20 Weeks!

Wanted to stop by for a quick update.  I remember when I first found this site, seeing posts about being 20 weeks out and thinking that would be FOREVER from now!  Well, it certainly wasn’t quick, but it feels great to be here.

So, at 2o weeks, I have been out of the boot for about 8 weeks, and just bought my first pair of post-achilles shoes to wear to work instead of the sneakers I’ve been wearing.  (Dansko Ardens).  I am walking just about anywhere, still with some limp, and if I do alot of activity, my ankle still swells a bit and gets sore. Also, getting out of bed in the morning, the ankle is always stiff.

I also just got back from a great vacation to Riviera Maya, Mexico, where I not only was able to walk through the ruins of Tulum, but also go cave diving, zip lining and rapelling….all with very minimal adjustments needed for my “bad” ankle!  That felt amazing.  the hardest part actually was the “Mayan Staircase” which are the towers of stairs to climb in order to zip line!  Also, walking on the beach felt great!

While I’m not completely healed, still going to PT 2/week working on strength, I do feel great, and like I have mostly returned to normal.  I still notice my “bad” ankle and have some ways to go, but I’m able to do just about anything now, which feels great!

Hope everyone else is making progress and keeping their eyes on the light at the end of the (very long) tunnel!

Last wedge out of boot = OUCH!

Just removed last wedge from my Bledsoe boot - and wow, this is quite a set back.  Each wedge has taken a little while to get used to.  This time, I went from FWB in the boot with no crutches back to PWB and 2 crutches!  I can’t seem to get comfortable, between the new angle of  my ankle, plus since my foot sits lower in the boot now, the padding seems to hit in all the wrong places and I just cannot get comfortable in it.  PLEASE tell me this will get easier, like the other wedges did!

Beauty Shots (ie; scar pics)

Have been meaning to share these.  I’m really pleased by how the incision looks - it seems very limited compared to my Dad’s (he had ATR about 15 years ago) and some pics I’ve googled (don’t ever use google images unless you are prepared to see it ALL!).  I actually asked the Dr’s nurse why my scar, which is about an inch or two, seems less extensive than others I’ve seen - she said it was sometimes dependent on the shape of the tendon and how far they had to go in to reach it.  At any rate, I’m pleased.  Here’s a few views, from 2 weeks post op (with stitches) to about 6.5 weeks: (Update: like so many others, the post picture function doesn’t seem to be functioning properly, so here’s a link to 2 pics)

Stitches out 4/30/12

About 6 weeks later 6/3/2012

First PT Visit Today - too conservative?

I was really looking forward to my first appt today as I have never had to go to PT before and spent a good amount of time reading other’s posts here as well as reaching out to a PT friend (not local) as far as opinions on which center to choose.  Right near my work there is a local franchise of a well known chain (NovaCare) and there is also an independently owned facility which promises 1:1 attention and the same PT each visit.  I was advised by my friend to opt for the smaller place, which I did select.

The visit started out with consultation, and measurements which of course showed pretty limited ROM (from what I can remember, for my bad ankle, -13, 30, 8, 8).  After that she had me do 2 sets of 20 ankle circles, flex and extend and the “ankle alphabet” and then was iced for about 10 mins.  My Dr. said no active dorsiflexion until 12 weeks post op (4+ more weeks) so she said she’s pretty limited with what can be done at this point.  That I should come 2/week next few weeks until I can do more.

Well, that kind of took the wind out of my sails a bit.  No massage, no discussing options, treatment plans, expectations, etc.  Of course I asked a bunch of questions (how long til out of boot, when she thought i would walk unassisted, etc).   Not sure what I was expecting, but I guess I was just a bit underwhelmed.  I read KimJax’s posts about holding leg vertical and massaging, which I may start to do, as well as some basic exercises.

Overall, I’m just SOO  anxious to get moving again and get back on my feet - literally!

