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1 year…

November 30th, 2010 by marina

…or 12 months after surgery. Here I am, finishing my first lap of the race. I don’t know how many left to the checkered flag, but I really really hope I won’t have to suffer a pit stop!

Technically, I can do a lot of things. Single heel raises is not a problem anymore, but still not that high as I’d wish. I play basketball quite easily, but I don’t think I’ll ever play as I used to and that’s not because I hold myself, but because my tendon won’t follow me sometimes. I had a small accident when I first played in my mid basketball shoes, they hurt my skin exactly on the scar, got a small bubble which then opened and couldn’t even walk on shoes. Anyway, I’ve found a solution, I’m now only playing in my low Jordans. I can’t wear high heels. I limped when I tried. I know all these are a matter of strength, but I just can’t do much at home anymore, I’m playing 4 days per week, I work, I haven’t got much time to do everything anymore.

Aesthetically, my calf is looking much much more better than it used to several months ago. It’s going up, but not as fast as I expected. Or wanted.. I hate the fact that I don’t want to expose my calves.

Generally, and despite above and other small problems, I am happy to enjoy my old habits again!

Wish every one of you a happy healing, all will go well :)

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First real practice after 9 months

August 27th, 2010 by marina

Hello everybody,

It has been a while since my last update and I couldn’t wait to spread the news!

Returning from my summer holidays, finally the day has come for me to start a new basketball season. So, yesterday all my team’s girls gathered for our first day on a beautiful site where we will do our usual pre-season preparation, running etc. Our trainer has been with us since last year, so he is aware of my situation and I followed a lighter program than the others, but on the same exercises. Started with a walking lap and then jogged another 5 on grass, this was actually my first time I was running. Program also included some 50 meters quick running on various ways (such as slower on first meters then speeding up for the last meters etc) and lots of stretching in between. I was running without any signs of limping or pain, I could do better than I thought and was anxious for, but our trainer kept me on low levels for first time like I was leashed or something, not to overdo it. I still can’t start a sprint on toes very well like I used to, or any exercise on toes, but he told me that I’m in a good shape and that he only needs 15 days to fix my calf, which is still atrophied. He suggested also rubber exercises and double heel raises on a step with my back of the leg hanging out of it, at home. Iced both tendons at the end of the practice.

Today, I feel just great! Not many signs of muscle pain like I thought I’d have after 9 months of doing nothing, my heel and calf feel very nice and comfortable. I feel very optimistic for the future and I can’t tell you how happy I am for being again a part of this team inside the court.

I have had my bad days in the past 9 months, especially at first it has been pretty difficult, and this blog kept me hoping for the best, even if I was not posting anything for days, I was here reading all your experiences.

Wishing you all the best and speak to you soon again!

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Feeling just great!

April 21st, 2010 by marina

It’s been a while since my last post, I’m so glad that this blog is still alive, thank you Dennis :-)

On almost 5 months mark, I’m feeling great finally. I can walk without a limp on level surfaces and I’m really close to a single heel raise. Calf is getting stronger day by day, I spend almost 1 and a half hours in my PTs gym, 3 times per week and do a bunch of stretching and strengthening excercises. Last few weeks, I have been visiting regularly the basketball court and trying some jump shots and jogging. Doesn’t feel any pain at all, it’s just a bit weird, I think I have to get used to run all over again. Yesterday, we tried some ‘basketball-ish’ excercises with my physio, such as defence, it was so exciting!

It feels so good getting involved again with what I love and I missed these last 5 months and cannot be anything less than happy :-) I’ll get back with new fotos soon!

