georgiemac’s AchillesBlog

Almost at 6 months

August 18, 2013 · 2 Comments

Hi to all, apologies for not updating. Once I was out of the boot and comfortable in shoes I haven’t looked back.

I am nearly at 6 months since my repair. I am still going to physio every 3 wks and am also having appointment on my ‘good’ tendon to try and relax my muscles and tendon.

I have been told to hold off on running, but otherwise I am swimming, using the exercise bike and the mini tramp.

I am on the lookout for a good pair of heels to move into (my old stilettos and heels are probably too much of a leap at this stage).

I still get stiffness in the mornings. Travelling on planes is also hilarious as the foot swells and doesn’t bode will with humidity (I thought I had been bitten by something terrible on a work trip to Papua New Guinea!).

I couldn’t have imagined ever getting back to where I am now when I was sitting at home in March with the awkward cast. My medic friend said I would never take my mobility for granted again.. hopefully I won’t!

Thanks for the support of everyone on this site. It is certainly a physical journey, but the mental hurdle in rupturing the largest tendon in your body was definitely the bigger challenge for me.

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travellin well

May 17, 2013 · 3 Comments

I thought I would drop in to let everyone know where I’ve progressed to. I’m about 10 weeks post surgery and have been out of the boot for a week. I’m walking ok and will hopefully be back to normal in a few weeks. I still have a lot of swelling and notice a big difference if I don’t wear compression socks. The scar is pretty ugly too!

I had a ‘partial tear’ with my ‘good’ tendon a few weeks ago and had a few days off work. It seems to be doing a bit better but I get pain in it after I’ve sat down for a long period of time. The doctor said I had to try and rest if or he would put me in a dorselflex cast!! I would do anything to avoid that at the moment!

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Hello reality

April 27, 2013 · 6 Comments

Hi all. I’ve been back at work for a few weeks now. I’m still in the air cast, at 1 wedge. I can walk around without the boot at home, but the swelling means it is better to keep boot on at work.

I ended up having to do some hectic travel for work last week and have spent the last two days at uni. I’m tired and I unfortunately missed physio this week.

Tendon and foot are relatively good. Apart from some swelling and stiffness. I tried the exercise bike for 10 mins, in boot, at physio last week.

Hoping everyone’s recovery is going well. I’m surprised at my progress. The scar is still stiff but I’ve been doing exercises and it is getting better.

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Pain and swelling

April 13, 2013 · 4 Comments

I had a weird week with work and a visit to my surgeon as a private patient. It turned out that the surgeon on all my papers didn’t actually do the surgery! Yay for the public health system. I thought it might have been incorrect and asked the fracture clinic to double check it. They told me the wrong surgeon.. I’m sure there must be some sort of liability issue there! He said my recovery was behind, and my swelling and pain could potentially be I’m choosing to try ignore that for now. He said be trying to get off crutches asap. He also said my calf muscles are very tight.

I had a good physio session on Thursday but haven’t been able to keep it at 1 wedge consistently. Work politics, stress and pain has got the better of me this week.

I’m trying to keep it at 1 wedge today  (Sun) and will hopefully keep that up this week. Compression sock is helping and is good to sleep in.

My Mum came to visit last week and took me to the beach which was great to help me relax.

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no pain no gain

April 2, 2013 · 6 Comments

After going into work on Thursday, my ankle was in a lot of pain and it swelled up inside the boot. I can’t elevate it at my desk and I had a pretty stressful day, so I wasn’t too concerned.

By the time I got to the physio in the evening, it was so sore that I couldn’t let him touch it. He did the Thompsons test and I had minimal movement. He said I had probably overdone the excercises he had given me and to rest for the weekend. I’ve had it elevated and have used the heatpack. The swelling has gone done but it is still painful to PWB in the boot. I’ve got an appointment with the Surgeon on 9/4 but I hope it will improve before then.

