May 28 2013

1Year Post-Op !! (Late by a few days) :)

Published by marklewis67 under Uncategorized

Hi Everyone ~

    Well, countless times I dreamed about writing this specific post & at times I thought it would never come, but I’m finally here.  And,  considering I haven’t written since last August ~ it’s even more surprising … but, obviously this past weekend was a big milestone for me & I’m happy to report that Sat 5/25 was the 1 year anniversary of my achilles tendon repair surgery :) ….

    Fri 5/25/12 .. last year during Memorial Day Wkd ~ I had surgery @ 8am to repair my fully ruptured achilles tendon.  That first weekend was a blur to be honest ~ but, the past year has had it’s ups, a lot of downs, curses, tears & triumphs as well.  I meant to post on the actual date (this past Sat 5/25) ~ but, I played golf in the afternoon (walked 18 holes) & then chose watching “Game of Thrones” episodes Sat night instead of opening my lap top that was sitting right next to me … To be honest,  I was a little ambivalent about the anniversary.  It did mean a lot to me ~ but, because I am pretty much back to a normal physical existence, it’s almost tough for me to re-visit the last year & re-live some of the pain, frustration, depression, etc that I’ve experienced w this injury.  But, if you’ve read my past posts, u know that this website has been very cathartic to me, mainly emotionally, and it’s been great to connect to so many people across this country who were going through the same travails as me at the same time.  So, I think it is important to check in on this milestone .. even after 8 mos. of being MIA.  The people who took the time to read my past blogs deserve an update on my 1 yr anniversary  … and, the people who stumble across my blog who are in the earlier stages of their recovery, can prob use this post as evidence that they will eventually get better .. even though many times it doesnt seem that way … again, read my earlier posts … I was prob one of the more depressed patients out there.  But,  here I am ~ a few days removed from my one yr anniversary .. as living proof that your achilles will heal & your life will return to normal.

As far as my injury goes ~ mainly the only thing I deal with is soreness now … and, that I think is very normal.  I walked 18 holes twice this wkd .. I’m going to yoga tonight .. I walk in the park .. eliptical … I go to my trainer again .. I take spin classes & yes, I am back to coaching my kid’s lacrosse teams ~ which is how I originally ruptured my achilles on that fateful day,  5/19/12 .. over a year ago.  Now, I do have to tell you that I am making certain concessions to my recovery, etc .. because the last thing I want on this Earth is a re-rupture.  I am 42 yrs old & I am staying away from tennis for now .. drills @ lacrosse where I have quick starts & stops ( I did the orig injury during a keep away drill btw coaches & kids) … paddle tennis  …. running, etc …  just anything that I think may put a lot of torque or pressure on either achilles.   Maybe I’ll feel diff in a year ~ but, I am still going to take my recovery pretty seriously & try to get another year under my belt before I go back to certain things (skiing also) … To be honest ~ I’m pretty happy I can walk 18 holes & deal w nothing more that some mild soreness.  A few weeks ago after a lot of golf, I did bust out the Ice Water / Compression cast & put on my compression stocking & elevated my leg all night while watching TV bc the swelling / soreness was pretty severe .. but, it went away & it was actually a nice trip down recovery memory lane to get the apparatus out again  .. who knows, maybe Ill get one of my walking boots out in near future just to put it on again & give it a spin ?  Now, that would def bring back a lot of memories :)  … Can’t go any further than that bc I threw out my crutches as soon as I could bc I hated them. :) …. So, other than soreness, the other evidence of my injury is the still healing skin from my dual open wound situation.  The 2 open wounds are def different in color than my mature skin (purple mainly) and are still in the recovery process … no danger of reopening, but u can def see that there was prev trauma in the area … my scar (incision) has healed nicely & I still have a pronounced bump on heel where the achilles was bundled.  So, like I said ~ I still have some improvement to be made aesthetically in the area, but functionally ?  I am good to go other than normal soreness & self imposed caution.  All pretty much where I hoped to be after one year …. Thankfully.

So, when I first signed on here today to do this post ~ I was actually surprised that I hadn’t written here since August .. and, not surprisingly that was when I went to 2 shoes and really started to make some progress.  So, I’m thinking that maybe I equated my blog w. a time period in my recovery process where I was really in bad shape or at the very beginning of the journey .. and, that’s true .. just go back and read my posts on here .. I wasn’t in good shape & I was pretty pissed off.  So, I think that as my recovery took off after August, not documenting it here was my way of leaving all the bad memories behind.  Kind of like when you get out of a bad relationship, you’re not really looking to keeping mementos around from that time in your life, etc … I guess some could argues that documenting the progress would triumph over all the earlier posts when I was down in the dumps, etc .. And I don’t disagree with that .. but, knowing myself, if I didn’t go back on this blog from early Sept to today, it’s because I wanted to insulate myself from the stuff I wrote & felt .. because in reality, it all sucked.  I have never been as depressed / angry in my life than I was at certain points early in the game after my surgery.  Try “Why me” times a million.  I didn’t even go back & read my past posts today … But, I am glad I’m writing this now ~ because I do want to document my recovery now .. and especially this important 1 yr milestone.  I want the people who have read my posts to see that “I went through hell & kept going” & am now in such a better place … and, I want all you people who still have casts on .. walking boots on .. or are on crutches .. to know that your day will come .. and, it is sweet !  You will get better & you will be a better person for this experience .. a stronger person who will hopefully face adversity in your life in the future with a new sense of purpose based on the adversity & experience of this devastating injury that we have all shared together.    I know it seems like you’re all alone a lot of the times dealing w this horrible injury .. but, there is a community of us out there .. and we are all together .. and, by writing this & sharing my thoughts, I hope many of you can take something of what Ive said & use it in your own journey’s & recovery process.

