Well, this is certainly not what I thought I would start my blogging life with!

I must say, after reading many of my new compatriots, I am soooo appreciative for their shared experiences as I enter the very first stages of this journey.  Hopefully my perspectives and stories will help those who read this as well as help me deal with the road ahead.

Last Thursday (6/4/09) I was working late with my partner on our animated pilot.  We were giddy tired and started horsing around when she challenged me to a foot race.  We both share the same trainer, and have done some workouts together.  In all candor, though, she is in way better shape than I am, and 11 years my junior.  But never let reason get in the way of a fun challenge I always say.

Race 1 - 40 yard dash…I won.  Rematch..rematch…rematch…You can see from the pattern that we are certainly nothing if not competitive people, but by the 8th race one would have thought I was warmed up enough.  Anyways, two steps into the race, pop went the Achilles and the Achilles went pop…3 loud pops actually.  Not sure why it took three, but they were loud, fast and in a moment of intense pain, I went straight down grabbing my leg.  I got immediately nauseous and sweaty at the same time.  But I definitely knew what had happened.  At first I thought they should call an ambulance, but mother nature has a sense of humor, so as I writhed in pain on the ground, of course, I had to go to the bathroom.

Let’s just say, of all the times to have to go, right when you pop your achilles, your first injury ever, not so convenient.  But it was amusing looking back on it now.  My partner put me on a rolling office chair and I shimmied my way into the bathroom and did my thing.

The pain had subsided considerably at that point, although there was discomfort, but I was not going to pass out, and I was finally able to get my wits about me.  I called my friend who is an orthopedic surgeon (and who I will be using) and asked him if I should go to the hospital.  He told me they would not do much for me, and that I should go to the pharmacy get crutches and a boot to immobilize my foot, mostly for while I slept that first night.  I did that, with the help of my partner and drove home for the evening.

The following morning, I woke up, wiggled my toes and was able to move my foot a bit.  I had the hope that being able to do so meant that I had not ruptured the tendon all the way through.  With that optimism I headed out to the valley to see my doc.  I got there, told him what happened, he had me lay on my belly, and oh, 15 seconds later any notion of a partial tear was buh-bye.  In his words, “Sh-t, you ruptured your Achilles.”  The following two hours was spent digesting that, getting an MRI, digesting it some more, walking across the parking lot with crutches while it drizzled, and getting into my car to start driving home and making the phone calls to everyone that I was gonna have surgery the following Wednesday on this bad boy.

The outpouring of support from my friends has been amazing (as I am also trying to move apartments) and I am so appreciative of them.

I have also been doing lots of reading on this site and elsewhere and there seem to be a few things for me to discuss with my doc, but mainly, is surgery the best way to deal with this.  He said it is initially as I am a very active 41 year old and do tons of sports.  Some of the recent articles seem to indicate that other techniques are as effective, but I am not sure, and will ultimately follow his lead as I have known him since high school and know he is really good at what he does.

Did I mention how much I don’t like crutches.  Could there be anything more frustrating that looking in the refrigerator and then realizing that even though the couch is only 6 feet away, not much you can do to get the food there?

So as it is Sunday night and I am watching the Laker game right now, I wanted to start sharing my story so the next me will hopefully find the same solace and refuge in these tales as I have from all of yours.

I look forward to your thoughts and comments as we begin this dialogue and along my path towards recovery.


6 Comments so far

  1. daveleft on June 8, 2009 12:15 am

    Hi…er…dopeylawyr, fellow Angeleno here (although one of those Laker haters). Survived a similar situation as yourself (including a re-rupture) and would be happy to share my hard-earned wisdom. This message should include my email so feel free to drop me a line. One tip: get your doctor to sign off on a handicapped placard and, if you have time, schedule an appointment to pick it up at the DMV. Otherwise it takes about two to three weeks in the mail.

  2. cqwiknut on June 8, 2009 8:35 am

    Go Lakers! At least they are giving it a run this year so you will have something to watch while recovering on the couch. Take a look on Amazon under “Crutch accessories” and you will find a few usefull items. First off, the gel-pads for the under-arms and handgrips have been great for me and significantly cut down on chafing. Also, they have little “crutch-bags” that you can velcro on to your crutches so you can cary small items around (water bottles, small tupperwear, Blackberry, etc.) which I found very helpful. Also, get a shower seat. You won’t be able to stand up and shower for about 2-3 months so it is worth it. Hang in there bro, eventually we’ll all get better! (Though it does seem like you and I had our Summers ruined this year!)

  3. trisportgirl on June 8, 2009 8:23 pm

    Hey there Dopey. Welcome, unfortunately but fortunately, to the clan. I echo your sentiment on crutches. I think they have to be the most archaic medical tool/supply ever, almost like (and you may not get this reference), the duckbill at the gyno. I’m looking forward to possibly using a knee roller thing when doc gives me the go ahead.

    Agree with cqwiknut on loading up on accessories. They really help. The shower bench I ordered as soon as I was injured has been fantastic. I love being able to have water running down my body, instead of sponging it on and cleaning at the sink. I didn’t even know about the crutch bags, which I will look into - I’ve been using paper bags, putting my tupperware will all food in there (with lids), and have placed all drinks (including some vino!) in my fabulous SIGG canister.

    No reason to suffer through this without trying to use as many tools to get you through the process as possible! Especially since it’s a long road.

  4. tracer on June 9, 2009 12:20 am

    I’ve been in the Army 18 years, play sports year round and snapped mine three weeks ago. Needless to say, the most helpless feeling I have had. Get a nice easy on/easy off back pack. I had won one ironically enough in a racquetball tourny (r-ball was how I popped mine), which slings over diagonally, nice and easy to use. I have also learned why they put those pockets on cargo pants and shorts..for people on crutches. I went to the medical supply store and bought in my wife words, the extra large cast condom, but oh it felt so good to take an actual shower. Well worth the $27!

  5. edforman on June 10, 2009 2:39 pm

    Hope the surgery went well - I too had a friend do the surgery. It made it SO much less scary knowing that the person slicing you open thought of you as more than just a patient. Long haul ahead (I am 1 year plus post rupture), but you will be back running - not for a bit, but you will get there.


  6. Shyla on August 1, 2010 9:11 pm

    Ouch! Yesterday my acchilles popped, but they don’t hurt as bad to get surgery. Hope you feel better! My feet hurt too, so i’m not sure waht to do

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