Getting there…

Well, after the last post I’ve come a long way.  I’m 15 weeks along now.  Seems like the first 6 weeks after surgery took forever.  Then after that it picked up pace.  I don’t know how everybody else’s recovery has went but mine hasn’t been that much out of the ordinary or at least what I would expect to be ordinary.  At two weeks the surgeon checked me out again.  Pretty swollen but he assured me everything looked great.  After that visit my only real problem began.  I had some parts of my incision that didn’t get enough circulation, so some of the skin died.  That just made it a pain later on when I had shoes and socks on.  After that all my check ups went great.  At 6 weeks I was PWB and by the end of 7 I was able to put all my weight on my foot.  I then began PT at 8 weeks which I think has been a blessing.  Now 7 weeks into that I can see real progress.  My range of motion is back to within a couple degrees of my good leg.  Only real issue is strength in my calf muscle.  If it wasn’t for that then I guess I’d be done with PT.  As of now, they won’t let me I can do 10 full extension calf raises on my bad leg.  Hope to be doing that within the next couple weeks so I can start running and exercising again.  These 15 lbs I’ve added have to go.  Funny how the healing process goes.  The first two weeks I lost a bunch of weight because I couldn’t get up and feed myself easily.  Now, that’s a different story.  Oh well, just makes me look forward to working out like normal again.

Step in the right direction.

Well, where I left off on my background story was getting my surgery scheduled. The interesting thing about that was we had plans to go tubing down the river that weekend. So when the doc gave me instructions about surgery on Monday and sent my on my way home I knew my wife and I had to talk about something..

On the way home my wife and I determine that I’m either going to sit home and be miserable or go camping and be miserable. Either way, I was going to be miserable. I guess that made my choice easy, we went camping.

So Friday night we head to the campground and my wife gets everything set up. Lucky for me she’s really good at that sort of stuff because I was absolutely no help at all. On a side note it was nice not getting yelled at setting up the tent. Once camp was set up we headed over to hang out with everyone else and sit by the fire.

After quite a long night of my friends drinking (I wasn’t because of meds), talking, and joking around by the fire it began to sprinkle. No big deal. Just time to head to the tent and back at it in the morning. I wish it was that simple.

It slowly changed over from a sprinkle to a steady rain. Our tents good so I knew it wouldn’t leak unless it turned into a violent down pour. Lucky for me, it never did. Now, not knowing anyone that had this injury I really didn’t know what to expect. It was only my second day with it so it was all new to me.

Well, I tried to go to sleep like normal. Figured the rain would help me because it usually does. Unfortunately not tonight. I began to get an ache that I would describe to be something like arthritis. It started out in the back of my heel and worked itself around my ankle. Then it turned to just a constant ache and pain. If that wasn’t enough I started to get a cramp in my calf. That’s right, a cramp in the calf of the leg that I injured. Now, normally for me to get rid of a cramp I have to stretch it or massage it. As you know, I couldn’t stretch it. My Achilles was torn. So I message away at my calf. It takes about 15 minutes but I finally get it to go away. You can’t even understand my relief at this point. So off to dream land I go.

I wake up in the morning, get some breakfast the wife cooked, and then proceed to go lay back down. No need for me to get up. They were all getting ready to go tubing. Seeing as I wasn’t going there was no need for me to get up. Pretty much the rest of the day passes with the normal pain.

Finally everyone gets back from tubing. Let me clarify that, not everyone went , just most everyone, so I did have some help around camp. Good thing too, because I needed it. See, we had our dogs so they needed to be taken somewhere to potty. Sure wasn’t going to be me doing it. I wasn’t very good on my crutches and I wasn’t going to add dogs to the mix. That would have turned out bad. The next thing I know we’re all sitting around the fire talking again. We’re all having a great time like the night before. Like the night before, it begins to rain again. Oh no! Not again!

At this point I know what happened the night before was going to happen again. It’s my luck. I just have to learn to live with it. That’s about all I can do. As the night progresses it’s the same aches, same pains, and same cramp. This time it goes away a little quicker. I guess that’s a positive. Sure wasn’t looking forward to it happening again that’s for sure. Good thing it was our last day there and time to pack up and head home. I couldn’t wait to get to my house, and lay in my own bed.

Monday finally came, it’s surgery day. I was nervous, but I sure was ready to get started on my recovery. I knew it was a long process so the sooner the better. Just wasn’t looking forward to the crutches, boot, and PT. Good thing for me my wife works with all these people about to take care of me. She’s a scrub tech. I think that made it a lot easier on me. I knew I had the best doc, the best scrub other than her, the best anesthesiologist, and so on. My room was full of who she picked. The best of the best. Plus the doc was supposed to take some pics for me while he was in there. Bonus treatment.

