Janet’s AchillesBlog

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12 weeks, 40 two leg heel raises…still & Spin class

Filed under: Uncategorized — janet at 12:16 pm on Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quote of the Day:

my body could stand the crutches but my mind couldn’t stand the sideline….michael jordan

So, It’s been officially 12 weeks since “the incident”. People keep telling me how fast it seems to have  gone by…LOL Are you kidding me! It seems like forever. I will agree that some of it is fading into the background…but it’s been a long haul.

I was at physio today and they let me skip my 5 minutes on the exercise bike…..LOL..I asked them what the point was because I’m already doing 25-30 min at the gym or some other cardio machine plus I have been doing spin classes. The spin classes are going well although standing is difficult and hurts…but each time I go I try and stand a little longer…..the hardest part is trusting the AT repair. In the back of my mind I hear that snap.

I am now doing 40 heel raises (two leg) still….ok…I know it’s only been a week  but I have asked when I can do the ones where your heels hang off something and then you raise. My PT hates me I think….I keep asking “when can I” . I am also chasing down the elusive 1 leg heel raise….gotta have goals and that’s one of mine. I am using the leg press machine and do each leg individually so that the AT leg is forced to work. I pressed 90 lbs with the AT leg. I have increased the weight on my dead lifts and squats and I’m now doing squats using a 40lb bar(before the ATR I was doing 110 lbs) and straight leg dead lifts using 45 lbs. I could use heavier but it’s more of a balance issue at the moment as the AT leg still wants to let good leg do all the work but it’s coming along well. I still can’t do lunges back and front…but tonight I am going to try lateral lunges with weight….I tested those out the other  day. My PT has said that I can now put two feet on the ground to do my pushups but I may stick with one leg for those as it’s harder and better for my core. I cannot wait for the day when I can do a cardio kickbox class.

I’m amazed at how much the swelling has gone down….I saw an ankle bone the other day….since my reflexology massage…even the pain is less and I’m walking much better….although when I try to take my usual long stride my AT leg says “nope”….stairs are still awkward but the other day I was going down and almost forgot about AT….it’s weird how you can forget and be normal. Things do happen though, to remind you that you are still not recovered…..like cats sneaking out to fight with other cats and you have to go tearing out of your house in your bathrobe and bare feet in freezing weather to chase your idiotic cat and you realize you can’t run…….so the whole time you are hoping your cat just stands still until you can reach her. My cat and my AT survived.

With Friday being a holiday, I thought for sure I would have to do my Friday physio on Thursdaybecause that’s what happened the last time  but they excused me so I only had to go 2x this week….I’m assuming it’s because of my progress.

I picked up a gel pack so that I can ice at work and that seems to be helping quite a bit.

All in all, it’s going well and….for all you ladies….I did sneak and where sexy heels one day….my feet were so excited!!!

Have a wonderful day everyone and happy healing

Heel Raises and Getting Brave

Filed under: Uncategorized — janet at 11:06 am on Friday, April 15, 2011

Quote of the Day:

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”……lance armstrong

LOL..obviously feeling brave….the ab pic is finally posted…

Yesterday was a very painful day…not sure why….but honestly if I had been a coyote in a trap, I would have chewed my leg off. I was feeling seriously frustrated and I realized this recovery is not for the faint of heart…..you just keep moving thru the pain to get where you want to be. Most of the time I handle all of it really really well….but there are days where I just want to say “I’m sooooo done with this”….so I thought today’s quote was very timely.

So….physio this morning…..I’ve noticed it’s kind of like a club the same people at the same time….I’m with the Good Ol’ boys….all of them knee replacements….they all get to sit around and watch me work. After the usual routine….ankle trainer, sliding squats, pro stretch and balance board, I was finally allowed to do official heel raises. My PT looked at my calves while I was doing them and said “yep we definitely have to work on that left calf”…..he thought he was funny. Seriously though….40 reps…banged them out no problem. I can tell my good leg is taking most of the weight because it was talking to me more than the AT leg…but feels darn good to be working my calves. I have to laugh because they decided to put me on the bike at physio next week….I think they figure they better move me along otherwise I’ll just keep doing my own stuff. The funny thing is they approved me for the exercise bike 2 wks ago so I’ve been doing that at the gym and have already done a spin class.

