Posted on September 10th, 2008 by chowderlad
For labor day weekend (which I realize was over a week ago… but I’m lazy about posting!!!) my friends managed to convince me to join them on their camping trip to Sequoia National Park. Going was totally worth it. Especially for a city boy like me who has never seen trees so big in my life. At that point I was already hobbling around crutchless with the boot, but I decided to bring my crutches because I move much faster in them and did not want to slow anybody down during the hikes. I managed to complete an approximately 2 mile hike on crutches over uneven (but fortunately paved) terrain. I also climbed Moro Rock! That was about 350+ steps up a 0.25 mile trail approximately 300 feet up from the trail start. On the way up people were looking at me like I was crazy for doing it with crutches, but I figured I had come all the way out there I might as well see all the sights and not let myself be limited by my injury. There were also a lot of people that encouraged me on the way up. And the view at the top was spectacular! My hands paid the price though because I developed some blisters and callouses from all the crutching activities, but all in all a great time!
My doctor gave me the OK to start driving on 9/1/08 which means back to work I go. And boy did they work me to the bone the last week. I operate off a 4/10 (4 days a week, 10 hour shift) 28 day flex schedule and it just so happened that my schedule was set so most of my days off were at the beginning of the current 28 day DP (deployment period). So I came back and worked six 10 hour shifts in 7 days. Then on the last day right before my ‘weekend’ the DA managed to track me down so I had to spend another day sitting in court. Boo! So really, today is only my 2nd day off in the last 9 days and then I’m back to work for another 4! I know it sounds like I’m complaining about what others consider a ‘normal’ schedule but I’m used to working 3 days a week for 12 hour shifts and having on average 4 days a week off.
As for my ankle it finally feels like it is getting better. I took the boot off for good last week (the day I went back to work). Boy do I hate that boot! My doctor instructed me to wear heel lifts in my shoes. When I went to physical therapy my therapist did not like the way I was limping so he gave me a cane and told me to work on bending my knee more. He also gave me more exercises to do, which largely consist of balance exercises that remind me of the DUI field sobriety test. The first couple days of walking and working caused my foot to swell up pretty good and I also experienced some pain in my calf.
All in all I am glad to be back on my own two feet and able to care for myself. I also enjoy the liberating feeling of being able to drive again. Thank you to those that provided encouragement on my last post. I know others have it much worse than I do so I shouldn’t have complained but I was getting a major case of cabin fever back there.
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Posted on August 19th, 2008 by chowderlad
Everyday is the same. I wake up, eat breakfast, do a couple of sudoku puzzles, peruse the internet, watch some tv, eat a snack, play some video games, maybe talk on the phone, eat some dinner, do some physical therapy exercises, watch more tv/play more video games/peruse the internet a little longer, go to sleep. The monotony is occasionally broken up by a visit from a friend or relative which may include going out to watch a movie or something but all in all I wake up every morning (afternoon?) with the feeling that there is nothing to look forward to in the day. I hate this injury. I just want to go for a run outside and play some basketball and contrary to my very first post, I really want to go back to work and raise some hell on the streets. Oh well, one day at a time. Really, I do feel fortunate I am afforded the luxury to sit around and do nothing all day and not have to worry about paying the bills or even paying for the medical bills. I have not taking a sick day or a vacation in 3 years and an awesome health insurance plan to thank for that.
As for the actual recovery, I’ve been on partial weight bearing for about a week, but I’ve been too lazy to update (go figure). I’m not as thrilled as I thought I would be at this point probably because it isn’t actually walking. In fact, I get around a lot faster on crutches then limping around trying to control the weight I put on my foot so I tend to cheat and not partially weight bear. I’ve been going to physical therapy once a week for the past 3 weeks. My protocol for the first week was simple range of motion exercises and strength exercises (isometrics and toe curls with a towel - I hate toe curls! I could barely do them). For the second week I was instructed to do more range of motion exercises and some stretches in a towel. Strength exercises progressed to using a rubberband to provide some resistance and more isometrics. For conditioning I was allowed to start using an exercise bike with minimal resistance for 7-12 minutes. Haha when I first started I could barely pedal the darn thing fast enough to keep it on. For the third (and current) week I have been continuing the range of motion exercises and added a standing calf stretch. The strength exercises are more of the same just with more repetitions. The cycling has been increased to 20 minutes a day. I’ve been increasing the resistance on the bike steadily as my foot allows and boy does it feel good to work up a sweat.
I hate to post negativity but I really think I’ve had it with this injury. I am sooooooo grateful for this community. Reading other people’s thoughts and experiences has probably been the only thing keeping me sane.
P.S. I really really really hate the big, ugly, heavy boot but I just can’t live without the darn thing! Hahah
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Posted on August 6th, 2008 by chowderlad
My energy bill went up $80 as a result of me lazing around the apartment blasting the A/C 24 hours a day. I know living in LA allows me no bearing to complain about the weather but boy is it HOT this summer!
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Posted on July 28th, 2008 by chowderlad
If you haven’t seen it already. That movie seriously rules. I only mention it here because my friends and I went to watch it at an IMAX where you can reserve your seats in advance - so no line waiting (or is that all IMAXes?)!! Anyways, my friend bought me a handicapped seat because of my condition. When we got inside the theater we couldn’t find the actual ’seat.’ That’s when we realized that a handicap ’seat’ was just a space where you can sit in a wheelchair. Haha, we had a good laugh about it until I realized that I didn’t have a wheelchair. Where was I going to sit? Luckily, for some reason, there is an unused row in the top corner which a kind usher directed me to. It actually worked out better because there was so much extra space I could use a seat to put my leg up. And lie down to take a nap if the movie was boring. But it wasn’t boring, it rocked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Posted on July 26th, 2008 by chowderlad
After 4 hard days of work, I have successfully imported my entire cd collection into iTunes. That’s 2093 songs, or 5.7 days of music, or 11.22 GB of music raising my total to 4547 songs/12.7 days/23.17GB. Considering how many CD’s I have, how rarely I listen to most of them(most were purchased back in high school when I was a loyal BMG customer that never passed up a 6 CDs for 1 deal), and the fact that I prefer to encode at a higher bit rate (192 kbps vs the standard 128 kbps) it makes me wonder why in the world anybody would need the 160 GB iPod. If I were to purchase the 80 GB iPod it would probably suffice for the rest of my life!
