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The day the Achilles went snap! Weeks 1-3

October 24: Team bonding “Amazing race” amazing exit after a 2km run and dash up the stairs to the train. Jumping onto the train from the platform, I heard a snap and immediately felt my calf go. Wasn’t sure whether I’d torn my calf of done something to my Achilles. So much pain, can’t stand, just knew I had to make it off the train to the road where I could get picked up. Lots of hopping and leaning on workmates. Phoned Physio to find out what to do, hospital or go to him. Pays having a friend who is a sports Physio went straight to see him who confirmed that he thought an Achilles rupture and referred me for an MRI the next morning.
October 25: MRI appears that my Achilles may be partially in tact
October 26: see surgeon - Achilles completely ruptured
October 27: can’t stand hopping, crutches dig in to bra wire….google search. The heavenly people at knee walker deliver a knee scooter making life soo much easier to get around my apartment. Even venture out but the 3 flights of stairs are almost impossible
October 29-Nov 1st: don’t really think much about what I’ve done just go into organizing mode to get everything covered-off with work so I don’t have to worry too much after the surgery. Lots of lain meds and laying down trying to keep off it. Remarkable what can be done on an iPad laptop iPhone combo.
Nov 2nd: due at hospital mid arvo, so go via the hairdresser and have hair washed so at least I can cope for a few days. Surgery doesn’t actually happen until after 8pm and I’m back in my room by 10:15pm. To say it hurt is a massive under statement. I called for medication 3x in the night as nothin was working. Finally feel asleep around 4am. Hiring the knee walker was the smartest thing I’ve done so far (will come back to this next week) I was able to get up and go to the bathroom and manage myself.
Nov 3rd-6th: shocking pain but getting used to it. Don’t like the daily injections but if they stop me getting a blood clot, they’re worth it.
Nov 7: worse night pain, the meds didn’t agree with me up half the night in the bathroom and have a really itchy rash
Nov 8-10: nothing major just laying around elevating pretty much 100% of the time. Even managed to kneel over the bath and wash my hair…the joy of having very long thick hair - knots!
Nov 11: feeling confident today, too confident. Did a wobble on the scooter and instinctively put injured foot down. Feel sharp release painful, freak out. Spoke to Doc who isn’t concerned, everyone does it and he hasn’t had a rerupture…..I’m still feeling sick and worried. Friend Claire visits and I forget about it. This is the first time I have not been laying with foot elevated - not so bad, lots of giggling…..good for my head!
Nov 13: Karyn and the kids visited, lovely visit had lots of helpers. :). Must remember I’m not meant to be upright sitting makes the throbbing come back. Elevate on three pillows helps. Gets dull laying all the time.
Nov 14: friends come over for dinner. Lovely night I can get used to wearing trackies and sitting planning holidays. Yes nice night thanks Michelle & David for my chocolate - I think some has disappeared already.
Nov 15: 13 days post surgery - 1st post op visit with doc. To say this day was hell is an understatement. I don’t think I had at this point thought through what had happened or how bad this injury was. I was deluded in fact before going into see him I thought I’d go for coffee after and perhaps a wander around the shops given I’d made it out of my apartment. The cast came off and the throbbing began. The stitches were snipped and them the first attempt to put my foot into the vacocast, the initial hinged one was too narrow at the heal and dug in. He swapped it over for a similar one that in stead of having locking hinge system has wedges inside. Instructions take 1 wedge out every 2 weeks and see me in 5 weeks time. Start to weight bear as tolerated. That’s it piece of cake. Worse move ever hiring the knee walker cause kneeling on it with a 4 kg boot feels like hell and the wound starts stinging and is really painful. I think I might die. Cue many tears and I can’t do this. I did and I made it home. Les is the most patient and kind man I know!  I made it up the 3 flights of stairs by crawling. Sleeping with the boot on it awful. I have no good news for you to read. Other than to know I did live through the night, did take lots of panadeine which didn’t help but got through it.
Nov 16: feeling less sorry for myself. It hurts, it’s heavy and I can’t put much weight on it at all. Crutches are stupid but they help. Tonight if I game I’m going to have a bath….report back later

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  1. 11 Comment(s)

  2. By kkirk on Nov 20, 2012 | Reply

    It will get better. The first couple of days/weeks are the worst of the whole process. It also sounds like you are progressing great. Happy healing.

  3. By mandy000 on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    Thank you, here’s hoping.

    How amazing is the Achilles blog and everyone for sharing their personal stories. It is so helpful knowing what’s ahead, what’s normal and it helps to settle some fears.