I had my doctors appt. a couple of weeks ago…I waited 1.5 hrs and it took me longer to take off my shoe than it did for the surgeon to look at me. He asked if I was limping….and if I started physio….had me press against his fist with my foot….pronounced that I was doing amazing for only being out of the boot a few weeks…then said….”see you in 3 months for final visit”….as far as he’s concerned his job is done…I save all my questions for my PT.

I have decided that I’m going to buy some gel packs or frozen vegetables to keep at work…..I think icing during the day will help things tremendously….elevating isn’t enough….I work a 10 hr day then head to the gym so it’s almost 13 hrs before I’m icing and elevating…waaaaayyyy too long.

I’m heading to the gym tonight…..lol..as usual and then I’m chillin’ by myself as I will have an empty house..husband has hockey and kids don’t stay home on a friday night….will be icing, elevating and watching my man Bruce Willis in something or other.

Have a great day everyone!!!!!

Moving Right Along

Filed under: Uncategorized — janet at 8:42 pm on Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quote of the day:

perfection is not attainable but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence…..vince lombardi

OK…..I`ve apparently been AWOL for a bit….life has been incredibly hectic the last few weeks…..so will try and update….LOL may have to break this up into two posts otherwise I might bore everyone to tears.

The picture is my most recent back shot….although lighting was bad and husband was taking the shot…it`s still pretty darn good….that is what happens when you can`t do cardio or legs!!!!! LOL…I finally have some ab shots but feeling slightly shy about posting those.

OK…now for the updates….I am, according to Chuck my PT, 3 weeks ahead of where I should be at this point. I have been approved for all cardio machines and just this week I have been approved to do spin classes as well. My first attempt at any cardio was on an exercise bike…longest 15 minutes of my life but it felt fantastic to be moving quicker than a snail`s pace and did it feel good to sweat. I tried the elliptical trainer next……20 minutes and I kept the incline at a reasonable level….the achilles felt great.

I think my PT gets chills every time he sees me….usually I start our conversation with “So…..can I“ and this week when I said that and asked about spin he said yes. I asked about resistance and standing and he said I  can do all that “as tolerated“  So Monday I tried my first spin class and surprisingly my cardio was decent and I was able to stand. That felt great!!!! Of course my AT leg protested…hurt like hell but no more than anything else. It`s amazing how easily the AT leg lets the other leg do all the work. I had to really concentrate to make the AT leg take some of the load. By the end of the class (45 minutes) standing wasn`t an option so I`m glad to know that it will let me know when enough is enough.

I am now able to use the leg extension machine in the weight room…yesterday I used 33 lbs on the AT leg…the week before I was only able to do 10 lbs and I also tried the leg press machine….100 lbs was as high as I would go without my trainer and it felt really really good. What doesn`t feel so great is stretching….ouchie….and going down stairs….every time I see the stairs Iwant to cry…it hurts!! I have been icing and elevating faithfully….but does the swelling ever stop….seems like forever. LOL…I am seriously considering the compression stocking….can`t even believe I`m saying that…my feet are offended enough having to where running shoes with my dress clothes….yucky!!!!

On Monday, I told my PT that I was pretty much done with this injury and can we move along…..I was having a moment of frustration….some of the simplest things….like squatting  onto balls of feet to pick up something, stairs, walking….LOL..seeing my ankle are so difficult…..so….as a reward for that….I get to do calf raises tomorrow at physio….I`ve been secretly doing them already but now I get to do them in an official capacity.

Now that the weather is turning nice my Pt asked if I had started walking outside….I hadn`t….and told him that I was scared that I would start out and get stuck somewhere because I went too far…..thank goodness for cell phones. My other reason was that it would be the first walk without Riley Dawg…and I just wasnt readly for that….but…need to start….he said it would improve my gait and then I could start running so I will add walking to the regime.

I have to say the AT leg looks really really sad. It amost looks fake because there is no curve at all and with swelling no ankle either. On the upside…next to it my other leg looks fantastic.

I had a reflexology massage today and I highly recommend it….felt absolutely wonderful.

LOL…I`m going to leave it here for now and try and catch up on everyone else`s stuff….will let you know how the calf raises in the official capacity go tomorrow.

Happy Healing Everyone….so good to be back!!!!!!!