Like I said earlier ~ this blog has been very cathartic & helpful to me .. and, what that really means is that all of the people on this website who have connected w me .. and, all of the people who’s stories I have read & gained inspiration from ~ are what has made the difference … and, that’s pretty special .. to have countless people that I will never meet make a difference in my life is something I will always cherish.  I have learned a lot about myself through my own recovery & the travails that came with that .. but, the most important things I have taken from this injury have come from all of you .. and, for that I will be eternally thankful ..

Thanks everyone for taking the time if you read this .. I wish you all the best on your recovery & I keep you all in my prayers always…. Take Care.

Best ~

Mark

8 responses so far

Aug 29 2012

One Week Complete of 2 shoes ~ Going Well

Published by marklewis67 under Uncategorized

Hey Everyone ~

Just wanted to check in real quick and touch base because it’s been a while … This will be short as I’m @ Newark Airport & boarding a plane to Chicago in 30 mins ..

So, my last post on 8/4 gave the news that my two open wounds finally healed .. Went back to see plastic surgeon @ the Wound Ctr on 8/14 and got my official discharge from the wound center  .. they gave me a little certificate and the nurses gave me  a little mini-graduation ceremony .. It was very nice and I’m very grateful to all of them for taking care of me and getting those two wounds to heal .. the only residual effects of the wounds is that I have to wear a compression stocking for 6 weeks just to continue to help w the swelling and give the skin over the wounds more oppt to granualize and strengthen, etc  .. so, no big deal … So, the wound iss is officially over . 

Now that that is taken care of, I got the green light last Tues 8/21 from my ortho to lose the boot and go to 2 shoes!  So, it’s been a full week today & it’s going great so far … right calf has def gotten smaller since the surgery, but, after a full week of walking, I can def notice a little change.  Started out slowly, and I still have a slight hitch when the achilles is tight (esp in the a.m or after sitting for a while) .. but, it loosens up & I’m trying to walk as much as poss (slowly & cautiously !!) .. But, I feel like a new person & am so thankful to be in 2 shoes & wearing pants to work again! … Being at airport & travelling today def a bit of a test and I’m def being careful, but, Ive been cooped up all summer, so it def feels good to spread my wings a bit (no pun intended) and get out of my little home/work bubble Ive been confined to for the last 14 weeks …. Business trip w some client dinners/ Cubs game tomorrow, so I’m sure my leg/achilles will get a work out … Ill be careful … Been icing it at night w the Cryo Cuff (thanks Kim!) as much as poss & it def helps … Wish me luck ..

Go back to Ortho next week on Tues 9/4 & he will see how the 2 weeks of just walking w 2 shoes went .. and we will talk about starting PT .. hopefully next week … I’m going to go to Spin class regardless & prob start walking in park this wkd when I get home.  Def need to amp up the cardio now that I’m mobile again & am looking forward to continued recovery & improvement when I start PT.  Been keeping up w everyone’s posts ~ sry I havent written in a while .. hope everyone doing well & Ill keep everyone in my thoughts & prayers for continued recovery.  Be Well ~ Talk Soon …. Best, Mark

3 responses so far

Aug 04 2012

10 Weeks Post-Op; Wound Finally Healed **

Published by marklewis67 under Uncategorized

Hi, everyone …

So ~ I had my 3 weeks followup appt w plastic surgeon @ the wound center this past Tues … and, after 3 weeks of twice a week  wound dressing  / compression wraps & elevation … my two lingering open wounds from my incision have finally healed! .. Skin over the wounds is still a bit fragile, so I’m doing another week of same protocol to avoid a re-opening .. and, after getting fitted yest @ the hospital .. Starting next Tues~ I wear a compression stocking for a month (9/4) to help the wound area/skin strengthen and granulize even more.

