First Follow-Up Appointment (12 Days)

Made the 40-minute trek to the North Shore of Vancouver to visit my surgeon this afternoon. Not knowing how long it would take at the hospital’s cast-clinic, I paid for 3-hours of parking. The appointment lasted 20 minutes.

They cut off my plaster slab and bandage, and examined the stitches - all looked good (though still bruised and somewhat swollen).

I was able to acquire a VacoCast off of Craigslist (just a few minutes from the hospital) and the surgeon was very supportive of its use. It was nice to air out the leg a little, and am thrilled with the comfort of the boot.

I was given a protocol for the next 6 weeks, including gradual weight bearing, a bit of physio, and so on. I know that I still need to be patient, but the ortho was optimistic that I could start doing the two-shoes thing after our next visit (6 weeks from now).

It was a good day.


Seven years ago, I had a compound fracture of my right tibia/fibula. It’s wasn’t pretty, and since it was my right leg, was incredible inconvenient for self-transportation. I only owned a stick-shift car at the time, and so was pretty much grounded until I was able to borrow my parents’ pick-up truck.

This time around, my ATR is on the left side, so while I am able to drive safely, I still don’t own an automatic vehicle. Even though I’m supposed to be resting, there is something to just knowing that if I need to go somewhere, I can.  To that end, my wife’s cousin was thoughtful enough to offer a car from his mini-fleet.

My first post (and my first 11 days)

Hey Folks.

As much as I hate to be a part of this community, it’s nice to know that while we’re here, we can be a resource to each other.  I’ve already been able to get a great amount of info from this AchillesBlog community.  So…. thanks for that.

The event: I experienced my ATR (look at that, the new guy is already using the acronyms) on August 4th, on a little island north of Vancouver (Keats), while playing tennis with some great friends.  We were attending family camp, and thoroughly enjoying one of our many doubles matches.  I was too busy admiring my serve, in what was to be a miraculous come-back game, when I realized that I needed to move off the baseline.  A quick lunge with right foot forward, and that dreaded POP, following by a deep throbbing pain.  I figured pretty quickly what it was, and yelled out, “My achilles” even before I hit the ground.

There was a nurse and a couple of physiotherapists on property, and they iced, splinted, and crutched me up, and then took me to the hospital (in Sechelt) via golf-cart, boat, and truck.  A little x-ray, ultra-sound later, it was diagnoses as a full ATR, and booked surgery at Lion’s Gate hospital in North Vancouver for the following day.

The Surgery: What a great group of medical practitioners at LGH.  We laughed lots, and let me know what my next hour would look like:  a spinal block (epidural), a great sewing job, and a few stitches.  No problem…..

Being away for the procedure was pretty trippy. but I was glad for the opportunity to NOT undergo general.  (I’ve had a few surgeries over the past decade, and I’m not a fan of general.)  A few hours in post-surgury recovery, and I was set to go home.  At this point, there really wasn’t much in the way of pain.  Just discomfort.

The 11 days following surgery: OK, I’ll be honest, as a teacher, married to a teacher, I was (am) feeling robbed my my summer.  I know I’m not going to get a lot of sympathy from anyone (except other teachers), but sitting around at home wasn’t what I was looking forward to for August.

I was prescribed some Tramadol for pain, and like everyone else, was told to bear no weight, and elevate and rest … yadda yadda yadda.   Thank goodness for the Olympics and Prison Break on Netflix is all I can say.  As far as pain and discomfort, it seems directly related to how much I follow doctors’ orders.  If I’m bring active and upright, I am uncomfortable with some burning at the area of surgery, if I stay prone and quiet, I generally stay pretty comfortable.

I am scheduled to meet with the OS tomorrow for the first follow-up, and while I’m not sure what to expect or hope for, I am looking forward to at the very least, letting my leg breath a tiny little bit.

General Thoughts: As a relatively active (albeit heavier-than-I’d-like-to-be) 43 year old, I am pretty down about the prospect of missing out on some of my favourite activities over the next while.  I joined a beginner’s ice-hockey league last year, and love it.  I golf somewhat regularly, and love playing volleyball with my teen-aged kids.  I’m much happier when I’m active.  I watched my hockey team lose game one of their playoff final last night, and I think I miss them more than they miss me (even though they lost pretty decisively).  I really can’t wait to be active again.

Thanks for all of your contributions to this excellent site, and I look forward to hearing your stories, while sharing mine.