Playing What I Love…

I’ve been reading the various stories on the recovery process and it has been extremely helpful as I go through what several other authors of blogs have gone through.  I will spare everyone the exact details of how it ruptured since my story will only echo the others.   I was playing softball and was running around the bases on a ball hit to deep right.   I heard the infamous snap/pop sound and here I am today…a contributor to a blog that helps others stay focused and positive.

I ruptured it on a Thursday night (11/8/18) and after seeking various opinions and doctors I elected for surgery by an orthopedic surgeon.  I had the surgery on 11/13/18 two days before my 46th birthday.   The surgeon came recommended by a dear friend of mine who is a physical therapist that I’m sure I will be visiting when PT starts.   The DR performed the surgery with no complications and told me it was a text book surgery that was only a 2.5" incision.   I felt god for two days after with general swelling, until the nerve blocker wore off and than percocet was my friend for two days.   I counted the minutes until i was allowed to take my next dosage to ease the pain.  I will say that reading this blog by all the wonderful patients and authors I knew it was going to be rough.   The days following it was just trying to find a way to remain comfortable and maintain my sanity.   My wife and my 2 year old daughter are angels and I couldn’t do this without them and support from neighbors, friends, and family.   The silver lining to my story is that I’m able to stay home with my family this holiday season and be with them versus working 10-12 hour days.

I was sent home with a hard splint, leg wrapped in what felt/looked like a heavy blanket with toes exposed and held together by a huge ace wrap.  No weight bearing and sponge baths only.  I immediately purchase the knee-rover which is a life saver.   I can get around my house and hold my daughter when she’s sad, clean dishes and small house chores as long as my leg would let me due to the swelling (i.e. 10-20 minutes at a time).   Sleeping in the downstairs bedroom and avoiding stairs was a plus as well.

After two weeks I recently returned for my first post-op on 11/26/18 and met with the surgeon.  They removed the wrap and it was my first look at the incision area.   The incision is as described as above and looks clean.   The stitches are dissolved so that was a bonus to hear since I dread any form of medical procedures (juice box on standby).   The doctor instructed me to gently try to point up and down my foot three times a day to assist in deterring scar tissue on the tendon.   They put on a long loose fitting stocking on the ART leg (left leg) and then placed my foot/calf area in a hard splint wrapped in a ace bandage.   This can be removed of course to do the above exercises as well as take a SHOWER.   Hearing that word seemed like such a reward. My next appointment is in two weeks (12/10/18) and he stated that at that time I will be in a walking boot with lifts.

Overall I feel that everything is going well and I can’t thank everyone that continues to share their stories on this blog and for answering so many questions that Google fails to.  Each one of you in a direct/indirect way is a true inspiration and provided me such insight when I laid in bed emotionally and physically in pain.   The only thing that bothers me is the pain that I get in my foot from what was described to me by my doctor as nerve damage that will eventually pass.   The tingling and numbness comes and goes.  I’m off all medicine except Bayer twice a day for blood clots and take Tylenol  prior to trips to the store when my foot will be in a low position for 30+ minutes.   The swelling happens when I go to shower because it takes me 20 minutes to get the confidence to step in and sit on the ledge without the fear of falling.

I look forward to reading about everyone’s progress and also sharing my journey or as they say here my "marathon".    As my family keeps telling me "you got this"…so I say to each of you "you/we got this" and keep posting because prior to me posting I’ve been religiously reading your posts since 11/8/18 the night i sat in bed accepting the fact my Achilles ruptured and trying to gain faith I’d be okay.

You Got This!!

Your fellow Achilles recovery partner…GPK.

6 Responses to “Playing What I Love…”

  1. You do! You got this! And that nerve tingling and pain will subside. Every week it gets less and less, especially when you start putting weight on it. That blood flow really helps move things along.