So, very relieved about the healing of the two wounds … still have compression dressing on now (4 wraps ~ no antibiotic guaze over wound) , and when it gets cut off on Tues (8/7) for last time ~ I will be psyched .. Will also be “discharged” from the wound center & will be very glad not to have to go to the hospital twice a week anymore.  The compression stocking will be a little bit of a hassle ~ but also a lot thinner & if that what it takes for a month to ensure no re-opening .. then I’d rather be safe than sorry .. This injury has been a cascade of inconveniences, challenges, frustration & changes .. so, I’m just chalking the stocking up to yet another inconvenience.  So, the wound situation is done & that treatment tapering off … now onto the achilles itself . 

So, saw my ortho on 7/17 and he gave me the OK to start walking in boot  & driving !  Protocol for transitioning from crutches/boot to boot only ?  one week w 2 crutches, one week w one crutch & one week w cane … needless to say ~ after one week, I was walking w boot w nothing else .. crutches, etc … My ortho looked @ wound and told me that he thought it was ok to start the boot walking, etc .. But, when I walked into the plastic surgeon appt this past Tues  ~  he flipped out … “What are you doing walking!! . .I told you to stay on crutches for another 3 weeks until u saw me to give wound a chance to heal, etc!!”  .. I rightfully blamed my ortho & my hatred of my crutches .. and, considering the wound healed anyway ..  crisis averted  :)

I go back to ortho this Tues along w picking up my compression stockings @ the hospital (across the street) .. and, I’m HOPING that he gives me the green light to ditch the boot .. Fingers crossed !!  But,  I have to confess something to you guys however .. My wife and kids left yest for Martha’s Vineyard yest and I am home alone for a week .  Long story why I didnt go, but u can prob figure it out ~ beach, boot, 5 hr car ride w no leg elevation possible & don’t want to take off anymore work than I already have bc of ATR, etc . … so, maybe bc I was alone and feeling brave ~ I started walking around my second fl w no boot & bare feet .. achilles felt good and it was def a liberating experience … I did it yest evening, in middle of night and this a.m. a bit … I just wanted to walk so badly and I’m glad I did … I justified it by the fact that my achilles got a few extra weeks of healing bc of the wound sitch .. and also, banking on the belief that my ortho will give me the green light in a few days to do what I was doing last night … I’m just front running him by a few days.   Felt good like I said and gave me a little bit of my self esteem back.  

So, next Tues is a big day for me … hopin to ditch the boot & start w 2 shoes.  And also start PT  ~  whatever that entails.   My goal is to be back on the golf course in Sept, but, I’m going to be happy to just be able to walk in some shape or form, wear 2 shoes, and also start wearing pants to work again!  Although the shorts in this brutal summer in NYC have been a blessing ..  my shower chair, crutches, cane are all in mothballs .. hoping to add my Vaco Cast & Cam boot to the pile on Tues night !   We’ll see …

So, wound sitch pretty much done .. 10 weeks post op yest … possibly getting out of boot this upcoming week, house to myself for a week :) … let’s just say things are FINALLY starting to go my way … knowing this injury though ~ I’m sure something bad will happen sometimes soon .. But, if things continue to develop favorably .. I’m def ready to ramp up my recovery w PT .. and really start to see some concrete milestones surpassed in the next month or so … 2 shoes, walking, PT, exercise, golf ??  I hope so … 

Been reading everyone’s posts ~ and you all continue to be an inspiration to me by your progress & recovery … this injury is such a bear .. such a bear .. and I have never felt so lonely at times during this recovery in my entire life … But, getting to know a lot of you & going through our shared common struggle together has been a blessing in so many ways.  I would never wish admission to our community on anyone  .. but, that’s what we are together .. a community/family of people all going through the same adverse life event together.  it’s been a huge help to me and one of the few blessings to have come out of this injury.  Take care everyone .. you’re all in my prayers always … Recover soon!! Will let you know what happens Tues, etc … Bye for now ~

Best

Mark

12 responses so far

Jul 15 2012

7+ Weeks Post Op ~ Incision Not Healed .. Very Frustrated.

Published by marklewis67 under Uncategorized

Hi Everyone ..

  So, it’s been a while since last post (6/11) and not a lot has happened .. for the better at least ~ 7 weeks 2 days since surgery and I’m still on crutches.  Not good.  So, a week after my last post ~ on 6/18 ~ I got my cast off & stitches out .. and, in the 4 weeks since then (tomorrow)  .. the incision down by my heel has not fully healed.  In fact, there are 2 open wounds/holes on my lower leg that are not healed yet.  

  After my initial appt. when the cast was removed/stitches out, I was going back to my ortho every week to check incision & check on ROM and strength of actual achilles .. well, 2 weeks after cast removal, the achilles had taken a back seat and the fact that the incision hadnt healed has become the main focus of my Dr. and myself .. 2 weeks ago, my ortho was concerned enough, that he sent me to a plastic surgeon @ the Wound Center at the hospital where I had the surgery done.  So, last week on 7/10 ~ I went for my first appt @ ”The Wound Center” .. and, believe me, when I walked into the same entrance of the hospital I did on Fri 5/25 when I had my surgery, it was not a good feeling .. Oh, btw ~ I shouldnt say walked in … I crutched in .. I forgot what walking feels like.    

