19 weeks post-op, starting to “run”

Posted on July 6th, 2009 in Uncategorized by newleaf

Haven’t posted in a while.  Progress… I’ve finished 2 2-mile swim races, and am up to about 100 miles a week on the bike.  I did my first non-treadmill "run" the other day… 22 minutes of 1 minute run/1 minute walk… very slow but good to be outside and running again.

Achilles felt fine… there is still really noticeable difference in the strength of my legs, though… need to work on that.

Am doing a sprint triathlon at the beginning of October, and debating a half-iron in September, which I may either walk-run combo the run, or DNF.  We’ll see.


Posted on April 25th, 2009 in Uncategorized by newleaf

Was planning to go 2-Shoes on Monday… have been wearing the high-top basketball shoes in the house.  Had to take the kids to Target this morning… it’s 85 out.. took one look at that heavy, hot, giant boot, and decided to forgo it.  I doubt I will go back to it at this point.  Walked around Target for about an hour pushing the kids in the shopping cart… every so often had to stop and rest for a minute.  Was pretty tired when we finished.  Got home and iced for about 20 mins., but is OK.  Tomorrow we’ll try the park and a picnic with them.  Should be interesting… a 3 1/2 year old, a 1 1/2 year old, and a gimp.  :)

My surgeon said I’m allowed to wear a high-top shoe.  So on Thursday I went out and got some.  Ironic that I ruptured playing basketball for the first time in over 10 years… and the first thing I have to do when I’m getting better is buy basketball shoes.

Am also riding my bike (indoors on the trainer of course) each day… the first day (Wednesday I think), managed only 5 minutes at about 5 MPH.  :)  Last night got up to 20 minutes @ 10 MPH.  My goal for this year is to do the ChessyMan AquaVelo.. 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike.  That is in late September I think.. my physical therapist said she thought it was a reasonable goal for me.  So we’ll see how my progress on the bike goes.  The swim, no problem, the bike, we’ll just have to see how it goes.  I’m swimming around 4x/week, around 2500 yards per swim, so will be in fine shape for that.

almost to 2-Shoes…

Posted on April 23rd, 2009 in Uncategorized by newleaf

… am wearing two shoes in the house.  My PT recommended that I keep wearing the boot outside for a few more days, more as a warning for people around me to give me a wide berth.  I’m fine with it for now, but I expect that within the next 3-4 days it’ll be gone for good.  Was funny when I put on my right shoe this morning… felt like I was putting on a slipper after wearing the boot for so long.  Am not going to change my status until I am 100% in 2-Shoes.  I think Monday will be the day.

au revoir, crutches!!

Posted on April 16th, 2009 in Uncategorized by newleaf

Have been using one crutch for a few days.  Was in the kitchen emptying the dishwasher, crutch was leaning against the fridge.  I noticed that I was only gently using my hand for balance against the countertop, and was like, "hmmm."  Decided to try walking without the crutches.  No problem at all… walked back and forth across my kitchen for 15 minutes… woo-hoo!!

bye bye crutches!!  2-Shoes, here we come!!

stood on one leg today! FWB!

Posted on April 15th, 2009 in Uncategorized by newleaf

Today at PT Nicole had me put my hands on the bench and try to put as much weight on the injured leg as possible for 10 seconds, 10 reps… on the second one took the left foot off the ground and both hands off the table!!  yay!!  Was able to hold that for 7-8 seconds for most of the reps.  Balance seems to be the main issue.

but yay, am full weight-bearing now!!  Am getting better on one crutch… next step when I’m totally comfortable with that, is to try ditching them both.

7 weeks post-op and swimming, progress towards FWB

Posted on April 13th, 2009 in Uncategorized by newleaf

Today is 7 weeks since surgery.  I’ve been in the pool twice and my swim fitness isn’t too bad… the first swim I did 2150 yards, today 1700.  Am only swimming with the pull buoy for now, no kicking, or pushing off the wall.  It is great to be able to swim again and just be doing some real exercise.  I am hoping to participate in a 2-mile swim race at the end of May.  I’ll be there just to finish, not race.  I need to get into the 2500-3000 yard workouts next week.

My physical therapist is really encouraging me to go to one crutch, I think I will be in 2-Shoes status in a couple of weeks, although it is hard to see now.  It is difficult to trust that my leg can handle FWB, although she says it can… it’s just a mental thing right now.  When I use one crutch, am finding that I take a really short step, almost a hop, with the good leg, presumably to avoid weight on the bad leg.  Need to practice this and make Nicole (physical therapist) proud!

