14 days post op Happy 4th of July. My 1st post

Well hello to everyone who frequents the blogs, I have been a lurker on here for quite a while, I started the first day when I was in the ER and suspected I had an Achilles tendon rupture. Before I begin the story of my injury, I would like to give a little insight as to who I am.

I am  25 year old male, a recent College graduate from John Jay College of Criminal Justice,  5′8 and weigh 300 pounds (You are probably thinking no wonder he had the atr), and I love basketball.

The day of my injury was the 17th of June, I was playing basketball in sneakers that I probably should not have been wearing, Roshe Run nikes, which cut well below the ankle and provide no support what so ever, about 30 plus minutes into playing basketball I felt a pop in the back of my heel, I dropped to the floor and I looked around for whatever caused me to drop, the surface was flat, so I knew I had an internal injury. Panic set in and people were still playing ball not noticing I was floored, so I crawled to the gate in the park I was playing at, Called any friends or family who had a set of crutches, My father and cousin responded quickly, we got into the car and off to the ER with a set of crutches that were way too old for me to be using.

I was met with the first problem two options to enter the ER, a large set of steps or a long walk though a wheelchair ramp, I didn’t have the strength to move  on my feet like I wanted to I am 300 pounds so, we ask for a wheelchair, it takes about 30 minutes we get one then Er wait time set in almost fall asleep, get called to see triage nurse, then 10 minutes later get sent to walk to the X-ray Room which was a long walk and mind you they take the wheelchair away once you get in the er. What world do we live in? So I am struggling to go on my crutches and I use my bad foot to walk to the Er, the nurse who triaged me says the injury must not be that bad since I am walking to the x-ray room. Ha Ha ha, I finally get there and get the X-ray then the long walk back, finally a call into a private room, a doctor steps in and says she thinks I have an atr, so she does the thompson test and confirms it. Writes me a prescription some painkillers, a surgery date, and a new set of crutches.

I go home the 17th thinking I am royally screwed since the doctor I saw said the surgery will be a 4 week recovery and I read all on the blogs it takes a lot longer to recover, So I confide in my parents who are taking care of me because of the injury. So I set out mentally prepping for the surgery on the 20th, never had surgery prior to this, so everything is new to me, but I ask questions, speak with the doctors who will operate on me, and finally come in to do the surgery, I was asked to do an MRI, before hand, but I declined since we all knew what injury I had plus once the cut me open, they will know  even better.  Plus it is a pain to go to the hospital there are literally no wheelchairs, and I am too heavy to be walking with crutches, I am not fit enough. So long story short, the tear was really bad, worse then thought initially, the doctor thought since I didn’t use the painkillers before and since I was calm my entire er stay and before surgery it was a partial tear, but this one went from Achilles to my Calf, I needed a graft.  Long before I knew it I was out, and I woke up to the sound of a saw cutting away at the cast at my foot, I told the doctors in front of me no I want my leg, don’t chop it. They begun to laugh and say that ” they are splitting the cast into two pieces and not to worry, the nurse passes by and ask if I am in any pain. I say a little and she pops some liquid into my Iv, I feel a little better, My parents rush to the hospital get me in a wheelchair take me home, and the journey to recovery begins.

I wake up, not remembering much after the surgery, but what I do know, is that I am in a cast, I can no longer walk on two legs, the path ahead of me is long, and my support system although I am grateful is not there all the time, I have to learn how to move without my leg, I have to strength train with walking on crutches, since I get winded by moving from here to the front door, and I had to learn the consequences of drugs. The first thing I did when I woke up was go to the bathroom, I slightly hit my leg leg on the door to the bathroom, pain shot up my leg, I jumped back onto the couch I was staying on and popped my pills the anti biotic and the percocet, within 30-40 mins I feel light headed and better, but the pain will not go away. I dealt with it till I had to take more pills, So ends the first day. I woke up the second day considerably better, and no need for pain killers, but I am getting some of the side effects, so I lay off the pain killers. So everything was fine day 2.

Anyway as time goes on I do a visit at the outpatient clinic and meet with some of the doctors who performed my surgery and they take the cast off, they love the progress, so everything is alright so far, no infection, still a lot of strength in my foot only problem, my toes barely wiggle and my foot has little to no rom. They only put on the back part of the cast, and tell me the next follow up is in 2 weeks to remove the stitches, so I go home, and practice wiggling my toes, I at this point have developed a system to get dressed and showered, neither is pretty, but I get the job done.

