Set Back

I’m feeling down. My incision looks terrific and doesn’t feel tight and my foot actually feels terrific. When will the rest of my body catch up? Last week I went back to work and only worked 2 days. I was so tired and did not spend nearly enough time with the foot elevated. Being home just feels so safe. I do have to go back Monday, though I have a drs. appt. in the morning.

The latest is dealing with the rest of the body. At first there were some muscle aches and bruises from navigating the crutches and scooters, but over the past few days, I swear the rest of my body has felt achy and sad. My hands feel arthritic by the end of the day, which is totally new. And this tiredness— I’m wondering if it is from getting too much rest and being too stationary. Everything makes me so tired and I am feeling that the light I thought I saw at the end of the tunnel was just a train!

Relating to lulu….. folks are very sympathetic for about 2-3 weeks. After that the understanding wanes to those who have been there. Everyone else seems to grow impatient, "How much longer do you have to use that thing?" or "Shouldn’t you be walking by now?" or "How long until that’s better?" Also so weary of the comments when going out. I think I’m going to start making things up to entertain myself when someone asks"What did you doooooo?"

Driving Question

Right foot ATR peeps, did you drive before being FWB? If you are still in your boot, did you take it off to drive? I’ll be booted until the 8 week mark but cannot for the life of me imagine not being able to drive for 5 more weeks. Just wondering how that works.

Back to Work!

Day 1 back to work went pretty well. The biggest thing I underestimated is how not having my foot elevated would feel. By the time I got home it was hurting. Not terribly, but more than usual. Other than feeling tired it wasn’t too bad.

I still have the Breg and wear it 24 hours a day, still with the original wedges. The soft insole was really squished down so I inserted a felt pad underneath of it and it’s been more comfortable. Last night I actually took the boot apart and de-linted it (which I do constantly- it picks up everything!), Febreezed it (getting a bit whiffy), and added a little bling to freshen it up a little.

Stages of the boot: Novelty (Yep I have a boot, check it out). Acceptance (Ok, I’ll be in this for a bit). Annoyance (I feel like I will be in this boot forever). Reliance (This boot is part of me, I cannot function without it). And I’m not sure what comes next because that is where I am!

I won’t have another drs appointment until next week. That will be week 5. At that point I know he will be taking me down a wedge. Right now my incision looks super. There is no yuckiness, the stitches are dissolving, there is hardly any bruising or swelling. I have a small range of motion. I didn’t try very much with my boot off because I didn’t want to hurt anything, but movement in the boot feels very comfortable.

Wondering the typical time it takes to get back to driving. I know I am in this boot for prob. 5 more weeks, but I can’t imagine not being able to drive for that much longer!

Hope you are all doing well!

Tired.

Hi all,

Just about 3 weeks out from surgery. I took 3 weeks off from work and am going back on Monday. I’m an elementary principal at two different buildings about 2 miles from each other. Since my root foot is the one affected I’m getting rides to and from and just doing one building at a time. I feel like it’s going to be exhausting.

Things that are rough right now:
*The scooter and crutches take a lot of work (you all know this, just venting).
*Getting a bath or shower is exhausting. I can shower with the shower bag or take a bath without the boot. Without the boot I’m so paranoid, and with it it’s just a pain. Afterward getting all lotioned and potioned and getting dressed and doing hair seems to take forever and by then I’m whooped.
*By the end of the evening my fingers seem to be achy- has anyone else experienced this?
*Lastly I feel like I get tired so easily.
I’m not nervous about going back to school, I guess I’m just anxious about the level of tired I will be. Just one more paper to write and my coursework is done for 2 weeks though, so that is good.

Hope you all are well.

2 week check in

Hi everyone, hope you are all doing well! Looks like we are in for some snow tonight and tomorrow, I’m happy to still be off and able to enjoy it from the inside. I had my two week check in just a day short of two weeks from surgery.

He said that I’m healing very well and with the lack of swelling, bruising, and soreness, and with the way the incision looks I’m ahead of schedule. He said many people hear news like that and promptly go out and do something dumb, lol. (I can attest for that I see similar behavior from kids at school) The thing I am most excited about is being able to take a bath now! The boot bag was great but oh my gosh, the ordeal of taking a shower even with the bag and shower chair…..

I have really tried to be very good about keeping my leg elevated at least 90% of the time when I am home. In the two week period post-surgery I haven’t been out much. Week one just for my check up, then last week for my daughter’s musical performances Wednesday- Friday night, and two on Saturday. I had an aisle seat and was able to put my foot up on my scooter which was good. The scooter is kind of a pain to get in and out of the car, but if you have someone to help you it is so much easier on you than crutches.

