Long Rode Made Longer

Finally. Been a long road - one I made longer with my complete denial and refusal to address the injury. I was injured on June 15, 2009 during a kickball game when the catcher ran into me. I went down in excruciating pain, but it was primarily from the calf spasm (that lasted two weeks). The achilles was not really noticed at this point. About a week or so, I realized that I had not regained even a snippet of strength as far as being able to go on toe, but still attributed to calf pull. Visit my chiro at 2 weeks post injury. His evaluation concluded a severe sprain, but because of range of motion, and some strength, he ruled out achilles (no x-ray).

My internet researched confirmed my fear of achilles rupture, but I was still too much in denial, and chose to ignore obvious. I borrowed a boot and wore for a month. Still nothing. Part of my denial was due to our lack of health insurance. Finally had to bite the bullet and go to medical sports doctor. He performed a ultrasound, revealing a 90% tear. His exam revealed full range of motion and partial strength which gave him pause as to treatment. After conferring with two other specialists, it was determined I should be seen by yet another ankle/foot ortho specialist/surgeon who was highly respected in the medical world. (I worked for his mentor’s sister or I would have had to wait 8 weeks just to get an initial visit.)

He examined me for about 5 minutes (didn’t even look at the ultrasound) and said surgery was not only recommended, but would be my only option to even walk normally again.

On Sept. 25 - 14 weeks post injury - I had surgery. He did a tendon transplant - my achilles so injured that it required tendons from both my toe and ankle, resulting in about as complicated an achilles surgery that is possible.

Swelling caused a problem 5 days in, and cast had to be replaced. Went through 4 serial casts. Walking cast put on Nov. 14 - over open wound on incision. 3 days later severe pain. Doctors office moving so no one available. Due to lack of insurance, I waited it out for 4 days. Showed up at doctors office and discovered I was about a day past hospitilization due to severe infection. I refused going to hospital and I refused a new cast. They put me in a boot, gave me an antibiotic shot, and antibiotics. Gave me another shot in 2 days, but all improved, and I started walking with the boot on Thanksgiving Day.

I start PT tomorrow (Dec. 28 - three months post-op). Can’t wait.

I plan to walk a half-marathon in March, ride a 60 mile ride in August and start training for a real half-marathon in July. Let’s hope the Achilles is on board with my schedule.