I am now 14 days post op, I can wiggle my toes more fluently, I can move for extended periods of time on my crutches way better then the first day, and I have been losing weight, idk if this is because all I do is eat homemade meals and drink water, no access to the bad foods, but I hope it keeps up. I was thoroughly depressed when the injury happened, since I had a job interview with a potential employer and they demand you be fit enough to pass a physical test to join. I did everything up to the physical test, I was training for it, but now I can’t do it till I am back on two feet, and I worry, but I am a fighter and I believe if I follow everything I need to do,  in time I will be back on my feet and ready to do the course in December or November of this year. I have learned the limits of myself and what I am willing to challenge, I have a huge fear that the atr might happen to my right foot and that fear stops me from sleeping at night, but I still wake up everyday and practice walking on crutches standing on one leg, my mind is set, fear will not stop me from walking again or bouncing back better from this injury.

I want to apologize for the long post, idk if it is because I am out of school that I wrote an essay as my first blog post, but I will shorten it come the next update. I hope everyone enjoys their day, as I will mine.

5 Responses to “14 days post op Happy 4th of July. My 1st post”

  1. Chris, part of me has trouble relating, because it’s been a LONG time since I was a pudgy kid, and my weight’s been good since. But the rest of me is very impressed by your spirit! Lots of us come out of this recovery with new lemonade-making skills, and you sound like a prime candidate.
    If you can come out with better eating habits and a fitter bod too, you will truly have won the ATR lottery! :-)

  2. Chris, it sounds like you’ve got a good attitude about your ATR recovery, and that will help you through this long journey. I suspect you’re really at 14 DAYS (not WEEKS) post-op, otherwise this wouldn’t make sense. I suggest you add the ATR Timeline and ATR NYC Marathon widgets to your blog; the former gives readers some immediate context as to your status, and the latter visually shows you how far you’ve come and how far you’ve yet to go. Good luck and good healing! -David

  3. Chris… we are on a very similar timeline at the present moment. My surgery was on June 19th, a day after my 40th birthday after rupturing on June 11th. I’ve been to a second post-op visit and had my stitches out and everything seems to be progressing very nicely. I’ve been surprised at how pain free I have been although I do swell when I’m on my feet for too long, which I do all too often.

    My doctor has been very confident in his own work and has made me fell the same regarding my recovery, although he has made it a point to never answer the question as to whether I fully or partially tore the tendon. His answer is always that it doesn’t matter… every surgery has to be treated the same and every recovery is dependent on the individual. I guess I’m lucky so far with no clotting, a good heal to the cut and very little pain, but as I’m told, the fun is apparently in the PT. I get a boot in 8 days and I’m hoping to hear that I can push my recovery a little.
    My answer to everybody that feels sorry for me right now is that “my glass is still half full.” It could certainly be worse and I’m determined to speed up my recovery, if not with hard work than with mind-over-matter positivity. Keep in mind, there is a bright side… that weight loss that you are experiencing is going to go a long way in helping you recover. There’s your bright side! Stay positive and don’t feel sorry for yourself. Everyone else is going to do that for us. It’s amazing how many people get out of the way when they see you coming on the crutches! I think some of those same people attempted to run me over when I was feeling great a month ago…
    Best of luck. Bad fortune that we are experiencing the same bad luck at the same time, but let’s use each other to beat it!

  4. TC - with your sound advice on how to restructure my swing, I was able to golf every day last week while on vacation at 11 weeks post OP, including an 18-hole tournament on Saturday. Rode in a golf cart and used a very “flat-footed” swing, but it was still a lot of fun and, best of all, I did not re-injure myself!

  5. tcgolfpro

    I love your glass half full outlook and it is exactly how I am approaching this rather incovienent time myself! I have had a few ‘moments’ but they had passed very quickly - you are so right things could be worse. I have to say that since the fateful day and with having so much alone time, I have actually discovered quite a lot about myself and feel so much stronger for it. Wishing you a good recovery and look forward to hearing how each stage goes.

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