2009 Archive

Dec 30

So its been 2 weeks and 1 day since Ive been out of the boot. Since then Ive had one private (expensive) physio session and been continuing the excercises given to me by the hospital. The original hospital were referring me to a closer hospital to my home, said it would take around two weeks….

….So I chased it up. Rang Nottingham hospital who said it was referred on December 21st, “maybe its been delayed by the post?” said the lady. Rang Derby “nope we’ve recieved nothing yet”. Rang Nottingham etc etc. She will chase it in the morning.

Its so frustrating not being able to trust the NHS. Yes its free, for which Im eternally grateful for but is it a good service? Is it efficient? Ive had to chase every single one of my appointments, ive had to wait in so many pointless waiting rooms. Waiting for another waiting room.

So Im sitting here in the dark still waiting for an appointment for physio. Time to raid the piggy bank for another private session me thinks.

What are the usual turnaround times for the NHS on referrals? I had refrained from laying into the NHS up until now (theyve lasted 13 weeks to be fair!) but I needed a rant.

Dec 24

So Ive been in two shoes for a week and a half, had one physio, been doing my stretches etc. A bit of swelling which Ive managed with RICE. Im in week 12 day 2. So my two quick questions are…

1) When did you ditch the crutches? I have stopped using them as I feel better without. Im going to the pub tonight without them having ventured into town the other day with one crutch. Won’t be doing a great deal of walking, just to the bar! A big limp of course but the doesnt bother me.

2) What shoes are people wearing? At home Im wearing Nike Cross Trainers, high-ish heal, comfortable enough and stretches the tendon a little (good for strengthing I guess). However, for going out a pair of fat air max nike 90s, large heal much more comfortable to walk in. Link below…theyre ugle but comfortable believe me.

http://store.nike.com/index.jsp?cp=EUID_KW_NS09_UK_Google_B&country=GB&lang_locale=en_GB&l=shop,pwp,c-300/hf-791+4294967255/t-Nike_Trainers_iD#l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-300/pid-280043/pgid-184501

Dec 22

So I have been out the boot for a week and a friend recommended a physio that specialises in sports injuries and had worked with premiership footballers. He worked for Derby County (now not in the premiership) so I was eager to see him, I want to get back to football.

The week out of the boot has been nice, great being able to shower and sleep with some normality again. Yesterday I walked around town with one crutch, has been pretty swollen since but have continued excercises and elevation. Just waiting on the NHS physio referral so went to this specialist.

He gave me a lot of advice. For example, to not use one crutch - use two if you need to use them, better posture/excercises, ice massages, the first targets etc. I need to work on stretching the foot back and get that range of movement back before we can start on strength. He said that it is based on my dedication to the excercises and usually takes around 4 weeks.  The physio also noticed that due to the manner in which I had been walking, one leg appeared slightly longer than the other, so he reset my back which seemed to do the trick!

I have been walking around without crutches with a big limp but have used crutches outdoors in the current icey conditions hitting the UK! So it has been swollen, I need to ice more, vital apparently.

Im more optimistic after the session, hes treated many professional players with the injury (he named some names, last player was Giles Barnes if anyone know their football…) and although professionals have to have surgery, that non professinal athletes having the conservative method breeds strong results but just requires more management than the surgical route.

My new big fat chunky air max nikes arrive in the post tomorrow, my foot craves more comfy trainers!

Dec 15

So 11 weeks and 2 days since that fateful day where I ruptred my achilles whilst playing football, I am finally back in a pair of trainers.

The last few days have been agony, waiting, unable to sleep. Should I take the boot off to sleep? Theres only one more night, just soldier it! The apprehension. Has it healed? Will they let me out of the boot? How will it feel?

Well as I waited in 2nd waiting area (is the first waiting area just to put you into the second waiting area!?) I was greeted by the third consultant Ive seen (flippin NHS!) in 3 visits. In pops a chirpy man, gives me the history of my surname (he was from India), tells me to take off the boot. Ok. Does the thompson test, I saw it move, thank God. Says its all fine. Now can you walk around please.