Dancing Around My Living Room

Filed under: Uncategorized — janet at 10:05 am on Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Quote of the Day:

while i dance, i cannot judge, i cannot hate, i cannot separate myself from life….i can only be joyful and whole…..that is why i dance….hans bos

On Sunday after 8 weeks and 4 days I danced around my living room!! What a feeling!! I was a dancer for 18 yrs so  for me, dancing is like breathing…have a  bad day..dance it out..have a good day…dance it out…feeling cranky…dance it out.

I was at Physio on Monday morning and confessed my transgressions….squats and deadlifts…LOL..they were ok with that…..was told ”BE CAREFUL”.  Besides the usual stretching, I had more balancing to do with both feet on balance board…they didn’t even make me do 5 minutes…there was no point…I didn’t move….one leg balancing on AT leg will be a challenge though. I was also put on a sliding squat machine where you are kind of on an angle absolutely no weight just sliding up and down as low as you can…..this was absolutely no problem and felt amazing. I’m also walking faster and if it’s earlier in the day the limp is almost non-existent.

Some more good news……I have been approved to go on the treadmill (no incline, no running YET), the stationary bike (no spin class YET), and the ellipitical trainer as well……all reasons to celebrate.

It is interesting though and this has been expressed by others….people will come up to me and say “so you are better now” or “so, you can start classes again”……or…they kind of laugh when I say I have a long way to go….they assume walking means you are fine. I am learning to just let it go as there is no point in explaining that there is still tons I can’t do but I’m focusing on what I can do…..the people that really need to know understand where I’m at and that is what matters.

I am continuing to set small goals for myself……every goal I reach, no matter how small, is one more step towards the ultimate prize…..DOING EVERYTHING!

RESOLUTE: marked by firm determination, bold & steady…..webster’s dictionary

Have a wonderful day everyone!

DeadLifts and squats

Filed under: Uncategorized — janet at 8:02 pm on Saturday, March 26, 2011

Banner Week….drove myself into work and managed to get up the flight of stairs with one foot in front of the other….what a feeling!! of course, the next day was freezing rain….will not attempt to walk by myself on icy ground…but the warm weather is coming which means more independance for me!

LOL…..I did straight leg deadlifts and squats….finally….after 8 long weeks. Of course…they weren’t approved by PT or Carol (personal trainer) when Carol sees me doing stuff she just looks at me and says “BE CAREFUL” I tested the waters with the deadlifts using extremely light weight…then I decided to use a 35 lb barbell…it felt really good….I’m used to much heavier but I could tell my balance would be off and didn’t want to risk any damage. The squats went well….again used a 15 lb bar to test and then went up to 25 lb barbell….it felt awesome. This week during a personal training session I showed Carol my abs….she said “put your top down…get back to work and while you are at it eat a cake!” LOL..we are going to be doing ab pictures soon.

Physio is going well….lol..tons of stretching. My PT said that the exercises were designed to frustrate me…..I told him not to worry they do. Actually he did say that if I could do them easily he’d be worried about the repair. He likes the way I’m walking and says everything is coming along really well. I’ve been working hard…sometimes I even walk without that little catch in my step. I now see what Gail means by the good leg just wanting to go at it’s usual pace but the PT leg says “no way” I’m going to ask on Monday when he might consider putting me on a bike….and…can anyone tell me when I can start doing calf raises….I’m trying not to be in a hurry….but….I just want to move.

The PT decide to do a little scar massage…I wasn’t expecting it so just about went through the roof….hurt like hell…I told him next time I’m ok with pain…just warn me first.

The one thing I cannot believe is the swelling….it seems like within 10 min. of having my foot on the  floor it starts swelling and putting on my shoes isnt always a pleasant experience and I experience a lot of tightness in the morning. Can anyone tell me when the swelling might settle down a bit?

I’m still on the lookout for cute shoes…my fashion sensibilities are horribly offended right now.