Here are my tips for the first two weeks based on things I did that seemed to help:
-Get the wedge that elevates your leg instead of stacking pillows, then try to spend the majority of your time with that leg up and out of commission.
-Create an island where you will be spending your time and keep everything you might need handy. Make your space welcoming with some candles, flowers, a pitcher of water and snacks.
-Get a shower stool/chair and the bag. It made it much easier. I also had a pack of Johnson’s Baby Washcloths and facial wipes handy because showering every day was just too much.
-I think the biggest hurts I have had were more from the assistive devices than the surgery, with the exception of the first 2-3 days after. The heels of my hands really hurt from the handlebars and crutches.
-Get some experience with the scooter and crutches BEFORE you have to use them. The crutches require some arm strength, and the scooter requires some core muscles, so get accustomed before you are dependent on them and taking pain meds.
- Try not to watch tv and snack all day. Daytime tv sucks and makes you feel depressed and yucky. Eating a lot of unhealthy snacks will add to that feeling.
-I did not do this but will start…wear something on your good foot when you are using the scooter. I ran over my good foot a few times and it really hurt!
-Accept help. I still kind of suck at that, but it has been so nice to have friends who have stopped by with food and to visit. Since I work and go out to dinner a few times a week I underestimated the things needed to eat at home the whole time.
-Lastly, be a friend to yourself. Have patience, be kind to yourself, enjoy your own company. I have not had this much time to myself like, ever. It has been so rejuvenating! Also try to remember that this is temporary. I know I still have a long road ahead, but there is an end to this. There are so many folks whose battle is so much harder and who face odds that are so uncertain.

Those have been the helpful things :-) I hope you all are doing wel!

Post-Op Check-Up

Had my one week post-op check in this afternoon and things are going well! It felt so weird to have my whole foot exposed! Like a turtle without the shell! The incision is 7-8 inches long and the stitches look pretty good. Steri-strips still in place. He put some stuff on them and rewrapped it. Timelines now—- 8 more weeks in the boot and at that time I’ll start PT. At least another week of total elevation and off of my feet with a check in next Monday. I asked about the Vaco boot as opposed to the Breg that I have. He said he much prefers the Breg with the wedges because of how solid it is.

I love the whole office- I’ve been going there since December and will miss them when it’s all over! So another week on Couch Island. At least I’ll get to go out a few nights this week for the musical!

When did you go back to work?

Just wondering how many days/weeks after surgery you went back to work, esp. if you have a right ATR. Thanks in advance!

Can’t Sleep.

I guess with not being very active during the day 6 hours of sleep is about all I need. Woke up really hurting and am now wide awake. I’m finding that recovery is definitely not a linear process. The marathon part I understood, but the two steps (ugh) forward/one step (ugh) back seems to be the rule for progress so far. It’s just my daughter and me (ok and four pets-two cats, two dogs). She is in theatre and it’s show week, plus she is a senior, and she works one or two days a week. So I’m on my own a lot. That makes it a little harder I think. Not sure though, maybe it also makes it a little easier.

Things I’ve learned:

  • There are new hurts, aka scooter/crutches life. I’ve run over my good foot a few times, my kneeling knee is sore, the heels of my hands are sore (I think my handlebars are set too high + crutches).
  • Speaking of scooter/crutch life- how to accomplish tasks on the new ride, from basic to complex.
  • The joy of the sponge bath.
  • Life on couch island.
  • Lean on your faith.

Things that have worked well:

  • Having the wedge thing suggested by Dennis. Highly recommend.
  • Having a carry-all on the scooter to transport any and everything.
  • Staying on top of the pain meds.
  • Avoiding stairs.
  • Accepting life on Couch Island (the place you will be a LOT).
  • Having everything you might need there with you Couch Island.
  • Eating healthy foods/drinking a lot of water (ok, and diet gingerale)
  • Not watching tv all day.
  • Not napping very much.
  • Accepting help.
  • Taking it easy.
  • Having time to work on my doctoral coursework.
  • Reading blogs on this site/resources from this site.

Things that are not working out so well:

  • Sharing couch island with my two dogs. Thankfully they aren’t huge. However they are also not very bright, and don’t understand that I get top priority for having a comfortable position. That being said I still work around them way too much.
  • Sleeping all night-not happening.
  • I suck at asking for help.
  • 100% not putting any weight on the foot. I’m like 99% fine, but there are times I need a little help getting up on the good leg or that I have stumbled on the crutches and put it down to catch myself.
  • Using the time to do my doctoral course work.

Looking forward to:

  • Showering. I ordered a shower stool and already have the cast bag (again, thank you Dennis!).
  • My appointment today to hear how things are going.
  • Putting on some real clothes, some make-up, and leaving the house.
  • Seeing my daughter’s show(s) this week.

