Jun 11 2012

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

Published by marklewis67 at 7:33 PM 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 ~


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

  1. kimjaxon 11 Jun 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Hey Mark,
    I’m using two boots - an air cushioned standard hinged boot and the Vaco Cast. Here are the pros and cons:
    Vaco- LIGHTweight - which is why I use it the most. My knees and hips have bothered me from all the elevation and contortions in recovery - the light weight really helped with that. Now that I’m walking, I love the two removable soles - no junk in your bed at night. Push a button and it comes right off. The big sole gives you a rolling walk that is impossible in a flat boot at higher angles. (your knee won’t bend with the angle) It gives me much more protection behind the Achilles, and it’s easiest to sleep in. Love having two liners and washing them each day or two. Don’t like the hotspots I get from the sometimes lumpy inside liner. Others have had less problems, so maybe I’m sensitive.

    Air cushioned heavy boot: love the air cushion compression on the ankle when leg is down - super soft and no hotspots. Way too heavy for sleep, PT, but much softer on tender areas. Impossible to walk in at higher angles.

    The Vaco was worth every cent - and I feel very protected in it. I did like being able to change out to the other boot occasionally early on as I had trouble with swelling above the AT where the Vaco liner creases. But for early walking and light weight, you can’t beat the Vaco. I love taking off that sole when laying around. You can swim in it, get it wet, and have a clean liner each day. HTH, Kim

  2. johnsfbayon 11 Jun 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Mark, the cast period is definitely the worst, but on the bright side you are almost through it!

    I like your plan to elevate and relax this weekend watching the US Open - my plan as well, along with watching Euro 2012! Should take your mind off of the foot for many hours.

    Once you get into your boot, things will get so much better - you can shower normally, take off the boot at night to sleep, hold stuff in your hands again, walk without crutches - lots of great things coming really soon!


  3. housemusicon 11 Jun 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Hi Mark,
    My name is Claudia and I read your posts about returning to work to a full time job only a week after surgery. I saw you work in Manhattan. I used to live and work in the city, and I cannot begin to imagine how you manage to do it (unless you have a chauffered car)
    Even though I am 10 months post surgery, I clearly remember the first few weeks after I tore my Achilles. I was so overwhelmed I had to take four weeks off work, and I spent over two months working from home.
    I could do nothing without help, not even take a shower.
    My case was a little difficult as I had some wound healing complications but the hardest part was the mental challenge of accepting what had happened.
    Like you, I live in a home with several levels, and my bedroom where I spent most of my time, is upstairs. After much frustration I learned how to scoot down in my butt and could do it pretty quickly. I went up and down stairs on all fours for two months.
    I live alone, so I had to hire help with grocery shopping, cleaning, food preparation, trash removal, etc.
    Those early days were hell, and then things started to slowly improve.
    Getting into the boot will make your life much more comfortable.
    I was given a standard issue boot which I only kept until I got my Vaco Cast Pro delivered. The Vaco is light and cool, and you can wash the lining. Most likely your doctor won’t be familiar with it so you have to bring the instructions for the adjustments.
    Once you go PWB you’ll have more mobility, but you still have to be careful. The last thing you need is a set back.
    Mark, this is an aweful injury, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Good luck and keep your chin up!

  4. marklewis67on 12 Jun 2012 at 7:28 AM

    hey Kim ~ thank you very much for the info. on the Vaco Cast … I’m going to order one today regardless of whether insurance pays for it .. sounds like a good option to have the two as you said .. so, I assume if you can swim in it .. you just swap out the wet liner for a clean, dry one ? Been on the web site a lot & it looks like a good product .. thanks again for taking the time to give me so much information .. was really helpful .. Be well ~ Mark
    p.s. ~ took me a while to figure out what HTH meant … :)
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  5. marklewis67on 12 Jun 2012 at 7:32 AM

    thanks John .. yes, taking it week by week now so I don’t get overwhelmed & I am ready for the cast period to be over next Mon .. you’re right, I forgot to mention Euro 2012 and have been watching almost every game so far (we have on at work) .. I used to live in London & became a Chelsea supporter there (good year for us :) ) & European soccer in general .. so, golf / soccer will get me through the week & I hope once the boot is on, things start to get better as you said .. thanks again for the reply .. Be well ~ Mark

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  6. marklewis67on 12 Jun 2012 at 7:53 AM

    hey Claudia ~

    Thanks for the great reply … even though I don’t wish this injury on anyone … hearing what you went through, esp in the early stages, def helps me to know others have been before me & it will get better … just takes time, etc … And, as you said ~ all the daily chores we have to do ~ grocery shopping, cleaning, trash, etc … takes forever or is impossible on cast/crutches .. especially if you’re alone. And, as you well know .. stairs are no fun at all .. I think that’s what tires me out the most & has made me so sore in my upper body, etc …
    Yes, I went back to work after 10 days & it was a little overwhelming as you can tell from my post .. would have liked to take more time off, but wasn’t really possible for a lot of reasons … and yes, I was/am able (through work) to take a car svc into Manhattan from my home in NJ & that has been invaluable.
    Thanks also for your color on the Vaco Cast .. it was very helpful, and I think btw your response & Kim’s ~ I’m def going to order one today …
    So glad to hear you are 10 mos removed from your injury … I hope everything ok ? I will def take my time w the boot like u said & go at my own pace .. I do not want a setback either … thanks again for the reply Claudia ~ be well …


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  7. normofthenorthon 12 Jun 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Think about the folks with conditions that don’t have our “light at the end of the tunnel”, when you’re really feeling blue. Might help.

  8. Michaelon 12 Jun 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Also think about how impressive your triceps will be. I have always worked mine, but they have never looked this good. :)

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