So Saturday morning came and I felt zero pain in my AT.  As I lay in bed, I think that maybe I’m okay and that I got excited about nothing.  I step out of bed and attempt to take a step and NOPE….nothing.  No movement, no strength, no ability to do a toe raise…nothing.  Okay, the previous night I did not sleep well.  I tossed and turned and thought of being hurt and out of work, possible surgery, long recovery time etc etc.  Along with that was the scouring of the internet to find all things ATR, which brought me to this site.   In my research I found something called “tennis leg”,  the injury that involves snapping your plantaris tendon which usually has a quick recovery.  I hoped beyond all hope that I’d be fine in a few days to a week and this scare would be nothing more than that….a scare!  I texted my brother in law about the tennis leg possibility which he didn’t agree with based upon where my initial pain was.  So I made and “appt” with him for anytime this morning.  His words were, “just park by the black car and meet me out back.”  Um…okay.

So I did as I was told, parked by the black car next to the back door and told him I was there.  A few minutes later he emerged from the clinic and performed the exam…in the back lot.  He said, this way you won’t get a bill.  Works for me…

He felt around and poked and prodded and squeezed and all the while, I still had very little pain.  Yes when you push on it it hurts but nothing just standing there.  He determined that he THOUGHT it was a partial tear but that he could not totally be sure.  He said he had a buddy who is an Orthopedic surgeon here in town who would be able to better evaluate me.  He did some magic and got him to see me quickly.  It was quickly but quick as in a few days…not hours.  So I got an appt for Wed, 5 days post injury.

I was supposed to work the next day but was fully incapable of performing my duties.  I am a career firefighter/paramedic, being on my feet is my livelihood.  I had to call in sick.  I HATE CALLING IN SICK!  I’ve only done it a couple times in 5 yrs.  But it wasn’t all that bad, took that shift off….then had 3 vacation shifts ahead of me which would buy me another 11 days.  Not terrible…i guess my timing was perfect.  So much for getting my boat out over the Memorial Day weekend.

The next few days were okay, all things considered.  I could walk by putting my foot out to the side and basically using my leg as a peg leg…like a pirate, no wood, hook or parrot.  My ankle swelled a bit but not terrible.  Nothing really out of the ordinary aside from not being able to walk normally.  Still I had no pain.  I guess, it could be worse.

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So apparently I won the lottery!  Just not the lottery I’ve ever dreamed of winning.  On May 20, 2016 I joined achilles tendon rupture club!  Oh lucky me!  Quick aside, I have had issues with my right achilles in the past.  I injured it doing our bi-annual obstacle course for the SWAT team that I am a part of and it’s been sore off and on ever since.  It never really did anything other than be very sore which I attributed to being a strain.  I never took any time off or even said anything about getting hurt running the course, I just figured that it would eventually get better.  It took a LONG time to finally get to the point where I could run without pain and I’ve had aches and pains ever since.

That brings me back to May 20.  I was participating in a softball game and I was bound and determined NOT to get hurt.  I haven’t played softball regularly in a number of years, and it was a pick-up tournament which I had no intention of taking seriously.  Prior to the game, I made it a point to run and stretch and stretch and run and adequately warm up as to not get hurt.  The game started and went normally for about 45 mins.  I played the outfield and ran here and there and felt pretty good.  I had an at bat and got a hit, next batter up got me to second and the following batter batted me home.  Sounds fantastic!  Therein lies the issue…I wish I would have struck out, or gotten thrown out at first, or second, or third…  I started my run from second base and rounded third mindful that I was not going to be “going all out” because this game means absolutely nothing.  When I was about 10 feet from home I felt myself get hit with the thrown ball which didn’t hurt but since it was the ball I slowed down because there’d be no play at home.  I crossed home plate and then heard it…THE BALL HIT THE CATCHER’S GLOVE!  Um…what?  Didn’t the ball hit me?  How did it already get to the catcher?  Why does my foot feel funny?

**dang, i think i pulled a muscle**

I made my way towards home and came to the realization that something was terribly wrong.  Something that I’d never experienced before and something that felt really strange.  I had some soreness, not pain, in my lower calf and the arch of my foot felt numb.  Every step I took felt as if i was stepping on the edge of a hole with the ball of my foot falling in the hole with my heel landing on the edge of said hole.  A very strange feeling indeed.  My teammates asked me if I was okay because they could see I was walking very weird.  I instantly told them no and that something is very very wrong.  At this point I still didn’t have any pain just soreness.  I sat in the dugout and could feel that my achilles was very soft, almost non existent.  I compared it to the other side and it felt very different.  I immediately sent a text to my wife and let her know that I think that I’d hurt my achilles and possibly ruptured it.   The rest of that game and the next game I sat in the dugout having no clue as to the journey that I’d just set myself upon.  No clue whatsoever.  I could stand, I could walk…sort of, maybe its just a partial tear.  I got myself a bag of ice and watched the remainder of both games alone in the dugout.  I went through almost every phase of grief at that time. Now the worst part…my injury was to my LEFT achilles!  I’d spent all my time focusing on warming up my RIGHT achilles and only passively warming up my left.  *sigh*   The games ended and I went home.

In the meantime, while I was still at the game, my wife began the first part of my treatment…contacting a medical professional.  My brother in law is a PA and told me that he would be at the clinic in the morning and that I should come by and be evaluated.

By the end of the night, I made it home and climbed into bed.  I truly thought that maybe…JUST MAYBE that i’d wake up in the morning and all would be well.  Or that I’d be sore but able to walk with things moving towards normal.  Up to this point, I’d just had soreness…still no real pain.  My brain wanted to minimize the problem with the lack of pain equaling lack of true injury.

Come Saturday morning, I come to realize that I’m wrong…

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