Frouchie’s Achilles Recovery weblog

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Cast is off for 2 days now…

September 23rd, 2010 · 5 Comments


Well the Cast is finally off…and I’m 7 weeks Post-Op on ankle #2. I watch the nurse cut that darn cast in half Tuesday afternoon, and I had a smile on my face that was from ear to ear.

Its only been 2 days since I’ve been freed from the cast and placed back into the walking boot…but I’m already walking around with only one crutch. The Achilles is weak and tight, but I’m not feeling any pain. With any luck I’ll be gimping around with no crutches by the time I start PT next Friday.

Oh I just can’t wait for PT to start…I love it!! If I’m lucky, I’ll get the same PT Tech that I had last time when my other Achilles was repaired last November.

Hang in there people…it get easier as time passes by.

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I’m not Sleeping

September 8th, 2010 · 11 Comments


It is now 12:51am Central Time Zone, here in Washington, Illinois.

I know I should be asleep upstairs with the wife, under the covers of the bed. But instead, I’m downstairs here on the couch with my leg in the cast, propped up with a couple of pillows to help ease the swelling.

I can’t understand why I’m getting all worked up about this cast; its only been on for 3 weeks. I have basically only a week and 6 days left until I visit the surgeon and have it removed. But I don’t know how I’m going to make it. I don’t remember being this freaked out 10 months ago when I had the cast on the other foot; after having the same surgery done on the Achilles. I have had less pain with this foot over the other one. I’ve been able to move around easier too. But for some unknown reason I just have this urge to cut the silly thing off myself.

I know I’ll heal up just fine. I know I’ll be walking again too. BUT what is causing me to have this much cast-o-phobia?

Uuurrrrrrgggggg!! I just got to find a way to make it through this, I can’t wait to be rid of the cast and start PT.

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Week 4 the second time around

September 3rd, 2010 · No Comments

My Two Ankle Match Again

Hello ATR Friends!! I have decided to check back in and let you all know how well I’m doing.

I had my second Achilles operation done on August 6th…just 4 weeks ago today. I say my second, because I had my right foot’s Achilles surgically repaired on November 18th, 2009. After nine months of recovery, it was time to have the left Achilles repaired…and so here I am 4 weeks after my second surgery on my second foot.

I will have to admit, that this time around has not been as bad as the first surgery; my left Achilles has not hurt half as bad as the right one did. I haven’t had the electric shocks running up and down my leg, nor have I had any burning feeling from inside the cast down close to where the surgery took place.

BUT I CAN SAY…cast-o-phobia has set in and it is way worst than it was for the first surgery. I have until Stepember 21, until I get to have this cast cut off and I can start the PWB phase of recovery.

Hang in there everyone!! And I’ll do the same.

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July 7th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Weds. July 7th, 2010

Looking at my last posting, I can’t believe it was posted back in March. Time has really seemed to fly by, but then again March wasn’t all that far back.

I know that my 1 year celebration from the date my injury should be looked at with joy, But June 27th, 2009 was just the start of my saga. I have not forgotten that I did indeed injure both ankles that day…and putting off going to see a doctor\surgeon until Nov. 2nd wasn’t the smartest thing to do either.

The surgeon said that both of my achilles were shot. They looked like ropes that were fraying apart, but the right foot was worst than the left…so it needed to be fix first and the left achilles would have to wait. November 18th, 2009 was the first of the two surgeries.

Now, I should have been making some updating postings from time to time since March 16th,2010, BUT I have been having way to much fun.

Bicycling, Motorcycling, tennis, and hiking all with the wife, are all activities that I have been enjoying again…but running has not returned as of yet. I can slowly jog (5.3 mph) on the treadmill for 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile, but that is it. I still have a little tightness in the achilles when I get up from sitting in a chair or first thing in the morning, but it does loosen up once I get going. There hasn’t been a day where I don’t think about the repaired tendon, it reminds me everyday that I’m not completely back to being 100%. I can do 5 to 9 single heel lifts on the repaired tendon…I’m told thats pretty good, but I want better than just good.

I have been watching the calendar knowing the day of starting over from the beginning was coming up quickly. Surgery #2 is set for Friday, August 6th, 2010…which from this Friday is only 4 more weeks away…9 months since the last surgery.

I’m starting to dread each passing day, knowing I’m going to be laid up again. I’ll be posting more here soon…real soon.

I welcome all the newbies to the website…I feel like one again. And I share all the joy and pain all of you feel too. Just remember this…”Slow and Steady Wins This Race”….so take it slow and give yourself time to heal.

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A sunny afternoon so I broke her out

March 17th, 2010 · 4 Comments


Her sweet voice I can not ignore.

Yesterday was the first nice day we’ve had in a VERY LONG time. The sun broke through the clouds and it finally felt like Spring. We’ve had a very long and cold Winter this year..and today it felt wonderful.

