Almost at week 7 post-op!

Long overdue update here.  I find the more I progress in my recovery, the less I find the need to post…..it was sad when I realized that.  I remembered back to when I ruptured and the few weeks following, how much these update posts fueled and encouraged me to get through the dark days.  Oh how quickly I forget.

So here I am, forgive me for not updating more regularly.

Since my last post, things have progressed exponentially.  It’s been just over 3 weeks since my last doc appt and the slip up I experienced in my last post proved to be nothing more than a scare (thank God!).  During my last appt, the Doc told me to get rid of the Crutches at my 6 week post op mark (which was Monday 11/30) and start walking in the boot!  I knew that the impact of going NWB to FWB overnight would shock my system (and my foot), so I decided to use the Thanksgiving holiday to slowly get myself back on two feet.

It started on Wed 11/18.  After work, I decided to retire one crutch permanently.  Went out for some food and a couple drinks and successfully navigated with one crutch!  Can’t explain the sense of freedom I felt being able to manuver and have a free hand!  I spent the rest of the holiday weekend on one crutch….and began shuffling around my place barefooted with no crutch!  I made sure to listen to my body when I did this….and started with small slow shuffling steps.  There was little to no pain from this, so I freely began practicing on my own two feet!

Monday 11/30 was back to work!  It was my first day in the office without crutches….and it was great.  It was slightly uncomfortable hobbling around on the boot.  Most of the discomfort was in the hips and knee areas.  I believe this was due to the uneven height of the boot and my shoes.  I was scared (and still am) that the undue strain will cause some damage in the long run.

So it is now the end of my first full week FWB and so far the foot is holding up great!  I’m back to walking to and from work (0.5 miles each way) and barefoot walking at home (carefully I might add).  Yesterday night, I managed to walk 0.5 miles to get my haircut and then do about 2 hours of shopping!  My heel started screaming toward the end of the night, but the swelling was minimal by the time I got home.

Being at the 6.5 week post op mark, I am pleasantly surprising myself with my progress.  I still want to take it easy and listen to my body but the progress has been leaps and bounds the past two weeks.  A couple days ago, I checked my ROM on my injured foot……and to my suprise, I have full range of motion nearly identical to my good foot.  Even toes up!

I’m still doing my ROM exercises daily and am making sure to massage the tendon an incision area daily (doc directed).  I hope the progress continues and that I am back into 2-shoes soon!

I hope everybody is having a wonderful holiday season and that all your recoveries are going well.  Let’s keep reminding ourselves to not push it and to listen to our bodies.  While I’m extremely thankful for the past couple weeks, I am still constantly sobered by the risk of re-injury.

I have my 3rd post op appt next Wednesday and am hoping to report more good news then!

2nd Post OP and SLIP UP!

Had my 2nd post op visit on Wednesday to take my stitches out.  Relatively painless process and the doc said the wound looks great.  What a relief.  Paranoia regarding my wound has subsided greatly!  He said everything looked great and that I am right on track regarding my healing and ROM.  So that was good.

Now on to the bad.  I had two major slips this week that have not only brought me face to face with my greatest fear (re-rupture) but also tested my sanity.

I was crutching up the stairs into the building where my doc is at and somehow lost my bearings and mis stepped!  I put my bad foot down to catch myself….and instantly felt intense pain in my AT.   I haven’t had a mis-step at all during my recovery….but of course had to on the way to the doc!  I was comforted that my boot was on and after about 10 minutes or so, the pain subsided…..phew.

Well….last night I wasn’t so fortunate.  I was crutching around my place without my boot on…..and yep, you guessed it, my crutch slips out and I again use my bad foot to stop my fall.  Now that was some shocking pain.  I wasn’t sure if It was the pure pain or just the realization that I had just stepped down on my bare bad foot…..but it hurt pretty bad.  I was in a shocked state of mind for at least a half hour, trying to figure out what I did to myself.  I immediately tried to move my foot and check my range of motion.  Everything seemed in tact but my AT hurt a lot.  I proceeded to elevate my leg and constantly check my ROM.  After a little while, the pain went away….but what scared me was that I had now increased my ROM with my toes up!!!  I was freaking out because I could now get my foot to 90 degrees, whereas before I could only get close to 90 degrees.  Only a slight movement, but movement nonetheless.  I would have been ecstatic if I had acheived this naturally…..but the fact that I did it by placing my foot on the ground really scared me.  There is no lingering pain from the incident…..but I still have the mental scar from the event and I am now even more paranoid that I may have done some damage.