Next thing I know I’m waking up in recovery. Seemed like I was gone just a couple minutes. Guess it was a little longer than that. That’s OK. I didn’t know any different. By now I’m finally getting my bearings as to where I am, what’s going on, and so forth when my wife comes in. She tells me the surgery went great and its all repaired. Then let me know the doc would be in soon.

After a couple minutes the doc shows up. He tells me the surgery went better than expected and then proceeds to tell me that my ankle was the worst he’s ever seen. That it was torn up really bad and that he had to use some bone anchors for the paroneal tendon. Guess you have to expect that when the top of your foot hits your shin. Can‘t possibly be a good thing. He then finishes by telling me to take it easy, gave me instructions on what to do, and told me to schedule an appointment in two weeks. All I knew right then and there was two weeks is going to seem like forever in that boot. Sure was hoping it would fly by.

That’s where I was over a month ago. I’ll post up more here in a couple days.

Why I am where I am…

Seems like a good start to a journey begins with knowing where your at and then figuring out where your headed.  I’m thinking thats kind of how I should document my recovery.  So here we go.

When this year began I was at the young age of 36.  I was happy, content, and pretty much where I wanted to be.  By content I don’t mean lazy.  I mean my health was good, my job was good, my family was good, and so on.  I was challenged by life, but it was a comfortable challenge.  Not the stress filled life that many lead.  I had time for the family, friends, fun, and racing.  Yep, racing.

The last couple years I’ve gotten back into one of my passions.  Motocross racing.  After many years of “I can do that” when the local motocross races came to the area I decided to try it again.  Granted it was the very last race of the season, I was out of “race” shape, and I hadn’t raced since I was a kid it ended up turning out pretty good.  I don’t remember what place I got, think it was 7th out of almost 20 people but it didn’t matter.  The passion was rekindled.  Next year, we were racing.

Your probably wondering why I said we.  We  means my wife and I.  Yep, thats right, my wife and I.  Well, that year we both cleared enough room from our schedules to make 3 somewhat local races.  When we didn’t race we were practicing.  As strange as it seems it made the year fly by and our fitness level go thru the roof.  Before we new it the season was over and we were counting down the days to this season.  Especially since we both bought new bikes to race this year.  We knew it was going to be a year to remember.

We started out by planning to hit no less than 8 races but had it scheduled to race 14 of them.  That way if I decied to bump up to a higher class I could still reach the 8 race minimum to get race series awards.  To get those awards I practiced.  Practiced.  And then practiced again.  The first race came, 1st place.  Practice was paying off!  The next race came, and I got 9th place.  I was 2nd in the first moto until the bike quit and wouldn’t refire.  So I couldn’t finish it.  The second moto I won it.  With that result I decided to step it up and jump to the higher class in my next race.

As I do with most things, I approched the higher class with caution.  I practice more and told myself to take it easy the first race.  Just get my legs under me and feel out the new competition level.  So, that’s what I did.  I raced the next race like it was my first.  I finished 12th.  I was happy with that.  I felt like I had a lot more to give and they really weren’t that far ahead of me.  So it was time to practice up.

Leading up to the day of my injury I had some strange sensations in my right leg.  It felt like it was about to fall asleep.  Not full needle poking asleep, just tingly asleep.  It did this off and on for a couple days.  Really haven’t had any problems like that before so I mentioned it to one of my co-workers.  He’s a fellow rider to.  So I asked if he had anything like that happen to him before.  Long story short, no.  That didn’t matter to me, tonight I was going to practice after work.  It was going to be fun.  A bunch of friends were going so we could push each other to get better.

I get to the track and all is normal.  The feeling in my leg is gone, and I’m ready to ride.  I get my gear on.  Get the bike warmed up.  Then I warm up.  I take some slow laps to get losened up.  Now I’m ready to roll and just need someone to ride with.  Its seems like you push yourself a little harder to go faster when there’s someone out there with you.  Knowing this I head to our parking area and look to see who’s ready to head out.

As I’m headin’ in I see a buddy of mine head out.  He’s got a big head start but I know I can catch him.  Just got to get out there and let ‘er rip.  Just get in a groove.  The jumps are feeling good.  The corners are even better.  Next thing I know he’s only a corner away.  Just push hard out of this corner, hit the jump, and I’ll be right on him.

