i arrive for my appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon. the last cast is sawn off in the plaster room, and then i’m told that my surgeon is not actually in (hmm? not in? i think i know where he’s in… in the south of france!)
the hospital manage to lever me in to the head-honcho’s timetable. eventually i go in, she take’s a cursory glance at my withered dangly appendage and says i’m good to go. by ‘good to go’ she actually means get out of the office and get on with it. a photocopied exercise sheet is handed to me and that’s it.
if i hadn’t spent so much time on achillesblog.com reading about all of your experiences and protocols, that really would have been it. i would have hobbled out of there having spent seven weeks non-weight bearing, with a tendon hardly tested, a bare foot that’s barely at 90°, and a leg as weak as an asthmatic ant. the phrase ‘clucking bell’ comes to mind.
i explain that i would feel safer if they would just pop me in a boot. she replies that ‘it’s fine, don’t worry, you don’t need a boot now, just take it slow’. I stress that i haven’t put any weight on my foot for 7 weeks, and there’s no way i’m leaving the hospital without the protection of a boot. she looks perplexed, stating that the usual protocol at her hospital is weight-bearing from week 4 in a ‘walking’ plaster. I look even more perplexed than her, and ask why on earth am i not following that protocol then. She shakes her head and mutters something about her consultants being a law unto themselves. ahh that’s reassuring.
if the surgeons within one institution cannot decide on a preferred protocol that they all agree on using, then i guess it would explain the huge variations that we all seem to be experiencing during our recoveries & treatments in our various locations.
i leave the hospital snug in a boot, but shudder at what might have been, had i not acquired a little knowledge about ATRs from this valuable site, and been able to question ‘protocol’.
dennis, i salute you.