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the path to my desk

March 27, 2013 · 2 Comments

I made the journey back to work today. After doing my usual routine of showering, straightening my hair and putting makeup on while dropping crutches, hair dryers and perfume, I was completely exhausted and running late. I made it to my desk with some nice and some sarcastic comments from my colleagues. I had over 1000 emails to get through.

I have pain when I put the boot on first thing. I’ve taken out a wedge and am now at 3 wedges - where I was meant to start. My foot relaxes when I sleep out of the boot and has to stretch into it in the morning. I had to take a pain killer this morning and regretted it because it made me pretty foggy in the head.  I didn’t realise how much 4 wks can get you out of the swing of reading and problem solving.
I know it will get easier. It is just hard to imagine when I’m so exhausted after only working a half day. I really want to set up a work from home arrangement but work says they would prefer if I could come in to the office.
My friend is coming down from sydney for the weekend so hopefully some wine and good food will cheer me up!

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Physio Fun

March 22, 2013 · 4 Comments

I started physio today at a clinic close by. The physio resized my crutches and we did some walking and steps with a weak attempt at PWB. He said the 4 wedges and big boot had made my walking with crutches pretty unstable. I’ve got quite sharp pain up the tendon when I try any WB.

He then assessed my foot out of the boot, and my ‘good’ leg, and said that my calf muscles are very tight, and this prevents my dorsiflexion, and that this would mean it would be a big job to get my ruptured leg back to 90 degrees. He also suggested that my second cast was set too far downwards. On his advice, I’ve also arranged an appointment with my surgeon as a private patient, instead of going back to the hospital and getting a different ortho each time. This is apparently pretty common, but I need to try and get a referral from a GP. The physio has asked to see me twice next week, and wants to reassess my balance, and hopefully lose a wedge, before deciding if I can go back to work on Wednesday.

I also didn’t realise how poor my health insurance coverage is! It is too late to upgrade the coverage now but I will run out of physio allocation after 4 visits and I’m not sure if my private appointment with the surgeon will be covered.

I’m pretty frustrated as I thought I would be a lot more mobile after getting the boot on. My housemate took over boiling pasta in the kitchen last night as I was a danger to myself, and presumably the house. I’m going to be alone all next week so I will probably be eating tins of tuna and takeaway.

Meanwhile, the Government is falling to pieces, the media is making it worse, and there is no focus on the positive policy and economic achievements of Labour this term. I’ve been watching too much news over the last 48hrs so I’m trying to turn the tv and my mind off.

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Sleep proving elusive.

March 20, 2013 · 5 Comments

I returned to the hospital this afternoon to try again with a air cast. I actually got a pretty good doctor and physio on this visit who actually felt my foot movement before choosing the wedges for the boot. He looked up the surgery notes and said the surgeon had been the best in Canberra and briefly explained the procedure  (the most info I’ve received so far). He clarified that we will try and follow the protocol time line, rather than my discharge paper (6 wk NWB), as the surgeon wrote the protocol and had results with earlyish WB.

Getting into the air cast was easier this time and the physio agreed to 4 wedges which will put my recovery back 2 weeks. The air cast wasn’t too uncomfortable, but I wasn’t feeling well, so I bailed on going out with a friend and had an early night.

Unfortunately I woke up at 3am with sharp ongoing pain in the ball of my foot. I ignored it for an hour or so, but now I’ve taken the boot off it eventually subsided. I’m too scared to sleep without the boot on so I will have to put it back on to go back to sleep. I’m going to reassess the pain and the cause in the morning.

I’ve also started the pain medication again as I was in a bit of pain after the stretch of the angle in the air cast. Coincidentally, I had a chat in the waiting room with a guy who had recovered from a broken leg about his addiction to his pain meds. He couldn’t believe it when I said I couldn’t understand why they are addictive as they made me drowsy and nauseous.

I didn’t realise how relatively well I was sleeping in the smaller fibreglass cast!!

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Alcohol goes straight to the tendons

March 17, 2013 · 16 Comments

.. is what my Mum’s doctor friend said to her when she found out I snapped my achilles tendon completely in a nightclub in Sydney. In reality, I hadn’t actually been drinking too much, but I guess it paints a scene.

