Despina’s Helpful Hints Part 1

My goal for today is to write a blog entry that is not frivolous.  I’m going to try very, very hard.  So please find below my attempt to impart some knowledge / lessons learned / stuff that might help anyone who has just started on the road to ATR.

But before we even go to ATR, what if you don’t even know that you have an AT to R?  If you think that you have a serious achilles injury - say, because your ankle is a balloon, and has been a balloon for, say, the past two weeks - don’t feel bad about asking your doctor to refer you to a surgeon, just in case it is something more serious than a minor sprain.   Take it from someone who only found out that she had been walking around on the tiniest strand of achilles for 8 weeks after those few strands finally snapped under the enormous pressure of . . . walking across the street.  In high heels, just like she was told to do.

OK.  Here are a few things that might make your life easier post-surgery:

1. If the drugs make you sick, try dealing with the pain.  I was so much  happier after I stopped taking heavy duty codeine after a day or so; tylenol took the edge off enough for me to feel ok.

2. Feel no guilt about not doing very much at all but watching Project Runway reruns or whatever your bad-tv of choice is.  I know that you are probably normally a very active person.  But you can’t help that this is going to have to change, just for a tiny, little while.

3. Number 2. notwithstanding, get out of the apartment/house every day as soon as you can make it down the stairs/out the door.  Fresh air makes us feel better.  A little bit of physical activity by way of crutching oneself around will make you feel even better still.  Even better if it’s to your favorite local burger joint / cafe.

4. While you can’t do whatever it is that you normally do, do something else (ok, once the novelty of bad tv has worn off).  Others have given me this advice, and with good reason.  Always wanted to learn to play guitar?  Learn a language?  Draw?  There’s heaps of stuff you can do from the couch.

5. Cooking is not one of them.  Cooking requires standing up, something that I think that we are best advised to avoid during the prescribed elevation period (whatever that is).  Further, we’re  not nimble enough to deal with knives and pots and hot oil flying about etc.  If there is no one else who can cook, and if you can afford it, order stuff in: the more homemade-ish, the better, of course.   Order in groceries if you can, too. 

6. If you are going back to work prior to being able to walk because you have a desk job, work with whoever it is who will listen to you in order to make your workspace ATR friendly.  Have a good place to rest your foot while you work (I use a couple of upturned recycling bins).  If you have an office door, let everyone know that you are going to shut it every so often to stick your legs up against the wall, and if you don’t have an office door, find a place (a sick room, perhaps?) where you can have some privacy to do the same, there.  See if you can get a printer within arms reach, and if not, make sure that someone is prepared to fetch your printing for you.  I have someone fetch lunch for me when I order it, and I don’t feel any guilt about it; it’s what I need to if I am to go to work.

7. A few extra things for work.  Get a big, comfy backpack, and use it.  Carry a flask with you if you like to grab a coffee from a coffee shop, and ask them to use the flask for your coffee or just pour it into the flask yourself, pop it in your backpack, and you’re on your way.  Get some tupperware-type stuff, and put anything that you would normally need to carry from the kitchen into that (eg, I put my cheerios and milk into a container when in the kitchen, pop the container in my backpack, and crutch the few steps back to my office).

8. If you can work from home, do it.  That said, if you can go to work, do it.  Que?  By this, I mean do both.  I was home for the week prior to my surgery and then for the two weeks after my operation.  I could feel myself getting a bit depressed while I was at home.  On my first day back at work, I was so excited that I stayed until 12.30am.  Yay, people!  I’ve worked out a happy medium now: I stay home one day a week, and on other days, I leave at 4-5pm to go to my PT 3 days a week, and on the remaining day, I usually leave by 5-6pm anyway.  If I have more work to do in the evening, I do it from home.  Ditto on the weekends.  That way, I ’stay in touch’ with work, but I ensure that I am elevating my foot for a good chunk of the 4 days I’m at work, and for even more time on the other 3 days of the week.

OK, all this talk of work is making me think of it, and now I’m getting anxious.  Will post more tips later this week; I haven’t even gotten to the best way to take a shower!

One Response to “Despina’s Helpful Hints Part 1”

  1. Can’t wait for the shower stories, we all have very funny stories there.

    Otherwise, an excellent post and fantastic advice for newbies. Well done, now go and do some real work!!


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