Nine weeks post-op.
The past two weeks have been somewhat interesting as I endeavor to transition out of the boot. At week seven I was to begin going two-shoes. Somewhat petrified I tentatively took a few steps. Being busy at work with software deadlines and not wanting to get too distracted and re-injure myself, or worse, fall down one of my two precarious flights of stairs at home and break something new e.g. the good leg, I stuck mostly to the boot. At week eight I called my OS’s office to complain that they were refusing me PT for no damn good reason, and to ask where I should be shoe-wise.
Nurse Betty (name changed to protect the innocent) instructed me that I should aim to be boot-free in two weeks, which puts that one-week from today. I took that advice to heart and have slowly been increasing my daily hours to the point that I am about 70% out of the boot, and even went for a walk into Colonial Liquors after work tonight. My goal was to enter boot free, buy a fifth of gin & a cigar, chug the gin, and walk back to the car without falling over to enjoy a nice rich victory stogie. I cheated and parked in the handicap spot, otherwise smooth sailing.
Nurse Betty also told me that I could get a prescription for PT. Finally. WTF? Why I was made to wait until (a) I called, (b) 8 weeks post-op is a mystery to me. But I jumped right on that; However due to time delays of one sort or another, early morning International Space Station orbit sightings or some such nonsense, I did not get my first, yes my first at nine weeks frigg’n post-op PT appointment set up until next week. Thank the Lord almighty for this web site because it has guided me thru the dark times.
Today at work I shocked a few people by emulating Homo erectus. I had to stand absolutely still, but it felt greeaaat to stretch the calf and groin muscles and gain about two inches in height from my usual injured stoop. I had a sh*t eating grin at one point and one of my co-workers, who is absolutely completely distracted with her own situation of being back at work four months after giving birth, looked at me and said: “Hey, no boot!?”. But really she was thinking: “You are such a pu**y. I pushed a human being out of my body. Try that and walk normal.”
On the exercise front I have been slacking off on all the week 4-8 exercises due to 2-shoes. My daily routine up until last week had been:
- core: plank
- core: Dragon Flag Advanced Core Exercise Credited to Bruce Lee
- 20 to 100 situps
- exercise bike - some boot, some non boot
- toe swirls and ankle flexions - many times a day, not just the three that the MGH protocol recommends
- hip abductions and hamstring curls
- a few pushups
- 12′ pole vaults
- chicken fights on wife’s back and defeating the next door neighbor couple two-out-of-three match
I was joking about the Bruce Lee and pole vault stunts.
Now I need to re-tool a bit and since I won’t be getting any PT feedback for a whole week, will rely on blogs on this site for some guidance. For example if not too swamped by work, I may try to make it over to the local high school pool a la Smick.
Over the weekend I developed my own form of calf raises against the wall sitting down and facing it. I just did a search on achillesblog.com and seems that others came up with or were instructed on same.
I have been boot free in bed for a week or more. Yesterday I woke up after getting a rare 5 hours straight sleep. For a second or two I could not remember which side I had injured. Another milestone!
Driving continues to challenge me. I thought by now that it would be 2nd nature. I have dramatically increased my average speed, but I still use the emergency hand brake a lot. I still dread going over bumps that agravate my sore heel, and stick to the back roads most of the way back and forth.
Regardless of complaining and the aggravation of the lack of PT prescription, I consider all of the above positives. On the negative side I am in pain a lot - most of my lower body: the heel, calf, groin, left foot which seems to sympathize with the right, back aches, and headaches. At least the tendons on both legs seem pretty good, so I should be thankful for that.
Meanwhile my leg is waking up. Last week I had this uncontrollable urge to stretch every part of it. That sensation waxes and wanes each day and I feel I need to be careful not to overdue the stretching. Usually I feel much better after succumbing to the urge. But still scares me a bit at how much my body so wants to be back to its previous normal two-leg walker self.