    So,  basically, the 2 wounds are about the size of a quarter & a dime.  The plastic surgeon was pretty clinical and had the personality of an IRS agent.  His first question to me was “do u have diabetes?” .. “ummm, not that I know of?”  And he responded ~ “Well, that would explain why your wounds havent healed, bc you’re a young guy(41 yrs old) and these should have healed by now” .. My response “Well, isnt the achilles heel notorious for being hard to heal bc of lack of bloodflow, no meat on heel, etc” .. his response “well, yes ~ but I have the feeling u have diabetes” .. in my head ….”this guy is a plastic surgeon telling me I have diabetes”  something doesnt seem right , etc .. Anyway~ long story short  .. he basically proceeded to blame me for the wounds not healing .. “where do you work?”…. Manhattan .. “do you have your leg elevated all day” ?  No, I work on a trading desk and it’s hard to do my job w my leg on my desk” … “Well, you havent done a good enough job keeping your leg elevated, taking it easy, and letting your leg heal, etc ..”  “OK, Dr. that may be the case, but, what do we do about it now ?” ..

   So, he prescribed 3 weeks of a compression cast & a special dressing that I have to have changed bi-weekly @ the Wound Center at the hospital by a nurse .. And, I also cannot put weight on it or walk in my boot   ~ which my ortho had not given me permission for anyway bc of the open wound situation.  So, last Tues, I got the initial dressing/compression sock on . and just had it changed 2 days ago on Fri for the first time .. some good news though w that is that the smaller wound did look a lot better in only 3 days of treatment.  So, every Tues / Fri I go back to hospital until the fateful 2nd appt w Dr. Gloom on 7/31 .. I want these wounds healed just to spite this guy.  I HAVE done A LOT better job of keeping it elevated since last Tues & I think the compression sock has def helped w the sweeling.  And ~ I am happy to report that I DO NOT have diabetes as the blood test I took on Tues at the hospital told me when I got the results on Wed .. the first good news Ive had w this injury in 7 weeks. 

  So, in reality  ~ Im still in limbo ..  still supposed to be NWB and on crutches and in boot (Vaco & standard one I got from my Ortho) , although I am doing a bit of walking w/o crutches in my Vaco Cast around house, etc .  My achilles seems v strong and the ROM is great .. I am standing on 2 feet in shower (back to shower bag bc of compression sock) when I know it’s going to be a quick shower, etc … The main priority now is to get wound healed, so I can move on to PT and get rid of these freaking crutches … over 7 weeks on crutches is killing me and I’m extremely frustrated.   This wound situation is just bad luck & it’s delaying my recovery a lot & making me very angry in the process.  It seems like Ive only had bad luck since 5/19 when I ruptured my achilles.

  What happens if I go back to the plastic surgeon on 7/31 and it’s not healed ?  Well, “that would be bad” according to him .. With diabetes off the table, he told me we would then look at the possibility of a bone infection in my leg and or blood flow probs in my veins .. he also threw out the idea of forced bed rest w leg elevation w/ taking short term disability from work (Not going to happen) .. So,  if these are my other options, you can bet that I’m relying heavily on the wound healing by 7/31  .. I’m doing my part w the leg elevation and I hope the compression sock & special dressing are doing their part.  Also, I bought the cryo-cuff  that I saw on KimJax’s blog & am using it now as I write this (feels good) .. I’m also praying a lot for healing as well. 

  So, that’s it .. surgical complication has slowed me down and thrown me a little curve ball .. nothing about this injury has been easy, so I really shouldnt be surprised about what’s going on now w the wound problem .. I just want the wound healed, want to get rid of the crutches, and want to start putting weight on the right leg & start PT.   I want to play golf in Sept … that’s my goal. 

   I’m reading everyone else’s blogs & am very happy for all of your progress.  Feels like I havent been making much and have been very frustrated .. which is why I havent posted anything in over a month.  But, reading about all you guys is keeping me motivated & I hope I have better news for you about my progress very soon.  Take care ..

Mark

28 responses so far

Jun 11 2012

Still at the Bottom of the Hill…Frustration ~ 2+ Weeks Post Op

Published by marklewis67 under Uncategorized

Hey Everyone ..

 .. So, not a lot going on  .. still in cast, completed first full week back @ work last week and it definitely took a toll.  Along w other social/work committments.  Because I’m still in cast & the swelling doesnt seem to have abated, it feels like at best I’m going sideways progress~wise  .. and even backwards at times when you add in the mental toll. 

I just read a great post by “Onhiatus” and the post summed up exactly how I’m feeling.   I’m a week or 2 ahead recovery wise, but still “at the bottom of the hill” where I’m having a hard time mentally accepting the limitations of this injury .. But, the point of ”Onhiatus’s” post was that you don’t realize how much you take for granted until you either can’t do it at all ? Or can’t do it on your own .. the loss of independence is amusing at times .. and also devastating at times .. and for me ?? Only 2 weeks and 3 days Post -Op ?  Its been VERY frustrating  ..

