Nov 10 2008



Filed under Uncategorized

7 months in and finally feeling really good.  Running without pain.  Sure i have no real endurance, but I can do 3 miles without trouble.  The endurance will come, I’m sure.  Wearing pretty much any shoe I feel like, though with 5 inches of snow this morning, my options are limited. :)  

All the best to those in recovery.  This too shall pass—and mostly you just have to put in the time and let it heal itself, doing what you can.  Best advice I ever got:  Do a little a lot, not a lot a little.

6 responses so far

Oct 06 2008



Filed under Uncategorized

Sang at a friends wedding this weekend in 2 inch heels.  There was a point that I even forgot I had them on.  But that might have been the gin and tonic.  Still, felt great.  One more step towards normalcy!

8 responses so far

Sep 05 2008


Blahdee, blahdee, blah

Filed under Uncategorized

Same old, same old.  It’s been almost 5 months.  Cut back on the running… felt like it was doing more harm than good.  So I’m just upping my time on the eliptical and stairmaster.  Wish I had some more outdoor activities to do, but such is life. 

I’ve reached a real “it is what it is and it will heal when it heals” place.  I think when all this started I really felt like there MUST be something I can do to cut down the healing time and feel like myself again.  I’m over that now.  I’m doing what I can, enjoying that, and not trying to force early healing.  It’ll be better when it’s better.  I can do exercises and massage at night, and i just have to trust my body to heal itself.  

It sounds more defeatist than it is.  Actually, I feel more at peace about this injury now that I’ve sort of let go than I ever did when I actually believed i had control over it.  Sigh.  

Stay strong my ATR brothers…

3 responses so far

Aug 07 2008



Filed under wks 17-18

I’ve been walk/jogging 3 days a week and lifting 3 days a week.  I rest one.  I look ridiculous running, I’m sure, slightly flat-footed on the left, but I’m making due.  I try to run one min, walk one.  Found that I was more shin-splint prone than I would like and have taken to running in the grass BESIDE the sidewalk, rather than on the actual concrete.  I suppose I’ll build up those shin muscles again someday, too.  I’d rather stick to the grass until I feel like they are getting up to snuff.

Feels good jogging, slowly building endurance.  My leg never swells up any more, but my scar area is getting a little hard (I really need to keep my night-time massage ritual up, I think.  Makes a big difference.  Still limp a little, but it really doesn’t bother me since i’m able to do so many things.  I know it will slowly disappear.  Some people say I don’t limp anymore, but I know better… I can feel it. 

Stair walking is getting more normal.  I try to use the ball of my feet rather than my heel when I do stairs, to strengthen that leg.  Used to just fall immediately–now I have enough strength to keep my ankle from collapsing the moment I shift my weight.  Yay!  No one-legged toe raises, but patience, grasshopper, patience.

5 responses so far

Jul 28 2008


Cleared to jog-ish

Filed under wks 15-16

Saw the doc today–at 15wks 5 days post-op.  Came in armed with my PT’s recommendation and all intention of forcing him to let me start jogging.  My PT wants me to jog 1 min, walk 3, jog 1, walk 3, etc, slowly increasing the jog-to-walk ratio until I’m jogging 20 min straight.  Doctor seemed reluctant at first.  Had to correct the doc–no, it’s been more than 12 weeks.  It’s been 16.  “Ah, ur, um…”  By the end he pretty much signed me off to my Pt and whatever he wants me to do.

Which is how it SHOULD be!  I don’t know about the rest of you, but my doctor was great at the diagnosis and the surgery, but it’s my PT who really knows where i am in my recovery and what I’m capable of.  He’s the person I have my dialogue with, who I feel is my sounding board and evaluator.  Of course, if I didn’t like my PT so much and feel we had a real meeting of the minds, I might not feel this way.  So I feel that i”m in good hands.

I also know that orthopaedists are often paid by the service.  That is to say, they get X number of dollars to diagnose, perform, and post-op an achilles tendon surgery.  Odds are that they have already been paid the full amount by the time I’m coming back for post-op evaluations.  That sure doesn’t give him much incentive to keep a keen eye on my recovery.  Just an unfortunate side-effect of insurance systems, I guess.  My PT gets paid for every one of my visits, so it’s in his interest to come up with new and useful excercises for me.  Anyway, I think this is good information for patients.  Be sure that you go into your doc appointments educated and focused.  Bring your questions and demands and make them explain to you why and why not.  Just my two cents for the day.

More importantly–Jogging for the first time tomorrow.  I’ll let you know how it goes!!

4 responses so far

Jul 21 2008


A day hike might have been wiser…

Filed under wks 14-15

Did a 12 mile overnight hike in the Allegheny Forest over the weekend.  My delightful friends J and A took me with them.  They are Vermonters and avid hikers, and MAN, they had that system down!  So, I felt very comfortable making an expedition, even with my weak leg.

The good news—my ATR leg held up beautifully.  Sure, I had very little strength, and by the end, absolutely ZERO push off with my foot, but over all, not bad at all.  Had some footing issues crossing slimy rocks and creeks, but nothing slowing down and taking it easy couldn’t conquer.  Overall, very happy with what my leg did for me.