Quote of the day:

small victories let you know that you are doing things right and heading in the right direction. don’t dismiss the small victories as unimportant….they will keep you going when things get tough and encourage you towards your goals…..unknown


Filed under: Uncategorized — janet at 9:24 am on Friday, March 18, 2011


Quote of the Day:

lots of people limit their possibilities by giving up easily…never tell yourself this is too much for me. it’s no use. i can’t go on. if you do you’re licked, and by your own thinking too…keep believing and keep on keeping on…..norman vincent peale

Just had to share the exciting news with everyone…I’m in two shoes and no crutches. I walk very slow but I’m walking. I went up and down my stairs at home on two feet and up the stairs at work. I haven’t tried down yet. I may still have to use the crutches when I’m tired or out shopping.

My PT said it might be good to wear the boot if I have to be on my feet for a long period of time because the next couple of weeks is a transition time. He was very impressed that I actually walked into the clinic in shoes. He said most people wouldn’t do that and he said that I am well ahead of schedule for my recovery and to not get frustrated. He was also impressed with the fact that I’m already walking in a heel, toe pattern.

He had me do some balance exercises today on a balance board…I was steady as a rock.

I asked about standing to do weights or even a straight leg dead lift…he said not for a bit…his quote “stability before mobility” my job is to stretch my achilles right now.

I’m so thrilled!!!

LOL..last night someone was staring at me for longer than would be polite….I still had on my boot and then she said “I absolutely have no excuse to not work out”…..I said “no you really don’t”. She asked if I was a trainer….can you believe it….I said no…she said I looked awesome. Words cannot describe how that felt.

I have considered becoming  a personal trainer…..who knows….anything is possible.

Have a great day everyone…mine is going to be fantastic!!

LOL….I Walked….Without Crutches!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — janet at 1:11 pm on Thursday, March 17, 2011

I have been walking around the office without crutches all day. I was even able to carry my own breakfast from microwave to my desk. This morning while getting ready for work, I actually STOOD in my barefeet…..feeling fairly brave I decided to walk, with crutches, I did it! It looked really sad….kind of like Frankenstein but I walked. Soooooooo….while in the kitchen getting my food ready for work……I got braver and walked, without crutches, around my kitchen!!!! I was able, for the first time in 7 weeks, to bend down and get something out of lower cupboard…. with both feet on the ground…..couldn’t believe the stretch in my calf but what an awesome moment!…I really needed this.

I had 4 really really bad days…..I turned into a girl and cried for all 4 of them. At first, I wasn’t sure what was so upsetting but I think up until this point I really hadn’t cried over losing Riley Dawg or cried over the AT situation and I think the  trigger was watching someone at the gym doing what I had always done. I think it was also the realization that even though I am not a world class athlete or anything something that I love to do was taken away from me….yes it’s temporary…but I was having a moment. The other thing is that I learned I really, really love working out….the weights, the classes, pushing yourself beyond what you thought…all of it…even getting my butt kicked by a trainer…I have no words for how that feels so I think having to watch some of my hard work disappear in a matter of weeks it was really hard and it finally hit me.

I know this is a really long post…my apologies….LOL..I’m purging.

Tuesday morning…can’t believe I’m telling this….I got ready for work…looked in the mirror and saw the blob that ate New York…( I can hear guys across the world groaning because they have gone thru this with their significant others)…so I took everything I had on and started whipping it out of the bathroom…put on my bathrobe….told my husband that unless I can find something to wear that doesn’t make me look like a beast I’m not going anywhere…..the man deserves a special place in heaven…he did not say a word.

Thank goodness I have friends who love me….I told my trainer and boss/friend how I was feeling and they didn’t make light of it….they empathized, let me vent and then asked if I was ready to move on….LOL…then my boss heaped work on my desk and my trainer kicked my ass.

Anyway…..I’m back to being me….I’ve accepted what is….for the moment….and I am definitely up to the challenge of a comeback. LOL my son reminds me that I can be like Rocky and rise from the ashes and become a champion again….he thinks he’s funny. I wonder if he knows I have physio tomorrow.

Quote of the day:

a true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths, feels your fears but fortifies your faith, sees your anxieties but frees your spirit, recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities……William Arthur Ward

Boot Banishment

Filed under: Uncategorized — janet at 2:49 pm on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Today was my 2nd physio appointment…..LOL…more point and flex plus ultra sound and a nerve sensor thing with an ice pack. PT said that he had no doubt that I’d be out of the boot by Friday. He told me to wear it and bring a shoe in case there is some transition time required. I also have a list of exercises that I will start doing once boot is gone. It looks like quite a bit of stretching.

