oscillot’s AchillesBlog

Entries from August 2015

Week 16 update: One step backwards, two steps forward?

August 25th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Month four. My PT had me take a break in my rehab exercises this weekend, to let my calf and Achilles *ahem* heal. I had been doing cable walkthroughs and eccentric calf raises every day as prescribed, which was strengthening my foot and calf, but also causing burning and edemas at my surgery reattachment site. It was tough to press pause on my progress, but “Punisher Jim” convinced me that it would be worth it in the long run. During the four days off, my Achilles tightened up and my limp got worse, but the swelling did subside (somewhat), so I am resuming my PT exercises every OTHER day.

Some good karma finally came my way this weekend. I went to a Padres baseball game, and my money clip with $250 fell out of my pocket while leaving the stadium. Upon discovering this late at night after returning home, I drove all the way back downtown and retraced my steps, to no avail. The stadium was closed, but the lost and found returned my voicemail the next morning, saying someone had turned it in with all of the cash. My faith in the universe is (somewhat) restored! (I’m still cursing this darn injury, though.)

Although I was on a break from resisted exercises, the game was the most walking I’ve done since my injury. The surgical repair is healing short, with good tension (supposed to be better for athletic performance), and my calf is still too weak to walk without a burning feeling and a limp. To avoid overstretching my Achilles, I go at half speed with half length strides. One trick that’s come in handy is to use a cane, giving others a visual cue to walk around me, hold doors, and/or cut me some slack.

Since ice packs take a while to get cold again, and others had reported good results with it, I splurged on my fourth ice pack. The Elasto Gel ankle wrap is more expensive than my Mueller ankle wrap and Runner’s Remedy icing sleeve, but worth every penny, as it envelopes the foot AND ankle, and stays cold longer.

Happy healing, everyone!

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Week 15 Update: Checking the boxes

August 18th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Knock on wood: I have checked off all of my conservatively-planned milestones early so far. I reached FWB without crutches at week 8, started taking my daughter to daycare at week 9.5, and was 2-shoes outside at week 12. I still generally avoid longer strolls, but can at least tolerate going to the mall, a ballgame, or social events… if I’m feeling up for it.

There’s still lots of swelling, especially if I’m on my feet or walk long distances, but the pain has diluted down to tightness, burning, and mild frustration from not being able to walk at a normal walking pace, or with a normal gait. This is of course nothing compared to the physical, emotional, and mental agony of those first few weeks post-ATR. My brain has done a pretty good blocking that phase of the recovery out of my memory, which I am just fine with. Ice, compression, and good footwear helps.

So what’s next on the agenda? I’m currently approaching month 4, and am still working towards my next goal (month 5 - lose the limp). My calf strength improves every day, but my PT, Punisher Jim, says I need to be able to do a single foot heel raise before I can walk normally again.

The summer weather in San Diego has been great this August, so I may try and go for a super slow walk on the beach this weekend, if I can muster the courage. More to follow…

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Week 13.5 update: Swelling + supplements

August 9th, 2015 · 3 Comments

I went to a friend’s birthday brunch at a bar this morning, and had to walk quarter mile or so to get there because of limited street parking. Combined with the heel raises and pool walking I did today, my tendon is pretty swollen, even after icing and compression. The gait continues to improve as slowly as my walking pace.

I’m pretty sure my diet of fast food and frozen pizza isn’t so great for healing, so I searched online for any nutritional supplementation that might help with tendon healing specifically. I suspect a lot of people on here, including myself, are lost due to a lack of guidance from their OS and PT. Here’s a University of Maryland Medical Center article I found that appears legitimate. After reading this, I bought 3 bottles of a Bromelain-Turmeric-Boswellia joint supplement to augment my daily placebo of Glucosamine HCI MSM, Vitamin C, Calcium Mg, fish oil, and multivitamin. Hey, it can’t hurt, right? I’ve also been taking Supper Cissus and eating jello based on another Achilles blogger’s advice, but have found no scientific support that either of these helps heal tendons, just anecdotal reports.

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Week 13 update: 2-shoes!

August 4th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Mission complete! Well, not really. Mornings and inclines are painful, my strides are half as long / fast as normal, my wife describes my gait as “awkward,” and sports are at least six months away. But I ditched the boot once and for all last Friday!

I remember when I first joined this site and filled out my Achilles profile, 2-shoes seemed so far away and unattainable. As with many obstacles in life, it felt like it took forever to get to this point, but the memories of pain and patience fade in your rear-view mirror. My advice to you new rupturees is to force yourself to keep a positive mindset, be effusively and repeatedly thankful for whoever’s taking care of you, and have faith that you will be a better, stronger person on the other end of this. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, seated yoga, upper body exercise, and rejoining society by gradually going outdoors and spending time with friends and family (within reason) were essential for my recovery.

If anyone’s needing some physical therapy motivation, here’s the all-time greatest training montage from Rocky IV. Just don’t jump rope or sprint up a mountain without your therapist’s permission.

Happy healing, everyone, and hang in there!

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