Hi Everyone! It has been a while since I have continued my ATR tale.
You read the topic right! <Snicker> In the world of ATR, the need of heels help keep your toes pointing downward (plantar flexion). At nine weeks post op I was able to get rid of the last heal.
As a reference point, I am using the FP Walker from Aircast. I would like to hear from those that purchased the Vocacast as I am experiencing some rubbing on my incision since I lost the last heel.
Although I took the heel out of the boot I need to save it so I can put it back into my shoe when I graduated from the boot to my shoes. I am wondering if there is anything better out there that would raise my heel. Maybe a Dr. Scholls??
I have not been diligent in doing exercises everyday but will need to start to kick things into high gear as I need to prepare myself and my body for the time when I get the okay to get into a shoe. The PT mentioned to me that I just have a little longer to go and that I need to make sure that I stay in the boot. She makes sense. I have come this far and to regress in anyway would be crushing to me.
However, I have to admit that I wanted to see if I could walk without the boot and I took about sixteen steps (flat footed). I was so excited the night I did it! The next day was a different feeling all together. The foot swelled up and it was a little tender. I got back into the boot. Bad boy I was.
There is so much going on in my life at the moment, I am so excited to get rid of this boot that has been my nemesis for way to long. Two and a half weeks can not come soon enough.
For those who are starting your journey….slow and steady wins the battle. This website helps almost everyone in many different aspects so I encourage you to return and add comments when you can.
Until next time, be well.
I had my second follow-up with my OS. I am six weeks post op. The incision is healing well.
I got the best news yesterday! I am cleared to FWB with my boot on and hope to be out of the boot within the next five weeks.
Apparently, I could have been FWB after two weeks but the OS wrote the prescription incorrectly for the PT staff. RATS!
But today, I am standing free of my crutches and oh what a feeling.
I have HAPPY FEET !
I have new energy and a small smile on my face even though all around me is quite crazy!
A couple of days ago I wrote that being NWB for two days was making me a little depressed.
I was in the gym and I decided to get on the bike!
I am not sure if I am suppose to ride a bike but I did it anyway.
No problems either and it felt so good!
Okay its time to catch up.
My surgery was on February 12, 2014. My ATR timeline is accurate. I am almost 6 weeks post-op and still NWB. The pain has virtually gone away, no need for pain meds, and healing is going well and I am being conservative.
I meet with the OS on Monday for my second follow-up and I am interested in what he will say. I had my initial examination in the PT office and have been doing new exercises and stretches. Basically I am working to get my right quad strengthened and stretched along as well as Achilles. I am looking forward to progressing.
I will admit that almost 6 weeks of NWB is starting to play with my psychological health. I am a person who loves to cook and I love my own food (for health and taste) but I am loosing interest in cooking. I am finding myself looking to eat out a little more. I don’t want to deal with the food shopping, food prep, hours of cooking, and clean up.
There are great posts of inspiration in different blogs. But for today, NWB is chipping away at my attitude and drive.
I am just going to accept it!
Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Call me what you want but the last twenty four hours have been painful!
I tried to get ahead of the pain when I got home and settled in after surgery. I am writing to you to tell you that the PAIN TRAIN has left the station and is ahead of the pain meds.
I set my alarm so I was up ever four hours during the night to take medicine and I have kept that regiment faithfully since I have been up. In reality I didn’t need the alarm. I was like a fish out of water in bed over night.
I am not sure if it is from the lack of sleep from turning back and forth from the pain, the strange object on my foot (boot), or the pain meds I have been pumping into my body. I just know I am not steady on my feet and I feel the burn in surgical area. The clock ticks slowly as I wait for the pain meds to catch up with pain.
In my cloudy head I know the pain will not last forever. I have learned from this blog that indeed the pain will not last forever. There is hope!
I did some pre-planning and I cooked some comfort food so I would be able to eat at my convenience. In my opinion, there is nothing better to help combat the pain then a full belly.
My mind can focus on the different level of flavors and textures. Ah the joy!
Well I have spent enough time in my recliner with my foot elevated under pillows so I am going to take a small spin around the house with my two new favorite support items (my crutches).
I have decided that I am going to take two pain pills every 3 hours. I am not a doctor but the four hour window is not working for me.
In closing, the last 24 hours have been a challenge but I am hopeful that I will be feeling better as time passes. Unfortunately, time is passing slowly.
All the phone calls and emails have come in and have been answered.
It between me and the doctor now. Here comes that anxiety wave again!
I have to report to the day surgical site by 8 am and my best friend for over 40 years agreed to take the day off and help me throughout the day. Without a doubt a GREAT friend!
