mo808’s AchillesBlog

Aloha, e komo mai!

March 15, 2014 · 17 Comments

Hi Folks & Welcome!

I am new to blogging, and recently new to a sports related injury — ATR to my right foot!

Since, this is my first post, I’ll give you a little background on myself.  I live in Kailua, on the island of Oahu (on the Windward side) in Hawaii.  I am 57 years young, married with four grown sons and one grand-daughter.  I work full-time in my neighborhood at a well known medical facility.  My husband works on the South shore at a well known hotel as a chef. We still have two sons living at home with us.

I’ve always tried to maintain a good weight and exercise lifestyle, but in recent years it’s been so hard to be both disciplined and motivated.  I’ve always had those ups and downs and peaks and valleys of healthy eating choices and the right balance of activity.  Needless to say, the scale or my clothes would clue me that it was time to get serious again.

On 2/3/14 while working out at a neighborhood fitness class at about 5:30am,  I ruptured my right achilles tendon.  I was working at a station with another boot camp member running in place when I felt as though I was kicked extremely hard at the back of my foot.  Immediately, my heel went numb.  I limped off the mat; massaged the foot; drove home to ice the foot and leg.  In spite of the injury, I showered, dressed, and went to work.

Since I do work at a medical facility, I also scheduled an appointment to see a doctor that day.  She took an x-ray, examined the leg and told me it could take weeks for the bruising, swelling, pain to subside. I was wrapped up with an Ace bandage and told to elevate and ice often.

I continued that week with the icing and elevating, but after one week–I scheduled a follow up on 2/10/14–because I was still not able to walk properly.  She noted the bruising was only beginning to subside but remarked that for some it takes months to improve.  I told her there is something more going on here and asked for an MRI. She ordered it as well as a referral to an orthopedic physician.

Three days pass and still not contacted to do MRI and I am getting impatient.  I discovered when speaking to a co-worker that it was likely that the medical assistant did not call in for the prior authorization. This co-worker offers to do so for me–and boom get a call back that evening from her that auth is good! I then call Radiology and schedule the MRI.

The next day, 2/14/14, I called the orthopedic department (I was referred in house) to schedule an appointment–but no availability for several weeks.

I went to see my primary physician on 2/15/14 for regular lab work follow up and he recommends an orthopedic doctor in town. But as it turned out he could only see me sooner if during my work hours.

The MRI was not done until 2/18/14, but on 2/19/14 the results were sent to the doctor who forwarded them to me.  A lot of the report was more medical terminology than my pay grade, but I knew enough to know it wasn’t good news.

Since, I was still seeing a physical therapist for my right shoulder (Janet), she suggested Dr Rasmussen here in my neighborhood. The soonest I could get in to see her was 2/26/14.

Finally, appointment day!  Dr Rasmussen has me lay on my stomach, pressed the back of my right calf muscle and says “ATR”.  She asks, “When did this happen?  2/3/14 and today is 2/26/14?  You should have had surgery 3weeks ago!  You needed this done 3weeks ago–and though I am booked tomorrow–no matter! I am adding you to my surgical schedule 2/27/14!”


Categories: Uncategorized

17 responses so far ↓

  • Mr WordPress // Mar 15th 2014 at 7:58 pm

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  • normofthenorth // Mar 16th 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Outrageous treatment, when (a) the test is a calf squeeze, (b) prompt treatment really helps, and delay closes doors, and (c) you had a savvy insider - yourself! - as a medical advocate!

    I hope the rest of the road is smoother.

  • normofthenorth // Mar 16th 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Getting your leg fixed is obviously priority 1 (& 2 & 3!), but I think you could win a suit over this. If nothing else, you’ve lost a few weeks of walking and working and pain-free, etc., and you’ve also been deprived of the non-op alternative. If I were them, I’d settle.

  • fuegalicious // Mar 16th 2014 at 3:43 pm

    That. Is. TERRIBLE! I am so sorry. I had my surgery on the 3 week-iversary of my injury & I thought THAT was bad! Have you gotten your splint/cast off yet? (Mine comes off tomorrow!) I hope you’re healing well.

  • fuegalicious // Mar 16th 2014 at 3:46 pm

    (Also, I don’t like the idea of lawsuits in general, but I agree with normofthenorth. You may do well to address this legally so that it doesn’t happen again. Malpractice is pretty serious. The fact that you’re an employee shouldn’t mean your treatment is anything less than professional. You received subpar treatment, for whatever reason. Even mistreatment.)

  • mo808 // Mar 16th 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Hi normofthenorth! Yup, I only wish it could have been as simple as the calf squeeze on day one. I would have not have waited if I had any idea on the degree of the injury! Healing is progressing, thank you!

  • mo808 // Mar 16th 2014 at 9:08 pm

    I am really not feeling litigious here, more annoyed! But, I understand your point! I am thinking the doctor seriously had no idea on the calf squeeze test. I will definitely let her know about it though.

  • mo808 // Mar 16th 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Hi Fuegalicious! I had my splint removed on 3/10/14 Yippee!!! So altogether, I wore that baby for 12 days. Today is day 7 of being BOOTifully clad with crutches! The greatest thing is not having to bag my foot in the shower! The cut is healing well as she glued it. Still have to elevate the foot though! Great to hear you will be removing your splint tomorrow! It will be freeing and a wonderful next step :-) in your healing!

  • mo808 // Mar 16th 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Yes! I too am not litigious by nature. I definitely will bring it to their attention–especially, the doctor! But, at this point my attention and focus will be on my healing and progress with physical therapy.

  • normofthenorth // Mar 17th 2014 at 11:59 am

    No, do you know if your surgeon used glue inside (instead of sutures) or just for your skin? I had open heart surgery, and many surgeons are using glue for that, inside and out - basically “crazy glue”! My hotshot cardiac surgeon wasn’t impressed, so I got stitches, but I think glue is the way of the future.

  • normofthenorth // Mar 17th 2014 at 12:15 pm

    I saw a PBS show (Frontline?) on hospital infections, maybe 2 yrs ago. Huge variations between “similar” hospitals. The one hospital with the biggest documented improvement was where the family of a deceased infection victim sued and settled for a package of reforms. No $, IIRC, but the patient’s widow was a member of the infection-control committee.
    No pressure from me to sue, though!

  • mo808 // Mar 17th 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Hi normofthenorth! My surgeon used super glue on the outside only! The inside was stitched with some kind of super thread which was very micro thin and like wire. My first reaction was, “hey, would I get beeped going through check points at the airport?” :-) She said, “No!”

  • normofthenorth // Mar 18th 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Mo, I’ve now had TWO different surgeries (not ATRs) with stainless-steel wire to hold me together, and I still get on airplanes OK! (The steel wires seem fine for the sternum, but I prefer softer stuff for a hernia.)

  • mo808 // Mar 18th 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Hi Norm! My other question on the wire would be, “How does having the wire affect any possible x-ray or MRI to the site?”

  • normofthenorth // Mar 19th 2014 at 12:50 am

    I hope there’s no problem, Mo, because I’m scheduled for an MRI of my ticker in 3 days!

  • normofthenorth // Mar 20th 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Actually, it’s in a few weeks. And the wires aren’t on the list of things they warn about. It occurs to me that the most corrosion-resistant alloys of stainless steel (the ones that are preferred on boats, especially in salt water) are not attracted by magnets, despite the iron content. That may be the explanation.

  • mo808 // Mar 20th 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Hi Norm! Well, that is good to know! I suppose, no harm to give the tech the heads up on the wire though. I hope everything goes well for your MRI and that there will be good news for you at your next follow up!

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