She ’says’ her name is Rachel but really it’s Satan!

June 8th, 2009

So, I came out of the moon boot 2 1/2 weeks ago and have been fully weight bearing and without crutches for 2 weeks. Foot now feels a lot more normal and much less floppy and odd. And now I have my very own physiotherapist by the name of Rachel. She has me doing a 15 minute exercise session 3 times a day, stretches involving touching my knee to the wall, standing on one leg for a 2 minute period, scrunching a towel between my toes and heel lifts and toe lifts. I can do most of them ok now, but standing on the bad leg is still a challenge. I did 9 seconds the first time and now can last about 35… progress is a beautiful thing!!

Rachel also has me doing a morning session at the physio gym twice a week, that involves some individual exercise with the physio and a group class specifically for the lower leg and ankle. This is why I think she is evil!! My GP suggested that I take pain killers before going to these sessions - good call!! It is the most tiring thing and does leave me with some aches and pains.

I’m not allowed to run or swim or cycle yet, but plenty of walking is allowed. I’ve managed to walk about 3 miles with a break in the middle so far and am allowed to use a walking stick for support over a long distance.
I’m quite amazed at the physio service here - apparently not everyone gets referred but fortunately I had the one consultant who routinely refers achilles tendon injuries!! I can’t believe some people don’t get any at all - it’s actually making all the difference to me at the moment - to the point that I’m walking almost normally, with barely a limp. It may leave me with some pain but I wouldn’t be without it… even if I do think she might be satan!!

Just take me to a shoe shop…

May 20th, 2009

So, it’s 6 weeks since my last blog entry, mostly because I was just ticking along nicely getting used to the moon boot and hobbling around learning to be a bit more mobile as the days went by, so not much more to say. I returned to the Ortho Clinic 2 weeks ago and was told the tendon had knit together and the ‘blob’ I can feel on the back of my leg is the scar tissue. 2 more weeks in the boot to get some strength weight bearing in the hope that at my next appointment might mean getting ready for shoes…
Well, at 11:35 this morning I was discharged from the clinic with a referal for physio and instructions to stop wearing the boot and wear shoes outdoors and go bare foot indoors and to use the crutches for support until I’m confident in my walking ability.
That’s 12 weeks and one day since I ruptured my tendon!!! I am a very happy woman indeed.
Got home and walked around a bit with the crutches, foot feels ok but very weak under me and for some reason it feels lighter than the good leg, but then I guess I have been lugging a big plastic boot around for 8 weeks, so that’s bound to feel odd to start with. So, I’ve gone from full weight bearing to 2 shoes in about a week . I do find it funny how when there is a milestone it feels like going backwards for a short while, I was walking pretty much everywhere without the crutches in the boot and now I’m out of boot but using crutches again… such is life and it’s only temporary… and the best bit is that I can now wear shoes in pairs, which MUST be a good reason to buy a new pair!!!

Are those MY feet??

April 8th, 2009

Well, it’s been a bit of a funny week really. I’ve been getting on with the moon boot really well, no longer scared of it and more than happy to see the wedges come out one by one on Wednesdays. Today out came wedge number two!!

Monday I had my ultrasound scan and discovered that there is still a one inch gap in the tendon, which I was quite surprised at since I’ve got some mobility back in my foot and it feels like it’s actually improving all the time. The guy doing the scan was not very helpful at all, in fact he was quite grumpy and almost pushed my husband aside, even though he (husband) had pushed my wheelchair into the scan room because the scan guy just stood in the door way and stared at me… I felt like saying ‘which part of non weight bearing don’t you understand?’ but for once managed to hold my tongue (it doesn’t happen often!) Anyway I left feeling unsure as to what the medics would make of it and really quite worried that they might start talking about surgery again!!

Skip to today (Wednesday) and back to the ortho clinic. Apparently it’s nothing to worry about and it will heal (indeed it IS healing) with time, they might just keep me in the boot for a couple of extra weeks. I’m now allowed to take it off at night (halleluia!) and if I’m just sat at home as long as it is elevated. And once the next wedge comes out in a weeks time I can start to put a bit of weight on it but only very slowly and carefully. And then I was given 4 weeks until I have to come back again. So all in all I’m a happy camper… I’m sat on the sofa with no boot on as I type this - it is sooo good to be able to see both feet.