I know, I know, this has nothing to do with ATR. But hey, I had been planning to import/backup my CD collection since college (roughly 6 years ago) and never was sufficiently bored/motivated to do it until the injury. I really gotta say though, my butt hurts from sitting on my chair for so long! Too bad now I don’t know what to do with my time!
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Posted on July 17th, 2008 by chowderlad
I was so excited today. I finally got to take my boot off to shower after days of avoiding showering due to the intense yoga positions needed in order to keep my injured leg from getting wet. My excitement died when I saw my leg. First off, the stitches and everything are just ugly. Then there was the approximately 2″ yellowish purple bruise on the inside of my foot near the heel. And finally, my calf has already begun to shrink noticeably after barely 2 weeks of no activity. I had been noticing my boot/splint getting looser day by day but I just though my leg was trying to wiggle it’s way out. A visual and physical check revealed that my calf has shrunk to just barely bigger than my arms, and that is just weird. I guess I should be thankful my leg wasn’t much hairer as other people have described.
The showering was more difficult too since I was always in fear that one wrong step without my boot on and who knows what might happen! After the shower I was almost too happy to slip my boot back on. My ankle felt safe and secure in its little black abode.
My doctor told me to start PT during week 3. Does that mean the start of the 3rd week (i.e. now…. 2 weeks after my surgery) or after 3 weeks? Me being the genious that I am I didn’t ask when he told me about it. The earliest PT with a doctor I could schedule is on the 28th of July which is about 4 weeks after surgery. The PT prescribed for week 3 (or 4?) is very simple though. Just move my foot up and down 5 times, 2 sets, 3 times a day. I tried doing it while in the shower but was only able to move my foot about 1″ both directions. Would there be any ramifications if I started too early?
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Posted on July 14th, 2008 by chowderlad
About a week after the surgery my injured side (right) calf started to feel the way calves do immediately after cramping up. I thought that was strange considering I’m obviously not using that calf for anything. I noticed in the FAQ(question 9, post-op to 4-weeks) that there was a question about that very issue but there was no answer. Since there was no answer on the website and I’m a lazy researcher I decided to ask my doctor… and I already forgot what he said. Hahah. It wasn’t a very good answer anyways. It was along the lines of, “Your leg is going to feel that way and it is possible it can cramp up (even without any activity). Unfortunately you cannot stretch your calf out like you normally would since it has to be kept in the same position so you will have to just deal with the pain. SUCKS to be you!!!” Obviously he didn’t say the last part and I don’t want to sound like I am bashing my doctor since he has actually been really great. He managed to squeeze me in special for that first post-op after just a week despite his staff insisting that his schedule was fully booked until August.
So for the first post-op he (or rather his nurse) removed the staples from my leg and it immediately felt better. There is essentially no more pain and no more need to ice or elevate the thing! Although the foot still does tend to swell if I am standing/crutching for too long. Ok, maybe I do still need to elevate it but I can definitely feel an improvement and am no longer a slave to Vicodin. They also put me in the boot, which got me all excited because I noticed a lot of people on this site have had to wear a cast for 2-6 weeks and I was only stuck in my splint for 1 week, but then I realized the boot is heavier, uglier, warmer, and also a lot bulkier. And I can’t take it off anyways since I’m still completely non-weight bearing. But I guess it’s progress and that is always good news.
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Posted on July 11th, 2008 by chowderlad
I got to ride the electric shopping cart thing at Target without looking immature (despite my immature look)! Too bad the actual ride was a disappointment though. It has no power and when you back up it starts beeping like a truck (which drew a number of chuckles). All in all a good time!!
Something I learned on my little outing. Don’t wear jeans when you have a cast. It’s like wearing a bullet proof vest. It feels fine if you aren’t moving around, but the second you do start moving around it heats up in an instant and the heat doesn’t have anywhere to go. End result: you sweat like a pig.
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Posted on July 10th, 2008 by chowderlad
Hi, I’m a lazy guy. I came across this site because I ruptured my achilles and I wanted to know how long I could lie around at home before I would be forced to return to the working world.
To anybody who sees this, I think this is a really valuable resource so thank you mr creator of this site, I appreciate it so much because it saves me, the lazy guy, from actually having to go out and do any research.
For those curious why I registered on this site: I got the injury playing basketball on 7/2/08. I had been dominating my buddy all day on the court and I had just stolen a pass for probably the 10th time that day. I heard my friend utter some expletives and then it felt like he kicked me in the back of the foot. I was all like “dude, you didn’t need to kick me!” And he was all like “what are you talking about, I didn’t kick you!” It then proceeded to hurt like a MF for about 20 seconds. After the pain subsided it looked and felt like nothing was wrong until I tried to stand up. My foot felt like it was completely dead and boy did it hurt. To make a long story short, I went to the doctor and he gave me the bad news and now here I sit, on my chair, for the past week….. just waiting for the day I can walk again. I was really fortunate though. I got the surgery the day after I got injured, which is a major miracle if anybody knows anything about Kaiser.
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Posted on July 10th, 2008 by chowderlad
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