The pain has been constant daily and my mind and body are ready to have this surgery so I can, at some point in the near future, rid my body of the constant pain and begin the healing process.
I walk into the outpatient surgery center with confidence knowing that I have done my homework to select a doctor that I felt comfortable with and that was a board certified foot and ankle specialist with great experiences.
The pleasant women at the intake desk took all my pertinent information and assigned me a number. The center had a number of flat screen TV’s that displayed my number and my status. This was a great feature because people that contacted the center could give them my number and they would know where I was in the process. This was a huge help for my best friend as he could run errands and know exactly where I was. People outside of center thought it was great service because they would know where I was!
I hear my name and am escorted by the nurse that will be taking care of me while I at the center. I give my buddy a handshake and tell him "Thanks". "I will see you on the other side.
I get into my room and I am given the instructions to get in a Johnny and put on gray socks. The countdown to surgery begins.
I am asked a lot of questions, given a couple of bracelets, and given some toasty blankets to relax and get comfortable.
It is amazing what goes through your mind as you lay in bed as you wait for surgery. Life events flash in front of you like a kaleidoscope and I begin to question why I did some things and not others. I think about the people I love and life in general.
My spastic thoughts are interrupted by the anesthesiologist. He begins with historical questions like when I last had surgery and how I did I do with anesthesia. We discussed my options and I decided to go with a spinal. His partner came in and started my mainline. He marks areas to identify where I will get medicine and tells me he will see me in OR.
I have been here an hour and I am waiting on the OS. I try to calm my mind by doing some visual mediation but there is a lot of chatter from the medical staff. Over the P.A system I here that my OS has arrived. We are getting close.
After about 10 minutes he comes into my room. He checks over some paperwork, asks how I am doing, and initializes my right Achilles heel. I asked him if he slept okay last night and didn’t experience any road rage! I didn’t want a disgruntled OS. He laughed and said he was prepared and slept well. He walks out of the room.
My buddy decided to wait out in the waiting area and I asked the nurse if he could come in until I head to OR. I wanted to pass the time and share a few jokes with him to lighten the mood. After about 15 minutes the anesthesiologist assistant came and told me she was going to give me a little something to relax me. YES! She took my main line and injected a clear fluid into my vein. I told my buddy thanks for hanging out and would see him later. About five people came into my room to cart me off to the OR.
My anxiety spikes and I ask the anesthesiologist if I should be feeling whatever liquid she put in me and then BANG the drug takes over my whole body and I am soooo relaxed.
I get into the OR room and I remember seeing a lot of buckets thinking that it was buckets for extracted human parts. This thought doesn’t bother me and I am transferred to the OR table where I am giving the spinal. Again I feel the warm rush as the medicine takes over from the waste down. This stuff feels GOOD. I am put on my stomach and can feel someone scraping the back of my leg to see if my sensation is still active. I yell that I can still feel that and that’s when the anesthesiologist turned up the drugs and my blinds shut.
I have left the building.
All senses come back while I am back in the same room that I began the day in. I feel great but the surgical site is running at a pain level of about 9 to 10. I remember that the anesthesiologist would come by after surgery to give me a block to help with pain. I remember him saying that there was a 1 in 10,000 chance that it would not work.
I can tell you…it didn’t work and I was really uncomfortable and I began to complain because I wanted to be comfortable.
One arrogant nurse told me that I should expect some pain after surgery !!!???. Thanks..you can leave on the broom you came in on.
My buddy came back in the room once I changed and I am awaiting discharge papers and instructions to go home. The OS came in and said everything went well and that I needed to keep the boot on and he gave me a picture of the operation. He spent 39 minutes in total fixing my Achilles.
I leave the center still in pain and I want my buddy to get to the pharmacy so I can get pain relief.
The healing begins.
In my first post ," The Beginning", I mentioned that if I didn’t have any bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck at all.
Honestly, not all my luck is bad. I am actually a Lucky guy.
I am lucky to have such good friends and family that love me very much and have gotten so much support from them.
I live by myself so getting around can be a real pain but my friends and family have really come to my aid. It is a big relief for me.
Doctors appts, trips to the market, help clean the house and laundry, care packages, shovel my car (I am in the northeast), and come over to keep me company.
These people give unconditionally and walk this journey with me…by my side.
I hope all here enjoy the same type of kindness I am experiencing.
I am LUCKY.
Since I was put in a cast, I have been in a high degree of pain and I am getting tired of hobbling around and being in pain. I never had this much pain after I had the accident??? I am not sure if an increase in pain after several days is the norm. But I am in PAIN !!!!!
