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I am sneaking up on 44 weeks post op.  This weekend will be my 1 yr anniversary of the initial injury and first surgery.  The second surgery was in July of  ’08.  That will be a more important anniversary. 

I am walking about a  mile a day.  I work out with weights 3 days a week.  The calf is coming back but not quite there yet.  I started integrating a few jogging moments into my walking time.  If this sounds cautious, it is.  I don’t want to re-rupture - ever, ever again. 

I can’t wear heels yet and by heels I mean Vicky S.  heels.  I can wear “kitten” heels.  Are there any women out there who have successfully gotten back into heels yet?    The problem with heels is the scar tissue.  It bunches up and the calf muscle feels inflexible.  I don’t think that is a good thing.

And for those of you who have gotten back into jogging or running, when you first started did it hurt?  Were you limping the next day?  How hard to push it?  Where’s the danger point?   My foot is still stiff in the morning but most of the swelling is gone. 

And for those just starting the journey, it will get better.

The most important thing to know about me at this time is I am a re-rupture.  To catch everyone up:  my original injury occurred when I dropped a bottle on the kitchen floor and a piece of the glass severed my Achilles tendon.  I was taken out of the boot, having been NWB for 7 weeks, and told to walk – and don’t baby it!  Within hours I had a complete rupture.  The second surgery was 20 weeks ago.

 

 Lesson number one:  don’t go from NWB to 2 shoes.  Insist on a PWB stage and FWB in the boot before 2 shoes.

 

Does being a two timer mean my recovery will be longer?  The physical therapist thinks so.  I spoke to the doctor on the phone yesterday about an insurance matter and he asked me if I still need physical therapy.  Uh?  This made me think either he doesn’t remember that I am a repeat offender or I should be much further along.   So am I riding the ATR “small yellow bus” so to speak?

 

I can walk in 2 shoes and the limp is almost gone but each step still hurts; hence the limp.  I can’t jump, run, walk faster than grandma, raise up on my toes, trip, or fall.  So I think I still need the therapy.   My person benchmark for leaving physical therapy is when I can wear high heels.

 

I learned that all therapists are not created equal.  The one that the doctor sent me to, which is owned by his medical group, was a waste of time and money.  I found a new therapist, after interviewing several, and am very pleased.   If anyone is in Dallas and wants to know who, let me know.

 

Lesson number two:  if you are not pleased with the physical therapist after the first couple visits go searching for another one.  For example if you don’t get one on one attention.  Or if they spend more time squirting each other with water or snapping each other with the thera-bands  - leave! 

 

Walking feel s like it is a miracle.  I am also grateful for this web site, the support of everyone on it and hope that my contribution may help others.  My progress is slow but it is progress.  As long as I do not go back to square one I can work at PT and wait it out.

 

This injury is more than a physical one.  It has a significant psychological component.  I believe that no one that has not had this experience can really know how devastating it.  I have learned that I cannot count on my grown children to help me and they are pretty much the only family I have.  That was and still is a painful lesson.  I love them and will do anything in my power for them but I will not expect anything back.  I may, one day, be like the old Eskimo and put out on an ice floe. 

Cankles

I am at week 16 and my calf muscle is coming back but still puny.  At the end of the day my ankle is swollen to about twice the size of the good one.  For those of you that are ahead of me on this road, when does the ankle no longer swell?  And when will I be done with cankles?  Just in case someone out there doesn’t know, a cankle is when you can’t tell where the calf leaves off and the ankle begins.  And another question, for those who are so inclined, when can I wear heels again?  I must be feeling better because vanity seems to be setting in…. 

Eye of newt toe of frog…

It’s been 15 weeks since surgery.  Feels like 15 years.  I had hoped to be doing better at this point but then again I need to be grateful that I have made the progress I have made. Patience is not my virtue.   I am a re-rupture so I know what going back to square one feels like.  If I hadn’t re-ruptured I’d be almost at the magic 6 month mark. 

