Mar 05 2012
3 weeks ago, I ruptured my left Achilles. Here are some random ramblings that have accumulated since then:
2 week check up
I had my 2 week check up with the orthopedic surgeon last Wednesday. He’s a very busy guy so I didn’t get to meet with him for more than 5 minutes. Points brought up were:
- Recovery is going smoothly.
- Next appointment would be in 4 weeks (6 week mark) , in which I could start removing the heel lifts.
- I can start weaning off the crutches.
I can walk (very awkwardly) now!
After my appointment, I went and bought another boot for outside use as well as heel lifts for my right (good) foot. This helped level the height difference so I can at least somewhat walk now. OK walking is an overly optimistic word to be using… I can limp at a leisure walking pace now!
The heel lifts for the right foot are incredibly uncomfortable though; I have a new profound respect for women that wear high heels. The upside is that I am a good inch or so taller, which is awesome.
Range of motion exercises
I begun doing some ROM movements (active plantar/dorsi flexion and inversion/eversion) since week 2 as mentioned in the Willits paper. (Check out Normofthenorth’s blog if you haven’t already!)
I was really surprised how difficult this was the first I tried it… My foot felt like a complete stranger to me. There was no movement in my calf at all, and even though this was expected, it was somewhat of a big shock for me. Especially considering I could see how much my calf moved when I did these movements on my good leg.
It’s been a week since and my stranger of a left foot has begun warming up to me. The movements are much easier now and I’m seeing movement now in the calf as well. It’s a bit weird how this small achievement was such a big deal for me. I became pretty ecstatic the first time I saw my calf twitch, which I know probably sounds quite lame.
I am really looking forward to begin rehab.
Trying to stay fit…
These days I’m finding myself sitting down much more, which is not doing wonders for my back (and sanity!). I am an exercise junkie, I need my daily fix.
My workouts have obviously been quite limited; the past 3 weeks consisted of basically variations of pull ups, push ups, single leg squats, leg raises, and sitting dumbbell presses. Oh how I miss anything that is cardio in nature… When I can start swimming, I think I’m going to go live at the pool.
Before my injury, my workouts have also been fixated on strength and conditioning so I could improve specifically for a sport/goal. Now though I feel like I don’t care in that regard anymore. I’ve always been into trying new sports and activities, but this injury has made me want to explore so many more.
Swelling and discomfort
I was pretty fortunate; pain wasn’t an issue for the 1st week. Sure my foot swelled up nice and puffy, but other than aesthetics, I didn’t really care.
Then a week after, my calf became very tender at night and in the mornings. I would wake up in the middle of the night and it was a hassle falling back to sleep. The mornings became even more annoying because it already took me much longer to get ready than usual. I’m trying to stay away from NSAIDs, but I admit I popped back an Advil one morning.
The swelling and discomfort have become much, much better now. I barely notice it at night anymore and the morning discomfort goes away in about 10-15 minutes.
My recovery goal right now:
My main recovery goal is at the 4.5 month (~18 week) mark, and it is to still be able to go backpacking in SE Asia. My main concern is how tired my Achilles will get each day of traveling; I want to enjoy those 2 months to the fullest extent. It’s obviously still too early to tell, but that is what I am aiming for right now.
Anyways those are my random ramblings at week 3.