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Night out! And day after…

March 9th, 2010 by marina

Due to the international women’s day yesterday, we went out with the team to ‘celebrate’, or better, get together and have fun, outside of the 4 court lines. I wore my fav - yet uncomfortable for the time being, not wearing them for many months - pair of jeans, comfy flat low-cut boots and left home.
Well, we went to the bar at almost 22,00hrs. Ordered drinks and chatted about the games played and games to come, was a quiet night, having only shot 3 photos. One hour later, girls had finally warmed up and started dancing. I took my camera on hand to be ready for these expected funny photos we would share on facebook the day after, but only managed to shoot a few, since at that point they realized I’m sitting and they dragged me to the dance floor! Okay, Greek music is not my favorite, but it felt good moving my body after all these months, so I followed. Some house and rnb vibes did the job for me later on (not my stuff either, but better), I kept dancing for 4 hours non-stop! Okay, I had to go to the ladies room once. My friends got a bit worried and they advised that I should sit for a while and rest, but I was feeling on top of the world! I was walking around dancing, felt so active, was able to have fun without even thinking about my tendon. Must say I had some discomfort, but it vanished instantly, as I was finally spending some of my stored energy.
I returned home, early morning hours..I was exhausted. I wanted so badly to get rid of my shoes and socks and get to bed. My feet were killing me. I think it took me a whole 30 minutes to fall asleep. Today, I had to go to work, woke up early having slept only 5 hours. Thank God it wasn’t a busy day. For a straight 8 hours, even the thought that I had to visit the PT, was killing me. However, I love going and practice and didn’t want to cancel my appointment. Anyway, got home and took a hot shower, thought I’d feel much more fresh, instead it made me dream of my pillow.
He checked on my foot and did the usual, electrostimulation for the beginning. Then go to the gym. I was sitting on the stationary bike and my feet did the moves totally mechanically. I was so tired and my tendon was in pain, couldn’t walk nicely, or make a decent 2-legged heel raise. My batteries were off. I felt that I was spending both my money and my PT’s time. My tendon had done so many things, in so little time. I couldn’t ask for more. I was doing my exercises patiently and finally got awarded with that bag of ice.
I’m now at home, my foot is a bit swelled and I keep it elevated, as physio suggested, after massaging it while taking my bath.
I hope tomorrow I’ll get back to normal!

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February 20th, 2010 by marina

I’ve decided to put some photos and watch the progress, this album will be frequently updated.

Photo Sharing by MyPhotoAlbum :: marina7’s MyPhotoAlbum Gallery :: Achilles tendon.

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PT update

February 19th, 2010 by marina

Started yesterday heel raises, at last! My therapist did same things at first, stretching did not hurt as much as first times and ROM is almost there, actually when I’m there it’s pretty much same as good foot, but at nights it still gets swollen. Walking is doing okay, I do walk with a limp most of the times because my ankle is killing me.
So, after the rubber band, I stood up, got my hands on the bed and did some heel raises on both feet with around 1/5 of my weight (I’m 56kgs). That hurts on the tendon, but I also feel my calf finally working. So, I’ll do this at home also and ice it soon as I finish.
I’m finally REALLY FEELING a progress, just wish I didn’t had this ankle pain…

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To play or not to play?

February 17th, 2010 by marina

Well, this is the question, here are the facts:
I play basketball since I was a little kid, for 21 years now, on a local league in Athens, Greece. Since I’m not a pro, sometimes I got paid, some others not, which is the most common case. I was encouraged to turn into pro sometimes from my coaches, but that was not something I wanted, this is my hobby for AGES now, it is my passion, my whole life, something I didn’t ever want to do professionally and lose all its values. This is the way I see it.
I have been a part of many teams until today and I can say from the bottom of my heart, that I had a fantastic time to most of them, as far as the girls and coaches were concerned. However, if I search deeper, to the heart of each team, I never felt I was secure to none of them, nobody really paid a cent for me for minor injuries or PTs ever (or to other girls). This sure is a big issue (not to be solved here), but this is the reality, this is a fact and I’m just presenting things as they are, to help me get a decision. When it comes to mind, I think that I’m 33 years old, married recently, got a great husband and of course family that love me the most. I’d like to have my own family sometime and be able to do things for my kids and have a normal life. It is wise to say I’d stop basketball now, I don’t want to get through the same again or destroy my feet.
But when it comes to heart…this was really my last season, but was cut off very early. Only played 5 games. I don’t know if this is another excuse to keep on playing, but this is the way I feel. I don’t want to stop it because of an accident, I’d like to stop it because I say so. Because I’m prepared to stop it. Because I have decided to stop, no injury can decide for me. I see every Sunday my teammates playing and I’m so jealous, I want to play with them so badly!

