approaching 11 months and a set-back

A couple of days after my last post at 9 months, I experienced some lower back pain. This is not unusual for me, and I figured a few days of rest would get me back on track. Unfortunately it has now been 6 weeks, and I’m not back on track. I’m back in PT. Just had an MRI, haven’t heard the results of that yet. Everyone is suspicious, including me, that the root cause is walking with an altered gait, while attempting to rehab my achilles. So this sucks big time. But it is what it is, and we’ll get through it. The tendon gives me no trouble. I am still doing the heel lifts (not well) and stretches. I can’t walk much, so I’m getting out of shape again. The good news is I live on a lake, the weather has been too hot to golf anyway, and I’ve had lots of kids and grandkids visiting, and I probably wouldn’t have golfed much anyway. I just wish I could get my 2-3 mile walks in…Keep the faith.

9 months

Not a lot to report other than it has been 9 months. Still walking, still working on calf-raises and stretching. I am not all the way back yet, but the injury doesn’t keep me from doing what I do, which is walking and golfing. I still can’t do a single leg calf-raise with the bad leg. I can barely get the heel off the ground. I’m a bit surprised by that, but it is what it is. When I walk, I walk 2 to 3 miles, and sometimes it feels great, sometimes it is sore in the heel, and most times it goes back and forth between sore and fine on the same walk. Swinging a golf club causes no immediate discomfort, but I think I’m a bit more tender the day after I hit a lot of balls.

Breanna Stewart

Former UConn star and current professional basketball player ruptured her right achilles tendon (yesterday, I guess) while playing in Russia. It got me to thinking about a few things about this injury. First of all, I feel for her. I don’t know how a professional athlete could ever get the point of trusting it again. I did mine playing pickleball and I have sworn off racket sports for the rest of my life. Of course, I’m 65, so even if I didn’t rerupture, I’d probably hurt something else. None of my caregivers told me to give it up, but when I volunteered that I was going to, they all, every one of them said “good idea”.
Two other things: when Richard Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks cornerback did his, he got up and walked off the field, without help. I could read his lips as he walked by a teammate, and he said “I tore my achilles.” So he knew it was torn and he still walked off the field.
Kobe Bryant when he did his, got up and made two free throws, before leaving the court.
These guys aren’t like regular people.
I hope everyone is doing well, and spirits are up. It gets better.

7 months

Just a quick note. We drove home from Florida this week. On the way down, after Christmas I was at 4months post-injury. I could drive, but after about 5 hours my right leg was getting pretty tired. On the way home, at 7 months, no problem. I drove 11 hours the last day with no issues from my foot. My back was sore though. The 3 months in Florida, being able to walk every day was the best thing for me, I believe. I still can’t do a proper single leg calf raise with the injured foot, but I’m getting pretty close. I’m still limited by the injury as to how fast I can walk, but of course, it’s getting better all the time. Before I was injured my 3 mile walk took 45 minutes. Yesterday I did it in 55, and that was as fast as I could go. It will be interesting to monitor that over the Spring and Summer months. Keep the faith, folks…it gets better.

Just moved past 6 months

Last Friday was the 6 month (26 weeks) mark since my injury..I have been in Florida since Jan. 1…As you would expect, walking much better than I was 2 months ago…still not completely normal. I can just barely get injured heel off of the ground with one leg calf-raise effort. It doesn’t bother me at all swinging a golf club, but after about 15 holes or so it starts to get tired walking, and my buddies say they can tell because I start limping a bit. That’s playing in a cart, not hiking the entire round.
For those of you behind me on the trail, keep the faith, keep doing what you are supposed to be doing. Don’t overdo it. It will happen for you.

Closing in on 5 months

Wintering in Florida, and it has been a great place to continue my rehab. Below zero back home, with a foot and a half of snow on the ground, so it’s great to be in a place where I can walk every day. Been doing between 2 and 2 1/2 miles almost every day, plus my calf raises, balancing, and stretching (+ my back exercises from a previous issue)…I started golfing again, started out a few weeks ago by hitting small clubs, then playing par 3 courses, then 9 holes on regular courses. It’s going well. I’m taking carts, not walking the courses, but you get quite a bit of walking in when you hit the ball where I hit it, where you are not supposed to drive carts…oops…It still doesn’t feel normal, I still can’t do a single leg calf raise on the bad leg…but it’s getting better, and I’m getting closer…Hope you all are continuing to improve steadily.

8 days on the road, finally settled in

I straddled the 17 week anniversary with 8 days of travel. I drove 7 hours one day, 4 the next, then a full day off, then 7 hours, then 2 days off, then 3 hours. I’m glad I didn’t try to drive any more than 7 hours. With Holiday traffic, and snowbirds, there were some hour long “stop and go” situations, and my leg (ATR was right leg) was tired, and it got swollen. All settled in now in Florida. Got a good walk in. Tomorrow I’ll settle in to a routing of walking and exercising it. Also, I need to lose about 15 lbs…ugh…

Last PT (I think)

With Christmas around the corner, and then my departure for Florida for the winter, I’m done with my local PT. They and I are very pleased with my progress. My doc says it’s totally up to me whether or not I feel I need to find PT in Florida. I’ll see how it goes. They gave me plenty to do on my own, stressing the stretching exercises, calf raises, balancing, and my personal favorite, walking. 16 weeks post injury yesterday. Feeling better all the time. Now if I can lose about 8 pounds and fit back into my pants, that would be great.

Weight Gain

I figured I’d share this as a cautionary tale. When I got hurt my wife put the bathroom scale in a closet so there would be one less thing for me to trip over. That was 15 weeks ago. I pulled it out last night and, not terribly surprisingly, I’ve put on a few pounds. The combination of being cooped up inside surrounded by my food, and not getting my normal amount of exercise, and wearing nothing but sweatpants has allowed me to put on about 10 lbs. I do not need or want. It’s probably a good thing I weighed myself before all of the Holiday family get-togethers.

Last (?) Visit with Surgeon

Tomorrow will be 15 weeks post injury. I saw the surgeon today. He checked out the tendon, tested my strength etc. He was very pleased. I had a concern about the swelling I still exhibit, and he wasn’t the least bit concerned about it. In fact he said I’d be more swollen if I’d let him do the surgery. I leave for Florida in 2 weeks and he said it’s totally up to my own preference whether I go to PT down there, or continue my regimen at home. He gave me an Rx for PT should I decide to pursue it. He said I don’t need to see him again unless I have some concern down the road. He congratulated me on going non-surgical, and felt, at this point, I made the right choice. (He had recommended surgery at our initial visit, but I opted for non-surgical). I celebrated by taking a 3 mile walk, my longest walk yet. No issues with tendon. My back got a little stiff, due to my slightly altered gait. Feels good!