    I changed the innersert in the boot last night, the other one needed a wash. I haven’t been able to get it comfortable I tried sucking all the air out but the foot wedges just cut in underneath and kept me awake. But other than that today has been uneventful.

    I go back to work on Monday, have organized to do from home for a couple of weeks, didn’t think I’d cope with a commute very well and not game to drive. I do have an auto and injured my left, so my right can operate the brake, but the boot is so massive that I don’t think it’s a good idea.

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

  4. By kkirk on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    I would think after not too much longer you should be back driving. I still can’t drive at 6 weeks, since I injured my right leg. Hopefully, I will be able to my Mid-December. I wish I had injured my left leg so I would have to constantly find ride to the store, doctor, PT, get my kids to and from school, soccer, scouts, etc….

  5. By mandy000 on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    You give me hope kkirk. Really looking forward to just driving down to the beach - not that im planning on walking on the sand for a while! Yes I’m a bit lucky it was my left

    Nearly 3 weeks post surgery, 4 days in a boot so far and im itching to do things. I shouldn’t complain though that’s relatively quick in comparison

    I cancelled my ski trip to Vail today - I will go Feb 2014 instead :).

    My best to you in your recovery and I wish for you the next few weeks speed by and you are driving in time to do the Christmas shipping for your kids.

  6. By Paul on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    Stick with the knee walker it does get a lot better and the stinging in the scar will go away quickly, especially as you start to put the foot down more.

    We are at roughly the same stage so I hear where you are coming from as everything you have mentioned above has happened to me. I even got too risky on the knee walker that I toppled it and ended up putting all my weight on the boot. Not a good idea.

    What would we do without all the help we get. My wife and two little boys are worth their weight in gold.

    Without even reading where you are based, I could tell by your post you were from Australia. I am also from Sydney.

    Good luck with you recovery. More than happy to have a chat at any stage if you need to vent to someone who knows what you are going through.

  7. By alysbach on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    After 6 weeks the progress is so much faster it is daily I promise read my creased clothes blog.

  8. By mandy000 on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks Paul. I won’t return it yet. I bet you’re right about the scar sensation. Yes our friends and family are such a blessing. I’m in Naremburn. If you need to vent at anytime, I’m here for you too. Have a good day today, no wheelies in the lift!

  9. By loneachillesoftexas on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    I was in a lot of pain the first 2.5 weeks after surgery (and slept poorly). It does get better - just muscle yourself through each day and you’ll be closer to progress. Progress seems to come in spurts, each with a little bit of backtracking. You can do it.

  10. By mandy000 on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks loneachillesoftexas. I just read your blog. You are doing so well I’m excited for you. Keep up the great progress. I’m following in your foot steps :)

  11. By lizzie on Nov 24, 2012 | Reply

    Hi Mandy,

    I just ordered a knee walker because I liked the idea of having my hands free for a bit. I hope it has a basket in the front to carry things or I will attach my own.

    I also tore my left achilles. My doctor said no driving for 3 months the first time I ruptured in July. I found I could do short hauls without a problem. But then in August I did a longer drive (2 hours) and it was really uncomfortable. Avoid if possible.

    So now I am almost 7 weeks post-op. I do drive a little bit just to feel like I have a bit of freedom. But I won’t drive to my physio because it is about 30 minutes away and I know that it will hurt and might undermine what I am gaining from the physio.

    By the way, one thing that I really love is a hammock. It is pretty cold outside now, but when the sun is shining I love to lie in wrapped up warmly. It feels really good for my back and my foot is automatically elevated. I suppose you could also hang one indoors.

    Good luck!

  12. By mandy000 on Nov 24, 2012 | Reply

    Hi Lizzie
    The basket sure does come in handy, mine came with it. It clips on and off really easily.

    The hammock is a cracker of an idea! We are heading into summer, today I was thinking (getting myself down) about how to get through and your idea is perfect! All smiles now. Mum has one in a frame that I think will be relatively easy to exit and I can lay by the pool and enjoy the sun and the breeze. It’s the getting off it that might be tricky.

    Best of luck with the knee walker, happy healing!

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  • ATR Timeline

    • Name: mandy000
      Location: Sydney
      Injured during: The Amazing Race
      Which Leg: L
      Status: PWB

      406 wks  5 days Post-ATR
      405 wks  3 days
         Since start of treatment
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