I tried standing on my barefoot this morning and managed to do that….it just felt very strange. I also decided to try and walk with crutches of course….my foot didn’t know what to do. I’ve been practice walking with boot and I’ve managed to put full weight on AT leg and I have even walked without crutches. It felt really good…better than I thought. I imagine it will be a bit different without the boot…..but progress is being made so I’m pretty excited.

Can anyone  tell me when they might start me on a bike or treadmill?

I guess this is where patience comes in…I just want to go and do everything.

Quote of the Day:

adversity is like a strong wind. it tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are…….memoirs of a geisha

First Physio Appt.

Filed under: Uncategorized — janet at 11:09 am on Monday, March 14, 2011

I had my first physio appt at the ungodly hour of 7:30 am. I am usually up by 5-5:30 am and at work by  7 :30 but I am usually not good at any sort of physical activity at that time of the morning.

I love my physio therapist. It went very well. He was well pleased with the repair and was glad to see that my foot ’sat’ in a neutral position and it could be flexed to 90 degrees. I had a whirlpool soak to warm up my achilles and then the torture began…first my foot was strapped into a machine ( I have no idea what any of these are called) but I was to point and flex for 5 minutes and then I was to do side to side movements for 5 minutes. I then moved on to placing my foot on a rocking horse type thing and it was more point and flex. Eveything felt really, really tight. They gave me the band and I was to point and flex 40x which I’m supposed to do 3 times a day. LOL….there seems to be a theme here…point and flex, point and flex. I was also treated to some icing and laser stuff…..this was to break up any old blood and the heat was to send new blood to the area to get some circulation happening. LOL…I’m sure quite a few of you know about all this already.

I have decided that I desperately need a pedicure.

The last thing Chuck had me do was walk for him….he was pleased with the amount of weight I was placing on AT leg. He did mention that the boot would be awkward but to keep it on for this week and try to put as much weight as I can stand on AT leg. He also tested me with one crutch…it was decided I can use one crutch at home but to be safe use two elsewhere.

LOL…I asked when I can  wear high heels again…there was silence and then “in about 3 wks” he was totally joking and did not give me an answer to that question.

The one thing he did say was that I have to learn how to trust my AT leg. He did say that it is like learning how to walk all over again but said that boot camp was a possibility this summer.

I was told that I was to do no standing weight lifting for now….or if I do stand no weight bearing while holding weights.

Would love to hear from others as to whether this was a typical first physio appointment.

Quote of the day:

perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did….newt gingrich

Banner day at the Gym

Filed under: Uncategorized — janet at 12:49 pm on Friday, March 11, 2011

Last night I had a personal training session but decided to go straight from work and work on sad little leg and abs before working with Carol. Right now I’m just working on strengthening my quad, hamstring and butt.  I can now do 3 sets of 30 front leg raises…when I started my leg was burning after 10…that was 1.5 wks ago. I also do side leg raises, donkey kicks, inner thigh raises and exercise on hands and knees where leg goes straight back and arm out to the front for my lower back. My balance was off a bit but not bad as I just started doing these….3 sets of 20 reps. Plus I did tons of stretching.

So session went well…I am amazed at how much upper body strength I now have…was decent before but totally kickass now. We did the assisted chest press…and my fourth set was 110 lbs, 12 reps with no spotting at all. Wow!!! , pec flies were 25 lb dumbells in each hand….that’s my heaviest ever. After a host of other stuff, my  last exercise for chest was full on, one leg pushups (my knees were not on the ground) 3 sets of 15 pushups…knocked them out of the park.

Shoulders were next……My evil trainer made me do standing shoulder press…one leg of course…started with 15 lb dumbells…straight up palm out and then on the down turn palm in….by the end of those I literally couldnt feel my shoulders. I didn’t even look at what weight I fnished with. We also did bentover flies (sitting of course) for my rear delts…I haven’t done a bentover fly since all this happened so it hurt alot…but I did them with increasing weight 3 sets of 12 reps. The last exercise was shrugs…the last set was 30 lb dumbells 15 reps holding the last rep til she told me to stop.

Just wanted to share…it’s so nice to know that some of me is getting stronger while I’m waiting to be able to start doing my legs again.

What a feeling!!!!

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