Nov 30 2010
Well here goes, 40 years old and this is my first blog so forgive me if it’s a bit amateurish.
I’m now 3 weeks post operative and so glad I found this site; I was starting to think I was the only person out there going through this!
I injured my left Achilles on October 13th chasing a thief from my house! Did I catch him? Yes, but I couldn’t do much else because it felt like my shoe was filling up with blood and I was more concerned with getting back home.
I knew what I had done as soon as it happened but didn’t expect the pain that came with it. When I got home I couldn’t move so it was a blue lights and sirens ambulance trip to hospital for me that night – another first!
I have nothing but praise for the ambulance guys, totally professional and reassuring. Unfortunately when I got to the hospital is when the care level of care took a down turn. When I eventually saw the doctor he examined me and carried out what I think was the Thompson test. When he peeled my off the ceiling he said I had probably ruptured my tendon. I had a back slab plaster fitted given some anti inflammatory drugs and sent home with an appointment in the fracture clinic in 6 days time.
After a two hour wait in clinic with my foot on the floor (it had swelled up like a balloon by then) I was seen by a doctor who could not find my notes, he thought I had a broken ankle even though I told him what I had done and then began to examine my broken ankle! (Another very painful experience).
I was then sent home in another back slab cast with an appointment for a scan the following week. Unfortunately over the weekend I caught a fever and had to cancel my scan appointment on Monday, to my dismay I was then told the next available appointment was in 3 weeks time. At this point I lost all confidence in my local hospital and sought the possibility of being seen as a private patient in another hospital. (fortunately after some negotiations my insurance company agreed to pay the costs) Thankfully after my initial private consultation things moved really fast, and I was examined, scanned and operated on within 24hrs.
The scan revealed a 90% rupture of the left Achilles tendon and the consultant said he always recommended surgery if the tear exceeded 50%, so under the knife I went.
I was back home in the back slab the following day with a sack full of tablets, and strict instructions to rest with the injured leg raised and of course I was now non weight bearing.
Two days later back to the hospital for the dressing changed and then back in a back slab.
A week later I was back for another dressing change of the wound and an examination from my consultant. He was pleased with the scar and said I was a good healer (hopefully this will prove to be the case long term!) During this visit I had the back slab removed and was fitted with an orthopaedic boot at a fixed angle with my toes down. I read on other blogs about boots and air casts and assume this is the same, though I think some other people’s boots allow a degree of movement?
During the above week I also had the misfortune of injuring my left shoulder (rotator cuff) which is apparently a common injury for people new to NWB Crutch life! So more enforced rest. A point to note though I injured the shoulder climbing the stairs as instructed by my physiotherapist so maybe the best way is to go up on my backside?
Not wanting to risk further injury though I have resorted to sleeping down stairs on an inflatable bed (Argos 634/1378 £50 and worth every penny).
Next appointment is December 17th so I assume it just healing and dealing with the boredom until then, pain is not too bad now although the leg is completely immobilised. My consultant is adamant that I rest but I see from other blogs that people are quite active post op (is it too early at 3 weeks post op?)
As I said the pain is manageable now without pain killers so that must be progress and that feeling of throbbing in the foot when you stand up has gone so that must be a good thing.
The worst thing now is dealing with the boredom, working from home helps pass the time, but I’m sure as most of you know going from an active life to NWB recovery is hard on the mind.
Any suggestions on how to stay sane would be much appreciated!
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