The bad news—due to altered body mechanics and the humidity that made me pour sweat into my socks, I got a SPECTACULAR blister on the back of my good leg.  I figure I was putting  out 2/3 of the work of hiking with 30 lbs or more of gear through my good leg, and somehow this translated into serious friction in my boots and a blister the size of a coffee ring.  Ouch.  I now limp a little on both legs, until this monster heals and stops oozing, and no sand walking for a while.  I was never so happy to see a parking lot as I was at the end of that hike!

More good news—The blister issue is forcing me to put more weight on my bad leg, where the weight should be anyway.  Also, I walked 12 miles with a full backpack at 14wks.  I rock.

3 responses so far

Jul 16 2008


Good Day

Filed under wks 13-14

I seem to be more inclined to write when I’m frustrated with the slow progress than when I’m satisfied, so I thought I’d just say that today is a good day!  Though a little sore, I’m not limping today for some reason.  I know the limp will return here and there, but for less and less time.  So, yay!  I think walking in the sand has been terrific therapy.  Great for the calf–sustained slightly-more-than-usual effort is the key to getting this puppy back in shape.  Started actually doing some slightly more explosive activity on the horizontal jumper in therapy this morning, so that’s good, too.  Tried some lunges in bodypump last night.  No problem doing them with my bad leg forward and my good leg back, but felt completely wrong doing it with my bad leg back… put all my weight on the forward leg and was exhausted in record time.  So, I’ve got some work there, but a month ago I could never have even put my leg back like that, so again, progress.

All in all, things are looking up.  Going for a 14 mile overnight hike this weekend with some good and understanding friends, so it should be fun.  When I told my PT guys my plan, they said “perfect!”, so I’m glad to be doing what I should, and that what I should be doing includes some fun and challenging stuff.  To sum up:  today is a good AT day!  Hope y’all are having one too.  And if you’re not, I PROMISE that one is right around the corner…

4 responses so far

Jul 14 2008



Filed under wks 13-14

Man!  This injury just takes a freakin’ long time to heal! 

My life has settled into a pattern—3 days of PT on MWF at 6:00am.  Yes, I wake up at 5:30am, roll out of bed into shoes (sometimes I go in exactly what I slept in… I dress for PT the night before, folks).  I limp into the office, take off my shoe and sock and have it sitting there in this heater that blows hot specks of ground up corn cobs around my leg to heat it up.  They tell me the body can handle higher temperatures with the dry heat than in a whirlpool or something.  Then the bike, the recumbant stairmaster, standing on one leg, calf presses for both then one leg, trampoline, jumper, full-body resistance band walking, treadmill, stairmaster, ultrasound, laser, ice, back in the car for coffee at the drive through.  Then shower and work. 

From arrival to retreat, my PT lasts about 2.5 hours 3 mornings a week.  Still limping.  My tendon area is regularly pretty sore.  ROM is good, though, and I have moments of relatively normal walking.  Swelling isn’t too much of an issue, but by the end of the day, my incission area is good and warm and a nice elevated icing on the couch feels mighty good.  My PT Greg marvels that I’m able to do some things with no problem (stairmaster and the trampoline), and still have the persistant limp.  We figured out that I do more exercises than any other single-injury client.  Only the people with multiple injuries are there longer than me at this point.

On my off days, my PT recommended nice long walks at the beach in the sand.  It’s a hell of a calf workout, and walking in the water as the waves breaks gives my ankles some balance issues to work out.  Makes me laugh though, because when I look behind at my footsteps, I can see my right foot has walked straight and forward and my injured leg has this pathetic sideways-askew print.  It’s like Igor’s footprints.

Had another jogging dream yesterday.  When I told my PT, he agreed to try some limited minute-on-5-minutes-off jogging on the treadmill later this week.   I’ll let you know how it goes.

3 responses so far

Jun 30 2008


Almost Running

Filed under wks 11-12

Spent a good 5 minutes “jogging” on the trampoline at PT.  Felt like running.  *Huge Sigh*  Feel like the real thing is just around the corner.

5 responses so far

Jun 26 2008


Forecasted Frustration

Filed under wks 11-12

Bloggers ahead of me all mentioned those days when you feel like you’ve taken a few steps backward.  Those days when you are long-since two shoed, and you just feel like not nearly enough progress is being made.  That’s today.  My leg is sore, the limp is more pronounced, and the scar site is warmer even than usual.  I came to work in my ugliest, most comfortable shoes… in a suit.  I’m in a mood to complain about it, I guess. 

On the up side, however, I’ve got great PT people and I AM slowly doing more, using more weight in my strengthening exercises.  I suppose feeling sore the next day is a sign of progress…

This was so much easier when it was the THEORY of slow, frustrating recovery!  Thank goodness for posts like Dennis’ most recent–run/walking for 25 minutes!?!  Can’t wait!  Just have to wade diligently through a lot more of this slow progress so I’m ready for that in a month or two.


7 responses so far

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