Waiting is the hardest part

It’s been a long week, and it hasn’t even been a week yet since my injury.

It happened last Monday night: Central Park NYC, company softball game.  It was the best game we’d played in a couple of seasons.  We were cruising, leading 6-1 in the last inning.  Despite being in normally-busy left field it was a remarkably quiet night with no putouts and only 2 singles hit my way.  Maybe that’s why I broke so hard when the ball was hit to me.  Well not exactly to me; the ball landed well foul. I have no idea how close I would have come to catching it because within an instant of taking off I heard the pop and felt the sensation.  As I rolled over I couldn’t believe no one warned me.  Then I actually looked around for the ball from the adjoining field that surely hit me in the back of my leg.  What? There is no ball?  Uh oh, I think I know what happened.

After considering whether to go to the ER in the city, I managed to drive myself home about a half hour away. Driving was a little painful since I ruptured my right Achilles.  At the hospital they X-rayed the foot and the ER doc asked me if I minded if he showed the injury to medical students. “We rarely get the complete blowouts where one can actually feel the divot in the tendon,” was his assessment.  The orthopedist on call was less impressed.  He put me in a fiberglass cast, gave me crutches and recommended surgeons for the repair.

The earliest appointment I could get was Friday so I’ve been in a state of limbo.  The injury is surprisingly painless so I actually went to work Wednesday and Thursday.  Not easy. I’m a television reporter who is out in the field all day.  In and out of a news van all day.  After seeing the doctor Friday I went on medical leave.

Life with crutches is an unbelievable adjustment.  By the second day my entire upper body was sore. Everything from my triceps, abs and forearms to my palms ached.  My good ankle is bruised from accidentally kicking it with my cast.  But the toughest part is not being able to carry anything.  It’s exhausting constantly thinking about how to get from point A to point B and realizing certain things are just about impossible. I have a 10 month old daughter whom I now can’t pick up.  I can’t lift her out of her crib in the morning. I can crutch over to the kitchen to make her a bottle, but how do I carry it back?

Anyway, my surgery is set for Thursday at noon.  Hopefully my doctor won’t be thinking too much about starting his Independence Day weekend early.  I’m sure I will be in more discomfort after the repair, but look forward to this blog and the website helping me get through it as it has for so many others.

71 Responses to “Waiting is the hardest part”

  1. 1 nerys June 30, 2008 at 4:09 am

    hi welcome to the club , sorry to hear about your accident , all too familar .i did mine dancing…. surgery should be fine . i also found crutches a pain (literatly!!!)been two wks post op and although heel is fine , wrists ,back stomach in pain due to crutches . one comment i think you def need help with your 10 month old as youll need to rest alot , to aid recovery .prehaps friends , family or neighbours could pop round . good luck and keep us posted xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. 2 ghatts June 30, 2008 at 5:41 am

    Ouch….Life sux…I know exactly how you feel.I’m 6 weeks post op and still on crutches. I have three kids, youngest same as yours. The ‘pop’ certainly changes your life. I was pretty down for a few days as i lead an active lifestyle and job as you do. Being laid up is my biggest problem aswell. I got past having my kids around. They’re pretty good entertainment. It is good to boss the wife around for a while as well.LOL. Get on the playstation or in my case Nintendo Wii. That will pass the time quickly. The sad part is, as much as you want to get up and get on with your life, you can’t. You have to do what the doctors says and when they say. As my doc said “this is the rest of your life here. We’re not mucking around”. Swallowed my pride and got on with it. This site will help alot. Knowing other people are out there pulling there hair is strangely comforting. Keep your chin up. Take joy in what you can do, not what you can’t. Look forward to hearing about your successful recovery. Rest lots.

  3. 3 edforman June 30, 2008 at 7:22 am

    A fellow softball player - mine happened in the 7th inning too - can’t tell you how many times I have thought, “Why did I try to take third base? We were down 5 runs anyway…” Hang in there - one day at a time. A couple of tips. Cargo shorts with lots of pockets - for carrying things. You can keep a backpack nearby too. Cycling gloves for the crutches (I swear by this one). Post surgery, lots of pain meds (don’t OD, but don’t try to be a hero).

    I feel for you! HEy, maybe when this is all over our little blog site can get a news story about it on TV thanks to you!