Am going away for the first time since surgery this weekend, to a triathlon that a few of my good friends are doing.  Even though I can’t race of course, will be fun rooting for them and hanging out.  Looking forward to it.

And here’s a pic of the leg, taken today.  The incision is looking great… the swelling isn’t so much, but that is due in large part to the blood clot, and of course to the fact that I don’t have it down all the time.  Swelling just comes with the territory.

So, my spirits are good despite the blood clot curveball.  We caught it early, will just be on blood thinners for 6 months, and life is slowly getting back to normal.  Not quite there yet, but lots of good progress being  made.

first night sleeping w/o boot

Posted on April 6th, 2009 in Uncategorized by newleaf

So last night when I went to bed, my toes just felt like they were going to explode or something inside that boot… not painful, just lots of pressure.  I got upstairs, got into bed, put my foot on a big pillow like I always do, and tried to go to sleep.  Tossed, turned, couldn’t take it.  I thought, OK, it is 6 weeks after surgery… it really ought to be OK to sleep without this $@*)!?! boot.  So I took it off, and fell asleep.  That’s it… I am done wearing the boot when I go to sleep.

ugh, developed a blood clot/DVT

Posted on April 5th, 2009 in Uncategorized by newleaf

So on Monday of this week, starting feeling pain in my right calf, and had lots of swelling.  It continued for a couple of days, so I went to see the doctor on Thursday morning, to rule out a blood clot.  Ha.  "Rule out."  They sent me to have an ultrasound, and it turns out that I have a deep vein thrombosis in my right calf.  So now in addition to the Achilles recovery, am on blood thinners as well, and need to be careful with bleeding and bruising and all that.

Was supposed to start FWB this Monday at PT… but until my blood levels stabilize, will not go to PT, so this will delay things by a week or so with that.  I was pretty frustrated and upset on Thursday and Friday but am feeling a little better today.  The calf hurts a lot (mostly in the morning and night) when I am standing, or on the crutches.  The thing that sucks, is that one of the best things for the clot is walking and activity, and I’m not there yet.

This is a fairly common side effect of surgery… so, if you experience a lot of swelling in a fairly short period of time, accompanied by leg pain, get yourself to the doctor!  You don’t want to mess around with blood clots.

when were you able to swim?

Posted on March 18th, 2009 in Uncategorized by newleaf

Question for anyone who used swimming as a way to get the HR up after surgery… how long after surgery did your doctor give you the OK to swim, or suggest swimming?  Mine said it would be "when the incision has healed" which was somewhat vague to me.  I plan to swim with a pull buoy, which is a float that you hold between your thighs, keeping the legs still.

I have a 2-mile swim race that I’m signed up for, the last weekend in May… registered for it months ago.  I won’t be doing any triathlons this year, so this race is my only chance for 2009 to participate in anything, even though I wouldn’t be "racing" per se… more  a leisurely timed swim.  It’s not the end of the world if I can’t do this race, but it would be nice if I could.

bored and grumpy

Posted on March 17th, 2009 in Uncategorized by newleaf

So my leg feels fine now, and things are to the point where it isn’t a problem for me to get out of the house and go to the grocery store or Target, etc.  But not to the point where I can hang out somewhere for a couple hours, or whatever, so I am in this limbo, and it’s getting frustrating.  My kids are down South with their mother visiting her side of the family, and I miss them,  and triathlon season is starting, and this other website (triathlon-related) that I am on all the time, I don’t really even feel like going on.  Yet all my friends and support network through this have been local people I’ve met through the site.  They’ve all been super with coming over and helping, but I am just sick of sitting in the house, and all we talk about is triathlon and working out,  and I’m just tired of it.  I actually spoke with my wife (we’re separated) yesterday for about an hour and a half, and it was good talking to her, which is adding to my angst.

I want to go to this pizza place I like and get a takeout pizza, but I can’t carry it… I have all this trash upstairs that I need to take out but I can’t, just all this stuff that you take for granted, that you just can’t do.  I got a message on the other site today saying something like "why so down today?" and it’s like, you know, I’ve had a pretty good and upbeat attitude about all this… I think I’m entitled to have one or two days when I’m not feeling all that great.  I’m tired of watching college basketball (can you imagine?), tired of watching movies, tired of having 6 loads of laundry pile up, tired of not spending time with my kids, tired of this place being a mess.  I know in the big picture things could be much, much worse, but sometimes one just needs to vent.

I just find myself wishing away the next 4-5 months, basically.

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