The injury and the surgery

September 9th marks the beginning of a new journey for me. I really didn’t ask for life to throw anything else at me yet here we are. As you age you risk injury. Strenuous repetition will increase that risk. It finally happened, a tennis game resulting in an achilles rupture that will require surgery and put me out for 6-12 months. No cardio or impact exercise. Even cycling will be limited.

There is nothing I could have done to prevent it other than not play. What’s the point of living life without doing what you love? I went for a volley and my foot didn’t come with me resulting in a loud popping noise. I turned around looking for the ball that hit me because it felt just like someone smashed a ball at my ankle. There was nothing there and then I went to the ground in pain and thought oh no! Next was a very uncomfortable amount of pain, the realization of what just happened and then the mind racing with thoughts. How will I get up, get to the car, drive? Ice please!!! My friends helped and asked a neighbor for ice. They had very concerned faces. They know what an injury like this means for a tennis lover and it’s not good.

I contacted a friend who had achilles surgery and asked questions. She gave me her doctor’s contact information and I made an appointment. The evaluation was pretty quick. While laying on my stomach the doctor squeezed the calf of the good leg and my ankle raised with it. When squeezing my other leg the ankle didn’t move an indication that the connection isn’t there. I can actually see that through the skin as well. There is an indention (something missing) on one ankle and not on the other.

I got an appointment for an MRI to confirm the degree of damage. And the surgeon appointment the following day.

The MRI is loud! Staying still for 45 minutes on your back is not comfortable. The pictures are still put on a disc and luckily we have an old disc reader to look at the images. The pictures take forever to load. And I can’t tell what I’m looking at.

I met with the surgeon Dr. Bloome he wouldn’t know how to fix it until he goes into see. He said he would leave minimial incisions. My response was more dismisive about the look. I actually asked for a bionic leg. Surgery was scheduled for September 14. I have to take a rapid covid test in the parking lot before surgery is cleared.

I was so nervous. We got there at 7am by 11AM I was on my way for surgery. I ticked off all of the unpleasant parts of the process, the added anxiety of getting on the schedule, the covid test, the EKG (I need to address my high blood pressure), the IV start and finally the knock out medicine (it usually burns so bad, but this time it did not).

I woke up in recovery and noticed instantly my ankle was in pain. The nurse worked with me with a series of medicines to make the pain managable. I’ve told the doctor that its ok to have pain, just so long as it is manageable. The hospital gave me a walker and we were released.

Now recovery can begin. My friend loaned me a knee scooter and its the only way I can get around the house. I use the walker for bathroom transfers and to get in and out of the shower. (I installed a removable shower head and tried out taking a sitting shower before the surgery) She warned me that the first 48 hours I would most likely experience the most intense pain that even pain medicine won’t resolve. I’ve had two solid days of being uncomfortable, but never in pain that couldn’t be managed by pain medicine which is a muscle relaxant and hydrocodone which is an opiod. Opiods are constipating so stopped them on day 3 and took a stool softner (TMI) for relief.

It’s now 1 week post op. The hardest part is going from being so active to very little activity and missing out on all of the fun active things with friends. I haven’t stayed in bed from day one. I work at home. I don’t like TV so I’ve downloaded some books. I plan to work on my spirituality through the healing process. I want to get back to running and tennis. #goals

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