I had the chance to hobble to my meetings with the orthopedic surgeon(OS) to get second opinions. It has been said more than once on this Achilles blog and I am reiterating it here. Do your research about your potential OS (what hospital they are associated with, where they do there surgeries, their background, and there specialties). I would not be comfortable with a shoulder specialist working on my Achilles. I don’t care if they use the sale pitch Achilles surgery is Ortho 101. I preferred ankle and foot specialist.
After speaking with the surgeons, I picked the surgeon that I felt most comfortable with and had confidence in given my situation.
I have decided to opt for SURGERY because I want the pain to stop, I want to still be able to play racquetball, and I like the fact that surgery can give me a slight advantage on the re-rupture rate (as long as I follow recommended PT and doctor’s plan).
I have selected my surgeon and I am going with surgery.
Once I made the final decision, I was stripped of my cast and was put back in the air boot. I am happy to see the cast go because I almost needed a new set of teeth as I slipped in the bath with the cast on and my face was headed straight for the side of the bathtub. I have already lost a few of my teeth because of a baseball accident and I didn’t want to re-live that again in my life. Ouch!
The final decision has been made…the wait begins!
This is merely one more major thing to think about…that anxiety is beginning to show its head out of the hole again like a pesky chipmunk. Geez!
With my right foot in the air boot that they gave me in the ER room, I headed off to meet with the P.A at the orthopedics’ office to discuss next steps.
After all the investigation I have done and talking with a few people, my mind is of the thinking that I will go the non-surgical path.
The P.A I visited with was very knowledgeable and straight to the point. He did ask me a very interesting question during our conversation however. He questioned if I had been taking any type of antibiotics? Huh? What did you just asked me? I had just finished Cipro about a week before my accident.
He started to tell me that some types of antibiotics and steroids can increase risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture in some patients. He went on to tell me that some theories suggest the drug may impede collagen formation or interrupt blood supply in joints.
It hit me like a ton of bricks.
I remember reading about this topic a couple of days earlier (here and across the internet). I have played racquetball for so many years and never knew about this. It could be coincidence that I had been taken Cipro prior to this rupture. In the back of my mind I am thinking about my peroneal tendon tears two years prior. Interesting.
The P.A advised surgery after a very eloquent analysis of my situation. I told him that I would take it under advisement but I wanted to, at this moment, go with the non-surgical route until I had a chance to talk with a few surgeons.
I made two appointments with surgeons who have done several ATR surgeries and work, in my opinion, at two of the best hospitals in the Mass area.
I finally left the appointment in a CAST pointed in the standard plantar-flexed position along with my air boot and beloved crutches. Ah the joy.
The P.A put me in the cast because he wanted to start the healing process and until I had consults with the ortho surgeons.
I have to rush home to get me foot elevated!
Mundane life has reared it’s ugly head again!
It will be a few days until I can meet with surgeons and discuss final decision but I am happy that I have to foot immobilized for the time being.
I woke up this morning feeling a big decrease in my anxiety level but a little wobbly on the crutches. Everything is in slow motion and I am not steady on my feet! I feel like the Leaning Tower of Pisa on my crutches. I don’t feel pain in my Achilles tendon anymore. My mind feels all cloudy!
Thank you pain medication!!!! I will have two more!!! The world seems like a better place!
Unfortunately, the rational part of my brain tells me that I need to make a punch list of To Do items for the beginning of the week. My anxiety starts to come back but it finally succumbs to what ever is in those pain medication pills.
I have to get my mind out of the clouds…I have to make this list today! I wanted to wake up and be strategic!
Strategic I will be…so the cloudy rendition of my Top Ten To Do list is as follows..
1. Call Insurance to notify my ER visit and how can I go about getting some in-home care because I live by myself .
2. Set up appoint with orthopedic doctor
3. Notify family and friends of this great incident
4. Gather basic necessities - (food, water, medications)
5. Learn how to use these crutches.
6. Stay off right leg and elevate
7. Start taking aspirin to prevent blood clots
8. Come up with sound reasons for surgical and non-surgical approaches. Compare and contrast my findings
9. Think about ways to stay in shape and not gain too much weight during this process.
10. Try to stay positive and get as much support as you can.
I decided that I would start with item #3. However, my head is so far in the clouds, one only knows what I will tell them.
I have to assume that this cloudiness feeling will stop shortly of pain medication wears off. That will have to wait…I am feeling pretty good right now…
I believe I would get cited for street walking OUI if I was outside with these crushes…I don’t think I could recite the alphabet….did I take too many pain pills?
Off to make phone call and the notification process! I will need food soon!