  4. 4 marcus June 30, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Thanks for the encouraging words…

    Ed I already discovered the cargo shorts trick, will try the bike gloves and doh! how could I not think of a backpack?! Brilliant. That’s a perfect example of why I’m so glad I found this site.

  5. 5 zurichfan June 30, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Hang in there Marcus and welcome to our unfortunate site.

    Good luck with your surgery — as Ed said — use the pain meds and elevate, elevate, elevate! I hope you will be able to spend some quality time on the couch after the surgery with your leg straight in the air and reading some helpful posts! I was able to do that and I was told it made a lot of difference in my healing. I had virtually no swelling and I think the three-week mandatory rest that my doctor instituted was critical. Don’t get me wrong, I was absolutely STRIR CRAZY being house-bound but I think I am seeing the benefits now.

    Good luck - keep us posted — we will be thinking about you.

  6. 6 screwdriver June 30, 2008 at 9:28 am

    welcome to the site.
    after the surgery - you have to see how u react to the pain meds - if you are ok then take them - if its causing problems - call the doc to switch. also remember you will be NPO for the surgery and after the surgery you have to bounce back getting hydrated . I know felt a lot better when i am taking in lots of fluids.
    you might need to get a shower chair and improvise how to take baths witout getting the cast wet . it feels really good to have baths .
    also if you have a computer chair with wheels and have hard floors - you can use that to lug around the home .

  7. 7 damacar June 30, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Welcome to the club! I have a few tips for you…
    Hoodies with front kangaroo pockets, a bottle of wine fits perfect! I keep one on the back of the couch now.
    Apron works too. Plastic grocery bags to carry stuff from kitchen. Baby wipes. Sounds like you probably already have some of these! They are great for a quick freshen up. I used them alot on my toes/foot while I was still in cast. I just used a metal folding chair for the shower but I didn’t and should have bought the waterproof cast cover. There’s a link on this site for it. I still cover my boot sometimes so I can take a quick shower without help. Last one….protien bars. They are filling and easy to carry!

    Take Care!

  8. 8 chipintn June 30, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    It does suck - no doubt about it. This is round two for me - re-reptured almost a month ago after the first surgery in March. My advice for the surgery is to ask the doc in advance about a nerve block on your leg. I had it for the second surgery and think it is they way to go vs. the morphine drip etc. You just have to get used to the leg being numb for at least 18 hours and maybe more - slowly wears off after a few days. You literally will not be able to move your toes for the first day, BUT - no pain from the incision. You wake up from surgery feeling great. Go to brokenbeauties.com and order the pads for hand grips and top of the crutches. Also get waterproof cast protector for taking a shower - MUCH better than a garbage bag - worth it.

    I also advise against flip flops and the crutches - wear a shoe - it is safer. Keep us posted on your progress. Patience grasshopper.

  9. 9 kkdub July 2, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Marcus, good luck in surgery tomorrow. Surgery is the easy part! I’m only day five post op, so just a few days ahead and you’ll get through it. Tell us how your surgery went. I agree with Chip - get the nerve block. The toes feel weird, but that goes away.


  10. 10 soccer2008 July 3, 2008 at 1:40 am

    Take care Marcus….I am also booked to see the Surgeon tommorrow.

    Both teams I played has moved up to premier league in masters.Unfortunatley my last indoor game was when I felt the dreadful……….loud pop.


  11. 11 jenny July 3, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    You have got to be kidding me!!! It’s like reading my own post with someone else’s name on it. I was also playing field and popped my AT while doing a fast take off to catch a low line drive. I also have a 10 month old baby at home that I can’t take care of. I am now almost 3 weeks post-op. Get all the help you can with the baby and have someone to pass her to you for cuddles and story reading. It’s good quality time. Unfortunately, the daily care will have to be handed off to someone else. It is quite difficult to adjust to but you will adapt. Your upper body will quickly adapt to the crutches and the achiness will be gone in a few short days. Your main concern is going to be boredom. I had my parents stop at the library for some books, and I have friends come over (but only on the days that I have showered). I have resorted to showering every second day because I find it exhausting even with a good shower seat with a back and a cast cover. (both are necessities you will find). So with a new sense of humility and a reduced sense of invincibility I spend my days reading and playing on the computer. Good luck in your recovery.

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