Not entirely sure why it’s taken me so long to start this, perhaps because I’ve never blogged before.
Today is 5 weeks post-surgery; here is a run down of my ATR timeline:
May 5 - I was doing a series of switch foot kicks in a kick boxing class, thought I slammed the back of my right heel into the aerobic step behind me. After reading so many other ATR accounts, I suspect that I really did not hit my heel, it sounds like that’s a pretty common sensation at the time of the rupture. I just happened to have something logical to blame.
May 12 - had been hobbling around for a week on a sore heel/ankle - thought it was just bruised until I noticed a lump on the back of my calf. I knew that wasn’t good. Showed my dad and brother who were both like, call the doctor. I found an orthopedic practice on my insurance and called that day, they couldn’t see me until Monday, May 16. Continued to limp and gimp around all weekend.
May 16 - saw the doctor who in 60 seconds or less diagnosed a complete Achilles rupture - a quick Thomson test and he said it was complete with about a 2 cm gap. We discussed the options, but since I’m relatively young, healthy and in decent shape, he recommended surgery. I was able to get on the surgeon’s schedule for Wednesday. I got crutches for the first time and tried them a little.
May 18 - surgery was early afternoon. Everything went well; my dad came with me and drove me home. I spent the next 3 or 4 days mostly on the couch or in bed with my leg elevated. I managed the pain for the first 24 hours really well, but my leg woke up from the surgery about that point, and I was watching the clock to take my next pain meds. I got a second Rx for a stronger narcotic and by 48 hours post-surgery was back to pain management. Saturday night before bed was the last time I took anything for pain. I did struggle some with constipation for a couple of days, but with lots of water and some collace got over that hurdle.
What I haven’t said thus far is that I have 3 kids: 15, 11, and 7 - since it’s my right Achilles, thankfully my 15 year old daughter has her driver’s permit, so she has become my newest chauffeur! I told her, hey, lots of driving practice now. :) One another very fortunate thing is that I work for an online high school, so it’s fairly easy for me to work from home. I’ve split going in and working from home, often depending on transportation. My boss also just moved about 5 minutes away, so I’ve been able to catch rides with him to work easily.
But the long and short of it is that my life is full and busy, I don’t have 3 or 4 or whatever weeks to sit back and wait! Our HS prom was scheduled for the Saturday night after my surgery, I hated to miss, but wasn’t quite ready to jump in that big. I did stop by for a little while to check on things, but didn’t stay long. The next Tuesday, our office had tickets to the Rockies baseball game, and I went. Fortunately they have wheelchairs if necessary (which it was).
I learned really quickly that standing still for too long was problematic as was anything that required walking for too long/far. I have managed really well I think, but this has limited my life. I just don’t feel comfortable driving with my left foot - my car isn’t really set up for that, plus I’ve heard it could jeopardize insurance coverage and put you at risk for big fat tickets. So I’ve felt somewhat stir crazy and very dependent (which of course I hate…)
For the first two weeks, I was in a soft splint, toe down position. Then I moved to a fiberglass cast, still toe down, for two weeks. I was pretty jazzed that I was finally going to get a walking cast and start weight bearing, but getting my foot to neutral proved to be a more difficult task than I was prepared for. :-/ I got all but about 10-15 degrees done, and the cast tech came in to "help" me move it. I think this was the absolute worst part of this whole ordeal, including the initial rupture. He put me into a new cast, holding the progress I had made, and told me to come back in a week to finish the job. After all that time without pain and pain meds, I had to take the strong stuff that night. I really wasn’t prepared for what that visit was really going to entail physically and mentally.
So tomorrow, I go back in to get my foot to netural, and get a walking cast, finally! One to two weeks in a walking cast and then finally the boot and physical therapy starts.
I’ve so appreciated this website, it’s been a great source or information and encouragement. I hope my story can help someone else on here.