What!? Without the crutch? Yes. Okkkk. So I slipped on that right trainer that the left has missed so much and tried. It wernt too bad but was much more comfortable using the one crutch. He happily referred  me to the physio and told me to take it easy and not to play football until at least the 6 month mark. Like I was about to get up and go straight to the pitch!

The physio  was a lovely lady who walked me through the excercises which were fairly comfortable, only pulling it back is a stretch. I was also given a sheet with an excercise plan until the physios at my local hospital could see me. The leg has of course lost much muscle but Im not worried as I know it will come back with hard work.

So, predictably the first thing I did when I got home….washed the foot. Bathed it like never before, scrubbed it, massaged it, moved it around. Then I went through the first round of excercises (3/4 times a day!). As I sit here with my foot up I am full of a new optimism, I will complete the excercises religously, I will work hard at physio and I WILL get back to football. Not before the 6 month mark of course.

Bring on physio.

Dec 08

So today was the day that the final wedge was removed and I am now officially flat footed! Usual routine, in, clean foot, clean boot, exchange pleasantries with nurse Lucy, remove wedge, out. What was different this time was that it was hopefully the last time. I am due to see the consultant next week and am hoping (and praying!) that the boot comes off.

Over the last couple of weeks the skin on the ball of the foot has gotten pretty bad and as a result I had a dressing put on last visit (like a small ’special’ plaster) which worked wonders. The skin is better but how it craves a warm soak in the bath! Sleeping without a boot, wow, how will that feel?

Intrestingly as I approach the tailend of being in the boot, time has slowed down even more! Has it healed enough? Will it hurt going into two shoes? How long will I be limping? Can I risk having a drink over Crimbo and falling over? How long will I walk like Keyser Soze (movie buffs out there)? Anticipation.

These questions will be answered shortly…que a long 7 days…

Hope everyones recoveries are going well…blog soon.

P.s. I know some people are having difficulties commenting on my page, not sure what it is but will look into it!

Nov 24
Me after having the second wedge out today.

Me after having the second wedge out today.

So today was the day of wedge number tow being removed (3 in total) and down to 1 wedge in the boot.

To be completely honest there hasnt been much to report over the last two weeks, I seem to be used to the state Im in and just get on with it. I have spent a lot of time thinking of all the things I want to do and places I need to visit when I am able to walk on my own two feet. I also spend the few minutes after getting into bed staring at the calender on my phone (anyone else do that?), ticking off another day and reassuring myself of how near the next milestone is. In this case, 2 weeks untill there are no wedges left in the boot. I have been walking around wihtout the crutches which feels fine, is that FWB?

Oh Ive started a an excercise regime if anyones interested:

Every day - 20 min workout - 20 arm curls (10kg) on each arm, 20 sit ups, 20 press ups - 5 sets (or as many as you can manage.) Gets the blood rate going and is a good all round body cruncher! I call it the 20twenty! :)

So today I went to occupational therapy. Lucy cleaned the boot, I stared at whats left of the leg, had a look around the foot to see how bad the skin is (not particularly nice), out went a wedge, and back in the boot. Off ya go. Routine.

However, as I went outside to book another appointement I met Lucys next patient who also had a boot on. Couldnt help but ask …

“What ya done fella?”

- “Done me achilles playing football, you?”

“Same”

- “How far are ya?”

“Just had the second wedge out, you?”

-”About to have the second wedge out too, you must have done it same time as me?”

“September 27th?”

-”Yep!”

Small world. So we got talking, had a good old moan about how boring it is, how messed up the skin gets and expressed concerns of whether it was healing ‘under there’. It just goes to show how common the injury is and how we all have the same concerns and fears going forward.

Im honestly at the point where I pray that its healing and with strength so I can resume normal life come the new year. Life has become easier (or have I just got used to it…) and so I begin another 2 week cycle ready for flat foot!