Going back to work last week was great as far as ending the hibernation/healing week at home where I felt either like I was a) an invalid… or b) suffering from cabin fever .. My last post detailed my first day back, which was tough physically, etc .. but , the rest of the week really highlighted the mental challenges that cropped up during the week.  And for me the main thing was going back to something that was very familiar to me .. yet, I was very  different.  And, because I was different .. my once familiar surroundings, routine, etc .. seemed totally foreign to me  .. which was scary in a way & def mentally challenging. 

As the week wore on, the difficulty of getting ready for work, getting to work , not being able to do anything for myself at work, being on the crutches, constantly asking people for help & the increase in swelling in my foot and soreness in my upper body & hands(crutches)  really took it’s toll on me mentally.  By the end of the week I was mentally & physically drained .. and, ended up going out Fri night for a social  committment I had made before I got hurt & that turned out to be a mistake ..

I woke up Sat a.m. .. a little hungover & with a right foot that was purple & painful .. I realized btw the week @ work & Fri night out, I had def overdone it .. So, I literally spent the past wkd in my easy chair .. back in the Men’s Grill (Man Cave) on my 3rd fl  ~ in my easy chair w leg elevated & resting.  From the time I went home Fri night ~ until this a.m. when I went to work .. I didn’t go outside once … So, btw the toll the work week took on me, & Fri night .. which led to my forced convalescence .. I was pretty depressed all wkd .. Felt like I had taken a few steps back & was back to square one .. as if it was my first wkd home after getting home from the hospital 2 weeks ago … The swelling definitely improved a bit Sat/Sun .. but, today back at work ~ it was painful again. 

So, I have one week from today until I get my cast off ~ and I’m just going to lay low & elevate as much as possible .. 4 more days of work & then Father’s Day Wkd / U.S. Open (golf) wkd .. 2 good excuses (along w a ruptured achilles tendon) ~ to just chill out, lay low & watch golf on T.V. …all wkd.  I have a massage scheduled for tomorrow night to try to relieve some upper body soreness & maybe asuage some mental stress .. and I hope that helps the cause.  But, I think I def underestimated going back to work & def had too much on my plate going to that party Fri night .. and I paid the price this wkd & today.  I learned my lesson and am going to really throttle back as much as possible until I get the green light from Dr. and or Physical Therapist.  

I will do my part physically .. and, I hope the mental challenges I talked about will also recede a bit .. or, I’ll just assimilate better to my new temporary life w a major leg injury.  Either way, I know this injury will get better  .. And  I know I will slowly make my way up the hill on my road to recovery ..  But, right now I’m still at the bottom of the hill .. and, it hasnt been easy.

A lot of you are farther up the hill .. nearing the top .. or fully recovered .. And, it has definitely helped to read your stories & know that recovery is imminent & achievable .. I just have to put in your blood, sweat & tears .. no one can do it for me .. but, knowing you all did it before me .. and succeeded .. has been a big help .. Be well & Heal quickly ! 

Best .. Always ~

Mark

P.S. ~ Cast off next Mon 6/18 .. my Dr. says he has a “standard boot” ready for me, etc .. but, have been looking at the Vaco Cast on the web site & it looks pretty cool .. the Pro Achilles model ?  Anyone have any reco’s ? reviews? .. Any input would be appreciated  .. thanks  M

8 responses so far

Jun 04 2012

First Day Back @ Work Post-Op

Published by marklewis67 under Uncategorized

    Today was first day back @ work since surgery and it was a mixed day.   One of the biggest frustrations with this injury has been losing the freedom to do a lot of things on my own and being dependent on others .. so, it was nice on one hand to leave the house and go to work like a “regular” person after a week off being laid up w/ leg elevated, etc .   But, upon returning to my normal schedule this morning, it became painfully clear how much my life has really changed since my achilles ruptured almost 3 weeks ago. 

   I leave for work pretty early, so now w/ leg in a cast, it’s too time consuming to shower in the a.m., so that is now done the night before .. my dressing room is on the 3rd fl, but to avoid dealing w an extra set of stairs @ 5:30am, I laid out my outfit in my office on the 2nd fl the night before & got dressed in there .. instead of wearing 2 dress shoes, nice dress slacks & a button down shirt, I wear ~ one running shoe on my left foot, casual pants that can fit over my cast & a golf shirt .. because after a few sets of stairs & 5 mins on the crutches .. I start sweating like a fat kid @ a bake sale.  And finally, instead of making a coffee to go & walking outside my house, getting in my car & driving to work ~ I grabbed a Vitamin Water Zero, put it in the backpack I wore out my back door, crutched myself down the deck stairs & out the driveway to the street to catch my ride & get driven to work …. Between the casual outfit, backpack, sneakers & the inability to drive myself .. I felt like an eighth grader on his first day of school .. instead of a self-sufficient, 41yr old financial professional going to work after a summer weekend  .. and the difference btw those two feelings is vast .. all thanks to my right achilles tendon that chose to explode for some reason on 5/19