So I am a bit shaken up from the incident and am really hoping I did not experience a set back of any sort.

 

Hope everybody’s doing well…..and hope for no more slip ups!

Paranoid

I am now 16 days post op.  It’s funny how quickly the time goes….but at the same time how long the process feels.  I cannot remember what it feels like to be “normal.”  Sometimes that makes me feel a bit sad.  But no pity party for me…..I’m constantly encouraged by the little bits of progress as well as reading about all your adventures.

As I posted earlier, I had my first post op appointment last week and the doc took off my splint and put me directly in the boot (NWB).  He directed me to work on my ROM everyday and try as hard as possible to flex my foot forward (toes down) and backward (toes up)!  He said there was no way I could do damage to my repaired AT by flexing my foot with my own muscles.  Immediately after taking off my splint, this was near impossible….I could barely move my foot in either direction!  Only my toes would move!  But after a week of moving my foot around I almost have full range going forward and can almost get my foot to 90 degrees going backwards.  I can also roll my foot in circles without any discomfort.

This lead me to my post title….now I’m paranoid.  I know I’ve only been following my docs directions but at some point I feel that I”m damaging the repair process my moving/flexing my foot so often!  I don’t feel much pain at all when moving my foot which makes me feel that I may be weakining my AT and then when I put my foot down for my first steps…..it will snap!

What are all your thoughts on this?  I’m sure the doc knows what he’s doing….he’s a well respected orthopedic surgeon that has done many many many AT repairs in his day (he did 3 between my surgery and my post op appt)!  So I trust his direction but my mind is constantly playing games with me!  I do feel that it is a bit aggressive to be flexing your foot as much as it allows 10 days post op…but I also have heard that it is good to work on your ROM as early as possible. 

So the question is, do you think I’m doing any damage to my repaired AT by doing these exercises so early?  I have not walked on it or put any weight on it….have just been flexing it and moving it throughout the day.  For the most part it feels great and I actually feel like I could flex it backwards past 90 degrees if I really tried hard.  I would think I would start feeling pain if I were tearing the sutured section of the AT….or if I were weaking it in some way……but I don’t know that for certain.

As always, appreciate your thoughts and comments!

 

Also - wanted to give a Chi Town shoutout!  Anybody on here from Chicago?

10 Days Post Op

Hit my first milestone in my long journey.

Went to the doc yesterday to have my first “official” post-op appointment.  I say “official” because I went in last Friday to have my splint redone because of discomfort.  I am now free from the confines of plaster and ace bandages….and am in my trusty Boot.  I love the fact that I can take it off whenever I want (esp sleeping) but am VERY nervous that  my foot will be so exposed!

So I waited around in the waiting room for about 40 minutes….then another 20 minutes in the examination room…..and then my doc shows up for all but 2 minutes!  He took a look at the incision and said it looked perfect.  Then proceeded to tell me to flex my injured foot as far forward and backward as I could.  I was a little shocked that he’d have me do this at 10 days out….but he assured me that there was no way I could re-rupture using my own muscles to flex.  The first thing I noticed….how damn tight the achilles is.  That was the biggest shocker, it was so hard to pull my foot back, let alone get it to 90 degrees.  I have a glimpse of how tough PT will be.  The doc directed me to flex my foot and increase my range of motion as much as possible every day.  I go back in two weeks to have my stitches removed.  Hopefully by then I’ll have increased my range of motion a bit….

I also returned to work on Monday.  After being out for a full two weeks, it was quite the adjustment.  Foolish me, on Monday I decided that I would “test” myself and try to crutch it all the way to the office.  I usually walk to work and it takes about 15 minutes door to door.  So how hard could crutching it be?  Let me tell you…..that was the first and last time I will ever do that.  It was a mild 50 degrees that morning….but by the time I reached my cubicle, my undershirt and dress shirt were completely drenched in sweat…..and sweat was literally dripping off of my face.  It was not a pretty sight.  To top it all off…..it was so physically draining that I felt light headed and dizzy for the next hour!  I know…..I’m weak sauce!!!