Bring on 8th Decemeber. Good luck on your recoveries. Blog soon.

Nov 10

So today was the day when I hit the first milestone in the boot, the 2 week mark, removal of 1 wedge.

Its been an odd couple of weeks…I remember looking so forward to getting the cast off but quickly realised that the boot had its own set of problems. It took me some time getting used to walking with it and Im still not used to sleeping with it on (I actually remember the cast being more comfortable to sleep in ironically, not that Id want it back on!).

As the two weeks went on I started to bare more weight until more recently walking with one crutch on the good side and occasionally without any crutches. Although I havnt done that often with the fear of not wanting to push the tendon beyond its limits. It has felt like progress. So much so I ended up in town with the lads on Saturday night (yes I left early but its just not the same when you’ve not ought to drink!). Oh and the “not drinking” thing? Ok Ive had a couple of beers and a glass of wine on my friends birthday but have seriously cut down! Good to have a little detox!

Ive also started working from home as of last week, bonus to have some routine back in life. Its a little boring though as there is only so much “bod work” you can do from home and am missing out on all the exciting stuff back in the office, the career path has stalled slightly but will get back on it as soon as I can. Friends and family have been great but Im feeling more independant, able to semi walk and carry stuff around. Feels like that road, you know the one….recovery.

Anyway, back to today. I met the lovely Occupational Therapist, Lucy, who will be ‘managing’ my foot over the coming weeks. I will be seeing her every Tuesday for a sock change/foot clean/wedge removal (every two weeks). So today was the first wedge removal, first milestone in the boot. When the boot was opened (first time in two weeks remember!) it absolutely stank! Like…well….wearing the same sock and boot for two weeks and not taking it off! Poor Lucy, the girl cleaned it with a smile on her face! The foot was then cleaned with the most beautiful warm water to have ever touched my skin. Talking of which, the skin isnt in a great state which is to be expected. There is some muslce loss but Ive always had stubby legs so doesnt look too bad at this stage. So the boot got taken away and cleaned, new sock applied, wedge removed….then the moment Id been dreading…

When the boot first went on it was very painful placing the foot on the third wedge so I was expecting the same pain when the next wedge would be removed. Painkillers on stand by…oh. It wasnt painful at all, just a mild stretch. A good sign says Lucy…phew.I then reeled off the questions I had written down.

“So how do you know its healing if you havnt had surgery Lucy?”

“It just seems to mend itself, the human body is an amazing thing”

Sound silly when I write it down but she said it in a way that made me feel better, she had seen it before and her calming reassurance is what I needed.

So here I am, getting used to wedge number 2 and starting the 2 week cycle over again. Im now in week 6 of 12 of recovery (not including physio of course) and feel like progress is being made. Yes there are low times, you cant get away from that but they are less frequent and normality is resuming slowly. Roll on next milestone….Novemeber 24th…wedge number 1.

In the mean time I wish you all the greatest of progress in your individual recoveries, take care, blog soon.

Nov 01

So as mentioned, Im on the conservative treatment and am currently in the first week of the boot. The pain when going into the boot was quite heavy however, today is the fifth day in the boot and I managed to walk in the boot without the crutches. I first walked whilst holding onto a chair and found I could put my weight on it quite comfortably.

There are three wedges in and will have another removed in just over a week. Should I be walking so early in the boot or holding back a bit, Im not really sure…any similar experiences?

Oct 27

So today was the day of my consultation after being in the cast for 4 agonisingly slow weeks. Ive mostly been low for the period and have struggled to cope with the imobility. I could not wait to get out of the cast.

So que the waiting room at the hospital, nervous but glad to be getting rid of the cast. Out whips the saw and scissors (you know the ones….”they can only hurt me not you”) and off it pops. Something so simple that causes so much frustration.

