lenibug61’s AchillesBlog

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Week 20: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

I can’t beleive it’s been 7 weeks since my last post. Time flies when you’re having fun!
The Good… I’m getting around pretty well now. I’ve gone from walking cautiously with a limp to “speed” walking (still slight limp when cold…no limp once suffiently warmed up, to the walk/jog and now the jog/walk! Still not out & out running yet. The best of the good is the return to the slopes…SKIING! YAY :) The ski boot is so comforting in it’s stability & angle. I felt free…& no pain while skiing!
The bad: I still have some pain when walking (especially cold). I’m a little disappointed that progress has slowed down so much but have been reassured by all the other bloggers & my MD that this is normal & expected.
The Ugly…my scar has a hideous keloid. From what I’ve read you really can’t remove a keloid because they usually grow back. I guess there are worse things. Also my ankle swelling has not gone away yet…it’s gone down considerably, but still not gone. I wonder if this has anything to do with the lack of massage.

All in all I’m doing well & looking forward to the final milestones. By the end of the year I hope to climb halfdome & do at least the Wharf to Wharf race in July. I’m not sure if waterskiing will be compromised but I think not. Oh yea…and no pain would be good too!

Lucky 13

Well I made it! On Oct 13th I ruptured my achilles. 13 weeks after my injury I finally went back to work…on Friday the 13th. Three’s (13’s) a charm. Not that I’m superstitious or anything! I was a little nervous about going back to work because it can be so unpredictable. The weekend (at work) turned out fine. I was busy enough to stay awake but I didn’t spend the whole night on my feet  so I think I made the right decision to go back when I did. My progress has slowed down a bit in the last two weeks but I AM making progress. I’ve started walking my dog again and I actually found myself accidentally jogging at one point! I did yoga for the first time since my injury & was able to do everything but one legged balance type poses. Also my R heel still doesn’t touch the ground on downward facing dog. Swimming is still the best. I bought myself a waterproof Ipod  case made for swimming. It’s fun to swim with music! The Body Combat & Body pump classes are fun & I am doing squats with weight now as well as modified lunges…I do the lunges with two poles vertical on the ground for balance & to keep me from coming down hard on the achilles (still a little afraid of rerupture). I still haven’t gone to PT..my doctor didn’t think I needed it. I was going to go anyway but I feel like I’m making pretty good progress & I do work out a lot on my own. The only thing I’m a little worried about is this scar massage everyone is talking about. I lightly massage it myself with lotion & also apply Mederma but I have no idea if this is helping. My ankle is always swollen still…I wonder when it will go back to normal. The pain is only when I walk & only minimal. It’s the heel pain. I think this is normal at this point though. It has been so helpful, inspiring &  comforting to read everyone else’s blogs. Thank you all! I don’t comment as much as I would like to but I am reading, usually once a day and it helps. Oh and by the way….can all you East & North of me (Lake Tahoe) blow some of your snow my way…I think I’m going to be up for skiing after all! I thought this season was going to be a bust because of this injury but now it’s all about the snow! :)

Funny/scary story

Sometimes you can be really careful & it still isn’t enough. I was in Best Buy last week…fresh out of my boot, walking slowly & gingerly with a slight limp trying to be aware of my surroundings & other people when something caught my eye. I lost focus for a split second and one of their weird shopping carts appeared (short basket on top with long shelf on bottom) I fell over & on to the bottom shelf & the cart started rolling down the aisle! I was laying on my good leg side & couldn’t stop the cart because I was afraid to put my healing leg down! Finally someone stopped the cart for me just before I would have rammed into one of those dispay bins! Luckily no damage…just a few bruises (including my dignity) . Of course I’ve never been accused of being dignified :). HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

10 week update and feeling great!