So for the remainder of the week I have been cabbing it to and from work.  I hate the fact that I have to spend so much money on cabs….but I know that for now, it’s the only way.  Each day at work has been better….and I’m very slowly getting back into the swing of things.

For my next post - three purchases that have helped me tremendously (with pics hopefully!)

1.  Millenium Crutches - these have been keeping me sane

2.  Shower Stool

3.  Shower Cover (lower leg)

keep posting!  Love reading your updates!

Decided to visit the doc - 4 days post op

Call me weak - but I couldn’t bear the thought of going through the weekend with this discomfort.

The past two days, the majority of the pain subsided….so I am no longer taking pain meds (except one before bedtime).  But ever since the pain stopped, I began feeling intense pressure/heat/discomfort in my heel and the rest of the bottom of my foot.  It felt like my foot was in an oven….just constant heat and burning.  I thought that maybe my splint was on too tight and my foot wasn’t able to breathe and cool down.  It was enough discomfort to rob me of my last two nights of sleep.

So even though it felt exponentially better this morning, I decided to call the doc and have them look at it.  They had no problem squeezing me in (with a different doc, because mine was in surgery all day).  After cutting off the splint, they found nothing wrong….no irritation, no sores, nothing…..so they just put on a new splint (a little more loosely) and sent me on my way.  

Part of me feels stupid for going all the way to the doc for nothing and getting a new splint…..but part of me is also relieved that nothing was wrong.  I also got to see my stitches….and it’s a mad incision…i’ve seen a ton on these blogs, but it was different seeing it on my own leg.  I’m going to try to post a pic….but not exactly sure how to do that yet.

So 4 days post op, I’m feeling good….almost no pain, just can’t wait for next wednesday so that I can ditch this splint and get into the boot.

my-stitches

Playing catchup on my Blog

Believe it or not, this is the first blog I’ve ever maintained….guess all it took was an ATR and being stuck on a bed or couch all day!

I had a full ATR on 10/12/09 playing in my basketball league. To this day, I swear somebody stomped on the back of my foot…….and somebody even apologized after the game…..but who really knows?

The hardest part has been fighting off a sense of hopelessness and depression. When I found out how long the road to recovery was, I was devastated. I am a very independent…..and absolutely love doing things for people (friends, family and esp my girlfriend). This injury has taken this away from me…..and I’m stuck feeling a bit worthless.

I’ve also been away from work for 2 weeks and for somebody that takes a lot of pride in his work, this has been difficult as well. I’m hoping to be back at work 2 weeks post ATR and one week post OP.

The timing of my ATR couldn’t have been worse. I was five days away from a surprise NYC trip that my girlfriend planned for us…..and was devastated that I ruined it. Fortunately, my doc gave me the thumbs up to do the trip and then to have the surgery Monday morning after I returned. We still had a wonderful trip but it was a little more than inconvenient being on crutches around the big apple…..

Surgery went well…..once the nerve block wore off, I was in extreme pain for the rest of the night…..but each day has gotten better. Now there is relatively no pain aside from the feeling that the splint cast is on too tight around my heel area. I’m going to call the doc tomorrow morning to see if this is normal. It’s almost unbearable….and my entire foot gets really hot. Almost feels like my foot is suffocating in there!

Sorry for the long entry….I started my blog late and have so many things on my mind. I’ll keep posting as I’m sure this will be a good release for me.

Thank you to all who have been posting….I’ve already read through many of your stories from start to finish….and am extremely impressed with all you went through. I hope I can do the same…..

10/12/2009 - found my achilles heel

Never ever thought about this injury before. Thought about breaking a bone, ankle sprains, even tearing my ACL….but the Achilles? Never even crossed my mind. Until Monday Oct 12…..20 seconds left in my Monday night basketball league….and boom goes the achilles. I can’t believe it.

I have no idea what’s in store for me……


  • limmerz has completed the grueling 26.2 ATR miles to full recovery!
    Goal: 105 days from the surgery date.
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ATR Timeline

  • Name: limmerz
    Location: Chicago
    Injured during: Basketball
    Which Leg: L
    Status: NWB

    388 wks  3 days Post-ATR
    387 wks  3 days
       Since start of treatment