So the first thing that registers about the boot is that I cant take it off. Anytime. Ever. I thought you could take it off but it looks like the feeling of warm water on my leg will have to wait! So I pleaded that I get my leg washed before it dissapears again, which they did. Upto this point I had not had much pain from the injury. When people asked “hows the leg?” I usually responded with “in a cast, not much to feel”. However, today was different. When I put my foot onto the third wedge of the boot the pain kicked in and I finally felt the extent of the injury.

The boot itself is bigger than I imagined and is a little heavy but can only help to rebuild some musle. You can sort of walk on it and by that I mean put your foot on the floor, crutches are still needed.

So, Im in the boot for 8 weeks with a wedge being removed at two week intervals.Only when I got home did I notice the difference in the two legs, just above the knee the thigh had lost a lot of muscle (I have been in a full leg cast). Being able to bend the knee feels great although still a little stiff. This really is a journey that Im biting away at daily. I want to be on my own two feet by Christmas. The light isnt there for me yet but I can feel myself getting further down that tunnel…

New countdown begins. 1 week 6 days and 20 hours until another wedge is out…

Oct 12

Hi there, Im two weeks into my rupture and as Ive been visiting this site reguarly so thought I would start sharing my own story. Also, as many of you know, the boredom has really started to set in so writing a blog may help to keep me sane…

Brief background, Im 24, from the UK and keep fairly fit, football once a week (five a side) and gym 3-4 times a week. So having this injury has really stripped me of the things I love to do.

It happened two weeks back, the evening of September 27th. I had played a game the day before on the 26th, gone out got drunk and danced the night away so I was playing a little hungover and probably shouldnt have played two days running (I doubt the added intoxication helped!). Anyway, the game was going great, was playing well and somehow had a whole heap of extra enegry! About half way through, keeper rolled the ball to me, and as I pushed off to dribble the ball….WACK. I turned around to see who had shot my heel! He got away fast, wait till I get my hands on him!

I wasnt waiting long in the hosptial (have a doctor cousin who helped speed things along!), when I was first told (and Im man enough to admit this, grrrrr!) I actually broke into tears! As previously mentioned, getting to the gym and playing football are my two main hobbies, so was absolutely crushed about the diagnosis. I was put in a half cast and sent on my way.

Couple of days later, I was seen by a consultant, by this time I had googled the hell out of the injury and was pretty sure I would be having the surgery. However, the consultant recommended conservative treatment mentioning that most of the stuff on the net is US based and they prefer the surgery over there! Apparently! Anyway, the course he recommened was 4 weeks in a full leg cast with toe pointed down, then 8 in a “Beckham Boot” (honestly, the guy could market anything) with intervals of varying angles. Having worked this out, it would take me to Christmas so have given myself the target to be on my own two feet by then. Good to have targets. Getting this cast off is the first one, on Oct 27th. Im counting the seconds. I feel like I cant do anything to help in a cast. So when Im in the boot I expect to be more in charge of excercising and will feel more control.

So here I am two weeks later, in a full leg cast, indulging in my new favourite hobby, sitting on my arse with my leg in the air (If there was an Olymics “Sitting on your arse with a leg in the air” team, Id be pushing for it…). I was signed off from work (Im an IT Consultant) for 4 weeks but will be aiming to work from home soon. Never did I think I would be craving work but after two weeks of not doing much, I feel like Im losing intelligence on a daily basis!

Things Ive decided:

- To be on my own two feet by crimbo

- Not to drink (or cut it down dramatically from the usual weekend bender) to not risk falling over drunk on crutches

- To eat healthier to compensate for the lack of my usual active nature. Currently subbing one meal a days for a plate of fruit

- To maintain a positive attitude.

Im reguarly still having the “why me?” moments but friends and family have been very supportive. For me it has been a life changing event, and hopefully will be the hardest thing I ever have to go through. Im only at the beginning but am looking at all those cliches to help me through.

You know the ones…’What doesn’t kill ya…”

Roll on Oct 27th, cast removal day…

ATR - To keep me sane…