Thursday, June 7, 2012 I was playing indoor soccer at Arena Sports in the SoDo neighborhood of South Seattle.  My team, Real Mandarin, was taking on the Seattle Swindlers.  It was a close game going into halftime and I was personally playing well and felt good.  Roughly 4 minutes into the 2nd half I made a pass to the middle of the field and planted my left foot to make a run down the side for the return pass.  When I pushed off my left foot I heard a loud pop and felt like someone had just kicked the back of my leg.  I turned to see who fouled me but there was nobody there.  This was when I realized what had just happened.

After limping out to my car I sat there with the car running for roughly 15 minutes trying not to pass out from the shock of the pain and the realization that my life just took a dramatic turn for the worse for at least the next year. After pulling myself together I was able to drive to the Swedish Hospital emergency room which is located in my own neighborhood of Ballard in North Seattle.

As I walked into the ER waiting room I was luckily the only patient there. I told the receptionist that I had just torn my Achilles and everyone in the room seemed amazed that I was able to drive myself to the ER without passing out. They sat me down in a wheel chair and rolled me back to see a doctor. It took the ER doctor roughly 20 seconds to diagnose me with a complete Achilles rupture and suggested that I make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon the next day.

Those of you that have suffered this injury know exactly what I mean when I say that the sound and feel of a complete Achilles rupture is the stuff of nightmares and I’ve relived it in my head every few hours since it happened.

14 Responses to “How the fun began”
  1. jsk945 says:

    Sucks. Hang in there.

  2. starshep says:

    Sorry to welcome you to the club. This injury does take away a lot of things in a flash but eventually with some luck and a lot of fight, you do get them back.

  3. jenniferanderson says:

    Oh the sound…haunts me still. Welcome to the club. This website has been the most helpful, hopeful, useful site I have found to get me through this journey. Keep us updated on your progress, and good luck in your recovery!

  4. gkraemer14 says:

    Have to tell you that replaying the moment in your head doesn’t go away. At least it hasn’t for me yet (I was a soccer injury as well). Some people seem to be better at putting a positive spin on things but I’ve had a hard time with that. Sounds like you and I are maybe a little alike in that respect. We’re not pessimists, we’re realists. There really is no getting around it. For an active person, this is devastating. The mini milestones are a nice way to keep your head on straight so try to look forward to those. Best of luck with surgery and rehab.

    -GK

  5. smiler says:

    Im with gkraemer on this one I’m afraid, as a person with 4 kids and someone who coaches 4 junior football teams these first few weeks have been a nightmare. Reliant on people to drop me here there and everywhere and then trying to still do the coaching but unable to get around. Seems to have not only affected my life but had a detrimental affect on those close to me picking up my slack.

    Only thing i can say is lets stick together and help each other. Im sure there will me milestones which we can all aim for and push each other towards. I know i am going to need this site to help me

  6. ericbabula says:

    18 weeks after the pop, I can still hear it as though it happened yesterday! Ugh, that sound, and the feeling of no resistance when you try to push off!

    Welcome to the club (sorry). You’ll find a lot of good people here who know what you’re going through and can offer some good advice on a range of topics. Ask away!

    I’m a realist, like Greg. The reality is that you’re likely done with soccer (and most of your other sports, too) for a year or so. That sucks! But, the other reality is that it’s just an injury. You’re not dying. In my world, any athlete should assume that, at some point in their athletic “career”, they are going to get injured, may or may not have to have surgery, will have to recover, and will have to rehab to get back to the sport(s) they love doing so much. Well, we’re at that point. Time to do what you have to, and start the healing process. We’ll get better. We will get back to doing the things we love! It’s just a matter of time.