 As you can prob tell from the last paragraph .. you can prob see where I’m going with this.  It’s one thing to be in the hospital for 2 days, then be laid up in your house for 9 days .. and everything that went along w that was frustrating, etc … but, when you go into Manhattan on a Monday a.m. @ 6am w  a large cast on your leg & crutches .. spend all day in an office .. around people who have no mobility/pain issues … your level of frustration & irritation goes to another level.  I know this is all part of the process .. but, going back to work today really illustrates what a sucky injury this is … and, I’m sure everyone who reads this who is or who has gone through it can attest to what I just wrote. 

So, other than the adverse mental aspect of returning to work .. physically it was not great either … I really did a good job of keeping the leg elevated while I was at home .. and, even though my facilities guys brought me a stool to put my leg on @ work .. it just wasnt the same … I really didnt have too much of an issue w swelling while I was at home, but today was a diff story  .. I didnt keep it elevated enough today bc I was busy after being out for so long .. and, by the afternoon, I was def in pain.  I did take a couple percocets during the day .. but, it didnt really help.  All afternoon I couldnt get comfortable .. foot was either numb, in pain, or giving me needles .. and, physically, by 2pm ish, I hit a wall and was exhausted.  Really was a harder day than I thought it would be, and I’m glad it’s over … my colleagues however were great, and they did a great job of looking after me, getting my coffee, breakfast, lunch, water, etc … really tough when you cant carry anything on your own w the crutches, etc … Anyway, I’m glad the day is over .. Rainy, frustrating, painful Monday … I don’t know of any other worse way you could describe a day @ your job.

So, it is what it is .. it’s over .. and hopefully it will get better .. hoping the swelling improves as the week goes on & my stamina improves also … Also, my mind, emotions & expectations .. hard to realize how much your life changes in a few weeks because of something like this .. but, reading about a lot of the people on this site who are many weeks ahead of me in recovery def helps me to deal, etc .. Knowing it will get better w time, etc ..  

That’s it for tonight .. Up on the 3rd fl in the Man Cave w leg elevated watching another episode of “Game of Thrones” …  enjoying the brief diversion into fantasy land … before returing to the bleak landscape of reality tomorrow.

Be well everyone .. heal fast

Best

Mark

15 responses so far

Jun 01 2012

One Week Post~Op : “Don’t Lie to Me Doc ~ Am I Going to be Able to Ever Dance Again?”

Published by marklewis67 under Uncategorized

Hey Everyone ~

Friday afternoon and I’m just wrapping up my bill paying & other assorted “duties” in my office that I’ve rightfully been neglecting for the past week.   Today is my 1 week post-op “milestone” & I celebrated it by leaving the house for the first time in a week, risking my life by being a passenger in my wife’s car, and visiting the guy that cut me open last week .. my orthopaedic surgeon.  

Felt good to get out of the house & go somewhere & my appt. was basically what I expected.  He asked me about pain levels, how I was doing, asked me to move my foot in my cast ~ “toes up for 3 secs / toes down for 3 secs ” ,  told me the swelling would abate around day 10 (Mon) & actually pried my cast back a bit around my big toe to give me more room and alleviate swelling.  He went on to tell me that I have to be patient .. “With tendons, it just takes time ~ but, rupturing your achilles tendon just adds so many other dimensions to the injury due to the inability to walk”, etc … I really like my Dr. ~ he’s a really cool guy, straight shooter, very accomplished, etc .. & someone I trust a lot & someone I will do whatever he tells me.   Between him, his staff & the staff at the hospital that took care of me during/after surgery, I consider myself very lucky to have had them all as my medical team, etc …

My main concerns / questions ( ahhh, no, I didn’t really ask him if I was going to be able to dance again :) ) … had to do with the length of time I will have to have cast on .. Before surgery, he told me 2 weeks cast / 12 weeks boot .. but, after getting intimate with the inside of my right leg & seeing the havoc that I had innocently wrought on it that fateful Sat. afternoon 2 weeks ago ~ he told me that 3 weeks in the cast was going to be the minimum.  So, I was nervous that today ~ a week later, that number was going to be 4 weeks .. but, thankfully he said 3 weeks was fine, so I’m going back on Mon. 6/18 to get cast off ,  sutures out & boot on.  I asked if I could go back to work on Mon ? “Yes, you just have to keep foot elevated as much as possible”.   I asked a few more questions about the boot, PT after boot & what I can expect after the boot is off as far as what I can do physically … His main point was that a lot of that will have to do with my confidence & from that, how much my body protects itself from things it’s not ready for ..  I’m not expecting to be 100% after 15 weeks (3 weeks cast / 12 weeks boot) .. but , I guess I was looking for him to throw me a bone .. “Yes, Mark, you will def be able to play in your Member/Member golf Tournament in October .. plan on it” … But, he didn’t throw me one .. he threw me a “patience” stick instead.  “You just have to be patient” ..  I get it & it’s fine.

