oscillot’s AchillesBlog

Week 18 update: Two more milestones

September 11th, 2015 · 1 Comment

My condition continues to improve every day. As long as I walk slowly and maintain short strides, my limp is gone. I can confidently push off with my injured foot without experiencing the pain of over-stretching the Achilles. In the overly-conservative schedule that I had written for myself while booted, I hadn’t expected to lose the limp until October, so I’m ahead of schedule!

I also enjoyed my first post-injury walk on the beach over the weekend, and it was glorious! We’re having a summer heat wave in San Diego with temperatures in the low 90s, so a breezy beach day is a welcome treat. Walking on the sand is a tough calf workout, so I had to take breaks. I was also extra careful to watch where I placed my feet while wading in the water, as losing my balance or stepping in a hole could be disastrous. I’ve always been an ocean lover, so it felt amazing to feel the wet sand between my toes while soaking my sore Achilles and calves in the chilly Pacific. The beach day came two months sooner than expected, so I am really happy. I can’t wait to boogie board or surf again - maybe in the spring?

My next planned milestones are hiking up the hill behind my house (Dec), which is a realistic goal for next month (Oct), and alter-G running (Jan), which I’m going to ask my surgeon about at my checkup next Friday. It’s hard to imagine regaining these abilities when you’re booted and in pain, but months 3 and 4 - when I started to regain strength and flexibility - are proving to be very rewarding. My PT has me simulate jogging on a trampoline at our sessions, and it feels great to get the arms and legs moving in unison again. Today, I graduated from the recumbent bike to the elliptical at the gym. The last goal I have for myself, to run next year’s Dec 2016 San Diego Holiday Half Marathon, seems within reach.

During weeks 16 and 17, as I transitioned from high top to low top shoes, I noticed random, intense pains that felt like microtearing of my Achilles while resting. They would pass within a few seconds, and now I believe it was constructive pain - possibly nerves reconnecting? Did anyone else on here experience the same phenomenon? Interestingly, a week later, all pain and soreness is gone. I only ice to decrease swelling and accelerate healing now, so I can better prepare for the next day’s calf workout.

My repaired Achilles feels super strong, but not as flexible as it needs to be. I actually catch myself occasionally favoring it over the other side, as I am experiencing tendonitis from the atrophy there now. My PT instructed me to stretch the repaired side constantly, even while at rest, to increase its mobility, and to really work hard on eccentric loading of the other side, to strengthen and overcome the tendonitis. It seems to be helping.

Oh, one more thing. I’m so confident in my Achilles repair that I’ve listed my VACOcast for sale on eBay. It was time to free up some space in my garage, and I figure if I rupture the other side, I can just buy it back from whoever uses it next. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that.

Happy healing, everyone!

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