Bump, set, spike… Down, set, hike

Good morning AF (Achilles Family):


First, I want to give a big shout-out to Dennis for taking the time to set up this support system for me and everyone in the AF.  Naturally, I was a little “down in the dumps” when I did my WebMD research into how long it takes to heal from a total ATR. 

How it happened:

As the name above suggests, for those sports fans out there, I am passionate about many sports - but there are two in particular that I spend a lot of time playing: Beach Volleyball and Football.  I grew up in Hawaii, and played football in the streets with my friends until the sun went down - eventually playing for my high schools in Hawaii and S. Florida.  I wasn’t quite big enough to play in college - but I continued to play intramural flag football until February 2, 2016 - the date of my rupture.  Like many of the stories I’ve read, I was lined up to run a route late in the game and all of a sudden I heard and felt this loud pop, and it felt like someone just kicked me in the back of my heel.  Knowing the play, and knowing that no one was supposed to be back there (although I was hopeful) I turned around and knew I was in trouble.  My teammates helped me to the sideline and I went to the emergency room where they immediately diagnosed it and referred me to a specialist.  I had surgery on February 9, 2016, and am in a cast.  I have an appointment tomorrow to remove my stitches and to see if I can go into a boot.  I know everyone’s recovery is different, but something tells me I’ll be in another cast for a couple of weeks. 

Beach Volleyball:

My primary sport (now) is beach volleyball.  I learned from the best when I was in college and have been in love with the sport ever since.  One of the best players in the world was in my fraternity and I only wish I started playing when I was in Hawaii.  Either way, one of the hardest parts of this was telling my partner that I would be unable to compete this year as we had been working out and training for a long time.  The best part of beach is that I don’t seem to get hurt like I do playing football.. probably due to the low impact nature of the sport.  I would pull a muscle at least once a year playing football - but I have yet to have a serious injury that was caused by beach volleyball.  My love for this sport and my desire not to lose a step or inch of vertical are driving me to stay vigilant in my diet and physical therapy (once I am able to start). 


The first thing that I thought of when I got hurt was how hard this was going to be on my wife.  She’s amazing.  We have a one year old son and we were set to move into a new house the same weekend I got hurt..  I felt horrible.  We ended up hiring a moving company, but she has single handedly taken care of me, my son, and unpacked our whole house - I don’t know what I’d do without her.  I also have to be driven everywhere since I injured my right leg. 

This went on longer than I thought - I can be a bit long-winded.  Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone for their support.  I am committing to keeping up my blog throughout my journey to full recovery.  Being able to read success stories has given me hope and I want to do that for those that come after me. 



11 Responses to “Bump, set, spike… Down, set, hike”

  1. Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  2. Welcome to our group, or “tribe”, Kevin! I’m glad you had friends and family to help you out, and I certainly agree that your wife is marvellous, as mine is (ten weeks later she is still a trooper).
    The baby might not remember later, but the coming weeks will certainly give you time to enjoy his world discoveries. :-D And the boot will protect your foot from the baby’s games.
    I was very glad to get the boot because I gave me some mobility back, though the two week NWB period did sap my strength remarkably.
    Good luck, and Aloha! :-D………… Manny

  3. Thanks Manny!

    I go for my 2-week follow up tomorrow and I am praying that I’ll get a boot.. I’m not sure if I’ll still be NWB - but at least I can clean under there ;)


  4. Kevin, good luck at the Dr.’s tomorrow. :-)

  5. Good luck tomorrow at the doc appointment Kevin.
    We can all relate to that first initial reaction to the length of recovery. It truly seems so daunting at the beginning. Plus, time seems to almost stand still for the first couple of weeks, but once you get through it, things start to progress quickly.
    Plus, it’s interesting how something so terrible can help you appreciate the things we took for granted. I spent the first several weeks on an iWalk. I tell you, it gave me such a new appreciation for those with a prosthetic limb. The amount of effort to take off the iWalk, put it back on, the planning it took to just get around in it. It was shocking.
    Hang in there and keep us updated…!!

  6. Kevin,

    (Had surgery 30DEC15 - had blood clot a week after and now at about 7 week mark- still waiting for insurance to authorize PT [TRICARE is not fast])

    Lessons learned from a hard headed guy who used to be bullet proof:
    1. Research the rehab/recovery protocols. My doc spends little time with me so I am kinda on my own.
    2. Invest in good equipment. VACOCast, the cryo-cooler, leg cushion, bag that hangs on crutches, etc. It’s worth every penny to recover well and not do something dumb.
    3. Don’t go back to work if your body says not to. I seem to be recovering slower than many with Haglunds excision + ATR. Despite recognizing my slow progress I still tried to go back to work too soon. After all the crutch assisted hobbling and not being able to elevate my foot, I was out of commission the next day. I know now to ease back into it.

    I hope your recovery goes without a hitch.


  7. Alright Friends:

    Just got back from my Dr. Appointment. He removed my stitches and he was happy with my progress and put me in a boot! Said I can start light ROM exercises and partial weight bearing. I am pretty happy about that!

    J - I’m really sorry to hear about the blood clot. That is one of the things my Dr. was very vigilant about. For the first 10 days I had to give myself a shot and followed that with 325mg Aspirin once a day (and I was told to continue that until further instructed). My Dr. is also pretty good about spending time with me and answering all my questions.. In any event, I will certainly heed your advice. I have also been taking MSM (you can get an good organic supplement from Amazon for pretty cheap) and from all accounts, that seems to help the healing process. Clean diet and lots of water may help speed up your recovery. Positive thoughts your way.

    Bryan and Manny - thanks for the words of encouragement - I’m just really happy about being able to shower without worrying about my cast getting wet (I have one of those shower benches so I won’t have to balance the whole time).

    I bought a pull-up, dip tower from Amazon ($100) so until I feel comfortable enough to go to the gym.. moving around/exercising is also one of the ways my Dr. suggested would prevent blood clots.



  8. Glad to know it went well, Kevin. As for exercise, I make do with my stationary bike, rubber bands and (now) ankle weights. :-) its a 30-45 min routine every morning… but it certainly helps! I was allowed to cycle from day 1, on the lightest setting, so my muscles wouldn’t freeze up. :-)
    Have fun with your boot!

  9. Kevin, i’m thrilled for you! the boot is, at least for me, a life saving device. being able to get dressed, wash, etc.!

    i’ve started a core muscle routine today and it was great to feel the burn. i was told to not do any full planks nor any extensions that will pull on the legs muscles (such as an abs roller motion).

    i can’t wait to go back to the gym and do some pull-ups, but i need to be PWB without the boot so i can actually shower without risk…

    well done man


  10. Yay Kevin, awesome to hear that your wound is healing well and you have the boot and can put some weight on the foot. The hardest part is behind you now. It still takes a long time, but things get easier and better.

    Pull-ups, push-ups (rest your boot on your good leg), sit-ups, dips, toes-to-bar, l-hangs, ring rows … You’ll be surprised how much of a workout you can get. Lots of people (Manny included) stationary cycle with the boot on. If your gym has a rower you can also do single leg rowing with your boot resting on something with wheels - this is brilliant cardio. There are also some leg exercises you can do with the boot where you lie down on your back and sides and raise the leg and kneel with hands on the floor and then extend your leg backwards.

    All the best and happy healing!

  11. Beanie, the floor is my worst nightmare, or rather falling to the floor as with knee problems it’s nearly impossible for me to get back up on my own.

    I have however been doing the leg raises and side leg raises as I lay in bed to try and keep some muscle tone.

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