It’s been 4 weeks since I last blogged and I’m happy to report why. I have had no time! Ever since I was given the go ahead to walk in my boot I’ve been going! Between Thanksgiving & Christmas I can’t believe I ever had time to work! Being the mom I did over-do it a few times with being on my feet all day cooking, cleaning, shopping, decorating …etc. my ankle got pretty swollen & sore but at that point I would get out the ol walker to rest my knee on & it helped. I decided to wait on the PT until my next visit  and see how I progressed on my own. I’m happy to say I’ve done well. I can now flex my foot beyond 90 degrees & am walking without the boot. I basically played it by ear as far as my progress…my Dr  told me that I will walk when I can…which is what happened. Last week I attempted to stand barefoot & took a few steps ..it felt a little weird but not painful. I gradually walked a little more each day and 8 days later I did a whole day without using my boot at all. Since I am anxious to get back to work I decided to test it & went shopping all day. I was pretty sore…not ready to be on my feet all day. My boss wants me to be 100% but what does that mean? No, I’m no where near 100% as far as running, jumping etc. but I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to do my job at 100% in 2 weeks time. Most nights (at work) it’s a combination of sitting, walking & standing)…it’s those nights that I’m on my feet for the whole time that worries me. As far as PT…I still might check it out..I feel like I’m doing well but that I don’t know what I don’t know! It will up to me because my Dr still thinks I don’t need it! The best thing that came out of that appointment is that he gave me the ok to drive with my right foot again & that I might be able to do some Spring skiing! YAY!

2nd post op visit @ 5.5 wks…no PT, PWB

Well I am ecstatic to have my cast off but a little bummed at my doctor’s plan (or lack there of). He said I could start weight bearing cautiously & in a walking boot as tolerated. I haven’t acheived a 90 degree flexion yet so I have to “duck” walk. I asked once again when I will start physical therapy & he said I don’t need it. I pressed him on it & he said I could do flexing & pointing at home..which is what I have been doing. He also did not have a boot in the office. It is a large orthopedic practice! I ended up using the generic walking boot that my GP gave me on my 1st visit after the injury. I asked about a specialty Achilles boot & he said I don’t need it. Then I asked him didn’t they do many achilles tendons there & he said no & that it usually happens to football players. I guess I’m on my own as far as my rehab! I would love some input on what I can do on my own to recover properly.

4 weeks post surgery…no pain, tons of energy!

Well it’s been 4 weeks since my surgery today. As per MD orders I am still NWB & in a half (plaster) cast. My stitches were taken out 12 days ago & my steri strips finally came off. I still have some open skin & ugliness on my incision so no swimming yet. All that being said, I feel fantastic! I have never been so well rested! I have been on the “night shift” (11pm-7am) for 25 years so I’m not used to getting so much regular sleep! I have also LOST 10 pounds because I was so afraid of gaining weight because I am no longer able to run my 3-5 miles per day. I’m eating well & taking all my vitamins & jello (thanks Ryanb). I started driving (left footed) this week & it’s suprisingly easy. This is probably the earliest I could have started because of the swelling (having to keep it elevated).  The best thing is that I was able to do a Body Pump class & a Body Combat class at the gym yesterday! I have this great walker (with wheels and a bench that I rest my knee on ). I can do almost every thing  now (modified) & it felt great to break a sweat finally! I have been doing upperbody & core workouts since day 5 but it so much more fun to get out. I have also been doing leg workouts on my side & all fours like the old days but my right calf is definately atrophing. I wish I could start PT but my MD thinks I’ll push it to hard & he just wants me to rest it ….So many different paths to recovery. It’s hard to wait…I hope I’m not wasting my time!

2 weeks post surgery…finding ways to get some cardio!

Hi, I ruptured my Right Achilles Tendon 3 weeks ago & am now 2 weeks post surgery. I am used to working out every day & the NWB status is torture. I have been doing abs & upper body workouts but miss my “runners high” :). So far for cardio I’ve done lightweight arms while sitting on a chair with my upper body going forward & backward to incorporate the core  to the beat of some good rock music &

 have tried the rowing machine at the gym and that was ok too …just a little unnatural for me! Does anyone have any good ideas? I am a 50 year old woman & my metabolism isn’t what it used to be. It’s hard to be stuck at home all day & not eat! I have been keeping busy at home…I’ve got a walker on wheels with a bench to lay my knee on & can do almost all housework including vaccuming, sweeping, mopping etc. If I can get someone to drive me I can even shop. The motorized shopping carts at the supermarkets are really fun! Another cardio workout includes doing “laps” in my house using the crutches but that gets boring since my house isn’t that big. I do have a wii but haven’t tried anything yet…maybe tennis or boxing games? Help!