Dreading:

  • My appointment tomorrow- that I might not be doing well, hearing that I will need more than two more weeks off from work.
  • Going back to work. I won’t be able to drive for yikes, at least four weeks I would think. I have having to have someone pick me up and bring me home, though I feel lucky there are quite a few teachers who live nearby and that they are so awesome. But I’m principal of two schools and am used to going between them. That’s going to have to change. Also I’m right smack int the time window of the PSSA’s (state standardized tests). There is so. much. prep. that has to happen. Different admins are covering my schools now, it’s just equally hard to imagine having someone else do the prep-work/administration of the tests OR being there to do it. Kind of a no-win.
  • The shows. Sitting that long for 5 straight shows is going to be so hard-going to try to organize a better seat for as many as I can to see if I can find a way to elevate. I’ve never missed a performance of hers, though, and don’t plan on it now. Also explaining what happened. People are so sweet and kind, but also very curious and love to give advice.
  • PT. Especially if I can’t drive there.

Thanks for listening! It’s after 5:00 now so maybe I’ll go back to sleep.

Day 4 Post Surgery

I have so many questions!
How long were you guys off of work?
What week did you start PT?
I think I’ve seen answers to most of my other questions here…….

My evenings tend to be a little rough, but I think after taking it more easy today I’ll be better tonight. I hope you are all doing well!

Starting at the beginning….

Hi everyone, I was so happy to stumble onto this site a few days before my surgery. I’ve been dealing with pain in the achilles area for about a year and a half. My doctor has tried a few conservative treatments, and I was ok for the most part. December 2015 things started to get rough. He decided to go conservative again with a few more shots and the boot. It actually started to feel somewhat better, so I started to wear shoes for about 3 weeks, but I knew it wasn’t better. He ordered an MRI and discovered a minor tear. The day after that MRI my ankle gave out and I could feel something terrible….. then a few days later on Valentine’s Day it happened again and I heard the infamous POP and felt the pain again. (Just another reason to not like VDay!) I put the boot on and called my podiatrist. My guy was away but when the dr. who was there saw it she actually said, "Oh shit." She ordered another MRI which showed a 90% tear.

Fast forward- I had my surgery on Tuesday Feb. 28 and if there is any way that surgery can be a great experience, it was! I went to a surgery center where I know 2 of the nurses. I was in at about 7:00 am and we laughed while I got ready, and it was super lighthearted. Everyone was terrific. I got a nerve block from the knee down, and I remember turning over so he could get to my thigh….I remember the anesthesiologist telling me he was giving me a double mojito… and after that I might remember 4 or 5 seconds. When I woke up I felt great! My friend came back to sit with me… she is a nurse so of course she started checking charts and everything. Luckily she has an awesome sense of humor! I didn’t realize that I was breathing lightly but the O alarm was going off so they hit me with some oxygen and once I started to work at breathing more deeply was ok. In no time I felt well enough to get dressed and we were on our way! The nerve block was amazing. We went out for breakfast and I put my foot up and thought, "this seems much too easy!" Honestly I was great until about 8:00 PM. My friend told me that when I could feel my toes to take my pain meds, which I did. I was surprised at how fast I was like OH. There it is. I didn’t sleep much that night, and still wasn’t feeling great on Wednesday. The combination of the anesthesia and the percocet gave me a migraine that didn’t want to go away. I had been worried about that because I do get migraines and I know pain killers can be a trigger sometimes. My dr. called in Toradol and said to take 1 and 1, and that is a lovely combo. Today has been so much better.

I’m getting around on my scooter and am able to stay on my first floor, which makes it much easier. I’m trying to get into a routine that does not include just sitting on my butt and watching tv. I’m getting my doctorate, so there is always some classwork to do. Right now I’m planning on taking three weeks off. I’m an elementary principal of two schools, and that involves some moving as you can imagine. If I am cleared to go back I’ll have people pick me up, as some of my teachers live nearby. I don’t want to go too soon, though. I really want this recovery to go smoothly.

I’m keeping my foot elevated…..although sometimes the pressure on the back hurts. I’m just using the scooter or crutches to get around, and am taking my meds. Other than that I’m trying to eat healthy foods and move around using the scooter at least every hour. I really would like to drop some weight while I’m home. What do you think? Most of all I’m learning that you have to be a friend to yourself, esp. if you are home by yourself. My daughter is a senior and involved in things at school, so it’s just me and the pets until she gets home.

I feel very lucky to have sweet friends who check in on me, my mom and dad who came to keep me company, and a daughter who takes care of me. Looking forward to reading other blogs and keeping up with some new Achilles pals!

Edited—— tonight I decided to use my crutches so I could get around a little to wash my hair in the bathtub (while on my knees outside of the tub of course) and change clothes. I stumbled and had to put my boot foot down- of course I’m afriad now. It scared me enough to really take it easy now. I was getting too adventurous. Has that happened to anyone? I just have this fear that I hurt it and the screws are going to be displaced or something…….

So I have a soft wrap under the Breg boot, which is super heavy and has the wedges lifts in it. Wondering if a cast comes next or another kind of boot, or the same boot and they take a wedge out one a time…….