Are My Dreams Hurting Me?

Today marks 10 Days since I tore my Achilles…

So, for the past 2 nights I’ve had dreams about my Achilles…

Two nights ago I dreamed I was sitting on the examination bed in my doctors office facing forward with both legs hanging down over the side… the doctor said, "Ok, point your toes." So I tried and it HURT!!! The doctor said, "No, not on your bad foot… point your toes on your good foot… I want to show you how your foot is supposed to work…"

I’m wondering if I actually pointed my bad foot while I was sleeping?

IF so… does that damage whatever healing is taking place? Have I set myself back? Might I have caused any problems?

Last night I dreamed I was stretchings… including my bad calf/achilles/ankle… and I woke myself up in pain. So, I’m pretty sure I hurt myself last night… Again: Am I doing damage?

What can I do to minimize this?

I’m kinda worried about it… you know?

5 Responses to “Are My Dreams Hurting Me?”

  1. Seeing as you’re in a cast,it’s unlikely that you will do any damage. I often woke up in the night with cramp in the early days and I’m sure I tried to move my ankle in my sleep. I think this is probably quite a normal reaction by your brain to this unaccustomed immobility.
    It did nothing to damage my AT, and I’m making good progress.
    Don’t worry- it’ll be OK!

  2. Your calf muscle is certainly a threat to your healing AT, in theory and sometimes in reality, too. For example, when an immobilized ATR patient (casted or booted) falls or trips, I believe that one of the main mechanisms that can cause injury (including re-rupture) is our instinct to “save ourselves”, using whatever muscles we can. Saving ourselves from falling, and saving our AT from being over-stressed are two very different things, and we’re “hard-wired” to do the former, and have to be very good and very lucky to be overcome that and “go with the flow” instead.

    Similarly, strong calf-muscle spasms, whether caused by physio-chemical spasmodic mechanisms or by dreams of falling or jumping, etc., can also pose a threat to a weak and vulnerable AT. This is NOT something a cast is designed to protect yourself against, though your muscle atrophy does tend to protect your AT some.

    Like missteps during healing, almost all of us experienced low levels of calf muscle contractions while healing. It’s obviously a matter of degree. If you think you’re experiencing (or seriously at risk of experiencing) contractions that might hurt your AT, you should discuss that with your Doc. There are anti-spasm and muscle-relaxing drugs, and maybe others that can discourage “acting-out” dreams. (I once poked my wife a “good one” during the night while desperately lunging to keep a dream volleyball from hitting the dream floor. She was NOT amused!)

    The good news is that I can’t recall hearing a single report from anybody who ACTUALLY re-ruptured while sleeping, either from a spasm or a sleepwalking-type “acting-out” dream. That includes my 10-ish months being addicted to this site, too many hours searching for studies on ATR, and reading a survey on another website asking re-rupture “victims” how it happened. So it’s somewhere between super-rare and unheard-of, which is kind of what Teresa said (much more simply) in the first place! :-)

  3. Hi Icky, I find I stretch loads more since my ATR. I often wake in the night because I find myself in an extreme stretch. I have done it from early on and worried about it too. I haven’t done any damage yet and to be honest I notice it less now - maybe I did it before but it didn’t wake me. I’m sure your cast will protect you. To be honmest, I think we worry constantly about our AT, thers’s nothing you can do so try not to obsess about it. Easier said than done I know. Good luck with it.

  4. Thanks for your input, everybody!
    I’ve not had any of those kinds of dreams since I blogged about it… perhaps the act of blogging exorcized the problem.

    Now I think my calf is beginning to atrophy. my foot and leg move around a little more inside the cast than it used to… I just try to minimize my movements and elevate when I can… but with NO swelling is it really necessary to elevate?

  5. I did it again last night… I dreamed I was stretching…. more than once… and I woke myself up… more than once…
    Not sure if I was actually stretching and hurt myself so I woke up…
    …Or maybe I realized I was dreaming it and woke myself up anyway…
    No pain today, though… so… I supppose it’s all good.

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