Archive for the “Uncategorized” Category

Hello, my blog friends. I have returned after a significant hiatus. During said hiatus, a number of things have occurred, so let’s just jump right in.

First and foremost, I feel like I’m fully recovered. I have the strength (if not the muscle mass) back in the calf. I bike, jog, exercise, chase my nieces and nephews without any real concern about the surgical repair. That just feels like a huge accomplishment. I was standing in the kitchen the other day after a bike ride with the wife and just basked in how wonderful it was to feel the pleasant exhaustion in my legs. Just for the fun of it, I even did a couple of single leg calf raises to prove to myself that the achilles was really solid and the strength was back.

Second, I have mostly hung up the cleats/high tops. I’ll occasionally go out and play a little ball, but I don’t attack it the way I used to. I’m starting to think that this is more a concession to athletic ability and other nagging little aches and pains than a fear that I’m going to do something catastrophic. My perspective on that is this: “I’ve already been through it once. I’m not scared to have to do it again, even though it’s horribly inconvenient, and I refuse to live my life in fear.” So, I maintain my activity, but the hard core sports has taken a back seat to the other things going on.

Third, this whole blogging idea has really embedded itself in my brain. I’ve been noodling about starting a side business that’s a review site that answers the questions that I can’t seem to get on other sites. For example, during the convalescence, I had a chance to cruise a bunch of movie review sites as I planned my excursions into the world, but I couldn’t seem to find anyone to answer the following basic question: will this movie be entertaining enough to be worth my $12? The sites I found (and it seems like I hit them ALL) seemed to fall into one of two categories: too general and vanilla making them meaningless or so mired in the minutia and film school vocabulary that it sounds like a frustrated film maker. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this was true about a lot of restaurant reviews, event reviews, and the list just goes on. So, I’m thinking about a site for the rest of us to answer, in these tough times, is it worth my money and will I be entertained/engaged/happy at the end of the day.

Well, those are the big time nuggets. I’ll pop back in here with more news, hopefully, on a more regular basis.

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It’s been a while since I’ve written or even really participated and I went into withdrawal. To make amends, I bought my t-shirt, read a bunch of other people’s blogs, and am now posting to bring everyone back up to speed.

I’m now up to wearing regular shoes. I had a post-op with the surgeon on the 10th of July, and he declared that I could “wean” off the boot. In all honesty, that weaning took about 30 minutes. He also told me that I’m healing nicely. When I pressed for details on what exactly “nicely” meant, he told me that he couldn’t feel a gap in the tendon repair site; there was good range of motion in the ankle; and, I was able to generate decent pressure through the ball of my foot in plantar flexion. All in all, it was good news.

I’ve been going to PT twice a week for the last seven weeks and have graduated in the last week or so to strengthening and balance training. We’ve progressed to toe raises, balancing on the repaired foot on the jogging trampoline while they throw a ball at me, and side steps onto a raised box. It really takes a lot of concentration to not “cheat” on the exercises by pushing weight completely through my heel or using too much of the good leg.

Like most of us in the two-shoes category, I’m now trying to stay motivated in the marathon with the small victories - more reps, heavier weights, longer durations, less swelling - instead of the more major milestones. It’s continuing to be a mental challenge without the endorfins.

That’s all for now. PT awaits!

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When all of the steri-strips and dead skin came off the incision site, I got my first real good look at the scar. It reminded me of that period in elementary school where it seemed like every boy was asking each other “hey, wanna see my scar?” That was pretty much all you heard on the playground, in class, in the hallways, and on the way to and from school. It was that period with boys where scars were cool, and you had to have one. The cooler the scar, the better. In fact, coolness wasn’t necessarily who had the biggest scar or the nastiest scar, but it had to be unique. It had to have a story. Let me tell you, our scars have stories. We’d have been uber-cool :D In fact, we’d have ruled the tan-bark.

I’ve had a few people want to see it, but I’ve begged off by telling them that it’s too much effort to undo the 6 straps on my boot, take off the tubigrip, give them their 10 second look, put the tubigrip back on, reset my leg in the boot, and redo the 6 velcro straps. I sometimes wonder at their motivation and the source of their curiosity.

Progress note - I’m scheduled to be full weight bearing in the boot today assuming my PT agrees. They’ve had me on a conservative recovery because of the muscle incisions to relax the tendon. So far, ROM is near normal. Her comment to me was that the brutal part - reestablishing ROM - has been fairly uneventful from her point of view and that the easy part of strength rebuilding should go smooth. She also told me that when the boot first comes off and I start re-learning how to walk normally, she might have me use two crutches for a little while so I don’t relearn walking with a limp. Sounds reasonable. At least it’s not using crutches just to achieve mobility.

Back to the scar thing. It really points to a discussion that’s occurred on a couple of blogs now about how people who haven’t dealt with serious injuries have a hard time conceiving what we’re going through. I saw a show on cable the other day called “30 Days” where the film maker (the same one who did ‘Supersize Me’) gets people to assume contrarian roles for 30 days. The one I saw had pro-bowl cornerback Ray Crockett use a wheelchair for 30 days. It was amazing and a little gratifying to see the same mental stages we’re going through play out. It was also cool to hear other people with apparent permanent physical limitations adapt and overcome. I think that’s the part we’ll always have some trouble with. We know our time on the crutches, in the wheelchair, etc. will eventually end. So, there’s a built in mental relief and goal. I know that I clung to that like a drowning man in the middle of the ocean. Many of our friends who haven’t been seriously injured (and all of us pray to some higher power that they won’t have to experience it because they’re our friends and relatives) don’t have the frame of reference to understand. Personally, I’m ok with that because this has given me the patience and understanding to let them ask their questions and give me their platitudes. I know that if there’s ever a time when I need people who do know, who can understand, and who have the shared experience, I can come here and hang with my blog buddies in the ATR Nation.

Thanks for that. Stay strong.

Mike

PS - at some point, I’ll get a scar picture up for everyone :)

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After two plus weeks of doctors, MRI, doctors, insurance, and scheduling conversations, I am now on the surgery schedule. Hopefully, the almost three weeks since the injury won’t put me at too much risk.

I must say that this is a great community. I’ve read a lot of the posts and I’m heartened to see so many people who are so supportive.

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