2 shoes - omg!

I had my follow up visit with the surgeon on Friday.  He checked things out and has freed me from the aircast - right into 2 shoes and full weight bearing. 

Saturday morning I tried to find a pair of shoes to wear - no mean task, given that my left foot is still swollen.  I managed to squeeze my foot into my runners - and after a few minutes the aching at the back of my foot began to subside.  Now I am hobbling along, not with great flex in my foot, but still able to keep my balance and carefully navigate stairs etc.  We are into winter weather here now (not a lot of snow so far, but icy in the morning and evenings) - so I am being extra careful.  Not sure when I will brave driving my truck (it is a standard), but have been doing ok with our other vehicle (an automatic)…..just a little difficult to get in and out of (is a dually truck, so quite high up off the ground). 

My knee is quite sore today (Sunday) - I think I over did it yesterday…..and I am walking with a strange gait because my foot doesn’t bend easily.  Oh well, this too shall pass - I just need to pace myself. 

I am going to physio one day a week and it is helping immensely!  I am so grateful to be proceeding along well with my recovery - the restrictions this injury imposes are frustrating to say the least.  The silver lining of this experience is a greater appreciation for all those folks out there who have ongoing, permanent disabilities that impede mobility.  I have the good fortune to be able to reverse this problem - they may not.

Will provide updates as physio goes along……

Movin’ along….

Things are getting better, still frustrating, but better. 

I have started physio therapy (had 2 sessions so far), and by appointment #2, I had increased my flexibility a fair bit (don’t recall the degree of flex - but it was better).  The therapist massaged my calf muscle quite a bit, and there was one particularly painful spot, but she worked it out - I was duly impressed.  I also learned that the state of the calf muscle is what primarily affects the tendon, and when the muscle atrophies and doesn’t like to flex and stretch, the tendon will not be happy.  So I have started to flex the calf muscle and massage it more to get blood flow going. 

 The incision is healing nicely and I have taken a few pics (from last week - not uploaded yet).  Still problems with burning sensation in my heel and sometimes feel like an electric shock is happening in the side of my heel, but all normal as per physiotherapist feedback. 

 I am nervous about the snow coming and navigating on crutches, so went out and purchased a fabulous pair of “old lady” boots :-)  Lots of tread, small heel, and zipper up the front.  I can sacrifice style for sure footing right now…..I got a size larger than usual so it can accommodate a heel lift in my injured leg once I am out of the aircast (targetted for Dec 3rd or so…).   The sacrifices we make…….

It’s funny how jealous one can become of folks who are out there jogging in the great outdoors - for a non jock like myself it is quite a revelation……..exercise is looking good!  Scary stuff  :-)

I did see a very interesting program on PBS a few days ago.  it was about a young woman who had a genetic disorder that caused her lower legs to grow out of proportion to the rest of her body.  It never ceases to amaze me how the universe provides  me with perspective each day…..the challenges this young gal faces quells my need to complain about my crutches. 

My new daily mantra is ..”get over it” and find a way to do what you need to do.  Works for me!



Next steps….sort of

Written October 22nd:

I’ve been back at work and most recently was challenged with a long trip to an important business meeting – 4 to 5 hour drive from home.  I took up all of the backseat and was lucky to have colleagues to drive and patiently manage my encumbrances (chair, crutches etc).  All went well, although it was a very long time sitting with my legs across the back seat of the vehicle….gets pretty tiring pretty fast.  All is well tho, weathered the trip ok.  I was pretty tired when we got to our destination – and even more tired when I got back home but it was well worth it.  I am a firm believer that (keeping medical advice in mind), you create many of your own limitations – so I am continuing with most of my usual activities wherever I can.  

It’s been a long time coming…….the air cast.  Today was exciting, a little uncomfortable and a big relief when it was all over.  The mystery of what ever was happening underneath that fibreglass cast is now over – and I have evidence attached to this post. 

Usually I forget my camera until it is too late to record something memorable, but at the last second – just as my cast was being removed I hauled out the camera and voila – this photo essay. This may be old hat for some, but for those who have not had the cast removal and replacement experience I will share with you…… 


The first picture was taken just as the cast had been cut.  They use a wedge shaped saw blade that moves back and forth to cut through the outer layers of the cast.  It feels kinds of strange, and I was a little worried it would leave me with a permanent reminder somewhere on my leg – but no concerns…..worked like a charm.  Next, the nurse used a set of pliers designed to pry to cut edges apart, and lo and behold – my leg.  It was a delight to see…..even if it was not so pretty on the backside.  My ankle is still quite swollen (which was a surprise), and if I had given any thought to the audience today I would have considered an up to date pedicure.  The missing polish is due to some fancy balancing I had been doing on my toes to navigate stairs (very carefully I might add)….