 

 I walk slowly with a slight limp.  Each step hurts.  The incision site gets swollen, warm, painful and red after a lot of walking or exercising.  I compare it to my other foot and wonder if I will ever have a matching pair.

 

 I am sick of wearing athletic shoes and sick of my achillotrain.  So I went to DFW (Dallas Shoe Warehouse) and bought two pairs of flats. Both have cushioned heels.  So far so good.

 

I am so thrilled to be able to run my own errands.  The grocery store, the mall, the pet store… I even went to the movies. Loved the “Secret Life of Bees”.   I can take a shower standing up. Whoo Hoo!  I can go up and down the steps “normally” instead of sideways.  I have good range of motion.  I can even hang my heels off the step and go down – past 90 degrees. 

 

But I so want to run, or to ride my bike outside.  I want to jump or to hop, or live without fear. I want to put on stocking and heels and walk normally.    Boy, am I getting greedy.  My leg and foot are still so weak. 

 

I go to physical therapy twice a week and have been since mid September.  I have converted my bike to a stationary bike with “Cycle Ops” and ride it daily.  I do the PT exercises while watching TV.  I wish I could just do something to speed up the recovery.  Eye of newt toe of frog…

 

At PT yesterday, there were 2 new ATRs.  What’s up!  Something in the water.  The therapist did tell me something I didn’t need to know - that one woman that they have treated has not recovered and it has been a year and a half since her surgery.  She said the woman’s first surgery was bungled and the second surgery was performed gratis.  Is it possible not to recover? 

 

At PT they are still doing the magic ionto twice a week.  Hybresis is the brand name and it really has made a difference.  It is a patch that contains a saline solution.  The patch placed over the wound and is connected to a battery that electrifies it fore 3 minutes. Then the battery is removed and I wear the patch for 2 hours.  The next morning there is less swelling.   

 

So that’s what week 15 looks like for me.    

Feets don’t fail me now

Feet are so underrated and so taken for granted.  I am at 11 weeks now and am in two shoes for almost 2 weeks.  My foot feels very stiff and, of course, hurts. 

 

The physical therapist used a patch that has a small battery and she connects it to a small gizmo that sends stinging bees through my incision site.  I then have to leave the patch on for another two hours.  In two sessions of this it has reduced all of the knots and swelling.  But the day or two after it is stiffer and more painful.  I hope this is progress. 

 

One of the harder things I am asked to do at PT is to balance on one foot, the bad one.  I asked the doctor if I could ride a bike.  He said yes.  I asked what about falling and catching myself on the bad foot.  He said no bike riding.  Stationary bike ok – but no standing up riding.  Swimming is ok.   Good I got permission to swim in October. 

 

I feel like I have accomplished so much in 11 weeks.  I can put out the garbage by myself.  I can go up the stairs, let the dogs in and out and in and out, carry my dinner to the table, go to the grocery store (whoo hoo) and sleep without the boot.   I wonder if I will make as much progress in the next 11 weeks.  It feels like progress has slowed down.  The pain and stiffness gets better during the day when I move the foot around but returns each morning after a night of inactivity.  When oh when will I be normal again. 

Goody 2 shoes

  Well, I fought the fear and am in 2 shoes.  I decided to take the plunge at my last physical therapy appointment.  I can sit at my desk and do ROM exercises now that I am in shoes  — and in a achillotrain.  A fine looking sock - so sexy. 

The movement, I believe, is really helping.  I walk with a decided limp and I am very slow and careful but I’m walking.  Never thought I’d get here.  I am grateful to this site and all the great people that have been supportive.  No one really know how extensive an injury this is unless that have had it.

 

When I saw the doctor yesterday (8 weeks 2 days post op) he said that I am to take the last wedge out this Sunday and the following Sunday ditch the boot for an “airtrainer” - or something like that and go to two shoes.  The “trainer” is a compression sock with a wedge at the heel.  Doesn’t look very supportive to me.  I will be at 10 weeks at that time. 

