9 inch scar was how much muscle tone I lost. It was like night and day between both calf muscles. I knew I would lose a little bit but I wasn’t expecting such a dramatic difference.

I do love the mobility of the boot and it being gray it goes well with my not so fashionable wardrobe. I have 2-3 more weeks of the boot and finally I get to wear a shoe again. Life is looking up….

Rehab should be cool but I planning to take a pain med before going tomorrow. A little birdie said that it might be a good idea too. I would like to hear from anyone who has finished rehab to find out how strong you felt your achilles was? I know I won’t be running any 5k’s but I am hoping I can go back to flying status.

3 responses so far

Apr 18 2012

Day 36 - Just another day in paradise

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Well its been awhile since my last post but I must admit I haven’t really been overly energetic about my daily routine. All the days seem to run into one another when you have so much to do. My kids are keeping me busy each day and I took someone’s advice and make sure I go outside for an hour or two every day so I don’t get cabin fever.

I am on my second cast which put my foot in a 90 degree position so progress is being made. The cast loosened up a bit so I have been able to stretch my achilles tendon a little more. The stretching feels really good so hopefully the rehabilation goes well next month. They have me scheduled for a walking boot next week and with some luck a rehab schedule too.

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Mar 29 2012

Day 13 - first post surgical appt

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Today was my first appointment after my surgery. I was happy with how it went, but seeing the incision for the first time was a bit of a shock. I kinda expected it to be big but not as gnarly. It was a close resemblence to Frankenstein’s cousin! The overall length of the incision is approximately 7 inches. How does that compare with everyone else’s out there?

They outfitted me with a fiberglass cast today. I was able to choose the color which was great. I figured a nice neutral blue worked well for cleanliness and color coordinating my clothes, haha….

Still no pain, even when they flexed my foot up a bit. The removal of the incision staples felt like a splinter being removed so not that bad. I got a little worried when they asked if I had taken my pain medication before the appt but I never needed it. I guess it couldn’t hurt to have some meds on-board when visiting the Doc.

I posted photos of my appointment today showing the incision and how the leg looked after being taken out of the splint. I don’t know how anyone can view them but they are here on my blog somewhere so if find them… Enjoy!

All the best, PJ

3 responses so far

Mar 27 2012

day 8-11, the sequel continues….

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As I write about the last few days the only constant has been my lack of pain. This is of course always a good thing! I think the biggest item that is still affecting me is “frustration.” I define “Frustration” as - having your mobility taken away from you, having to stay home with your leg up or it will swell, being stricter about your diet so you don’t gain weight (ok not such a bad thing), forgetting about your injury then trying to walk (yes, that actually happened last night and no it didn’t end well), having people walk into you or better yet cross right in front of you while you’re trying to navigate with your crutches, someone walking thru a door right in front of you then watching close in your face, or my personal favorite someone telling you “maybe this is God’s way of telling you that you need to slow down and not do so much” and the list goes on and on… If anyone wants to add to it, please feel free… And yes, I do feel better venting :)

I have managed to take little trips out of the house to either get a haircut or pick my kids up from school. I enjoy sitting at a coffee place reading or working on the computer, but I feel a bit funny about putting my foot up on the chair as it may bother other patrons. When the weather is sunny and nice outside it’s just so hard to stay indoors! I find simple solice sitting on the front or back porch smoking a cigar while I work on my tan, sorry couldn’t resist throwing that last part in, haha.

Does anyone have a favorite place or thing they like to do while they have been convalescing?

I wish I could say more but I think I will save it for tomorrow. I have my first surgical follow-up appt. tomorrow so wish me luck. I am curious to see the incision since the surgeon said he had to make it longer than previously planned due to the tear being higher up.

All the best to my fellow ATR friends….. PJ

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Mar 23 2012

day 7 post surgery - upper body workout

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Its day 7 post surgery and I feel pretty good. I may try and cut my pain meds down from two tablets of Percocet a day to one a day. The less drugs I am putting in my body the better since I am not use to taking medications anyway.

I tried to do an upper body workout this morning but it felt unsuccessful. I did the following exercises so if anyone can add to this list or has a good dumbbell workout I would appreciate you sharing it with me & others. Thanks in advance!

3 x 20 reps - concentration dumbbell curls
3 x 20 reps - behind the head dumbbell raises
3 x 20 reps - wrist curls
3 x 20 reps - dumbbell presses above the head for Lats
3 x 20 reps - chest dumbbell presses

I used 10, 20, & 35 lb dumbbells which is all I have at home. As you can see it was a short workout. Every time I thought of an exercise the positioning of the body seemed difficult with my leg still in a splint.