As I returned home from work and enter the house from the garage…I heard her call to me…“Chris, can you hear me…” I knew that voice, her voice is always so sweet sounding. Again she called to me, “Christopher, the day is so beautiful…please take this cover off of me and let’s go for a little ride”. I couldn’t ignore her, but could I really take her out even for a trip around the block? I had to try, she was begging me to try. Would I be able to hold her steady, would my new AT handle not only my weight but the extra 950lbs of weight of the cycle?

“Okay, we’ll see if I can hold you up..but if my ankle feels the slight bit unstable…We’re done. Do you understand the rules?”, she whispered back to me…“You’ve got yourself a deal, I promise you’ll be fine”.

I went in and changed into my leather riding boots t-shirt and leather coat. I went back out and took the motorcycle cover off of her…there she was…my beautiful White Pearl with Gold flakes Harley Davidson Ultra Classic. I threw my leg over her and sat down into the saddle. I thought to myself…here is the moment of truth…can I lift her upright and hold her? With a little shifting in the seat, she came completely upright and I was perfectly balance. I took a small step forward and walked her forward, I then leaned back and pulled her backwards and walked without any problems. At that point I knew, I was ready to start living most of my life again being close to “normal”. I made a couple of phone calls to have riding company with me should anything happen; it wasn’t to hard to find two of my buddies to tag along…we were all wanting a day like this to break out the cycles.

When both of my friends showed up at the house I was so excited. With a flick of the start switch, she rumbled to life; she didn’t even cough or studder. The sound of the pipes was music to my ears. I rolled the throttle, let the clutch out…and I was gone.

We rode through town, We rode through the country back roads. For the next 3 1/2 hours I was in heaven.

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Moving a little slow…but I’m still Moving

March 15th, 2010 · 6 Comments


Looking back has it only been a week since I last wrote to the blog? It has felt a little longer because I have been having so much fun. With the fun comes a little more limping and some stiffness, so maybe it is an equal toss up.

Last Monday (the last posting I did 03/08/2010) I was told I could start back to most of all my old activities, minus running and jumping. I was also told I didn’t really need to keep coming back to therapy either.

Well, that same evening happened to be my normal nights for doing my indoor spinning class (it is really Les Mills RPM cycling), so I thought I might as well give it a try. I called the fitness center to see if there were any open stationary bikes available, and yes there was 1 left open. I felt that it was meant to be that I attend class because there are never any bikes open for this class.

I left work just a little early stopped by the house grabbed my cycling shoes, shorts and gave the wife a quick kiss on the cheek. I didn’t even stop to explain to her what I was going to do while she was asking questions…she did call me on the cell phone as I drove over to the fitness center and I explained everything to her.  I got to the fitness center and was greeted by several people whom I haven’t seen for months with all the questions one would expect to how well I was doing. I told them that I’d love to talk to them, but I was going to be late for the cycling class if I would stop to chat. I entered the cycling room and shocked everyone. My instructor looked at me and asked me if I was really ready to come back…I said "HELL YES" . Believe it or not, my bike that I rode for every class, before my injury, was the bike left open and that again was another sign I was to be there.  I quickly set up the bike to my height and all limped off to change into my shorts and shirt, and then returned to the classroom. I jumped (not really jumping) on to the bike and slowly began to pedal.  The instructor said through her microphone.."Now that our new class member is here.. (she said with a huge smile on her face and several of us regulars to the class laughed) really its great that Chris is finally back.. (several people cheered, I almost felt a tear form).. and hopefully he won’t kill himself today on his first returning ride".  Oh it was such a strange feeling having that little bike saddle working its way up the crack of my butt again after 4 months of being away from it….and with that feeling class began. Halfway through the class, I was gasping for breath, sweating like like a work horse, and ready to pass out. Several times I tried to stand up on the pedals while we were doing rolling hills and a mountain climb, the ankle and new AT felt pretty good, just a little stiff. With each attempt to stand and do an attack jump up from the saddle to standing climbs, I was reminded by my instructor to take it easy, and I knew maybe I should listen.

Before long, the hour class was over.  Thank Goodness..I was beat, but…I DID IT! I slowly climbed down off the bike and sat on the floor. I removed my shoes and lightly massaged my AT, foot and ankle.  I had so many of the people come over and welcomed me back. Many of them wanted to see the scar and ask me how I was feeling.

It felt so good to be there. Oh how I’ve missed the class, the atmosphere, and the people.

Since that last Monday, I have returned and done the Wednesday class, and I also went to the Sunday afternoon class.

My foot and AT are feeling a little stiff, but I feel no pin. I seem to be limping a little more today too. I’m just wondering if I should sit out of today class..or try to ride again, but not as hard as I have been.

Nah, I’m going.

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I smiled and said…..

March 8th, 2010 · 3 Comments


Today I was tested on how well my therapy has been going. The PT I’ve been seeing was there and her boss was conducting the eval.  I was tested on balance, Range of Motion, two legged calf raises, walking leg lunges, and over all ankle strength. I passed all of the tests just fine, but I  was still a little wobbly  on the repaired foot for balance. I did attempt my first single legged calf raise on the repaired foot, and I did raise up off the floor about a quarter of an inch.  Both my PT and her boss said that I was doing great and felt that I could continue doing the rest on my own at the fitness center I belong too. They will send a report to my surgeon that they believe I can return to most of my normal activities but not to full impact exercise (running).  They want to see me again in a month to conduct another  eval and then perhaps clear me completely. I was told the limp will get less and less as my calf muscle gets stronger and the balance will be just fine too.

