Double Whammy!

It all started for me on October 12, 2010.  After taking an 8 year hiatus of playing soccer, I decided it would be a good idea to get back into it.  Other than breathing harder than what I remember it was like I had never quit!  It really did feel good.  With 30 seconds left in the first half the unexpected happened.  I was controlling the ball in our own zone and wham!  My opponent completely missed the ball and connected with my leg.  I’ve had all sort of ankle sprains in the past but this feeling was not familiar.  As I was trying to get my balance and footing then wham again!  I took three steps and dropped.  Both of my calf muscles were in spasm and the pain was unbelievable.  They carted me off and I iced them until the end of the game.  I tried to stand and promptly fell flat on my face!   I had thought it was just muscle cramps and was the reason I could not put any pressure on my toes.  I had a teammate drive me home where I dragged myself up the stairs, had a shower and went to bed.  In the morning, the pain was not as great and my husband assisted me to stand and discovered that I still could not put pressure on my toes.  I tried to get into my Dr. who happened to be booked but they would call me back if the Dr. could fit me in.  I couldn’t wait and called a PT and got in promptly.  On the way there my husband picked up a cane for me to help with my balance.  The PT conducted the Thomson Test and concluded they both were ruptured and suggested to see my Dr. right away.  I was able to see the Dr. later that day and was fortunate to have an ultrasound done down the hall right after where the radiologist was in disbelief that I had done both.  A 3cm gap in the right and a 0.7cm gap in the left (he thought there might be a couple of threads that hadn’t snapped in the left).  My Dr. called the hospital and spoke with the OS on call and scheduled me in for 9:00am the next morning.

Sorry for the story. I’m a bit new to blogging. I’ll try to make the future ones shorter.

10 Responses to “Double Whammy!”

  1. Cheryl - Wow, that’s some story. Sorry to hear that you ruptured BOTH of your Achilles at the same time. There was a person a couple of years ago or so who ruptured both of his Achilles at the same time playing basketball. I think he jumped to block someone’s shot and his Achilles tendons both tore at the same time. Please check here: http://achillesblog.com/atrpt.php

    Ah found it, it was fordtough. You’ll see his profile from the ATR marathon page.

    I hope your recovery is going well, and keep us posted. Feel free to make them longer, it’s perfectly fine.

  2. Believe it or not, there IS a bright side, Cheryl! Once they both heal, you should be able to return to soccer (or whatever) with absolutely NO fear of “tearing the other side”! I’m actually serious, since that risk is not trivial for the rest of us — including me, one of several “both-siders” in the group here. Mine were 8 years apart, somebody else here waited 11 years. . .

    Three steps is definitely a short interval between ATRs.

    Good luck with the rehab.

  3. Oh Cheryl you poor thing, but I suppose like Norm says you’ll get the healing done on both sides at the same time rather than going through it twice seperately. Good luck with your healing and keep us posted. Remember patience is a virtue in the ATR world. :)

  4. OMG I didn’t realise it was possible to do both at the same time…I feel for you….by reading the others looks like there is some benefit of doing both and recovering bothat the same time, thanks for sharing your story look forward to reading the updates and trials and tribulations.

  5. Hi Cheryl,

    Wow I thought that one was bad enough but to do both at the same time is very unlucky!! I wish you a good and not to misserable recovery.

  6. Crikey Cheryl - I am so sorry to hear your tale. I have been wondering how I would cope if the other one went while I was still on crutches and here you are having to just get on with it. I hope you take comfort in the wise words of some of the “both-siders” and that your two heal well and swiftly. Sounds like the prognosis for the future is really good and I guess you have to take comfort wherever you can find it. I wish your husband lots of patience too - I know my friends were all worried for my husband when I snapped my ATR because they knew how grumpy i’d be to be so incapacitated - make sure that you accept help whenever it’s offered, both for you and to give him a break! Very, very best wishes

  7. Cheryl, I’ve started day-dreaming about the challenges of your rehab in my spare time (when I need to take a “study break” from researching my own upcoming heart surgery!). Each of your ankles needs to progress through rehab just like ours, but your “symmetrical” situation changes most of the details, in ways I’ve never thought about before. (I bet your health professionals are new to your situation, too!)

    Obviously, crutches are out while you’re NWB! (More good news, that you don’t have to worry about “face plants” when a crutch slips, or the perils of crutch-walking on stairs!) You’ll also “want” to spend twice as much time doing exercises and having PT as we did.

    The transition through PWB to FWB, which most of us did on crutches, has to change. Unless you’ve got a set of parallel bars handy (or a ceiling hoist!), my first thoughts include a good strong “walker” (the kind the old folks use), and a nice deep swimming pool. I can imagine a LOT of uses for a pool, assuming you’re generally comfy in the water. (I’ve got a mental video of a pal wheeling you to the deep end and dumping you in!) Those waterproof VacoCast / VacoPed boots sound like a bargain.

    I’m also way curious about the comparison between your two simultaneous ATRs! No two of us are the same, or tore our ATs exactly the same, or recovered exactly the same. I’ve had remarkably different recoveries from my two ATRs, that may be attributable to the different treatments and rehab protocols, or my different age, or to details about the two ruptures, or to God Knows What Else. I’d be shocked if your two healing legs “came along” at exactly the same pace, despite all their obvious similarities, and it makes my (hyper-active) mind very curious. . .

    For a typical ATR person, it helps to be creative and inventive, in finding ways to cope, and heal, and strengthen, and be safe, etc.. This website does a LOT to help us share that kind of Great Stuff. But you (and yours) are practically inventing the whole thing all over.

  8. I don’t mean to be flippant or anything here, but wouldn’t it be great for research purposes if they had operated on one and done the other non-surgically… ;)

  9. Funny you should say that. The first surgeon that scheduled me in actually joked about that very thing. She said it would be up to the surgeon that performed the surgery. They said that the non surgical route would be a longer healing process and that because I was already incapacitated by not walking that they wanted to get me going as soon as possible. I’m not sure if that is the general consensus on the issue though but I am okay with the decsision.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  10. It’s the subject of active controversy in the field’s researchers. The current issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery has (1) the official report from my fave study, “proving” that non-op is as good or better, and (2) a “Commentary”, saying it ain’t so! Those of us with strong opinions on this topic have agreed not to vent them here.

    I’m glad you had them both treated the same way, though I expect I would have “voted” for Bronny’s and my way — and you and your Docs get the only real votes! Sutures definitely add strength for the first few weeks, which CAN be translated into a faster rehab — though most surgical patients actually go at speeds that Bronny and I (etc.) could (and did) handle.

    Treating them differently would have added complexity to an already complex situation, and the results wouldn’t have much “statistical power” anyway — sorry, Bronny! Now, if we had 150 Cheryls. . . ;-) (I don’t know what it’s like in Calgary, Cheryl, but around HERE, Canada Geese hang out in big flocks! :-) )

    Getting you going as soon as possible is obviously one of the goals, and I’m still trying to “invent” unique ways to do that! Putting some weight on a boot-protected ATR leg — aka “early weight-bearing” — is generally associated with good (or best) outcomes, but it usually relies on putting full weight on the OTHER, uninjured leg, with crutches for backup. None of that works for you. I hope your professionals are taking the time to figure out ways to adapt the best 1-legged protocols to your symmetrical situation!

    Good luck!

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