Before leaving ~ he gave me another scrip for a refill of Percocets (7.5mg this time) & signed my DMV application for a 6mos Temp Handicap Parking Pass that we dropped off @ the police station way home from doctor  … Handicap Parking Pass?? Hell yes, this injury going to give me something back in return for everyhing it’s taken from me .. .But, seriously, I figured “why not?”  I work in Manhattan & commute in from NJ .. the next couple weeks I’m going to take a car svc right to my building, but after that, I’m going to get rides from my twin brother to the ferry terminal in Weehawken, NJ & take the ferry down to Pier 11/Wall St & then take a cab from there.  But, at least then ~ we can park very close to the ferry terminal in a handi spot as Ill still be on crutches for 2 weeks after I get boot on .. so, 4 more weeks of crutches ..

Other than my Dr. appt ~ not much has been going on here since my last post  ~ late Wed night / early Thurs a.m.  .. Thank you to the people that replied to my first post .. def felt good that you guys were familiar w some of the things I wrote about my first week, etc … And, to Marg, def feels good to have someone w the same Op date as me .. don’t know if that makes sense or not, but, it’s comforting somehow … Through this achillesblog website, I ordered a “shower chair” that I used today for the first time for my first unassisted shower since the operation .. felt good to be self sufficient, etc … I also bought (through the Amazon link on the website) ~ two Motorola walkie talkies (yes, I did) to make it easier to communicate in the house if I’m up in 2nd fl office / 3rd fl Man Cave or my wife in basement or outside w kids, etc  .. Figured my kids can take them when I am healed & not being treated like a 85 yr old mother in law stashed on the 3rd fl who has to be fed, cleaned & looked after.  

It’s gotten a lot cooler here in the NYC Metropolitan area the last few days, so Ive been out on the deck a bit also .. had some buddies come over for a few beers last night & we hung outside which almost made me feel normal.  My older sister, her husband & kids coming over tonight, so it was amusing to send my wife to the liquor store for beers for the first time since Ive known her .. Between  her having to take the recycling/garbage cans to the curb, going to buy beers,  changing the water bottle, etc  .. I think she def can’t wait for me to get healthy again either :) .. So, Ill enjoy the little perks of the injury while I can … like I said before ~ I’m going to get milk this for everything I can .. and I’m still going to come out on the short end vs. what Ive given up …

So, as my 1st week comes to a close, remember … “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional” … Ive tried to make the most of a crappy situation, and it’s def been an up & down week mentally .. but, Ive started to try and transition to as much of my normal like as possible .. and, going back to work on Monday will def help me achieve that … Will start to think of next 2 days as a reg wkd & not some neverending home detention that it’s felt like at times .. will try & go to pool tomorrow w my kids, get set up on a lounge chair w my leg elevated, etc  .. and then gear up on Sun mentally & practically for a return to the big, bad city on Monday … I think I’m ready for that next “step” …

Take care everyone  .. heal fast … Talk soon

 

Best ~

Mark

9 responses so far

May 31 2012

In the Club ~ Not by Choice

Published by marklewis67 under Uncategorized

   Hi everyone ~ my first post on AchillesBlog.com, so please be gentle .    I’m new to the ATR club, but I’m very glad I found this website and am looking forward to sharing my experiences on it as my recovery from ATR hopefully goes quickly.  A good friend of mine sent me the link & the posts and experiences I’ve read so far have already helped me realize that the recovery will happen and reading the many stories on here over the past few days has definitely helped my sagging  spirits .. Here’s my story ~

   I ruptured my right achilles tendon two Saturday’s ago on 5/19 while I was playing lacrosse .  I have 2 sons (Ages 7 & 5) and I was coaching their lacrosse teams in our town league.  I am 41 yrs old, and usually switch btw my 7yr old’s 2nd grade team & my 5yr old’s kindegarten team .. as they both share the same field ~ it’s easy to go back & forth btw the two groups.  When the injury occurred,  myself & 2 other coaches were doing a keep away drill from a group of second graders.  I came around the net, took a pass from one of the coaches, & planted my right foot and pushed off to change direction to avoid a rapidly approaching 2nd grader … then ~ I heard a loud pop, and thought someone had hit my right ankle from behind w/ a large rock.  I literally stopped & turned around to see who hit me  .. there was no one there & right about then the burning sensation started.  I couldnt walk on it & immediately knew something bad happened … I was right.