7 Weeks Post Op….

So I had my 6 week post op appt today with my surgeon (due to last Monday being Memorial Day).  He and his nurse took a quick look, told me I should be pretty much off of crutches now….last wedge comes out of boot on Monday and then I can wean out of boot along with my PT recommendation…..which means I start PT this week!  Woo hoo - I am excited and nervous to start.  Have never had to PT an injury, know it will be challenging and occassionally painful, but happy to be at another milestone along this long road of recovery!  Even thought I’m technically a week behind, I like being cautious and careful!  He said PT for 6-12 weeks depending on how the strenght comes back, gladly I have insurance to help!

My progress at this point is that I can flail around (I think I look like  a sick bird) without my crutches.  I have learned that stairs are actually easier with no crutches now, of course with the boot.  I can get around the house with no crutches or 1 crutch, but still take 2 when I go out somewhere. 

I take the boot off in the evening and leave it off while I sleep too, which is a nice break for my foot.  I find myself having to be sure to be extra careful when its off.   Dr today said I could touch it down for balance (yikes scary) but that I should NOT try to bring my toes up yet.

Last scab finally came off and I am left with a scar that is really quite tame compared to some I’ve seen - I thanked him for that.  My dad has at least a 6 inch scar from his ATR and I’m thrilled that mine is not much longer than an inch!!

The thought of being out of the boot in the next few weeks is pretty darn cool!  Scary, but cool!  So, my mid June spa/hiking getaway I’ll still likely have the boot on for, BUT my big spa vacation at the end of August should be great - should be in good shape by then!!!

Hope you are all having a good day!


Where have I heard this story before?

Hi all!  I’ve been faithfully reading this site since beginning of April and kept saying that I should share my story as well, so here it goes.

As the title suggests, my story is not that unique, pretty textbook for this type of injury.  Not in the elite athlete way, more in the weekend warrior way - I refuse however to call myself middle age!  My BFF suggested we take a tennis clinic at a local college.  I hadn’t played in years, but love to.  Last few years my activity level has been low, but I have been an active runner, hiker and spin fanatic in the not to distant past.  SO, on a sunny but chilly April evening, we began tennis clinic, and within 30 minutes, I heard the unmistakeable POP as I ran to the net for a shot (my opponent was lousy so I’m kinda holding her accountable for making me run in the first place!!).  I went down face first, and my first words were “What HIT me”, which I repeated a few times, much to the confusion of everyone around me!  I was convinced that someone slammed their rocket into the back of my ankle as hard as they could.  I heard and FELT the pop.  Once I realized there was no mystery assailant, I shouted a 4 letter word beginning with F, again which surprised the crowd :-).  The well intentioned tennis coach asked if I could try to stand up (and move off the court) and I pretty much gave her the “are you on crack” response.  I knew right away what I had done, and waited in pretty signficant pain for the ambulance to arrive.

This has been my first significant injury (other than typical muscle strains and soreness coming from running) so I have had nothing to compare it to, nor have I before had this humbling experience of NOT being able to do something that I wanted to (ie; walk!).

I’ll spare all the details, except to say that I am now 5 weeks post surgery (waited until 4/17 as surgeon was going on vacation and he was well recommended by several folks) and I am PWB.  Have been lucky to be able to work from home, though I still require a good deal of help to manage some daily tasks (ie; showering, carrying things, food prep, cleaning, etc etc etc).  I’m staying put as much as possible as I don’t want to do anything to risk re-injury (as one of my hometown Eagles just did).  I feel like recovery has been going as well as can be expected, no complications, have had the usual pain, swelling and cramps in my calf (or where my calf muscle used to be!)  That being said, it feels like I am quite a way from walking in “2 shoes” on my own, but I KNOW I’ll get there!

I have a few big activities this summer coming up, including moving into a new house, and 2 vacations which “WOULD” have centered around hiking, so it will be interesting to say the least!

For the other ladies here, are you dying for a pedicure or what???  I’ve considered going to get my right foot done, but then I realize that the probability of wearing open shoes/flip flops even on my good foot is quite slim for this summer :-(

Wishing everyone safe, swift healing!

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