My doctor says that my foot will be stronger than ever now, but I’m so afraid that I might tear the other one, or maybe same, that I think that even if I play, I will not be able to enjoy it. I’ll certainly miss all the fun. They say that time heals everything, but I don’t have time. I’m not at my 20s anymore. Really confused on what to do…

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3 days left to complete week 12

February 16th, 2010 by marina

Here I am entering week 12. Seeing my PT today again after weekend and Monday, which was a public holiday in Greece. Tendon is feeling itchy inside (hope this is good), mostly when I walk around and I noticed I can walk with my toes watching up front pretty nicely last couple of days. I try to keep the tendon fairly warm using fluffy leggings. Can’t wait to meet my therapist today. Did much exercise all 3 days I spent home with the rubber band. I’m a bit anxious on the ROM, when I finish my session it feels great and seems like it’s gaining some degrees comparing to the ‘good’ foot, but in the mornings I still feel it kind of stiff. Also my ankles are feeling MUCH better, I’ve iced them the whole weekend and they seem to ‘remember’ my way of walking and at the end of the day it’s not that swollen anymore, I’m pretty much happy.

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My story so far (up to week 11)

February 14th, 2010 by marina

So, I ruptured my Achilles tendon  on the 21st November 2009, starting a sprint at first dribble on basketball practice. Felt like somebody was behind me and kicked me. Pain was terrible for few moments, but creepiest thing was actually seeing my foot without the tendon. When my coach and teammates tried to lift me up, I realized how huge the damage was, not been able to stand on my feet or even feel the ground underneath. We ran to the hospital where the doctor officially diagnosed a full rupture on my right Achilles tendon and put me on a splint. 6 days later I got an operation that lasted appx. 1 hour. Soon as they took me to my room, on my splint, I was frightened, not been able to move my legs from anaesthesia for about 15-20 minutes. Same night I suffered A LOT of pain, thankfully nurse visited me many times giving me painkillers. I slept a total of 4 hours that night. Next morning I went out and spent the night over my parents house that was close to the hospital and I can say it was pretty comfortable, unless I had to go to the bathroom. My foot was terribly swollen and numb, which made me really want to keep my foot elevated at most times, as the doctor suggested.

I visited the doctor each week for 3 weeks in a row, to check my leg. At first weeks, I wasn’t feeling much comfort (even though I had my husband and people and friends around me to do things for me) but I manage to go to work 4 or 5 days after op. I didn’t ever think I would say this, but it really helped working and joking with my colleagues, it made me forget my injury for a straight 8 hours.

All this time I experienced much of problems. First week after op, I visited the surgeon again and made a change on the bandage. Same night my heel suffered a lot like I was standing on a rocky beach barefoot for hours. My husband helped me unwrap the bandages and I put the splint to a position that felt comfortable and re-wrapped it again. That pretty much solved this until the week after, when I visited the doctor again, so I did same thing, same night..I was sleeping with pillows underneath my foot and kept the blankets folded where my foot was, as I could not stand its weight at all times.

Soon as I got rid of the staples (had 14 staples on) it felt much better. A week later I got rid of the splint also and was put on the cam boot. I spent 2 first weeks on the high heel and it was nice feeling again my foot on the ground, even with the crutches. When I reached one level prior to flat, my ankles where injured, since the boot was too tight on the sides, no matter the padding inside. This is when I started PT, mid-week 9. After getting my second PT, my therapist advised to remove one crutch, which I did, and the day after I left the other also. Wooh hoo! Here I am, FWB at last!

PT starts with tens, ultrasound (must say this feels uncomfortable when it passes over my incision), ¬†massage and tendon stretching. This hurts a lot! Last week I wear two shoes and I drive. I limp, but my therapist advised that I should walk normally and not on the side, to remind my ankles and foot how to walk again, no matter how slow. Last one week, I started also a bit of strengthen using a soft rubber band and he gave me ‘homework’ also with this band. I try to keep the tendon warm (after bath or using fluffy socks) prior to the exercise.

Last week, I visited the doctor for the last time (unless if I need him myself again) and he advised that I should go back to sport activities in about a month. That is of course, a little running, not full activities..looking forward to it!

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    • marina has completed the grueling 26.2 ATR miles to full recovery!
      Goal: 365 days from the surgery date.
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  • ATR Timeline

    • Name: marina
      Location: Athens, Greece
      Injured during: basketball
      Which Leg: R
      Status: 2-Shoes

      731 wks  3 days Post-ATR
      730 wks  4 days
         Since start of treatment