Thank God for TESCO

March 31st, 2009

Since I’ve been NWB, the options for getting out and about have been slim to say the least. But thanks to some great research done by my husband and our lodger, I can now go out and about to places where there is wheelchair hire/borrow. The best place by far to go is TESCO… I’ve been 3 times now and borrowed a nice self propelling wheelchair to get around the shop and the coffee shop in particular. They even let me leave my crutches at customer services, no problem. There is something very good about being able to move around under my own steam, even if it is in a wheelchair.
I wanted to get some socks to wear under the boot, they needed to be knee high so the boot doesn’t rub. So we made an outing of it and went for breakfast at the coffee shop. It’s so good to get a change of scenery, even for just a little while.
It really does help me to stay cheerful. TESCO have earned a lot of brand loyalty from me in the last month or so…

I’ve finally got my knee back!

March 31st, 2009

So after 4 weeks in Polly the purple pot, I returned to the clinic and after some conversation with one of the Doctors, went to the pot room to have it taken off.

So, no more Polly… can’t say I was sad to see it go, but I was quite surprised  at how weak my foot is (extremely) and how stiff my knee was (ouch, bend you thing…).

Doctor came back to have a look after the pot was gone and seemed to be happy with things, he asked me to point my toes and they moved a bit but not really pointed, and squeezed my calf muscle which did make the foot do a tiny movement. I was distinctly underwhelmed but he seemed happy enough.

So then they showed me the aircast boot… wow… it gives really great support and has air pockets that get pumped up and deflated according to what you want to do. And the most important thing of all… it comes off!!! So I went home and had a bath with a little help from Matt!!

My boot has 5 wedges inside and I get to remove one per week now starting next week and once they are all out I will wear just the boot for a couple of weeks apparently. So, having gone from no milestones at all, I now have weekly milestones to look forward to.

It has taken me a few days to get used to the boot as I’m still NWB for another 2 weeks, but when I take it off the foot feels more like itself, just a weak version.

I’m sleeping in the boot for 2 weeks and then hopefully when they let me do some weight bearing, it can start coming off at night. The swelling is also going down, which is nice to see day by day.

So next week I go for an ultrasound scan to check on how things are healing…

The tale of Polly the purple pot, weeks1-3

March 29th, 2009

Ash Wednesday 2009  (that’s  25th  February  to you) I was at my first appointment at the fracture clinic and ended up with a thigh length cast with my toes in the equinus position (toes pointing down on tiptoe and then some). I still managed to do the Ash Weds evening service (sitting down) and that weekend Matt and I went up to Yorkshire to see our God daughters for the youngests birthday party. It was the birthday girl who decided to name the cast, and since it was purple she decided to call the pot Polly. I’m now getting messages from people asking how Polly is doing!!

That first week I honestly thought I could carry on working and it wouldn’t affect me, I would just have to spend more time at my desk and less time with people (which is sad in my job) and move all meetings to my place. And for 2 weeks I managed reasonably well. Then I went back to the clinic and was told to take daily  low dose aspirin ( for  6 weeks) to help prevent the complications of a blood clot.

As any asthma sufferer will tell you, asthma meds and aspirin don’t mix…  2 days later I was really struggling, non weight bearing, hobbling around on crutches and wheezing because my inhalors aren’t as effective…  That weekend  I decided to give up and go sick until things settled down a bit. A conversation with the asthma nurse at my GP helped a bit and putting my inhalors up a bit has balanced things out for now. Still I decided enough was enough…

For these first 3 weeks I honestly didn’t think a busted achilles was that big a deal!!

It would heal, right? So what was the problem?

Just goes to show how stupid I can be, and I’m in the business of caring for other people…doh!

It was only when I talked with my friend who is a nurse that I started to take in that it is a serious injury, I knew it was going to take a while to heal, but I had completely underestimated it. Taking some sick leave is proving to be a good thing, if rather boring…

Hello world!

March 28th, 2009

Hi

Having spent a lot of time reading other peoples experiences of ATR in the last month,  today I decided to add my own!! I hope you enjoy reading this as much I did reading others. I’m hoping that as well as giving me something to do while I’m off work, it will help me to see the journey of my recovery in the longer term.

I ruptured my achilles on 24th February and am following the conservative management protocol, which so far seems to be ok.

Nikki

    Time to learn the art of patience!!!
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