I hope to get some suggestions… All the best!

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Mar 22 2012

Post Surgery - day 6 managing weight gain

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Well day 6 has been pretty uneventful. I have some tingling around my incision point which tells me things are starting to heal on the outside but overall no pain to speak of.

I decided if I don’t reduce my caloric intake though, I am going to have some serious weight gain by the time this journey is over. I took a look at two meal replacement shakes; Almased Synergy vs. Spiru-tein. Both have pros and cons to them with Almased its the cost. If you don’t buy online your going pay $37.99 per 17.6 oz can. Each can gives you about 5 servings not a huge bang for your buck. Almased makes up for it with their results with the average weight loss being 10-15 over a 30 day period. Don’t quote me on that do your own research but even GNC said they can’t keep it on the shelf and that’s at 37.99 price. Crazy people would pay that price!! Spiru-tein isn’t much better of a product but the cost is lower. Spiru-tein also isn’t for diabetics because it has fruit in it which can cause a blood sugar spike. Also both can cause issues like high blood pressure if your on certain medications, so again do your homework. In the end I went with Almased mainly because I am hypoglycemic and I can get it online for 20 dollars a can. Spirutein averages 8grams of sugar per serving and thats way too much for me especially if I am using it three times a day for the first week. You figure your going mix fruit, ice, non-fat milk or yogurt in to make a shake so keeping the sugar down is kinda important.

In order to not lose too much muscle mass I figure I will do a 30 minute upper body weight workout daily. My goal is to get back in the water once my walking boot goes on with either kayaking or paddle boarding. It may help with my cardio training.

If anyone out there is managing to stay in shape during this period of time or has some health /fitness ideas please pass them on.

All the best, PJ

6 responses so far

Mar 22 2012

Post Surgery (day 1-5) - The Norco experiment!

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I only recently learned about this site so I find myself having to back track a few days when telling my story. I am actually day 6 post surgery, but if you don’t mind following me back in time  we can get caught up on those first days following my surgery. I went home about an hour after my surgery and despite all the warnings I hit the Del Taco drive thru for my usually 1-Del Beef burrito & 1-Combination burrito. Ok so I may have ordered two tacos as well, but I was starving and weak, ha-ha.

They originally gave me Norco 325mg to take 1 tablet every 4 hours, which by 6am the next day quickly changed to 2 tablets every 4 hours due to my pain being between a 7-8 on their pain scale. I continued taking the Norco not realizing I was having an allergic reaction to the drug. It wasn’t until day 4 I went online to look up all of the possible side affects. I had all the severe side affects listed which were dizziness, mood swings, anxiety, skin rash, agitation, and so on and so on. I thought this must be what a drug addict feels like! I called my doctor’s office and asked them to please switch my medication then dumped the remaining Norco and began to take Tylenol 500mg until they prescribed me Percocet 325mg. This was the first time in my life I had such a severe reaction to a drug. My advice to others if you have never taken a prescribed drug before then research it and be educate yourself on it. It turns out most of my family members who have taken Norco have all had severe reactions to it, so again good to know info talk to your family members see what’s worked for them in the past. OK enough soapbox talk….

Well that brings me up to speed. The only thing I will add is for some reason on day 5 my leg began to swell. It got so bad I had loosen the bandage around my splint which helped considerable. The next morning(today) I did put the bandages back to their firm fitting to ensure the splint remains secure. I will end with a question, has anyone else out their gotten really bad shooting pains in their heel. I am talking a good 6-7 on the pain scale. They don’t last long maybe 30 seconds but man do they hurt!

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Mar 21 2012

How it all happened…..

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I should probably begin by saying how I ruptured my left Achilles tendon. It was last Tuesday at about 10am, we were unloading an aircraft when a heavy pallet got hung up on the tines of a forklift. A few of us went over to help push it the rest of the way on and you could say the rest is history. I felt a sudden sharp pop in my left leg which caused me to go directly to the floor. The pain wasn’t instantaneous it took about five minutes before it hit me. When it did it came on quickly and was unlike anything I had ever felt before. I felt a fire in my leg which soon caused me to break out in a cold sweat. This led me to feel light headed and soon I realized my body may be going into shock. An ER visit told me what I kinda already knew my achilles was torn.

Fast forward to my Orthopedic appt. which was the next day at 0930hrs. He confirmed it was torn and gave me my two options; surgery or non-surgery. I chose surgery call me old fashioned when something is broke I like to have it fixed. The fun part was about to begin. He came back in and asked me how 530pm tonight sounded? My response was priceless, I am like for what? Not expecting the medical world to move that quickly because it never has before, he responded with

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