Since I a rerupture and since the rerupture occurred the last time they took me out of the boot I am scared. I didn’t sleep a wink last night.   Doesn’t this seem too soon? I want to wait until 12 weeks at least. Are there bad consequences for staying in the boot too long?   I just may not be a good patient — and refuse to leave the boot.

At 8 weeks since surgery,  I am at long last walking in the boot.  Walking like Frankenstein at a wedding but walking.  So much freedom to have use of my hands.  I have been to PT 3 times and the last time she used a cold laser treatment.  I haven’t been in pain but after the last treatment the lower part of the incision is red, swollen and hurts intermittenly.  Kind of a sharp pain.  I can’t sit with my bad leg crossed over my right leg.  Sometimes it just hurts no matter where I put my leg.

I went to the doctor’s office today and they think it is a internal stitch that my body is treating like a splinter.  They didn’t think the cold laser had caused it.  Hmmm….  Coincidence?  Has anyone else had anything similar?

Cat back in boot - week 6

Actually he put me back in the boot last week.  I am glad to be able to shower with my foot in the shower.  Oh the little things that we used take for granted.  I am afraid of moving the time table too fast.  He said they usually have people in a boot and “walking as tolerated” at 4 weeks.  I am supposed to start walking as tolerated - I guess it’s his way of saying PWB - this week.  Since I am a rerupture I am also a scaredy cat.

I have my first PT this week and am anxious about what they will do.  I don’t understand how to strike a balance between pushing myself far enough and not rerupturing. I used to live in the state of Texas not the state of anxiety.  I’d like to get back to my fearless self.  Back to the person who rode motorcycles,  jumped out of  planes, scuba dived, etc…  But now reaching for the stars means hoping to walk the dog.

 

I have two big dogs, one a well trained old guy golden retriever and the other a not so well trained great dane puppy.  The puppy will start puppy class next week.  My friend is going to go with me to dog class and actually do the training.   After I am able to walk, when will it be safe to walk him myself? Any advice on how long to wait?   Should I wait until the 6 month mark or wait a year?  I don’t want him trip me and be a three timer in the OR.  There aren’t any frequent flyer miles and no discounts.  Is there some kind of a boot that may afford some extra protection but is not the lovely moon boot that we currently know and love.

I guess I am so bored with doing nothing that going for a walk seems like the greatest thing in the world! Thanks to everyone for being there.

 

 

 

I am doing a good job of putting a happy face.  People tell me I sound good.  I also hear “You’re young you’ll be fine..”  But I am not young.  Until I can walk I an not sure that I will ever walk again. I haven’t walked in almost 3 months - due in part to the re-rupture problem.  I have no idea when I can expect to walk again. 

The last doctor visit, a week ago, he really pushed my foot into a lesser angle, closer to 90%, and re-casted. Since then it has been hurting.  Not constant but intermitten pain.  I called and he said if it impoves with rest you’re ok.  I am having a hard time with faith with doctors that don’t have “MRI” vision. “X-ray” would be useless.  I want someone with “MRI” vision.  How does he know it’s ok?  When it re-ruptured they couldn’t tell by looking at it and couldn’t tell by the Thompson test. 

I have looked to see what lessons I am supposed to be learning with this situation.   I have one brother and two grown children.   My son lives in the same city.   I haven’t heard from my brother since I told him I was injured.  My dad is dead and my mother is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s.  My son told me that I need to find a solution that doesn’t involve calling him.  He is too busy with grad school.  And I truly believe he is too busy but he could at least offer moral support.    I feel totally abandoned by family. 

 I have help that I have hired and one good friend that I know from work.  Without her help I wouldn’t be here.  So I have learned that I must readjust my expectations about family.  That I must work to create a network of friends that are my new family.  I have learned that I cannot isolate myself.  I have always been able to relay upon me to take care of me.  I have never been injured or been sick before now.  It is devasting to me to need help, ask for it and sometimes not get it.  But it is one those thing that I need to pray for the strength to accept. 

 

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