I’m nearly 3 weeks post my operation and going stir crazy at home. I have really struggled with not being able to look after myself, clean the house or even carry a cup of tea.

Post operation, I had a ‘fun’ two weeks. I had intense pain and discomfort and ended up doubling the dose of painkillers. My Mum flew down from Darwin to look after me which was a lifesaver. She set up bathroom with a chair and a hand held shower. When I would make the effort to shower or move with the crutches (not often) I would get an intense pressure at the rupture site. I basically spent most of the time in bed watching movies, tv shows and reading. i’ve now caught up on most of my tv shows so I’m looking for whats available now in the USA! I was very nauseous and lost quite a bit of weight.

I have also discovered online shopping in a big way. After my Mum left I had all my groceries delivered (including a ton of things I don’t need like stockings!) and have made quite a few purchases of clothes I hope to be social and mobile enough to wear soon. It is a great time killer, browsing and loading up your shopping cart, but it is also very dangerous!

I was told to go back to the doctor at 2 wks but actually got called in at 10 days. I saw an orthopaedic registrar who said my wound had healed very well and that I wouldn’t put weight on the foot fot 6 wks but would go into a boot. This was the same as the discharge instruction papers I got from the hospital but no doctor ever actually spoke to me about the process for recovery before I left the ward.

I then went to the hospital physio to be fitted with the boot. She had a different protocol in front of her, and said I could start putting weight on my foot and throw away the crutches. She also gave me a ton of exercises to start doing but didn’t check the motion of my foot. I could barely lift my toes after coming out of the cast and the whole ankle felt stiff.

I thought I misunderstood the previous doctor and we began the process of putting my foot into the air cast with 3 wedges. My foot wouldn’t even decline enough to touch 4 wedges and the pressure in my leg was intense. The physio was determined and kept pushing until eventually my friend said to stop as I was in a lot of pain. The physio then tried to find the doctor, and eventually came back and said it was too early and I was put back into a cast.

The day was very draining and I really ended up back at square one. I’m going back in 3 days to try the process again, and this time will be more prepared with questions as to the path of my recovery.

At this stage I’m hoping to go back to work on the 27th of March. I hope I will be able to balance better with the boot and hopefully not fall over as much. Work is hard enough when I’m fully fit so I am not looking forward to going back. They sent me a ‘Where’s Wally’ card which was a good distraction for 15 mins. I thought they would have called more, or offered more support. They have said things like ‘we are very busy and could really use you’ but when I offered to work from home they said it was too difficult to set up.

My friends in Canberra have been good to me. They’ve bought me over food and magazines. The days are long between visits though. My housemates have been good too but it is frustrating when I can’t do things for myself, or even clean up during the day. My friends from home have their nose out of joint because I didn’t answer my phone for 2 wks. It is hard to explain how ‘busy’ I was.

When I look at the bright side of this injury, I see that I have actually been able to take the longest break I’ve had from work in 4 years. Even though the location of my holiday (my bedroom) isn’t ideal, I’ve still been able to fully switch off from work pressures. I’ve also been able to save a bit of money, and will hopefully pay down my credit card and have a look at my finances. I also think that I can now see what true friends I do have, and that maybe a small amount of great friends is better than having friendships that are one sided. I’ve also been able to put the time into doing job applications for jobs in Sydney which I would never have enough time to invest normally.

Canberra has begun to get cold. I’m glad I didn’t start this journey in winter as my house has terrible heating.

On a practical note, does anyone have an opinion on different boots? My discharge paper says I will be in a dark CAM Walker boot where as the physio bought up the Aircast which looks like a rollerblade boot. I guess I prefer the CAM Walker on a superficial note, as it is dark and won’t look as intense when I return to work and my work wardrobe. However, the Aircast may be better for my recovery? Any assistance would be appreciated.

Hopefully the above wasn’t too drawn out! I tried to post some recovery photos but had no luck.

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