  Saturday afternoon/evening was spent in the emergency room where I received two diffferent diagnoses .. But, the bottom line was ~ you need to get an MRI & see an orthopaedist .. I left w some crutches that were too big, a soft cast & a scrip for vicodin &  an MRI .. the following Mon I made the appt to see my orthopaedic surgeon and had the MRI done .. A week ago today, Wed 5/23 ~ I went to the Dr. where my MRI results awaited .. turns out, he didnt even need them .. after a cursory exam on the table .. my Dr. informed me I had a full rupture of my achilles tendon.   After a few non-surical options were presented .. we got down to brass tacks & I accepted the fact that I needed surgery  .. I asked the Dr. when it was needed ..  “Next week?” I inquired? ..His reply ?   ”No, tomorrow” .. Umm … OK … in my mind I surrendered the idea that I was going to make it to the Mem Day party Fri night that I was hoping to save w. my suggestion of surgery the following week ..  But, once I knew I needed the surgery ~ I just wanted to get it over with asap .. so, I had the surgery 2 days later on Fri, May 25 of Mem Day Wkd ..

The day of the surgery, I def woke up nervous b/c I knew my life ~ at least in the near term~ was about to change significantly … the admission procedure to the hospital & the pre-op all went smoothly .. met w the anesthesiologist and she let me know I was going to have a peripheral nerve block injected behind my knee to numb my whole leg & general anesthesia as well ,so I’d be asleep during the operation .. Got wheeled into the OR .. tried to crack a few jokes to calm my nerves & gladly accepted the knock out punch that was introduced through my IV ..

  After the surgery  ~ I woke up .. noticed the large white cast on my right leg and just tried to get my wits together in the post-op area .. my leg was numb from the nerve blocker, so the only real pain I had was in my throat from the traecheal tube that was inserted during the operation .  After some time in post-op  ~ I was wheeled to my room where I spent 24 hrs that can be described as going from moderate discomfort, to major pain ..

 The staff  in the hospital was great and made the experience a lot better than I thought it would be  .. the following morning, I had a few visitors .. one being a physical therapist who checked me out on my crutches (Crunches as my 5yr old calls them) .. and my Dr. who told me that my achilles tendon was totally “Blown Up” and it was one of the most challenging repairs he’s done .. my nerve blocker had worn off in the middle of the night and I was doing 3 hr doses of morphine at this point, so when he told me the cast needed to be on for 3 weeks instead of the 2 he originally told me in his office on Wed, I dont think it registered .. but, it did after I got home  .. when I realized my house was a lot different place to live in with a cast on & crutches to get around .

  So, Ive been home since Saturday .. my wife set me up on my 3rd floor where I have my Man Cave & a guest room to sleep in .. it was easier to deal up here, with a bathroom, large screen TV, lap top, etc etc .. I didnt want to deal w stairs .. so, I literally stayed on the 3rd floor from Sat to Memoral Day (Mon.)….either in bed or in my easy chair w my leg elevated .. On Monday I took my first shower and made my first trip downstairs … Since Mon, I have spent some time in my office on the second floor, and have also set up another invalid outpost in the 1st fl TV Room .. I’m slowly working my way back into society.   My days have been spent with leg elevation, eating, reading newspapers/magazines/ my kindle, listening to NYC Sports radio & watching TV .. my doctor wanted me to spend the first week resting w my leg elevated & I am doing my best to accomodate him … as I take a percoset every 4 hrs .. 

Bottom line is, that it hasn’t even been 2 weeks since I injured myself & so much has happened & my life has changed a lot  .. I still can’t believe it happened, and some days I wake up and forget it’s real  .. until I feel the cumbersome cast on my right leg  .. but, it’s real & it’s not worth my time or energy to cry about it .. at this point, I just want to get better & get back to my normal life .. It def has been mentally challenging this week .. Esp starting yest when the holiday wkd ended and everyone went back to work / school, etc … Been going stir crazy at home & I never thought I’d miss being @ work ..  But, the support both before & after surgery from family & friends has been amazing and so helpful .. I realize that everyone moves on w their lives & the calls/texts/visits have def slowed down … that’s alright though .. I’m prepared to do this regardless .. I def miss my mobility & I def miss playing golf & just being active w my kids, etc .. but, this is temporary & I know it will change eventually …

Sorry for the long & wordy post, but I figured for the first one  ~ I’d just start writing & see what comes out … I know I skipped over a lot of details, etc .. but, I think whoever reads this can get the general idea … And, for those of you that read this and have already been through it, or are weeks & weeks ahead of me in recovery ~ I hope some of what I wrote brought back memories & rang true, etc …  But, I’m glad I started my post & it feels very cathartic to write it .. I will continue posting to my blog (shorter entries I promise!) and I hope you guys have the time to check them out .. I will def continue to read yours.  12:15am Thurs a.m. now (5/31) .. think it’s time to go to bed :) ..  thanks for your time  ~ I will be back soon I hope .. Take Care ..

Best

Mark

9 responses so far