May 31 2012

In the Club ~ Not by Choice

Published by marklewis67 at 12:16 AM 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 to “In the Club ~ Not by Choice”

  1. jenniferandersonon 31 May 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Your post really did bring back memories. The first few weeks are the hardest, no doubt about it. I stayed up till midnight or later the first few weeks too. Made it easier to fall asleep. Hang in there. It does get better and when you look back on it you’ll wonder how the time flew by so quickly, even though it seems to be dragging at the moment.

  2. jimminycon 31 May 2012 at 3:48 AM

    Mark, good post, this brought back memories for me to, but it sounds like you have a good approach so far and a ‘man cave’ sounds like a great set up to me! You are right that this is a ‘temporary’ thing, and although hard you will soon feel like progress is being made. As you say, it is what it is and only time will fix it!

    For me, my TV, Kindle and XBOX all helped with the first two weeks when I was off work and it sounds like you have a good support network and that will help greatly.

    Thanks for the detailed post, I enjoyed reading it and keep us posted on your progress. Keep the leg elevated, it really does help with the healing in my experience at this early stage.

  3. kimjaxon 31 May 2012 at 7:18 AM

    Mark - love the “invalid outposts!”. I have them all over the house, too. :). I have a stepping stool near my weight bench so I can climb down to the floor for leg raises, crunches, etc. - one of the exciting moments of the day other than eating, lol.

  4. Jayon 31 May 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Mark, best of luck with your journey. I had my 8 weeks follow-up yesterday. Walked out of the room with 2 shoes (with a crazy limp of course) and started driving. It’s a long and gruesome process. The next few weeks are gonna really test your patience and mess with your head. I watched a lot of sports/shows/movies.

  5. Margon 31 May 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Me too. 5/25/12. Right leg. I am only taking advil and keeping leg up. I see my surgeon on June 11 to remove plaster cast and have an airboot. I blew my Achilles while teaching aquafit. Nerve blocks work great for the first 24 hours.

  6. Enyaon 31 May 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Great post, Mark. Hang in there. Let me know if you need anything.

  7. normofthenorthon 01 Jun 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Thanks, Mark. Marg, many experts say that Advil (& all NSAIDs) are bad for tendon healing. Check online or ask a(nother) pro, etc.

  8. Margon 01 Jun 2012 at 4:31 PM

    the surgeon recommended as alternative. They also gave me Torodol NSAID right after surgery. If I take narcotics, I throw up. Mark, I hope you are doing well. Our first week is over. My incision feels higher on my calf thanI thought it would be. How big are the incisions once the cast is off.

  9. Margon 04 Jun 2012 at 10:38 PM

    Hey Mark how are you doing? My pain isn’t too bad except if my foot is down, then it throbs.

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