So my appointment day finally arrives and I meet with the PA of the Orthopedist.  He does the run of the mill tests for ATR and concludes what I already mostly knew.  I have an ATR.  No shocker there. He was pretty great though, he took as much time as I needed to explain the injury, the surgery, the kind of recovery time and answered all my extensive questioning.   After he evaluated me he went and got the Orthopedist who is a good friend of my wife’s family.  We made small talk and he checked me out again.  He said it’s an ATR also but is unsure of the extent of the injury. We agreed that I should get an MRI even though I knew they tend to be quite extensive.  As far as I was concerned, I wanted to know the FULL EXTENT of my injury, not just someones best guess.

As far as the treatment was concerned, he told me that I had 2 options.  I could try to go non-op or I could have surgery.  If I got surgery then he said he’d be referring me to their foot and ankle specialist, which I was fine with and grateful to him for knowing his own limitations and wanting to get me to the best person possible for treatment.  At this point, I was leaning toward non-op.  I did not want the financial burden of having to pay my insurance deductible etc etc.  I was totally thinking with my wallet at the time.  At the end of the evaluation, he told me there’s nothing more we can do until we see the results of the MRI and make the decision on which treatment I would choose.  The Dr put me in a boot with about a 2 inch heel lift to wear for the time being and to protect my AT until we know more.  From there I went to the scheduling person to schedule an MRI.

I had to wait until the next day to get in to the MRI.  I’d have to say that I wasn’t quite prepared for the MRI as I believed I’d be.  They ask if you’re claustrophobic and if loud noises scare you, to which I replied no.  As a firefighter being in tight spaces and around loud noises are a common occurrence.  Not that I”m saying that I enjoy those things, but I can handle them decently enough.  Anyway, the MRI wasn’t what I’d expect.  First of it was freezing cold!  Which I understand but didn’t expect.  They gave me a gown to wear and headphones tuned to the music station of my choice.  I laid on the table and the tech arranged my feet in the configuration that he needed me to be in for the imaging.  He lashed my feet together to make them stand upright which I think was the worst part.  It was very uncomfortable to have my feet like that for so long.  The tech asked if I was okay and then told me that it’d be about a half hour.  I don’t know if I wasn’t paying attention or thought he was kidding but I didn’t think that it’d really be 30 mins!  He left the room and the machine clunked and bonked it’s way to life.  Um….I’m sure that MRI machines are very expensive and I know they’re technologically super advanced but this thing sounded like a large commercial dryer with cinder blocks inside.  It was loud!  So I settled in and just waited.  I tried to sleep but I was uncomfortable so I couldn’t.  I made the mistake of opening my eyes and catching a glimpse of the timer so then I stared at the timer count down to zero…then reset to another time…then countdown to zero…then reset again to a longer time….then countdown to zero…over and over for about 30-35 mins.  Let me tell you….counting down every second for 30 mins is agonizing….especially since I was very uncomfortable.  I was very happy when it was over.   The tech let me out and let me change back into my clothes and helped me out.  The images were available right away but I had to wait at least 24-48 hrs for them to be read by a radiologist.  At least that’s what he told me.  As it turns out, I got to wait a full week for mine to be read.

In the mean time, I had access to the images and got to see my injury for the first time.  I could see the abnormality and pooled blood.  I could see that it was ruptured but I couldn’t tell if it was fully ruptured.  It kind of looked like there was a teeny tiny bit of tendon still trying to hang on.

Here’s a few pics from my MRI…this is my actual injury, not just one off the interwebs…


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