    When I first started showering without the boot I was so excited! It was such a milestone for me it seemed. But I was sooooo paranoid. Like you, I was soooo careful and moved at a snails pace to get over the shower threshold. I kept thinking I was going to fall without the boot on and that would be it…I’d have to start all over again. But confidence comes with time and now I hardly think about it. I’m still careful without the boot but not excessively so.

    Those first 4 weeks are the hardest. But believe me, from someone who is not that far ahead of you recovery wise, it gets so much better! In a short amount of time you go from thinking “I will never walk normally again” to “Hey, I might be able to get back to where I was”. So hang in there! We all got this.

  2. If you don’t already have a shower stool you should get one ordered ASAP. You can kneel your ATR leg on it in the shower while you’re NWB and once you are PWB you can sit on it or kneel on it depending on how the foot is feeling and what you are allowed to do while unbooted. I never really had a problem getting in/out of the tub/shower. We had hand rails installed when my mom stayed with us after several surgeries so I would just put the good knee on the edge of the tub, grab the hand rail and swing the surgery leg to get it positioned on the shower stool.

    And you have got this. The nerve tingling and pain will subside but it may take months. I’m past 3 months and still get some. I never really know when the pain will come since it is pretty random. Nothing that I can’t deal and some of the pain is most likely coming from overstressing the foot in my PT exercises or by just being upright/walking too much during the day.

    Keep on being positive and do those exercises as directed. Once the incision is fully healed you should also start doing scar massage to help keep things moving smoothly.

  3. Welcome to the club,even if it is a club you would never want to join. It’s a long haul, for sure, but there are important steps along the way where life does improve, like when you can go FWB, no crutches, and later in shoes, and driving (if indeed you aren’t driving yet).

    Like you say, you got this. And it sounds like you have a good team helping you. My wife has been great. I can’t imagine how someone living alone could manage this.

  4. Yep that knee scooter is great. I ruptured on my other leg 20 years ago and was on crutches exclusively for my NWB days. The scooter was like a breath of fresh air.

    I know this whole deal is a mental drain. A couple things that keep me up is that it does get better and you start to appreciate new freedom with each milestone. Also the situation could me so much worse. My neighbor tore his patella this summer and had his leg locked in a straight position for 12 weeks (yikes!)

    Keep us posted please. Looking forward to seeing you progress!

  5. The shower stool is a great idea and I think it would help me get over my fear of hopping over the 4′” ledge to get into the walk in shower. I just imagine for some reason looking like the scene from Flashdance with the water on. Another item I purchased that is a huge help is what they call diabetic socks or wide socks. I purchased a pair at my local drug store and they fit comfortably over my ATR leg without discomfort that comes with the nightly swelling. They’re advertised on Amazon as Extra Wide Lightweight Cotton Comfort Fit Dress Socks (3pack). They cost about $20, but like I said they go on easy over the incision area and up to the knee with little or no compression felt. Very comfortable and easy to put on with trying to get sock to pass over the heel area.

    The daily push-down/pull-up foot exercise are improving daily with additional motion gained per day. On day 1 I could barely get my foot to raise or lower, but today I get it to. Again without this blog I’d be aggravated, but knowing its a marathon and not a sprint I’m feeling good confidence wise. My only question is how long does it take for the calf muscle to not feel bruised when tension is placed on it from these exercises that require your foot to flex up/down? I imagine when PT starts and they introduce bands it will be a challenge. I have to say it’s nice to see me calf contract with each foot motion knowing the recovery is slowly progressing. I also try to keep my foot in the splint to not slant inward as I feel it wants to do that if not placed in the splint with the ace bandage countering that position.

    My next appointment is December 10, 2018 (4 Weeks Post Op), so I’m sure I’ll be posting some updates as I may my return to work on light duty if I go home that day in a walking boot (finger crossed).

  6. Glad you’re starting to see progress. Yes this is a slow road. And try not to overdue it. I did and now all my PT is on hold while I let the achilles calm down. Ah well I had things that I had to do last week and it involved a lot of standing/walking which was too much for my achilles to handle right now.

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