At 3 weeks post op (boot, PWB) I flew from NYC to LA for a long-planned family visit/vacation. Dr. Very Laidback gave me his typical blessing, “Might be a little awkward, but you’ll be fine.” I am already down to one crutch and have even started doing the Frankenstein walk without crutches at times. Because I feel more mobile than ever, I debated whether or not to use a wheelchair in the airport. I did, and boy am I glad. A couple of months ago I wouldn’t have even noticed the vast distances covered during everyday life. Instead as I was being wheeled through JFK and LAX I kept thinking to myself, “There’s no way I could have done this.”
I took off the boot during the flight but couldn’t elevate my foot. Didn’t spend too much time worrying about it because the focus was on my 4 year old and 11 month old daughters who both have stomach bugs. I believe it was somewhere over Arizona when my wife clinched the Woman of the Year award as she cleaned up the vomit covering her and the baby.
It would be another couple of hours—rent the car, drive to Long Beach—before I got a look at my foot. Whoa, the sucker was swollen. The worst I’ve experienced. As startling as it was to behold, it was just as reassuring how quickly it improved. Things were back to “normal” after maybe an hour of ice and elevation.
Okay, so now off to Target to pick up some stuff for the kids we needed. I’m scooting around in style when I hear a woman say, “That’s what you need.” I look up to see her friend on crutches, her foot in a fiberglass cast. Without hesitating I ask, “Achilles?” She looked shocked and I could tell she was going to ask, “How did you know?” Instead she saw my leg and said, “Oh wait, you’re in the boot. I’ve got a few questions for you!”
We traded stories; her injury sounded particularly nasty, even after all the ones I’ve read about here. An avid runner, a heel spur was slicing through her tendon. She finally decided to get it fixed which they did by severing it, cleaning up the spur, then reattaching it with screws. So naturally, she’s putting me to shame by crutching around the store. She did admit she was getting a little worn down from overdoing it. I told her not to rush things, wished her well and said, “You know, if you need info, there’s a great web site…”
What a day.