Sitting here getting ready for Achilles surgery —again. The first time was just over 3 years ago on my right Achilles. This time, I go in for my left Achilles. Joy.
It started out last Tuesday on June 19th to be another smoky morning here in Colorado with wildfires running up & down the state. I’ve just started a new job working at a senior living facility teaching a sitting flexibility class. In my certification work for fitness training, one of the discussions was to change up an exercise routine to continue steady gains in strength or weight loss. I thought it was time to change up my routine. I had just found a group that played competitive badminton. I hadn’t played since just after college— “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” Tuesday was my first day to play with them. I was being good doing my warmups and paying special attention to Achilles stretches among others. We warmed up a bit hitting the bird back & forth- the first time in about 40 years! Sure felt good! Then we started our game of doubles. We’d not even broken a sweat when I stepped back with my left leg into a guarding position waiting for the bird. Snnnnnaaaap! Yup. I heard it like a muffled shot, felt that all too familiar pop in the heel, felt that baseball bat hit my heel area, then my heel hit the floor. I grabbed my Achilles & hopped off the floor thinking, “No, no no!” But, yes, yes, yes…I’d snapped my left Achilles! We hadn’t even gotten up to 10 in the score! Had barely played 10 minutes. I sat in a bit of shock I think, knowing all too well I wouldn’t be able to play anymore badminton for quite a while! Rats rats rats!!!! Since I knew what to look for, I checked out my leg though it was quite painful. My Achilles area felt like mush & I couldn’t feel that familiar band in the heel. Just felt like a divot instead. I had trouble dorsi-flexing & plantar flexing my foot. My soleus & gastrocnemius were sore. They weren’t contracting & I couldn’t put any pressure to try to go on my tip toes even without weight on it. My partners came over to check on me thinking I’d just sprained my ankle! I wish. One found some ice! Ahhh! Still in much pain (about an 8), I could tell my voice was strained. After icing for about half an hour, wistfully watching them play, I hobbled out to my car. Thank God I can drive & my car is automatic! Not like last time where the right Achilles ruptured. Once in the car with my window down & my left leg hanging out, I called my doctor’s office to get an OK to go to urgent care. It was only 8:10 am. I’m debating whether to go home for my boots (Yes, I had 2) & crutches or just head over to the hospital. But if I go too early, not sure when I’ll get out & my son has to be picked up from school.
I know I can’t just go to urgent care without my docs ok (unless I want to foot the bill) so I decide to head home to retrieve what I know I’ll need & wait on their returning my call. I’m closer to home anyways. I hobble downstairs to retrieve my crutches, then hobble 2 flights upstairs to retrieve my boots, get a drink, then go back out to the car. By then it’s 9:30. My son needs to be picked up from his jr. college class. I’m in pain, exhausted already & dreading the inevitable. The dr’s office calls & tells me to head over to ER instead. Once I pick up my son & explain it’s his turn to take me to the ER, we’re off. Surprisingly, I’m taken right into the ER & put on a monitor & asked all the questions. The doctor comes in, does the Thompson’s test, checks out the Achilles & gives me the look. Don’t even need an MRI he tells me. I’ve already told him I’d gone thru this once. I didn’t bother to tell him all the drama that entailed. He said no movement on the Thompson’s & divot behind the heel all indicated a complete rupture. He sets me up to see the Orthopedic Center of the Rockies– the same group I tried to get with the first time I did this. Surprisingly again, my insurance guys approve it! Unfortunately, the next day, when I see the doc there, he’ll be out of town until Monday (tomorrow). Unfortunately, my insurance group won’t let me get the surgery there so I have to wait until Tuesday morning to get it done at the Medical Center of the Rockies. But it’s better than the 6 week wait I had with my right one & I saw the right kind of doctor right off the bat on this one too. So, 2 more days & I’ll be healing instead of waiting.
In the meantime, my ice machine has been out doing it’s healing thing. Ahh! feels good! Not as much pain now compared to last Tuesday. Propping up the leg often & icing as much as possible. Still have a fat calf-ankle with lovely discoloring. I also worked on some lovely fat cushions for my crutches. May as well have those comfortable as possible as I’ll be spending lots of time on them. Contemplating getting one of those knee scooters. I’ll have to call my insurance tomorrow to see if they cover that.
My sitting flexibility class has been most sympathetic. I teach tomorrow but not planning on Wednesday after surgery & we’ll see about Friday.