I smiled and said to my PT, "It was so nice meeting you, but don’t take offence to me saying I won’t miss you or your silly little orange cones either ". She smiled back at me and said "Watch what you say, you have to deal with me again in October after you have your other AT repaired in August ".

I’ve been released from therapy today. Yes, the day has come for me to start out on my own again, but dang it, I will have to return once I have the second surgery to repair the other AT in my left foot that has already started to tear.

I was strongly reminded to listen to my body…and STOP when I feel tired and any pain.


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PT today and Then Monday

March 5th, 2010 · 3 Comments


Done with therapy today and it was a workout. A lot of the same things as I’ve been doing, but with more calf raises (double legged not single), with a ton of walk walking lunges.

I was told I have my evaluation on Monday with the head PT to see if I will have to continue going to therapy.  I also meet with the Surgeon on Tuesday to see what he thinks. I think things are going OK, of course there are little issues, but not nearly as many as the was at first.

I hope I pass my eval with flying colors (crossing my fingers)!!

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Out All Day

March 2nd, 2010 · 5 Comments


Every year on the first Monday of March, my two boys (15 yrs and in High School and 20 yrs and local College) have the day off from school and I always take my birthday holiday off from work (my birthday is the 6th so it always works out good).  We have been doing this now for the last 7 years now and on this day the boys are allowed to invite another school friend and we all take off out on a "Guys Day".  We live 3 hours from St. Louis, MO. and that city has some wonderful hands on museums, a great zoo, "The Gateway to the West" Arch and so much more…the best thing is the admission price to all these events are free. Should we want to take the elevators to the top of the Arch, that cost is extra, and we’ve gone to see the IMAX theater show at one museum and that too was an extra cost.

As of two weeks ago, I was afraid we’d have to cancel the trip because I just haven’t been able to walk as far or as long since I’ve had the surgery. I explained to both boys that we might not go, but if we did go, I would have to cut the day way short or we’d have to make a lot of stops to sit down and rest.

Well to get to the point, we had one of the best times we have ever had.  The three hour drive didn’t seem to hurt my foot at all (being stuck in the same position with little movement) and I was able to stay within a few feet of the 4 boys at all times while walking around.  I did limp a little from time to time and I think maybe the boys didn’t walk as fast as they normally would, but we walked the town and had fun.  I wore my "Crocs" and took along a pair of tennis shoes to change into should I have any type of foot issues, but the "Crocs" were the only thing I wore all day. We sat through a 45 minute IMAX showing of "Under the Sea" (wasn’t too bad, but not as good as others we have seen) and that gave me a little rest… of course we had breakfast, lunch, and dinner stops that provided a little sitting too.

The only thing I did not attempt was the running from one end of the Arch to the other end, and then back…and hand stands in the middle of the grassy park.  Maybe I’m growing up a little and maybe showing my age a little too.  I left all that silliness to the kids (even thought I’ve done it every year in the past).

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The PT found it, my Kryptonite

February 25th, 2010 · 5 Comments


Went to the PT today to do my therapy. I can’t complain too much, my PT says I have been doing very well; much better than some of her other clients. There really hasn’t been any exercise that I haven’t been able to do…except for today.

After doing the different types of exercises the PT and I have been doing, she said she wanted me to do 2 new ones.

The first was walking leg lunges from baseline to baseline on the basketball court.I was feeling pretty good once I got to the far end of the court, but she said I wasn’t through yet and that I needed to come all the way back. So I lunged all the way back, looked at my PT and told her that was way to simple of an exercise. She just smiled and said,"That’s good, because you need to go down and back two more times" . I need to learn to shut my big mouth at times, because by the time I was done my quads and hamstrings were on fire.

For the second exercise, I was told by the PT to stand and balance on my repaired AT foot. Once I was balanced (still wobbling a little), she placed 3  little orange cones on the floor in a triangle shape around me (1to the left of me, 1 in front of me, 1 to the right of me). She then told me to squat down on the one leg and touch the top of the first cone to my right, then to push myself back up, then squat back down and touch the top of the cone in front of me….and so on. I COULD NOT squat down and touch the top of those cones. No sooner did I bend my knee to squat, I’d loose my balance and almost fall over. I stood there for more than 15 minutes trying over and over again to squat and tap, getting more and more angry at those D@#* cones. I lost my cool and kicked one of the cone across the basketball court. My PT smiles and said "Now you can lunge your way over there, pick the cone up and lunge it all the way back over here" .

Once I got home I spent almost 35 minutes digging through the old sport equipment from when our boys were younger.  Footballs, tennis rackets and balls, Frisbees, baseball gloves, soccer balls…..AT LAST, the same D@#* little orange cones.

I guarantee by the next PT session on Wednesday, I’ll be able to touch the tops of those orange (aka Krytonite) cones .

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