The surgery site is still pretty nasty looking.  The Doctor examined my leg and said all is as it should be – this  was part of the normal  course of things. 




Next step was a wipe down with an alcohol soaked cloth.  Nice and cooling, but not the same as a soak in a tub.  Then (fashionista’s beware), the air cast was unveiled.  It is a thing of beauty, almost a work of art.  Definitely futuristic, note the sculptured lines, the “je ne sais quoi” about the colour (yes that is about all you can say about grey, isn’t it)…..and those hefty velcro straps.   The cast has 2 pieces of ¼ inch foam on the front that overlap and are held in place by a plastic shin guard and the Velcro straps.  Before cinching me up, there were a few pieces of foam that were custom cut to support my foot at the heel – but I have to say, even with the best efforts of the nurse, it was pretty uncomfortable.  After spending the last few weeks in the “en pointe” ballerina position, “first position” wasn’t looking or feeling too good.  It will be a few days before my foot repositioning, now at 90 degrees, is tolerable.    Things have settled down as the day has gone by, but it really is quite uncomfortable and I have been taking back to back T3’s to soften things a bit. 


The other wonderful thing about the air cast is the ability to start physiotherapy (expected in a week or so).  I probably won’t be jumping for joy that day (probably a little unpleasant), however it all means progress.  Now, with my trendy cast in place (but still not weight bearing), I am moving along in the healing continuum……and it’s all VERY GOOD!

 That’s my friendly cast master in the background….

An Unfortunate event

Came onto the site today to update my profile and provide some background.  My injury wasn’t incurred during a sporting event - rather more like going off the couch from 0 to 60 to make a 911 call.  I saw an ultralight plane crash outside my livingroom window and was running to get the phone when partway down my hallway It felt like my foot became detached from my leg.  I scraped my side when I fell to the floor and in that moment realized something really nasty had happened.  Funny part was, I was so pumped by adrenalin and focused on the ultra light crash it seemed like my foot/leg belonged to someone else (I think that might be an indicator of shock).   While my husband found the phone and made the 911 call, I was sitting in the hall comparing my ankles - observing that the left certainly did not look like the right :-(   I had no sense of the complex situation I had gotten into, except that I couldn’t walk on that foot.

We went to the local walk in clinic, and I was told to sit in the waiting room.   Well, after about 5 minutes of that I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to stay upright and slid out of the chair and onto the floor (not fun).  I guess that that point the clerk in the clinic realized I needed to lay down and they gave me a little more priority getting into an examining room.  The doc came in, did the Thompson test and confirmed a detached tendon - and sent me up to hospital emergency.

After a couple of hours (I think they were trying to get me into an OR that day) it was decided that I would go home with the splint/cast on and would be called for surgery.  I was a little concerned but was told as long as my surgery was within a 5 day window there should be no issues.  With a T3 prescription in hand, and  some crutches we headed home.

Day 2 - received a call late in the afternoon from the surgical nurse asking me where I was.  Apparently the physician and the booking clerk for the OR didn’t connect and no one called me to give me my surgery time, which had now passed.  I was booked for the next morning.

Day 3 - Did all the prep stuff at the hospital, operated on at noon with general not spinal.  I was told they had some problems with me during the surgery due to my issues with acid reflux,  however at the end of it all I awoke with a splint/cast (to wear for 2 weeks), a very sore throat and a prescription for Tramadol.

Went home and did the post op, elevated leg etc and after a couple of weeks arranged for a wheelchair rental with a leg support which really helps me navigate around the house, and prevents my leg from being “down” all day.  It is really useful but I have to keep shifting position to be comfortable, because now, ever tho I am more than a month post op, I am still having burning sensations and “electric” tinglinging around the incision area.  It feels like I am constantly trying to get my foot away from the cast, and so sleeping is difficult and frustrating until I get my foot with pillows strategically placed so there are no pressure points.  There are worse things out there, this is just very frustrating for an independent soul such as myself.

I am very appreciative of the information sharing on this site.  This experience raises all kinds of questions like expected recovery times, pain issues, therapy etc and it is good to see what others who have gone ahead of me have done to improve their outcomes.

My next cast (scheduled in a couple of weeks) might be an aircast, however I understand a decision will be made at that time as there are some pros and cons.  I am interested in how people have done with their subsequent casts, air cast/boot or regular cast, repositioning of the foot and general physio experiences.

A month post injury….

2nd cast