    I’ve just been reporting that, at Week 17 after surgery, I’ve been riding my bike again! Ok, I’m not winning any races, but it’s been 4 months, I’ve been out on about 6 rides, and I’m pushing 20-22mph on the flats, and got in about 60 miles in the past 3 days! That’s pretty good, as far as I’m concerened. It won’t be too long until I’m at full bicycling speed again. Volleyball - well, that may be a while, yet. Doc said 1 year. It’s the explosive push-off with the left foot that will hamper me from doing volleyball this summer. It sucks to have to watch my team from the sidelines. But, I get more beer! (Trying to look at the positives!)

    Understand that this is just a temporary injury. Do what the docs and PTs tell you to do (especially your at-home exercises). Rejoice in the little victories that you will accomplish - it helps you, mentally! Good luck in your recovery!

  7. housemusic says:

    Lonestar,
    I cringed reading your post. I’m with gkraemer14 and smiler on this one. In my case, the ATR was a life changing event. I’m 10 months post op and only now starting to accept and make peace with my new reality. I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist. And the fact is, I will never be the same. Fortunately some people recover and even thrive after this injury, but some of us do not and have to deal with never ending problems related to the ATR. For your sake, I truly hope you are sufficiently young, healthy and strong to overcome this aweful injury. Keep us posted.

  8. lonestar says:

    Good to know I’m not the only one haunted by it. I’ve played soccer for 25 years, several of those at a high level, and have never suffered an injury of this magnitude. The mental aspect will be the worst for me but like you said, I’m we’re not pessimists. I know what’s ahead of me and I have no choice but to go forward.

    I just had to call and get a refund on my snowboarding season pass for this upcoming season and cancelled a 6 backpacking trip I had planned in September.

    Thanks for the response. We’ll get there.

  9. lonestar says:

    That’s awesome. That’s very encouraging to know you’re doing that well. I’ve never been much of a bike rider but I’ve been considering getting into it as a new activity after the injury. I thought it would be easier on me than trying to quickly get back to running 5 miles before work every morning like I was doing just a week ago.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I have no doubt that I can get through this and I’m trying to treat it as just another obstacle in life that I can muscle through and I think this blog will really help.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  10. lonestar says:

    The doc said that I’m lucky to be young-ish (33 years old) and in really good shape. I’m only in the 2nd day after surgery right now and the pain is certainly still there under the splint so it’s hard really see any light just yet but I really have no choice but to stay positive. I hope you can truly accept that new reality of yours without too much trouble.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  11. lonestar says:

    WOW, you guys are awesome. I did not expect such quick feedback. I think I’m going to like it around here. Thank you all for the welcome and I look forward to reading your stories and getting some tips along the way.

  12. normofthenorth says:

    I can still remember both of my ATRs — hearing the “pop”, looking around to accuse my volleyball teammate of kicking me, wrapping in cold
    Packs, driving home — even though they were a while back. But the memories never haunted me.

    My WORST memory is of the CREEPY feeling I got soon after my first ATR when I put my injured foot on a staircase “normally” and started shifting my weight to it, to walk up. My whole experience was pretty painless (except for the one surgery), but remembering that feeling (when my calf muscle retracted ANOTHER mm up my leg) still makes me cringe.

  13. Michael says:

    The pop heard ’round the world. It is a chilling and sobering sound. I’m not sure it will ever be erased from my mind. The worst part for me was my own self diagnosis. I reached back felt my calf roll up and when I reached down to where my Achilles should have been, it was nothing but mush. The mush gave me the cold sweats. I recently saw a video of David Beckham. The first thing he does is look back.

    There are a ton of variables in this injury. Some heal faster than others. Some have long lasting challenges. Some have great doctors and therapist. Others have seen hacks. Some re-rupture and others will never have another problem. There will be days when everything sucks and others where you will be happy that you have it so easy. I have found that realism is positive as long as it doesn’t paralyze. Life goes on. Find humor, think positive, be realistic.

  14. Curlygirl says:

    Hi,

    you are sadly on the same time line as me. I fully snapped mine on 8 th June 2012 . I am still waking up at night feeling sick as I am reliving the snap sound! And just like the other comments I knew exactly what I had done.

    I wish you well on your recovery!

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