Out of the corner I push hard.  Blitz the whoops.  Then hit my favorite jump.  Nothing’s stopping me now.  Just gotta land and accelerate but unbeknownst to me I hit the jump a little harder than normal.  Which, is a good thing.  In the air I notice I’m going to come up 10 or 15ft long.  So I start to brace for it.  No big deal.  I’ve hit harder than this.  Just suck it up and keep on movin’ I thought to myself.

I touch down.  Not gently, but I’ve hit worse.  It starts out as a jolt.  Then turns to pain which focus’ on my right ankle.  As I notice it I start leaning to that side to take the pressure off it.  When I do the pain forces me to look down.  What I see surprises me.  It’s my foot pointing straight back at me.  I quick glance up to see where I’m headed.  Then look down again in surprise.  I see the same thing.  Knowing I need to get off it I put all my weight on my other foot.  Hold myself up on the bars and look down again.  It looks normal.  Lucky for me the exit to the track was the next corner.

From there I coast off the track and back to the trailer.  As I’m coming up to it I’m frantically waving to my wife to come over.  Quickly she can tell by my actions it wasn’t good.  I kill the bike and coast in.  She grabs it.  I hop to a chair and sit.  “What” she asks?  “I think I broke my ankle” I replied.  Lucky for me my friends were there.  They help pack the trailer and send us on our way to the hospital.

On my hour drive to the hospital the pain got progressively worse.  Every bump poked it where it hurt and the problem was, I just couldn’t tell where it hurt.  It seemed like my ankle.  It was in that area.  It just hurt everywhere near there.  I couldn’t see though.  I had my motocross boot on.  We both knew not to take it off until we got to the hospital.  It’d just swell up like a balloon.

We get to the hospital and lucky for me it wasn’t that busy.  My wife sign’s me in and within’ minutes I’m headed to a room.  Granted, this hospital’s quick, but not usually this quick.  Needless to say, I’m not compalining.  Pretty happy at this point.  Enough to joke around with some of the nurse’s that come into my room.  This seems to catch them all off guard.  So I find it amusing.  Even when I was giving my account of what happend I was having fun with it.  From this I think they were assuming I was doing better than I was.  Finally, the nurse tell’s me the doc’s going to be in shortly. 

At this time the boots still on my foot and my wife and I both realize that if its still on my foot when the doc gets there its getting cut off.  I really didn’t want that to happen.  They were new, and they’re expensive.  So, with some help from her we get it off.  To my surprise, it wasn’t really swollen.  There wasn’t any brusing.  Just looked like it was possibly sprianed.  Could I be this lucky?  Nope.

Next thing I know the doc comes in and pokes around at my foot and ankle.  Then has me lay on my stomach and hang my foot off the end of the stretcher.  Then theres a couple quick squezes of my calf muscle.  Nothing.  Doc say’s, here’s your problem.  “You ruptured your achilles.  I’m going to order an x-ray to see if you broke your ankle as well.  Be back when I get the results.”

Not to long after getting my x-rays he pop’s back in the room.  Tell’s me its not broken and then confirms that my achilles was ruptured.  Next, he proceeds to tell me I need surgery and gives me my walking papers for the night so I could go home after they wraped up my leg.  By this time some of the meds were working a little.  I stress a “little”.

The next morning we schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon.  I want this thing taken care of quick.  The sooner the better.  Good for me the surgeon thought so to.  He saw me right away.  Did the standard test to check my achilles.  Same conclusion as the other emergency doc.  Only thing is he checks a little further.  While I’m laying on my stomach he move’s my ankle around.  Not gently I might add.  Probably good thing he did though.  The next thing I hear is “interesting”.

“Probably don’t want to hear your doctor say interesting do ya?” he says.  “No, I didn’t think it was good when you said it.” I replied.  I knew I didn’t want to hear what he had to say next thats for sure.  I knew it was going to be bad.  It had to be.  Then he says “do you mind if I call in one of the other doc’s to take a look at it?”  Of course I’m not going to say no.  Second opinions are always good.  Right?  After a brief search he finds the other doc.  I proceed to lay face down again to get the standard check.  Same thing happens.  The standard test, then moving my ankle around some more.  The second doc says to the first doc.  “That’s a great catch, I’ve only ever seen that happen on other time.”  My doc replies “I’ve never seen it at all.”  Then seems kind of excited.

He proceeds to tell me that not only did I completely tear my achilles I manged to tear my paroneal tendon.  Then, on top of that, I tore that out of where it attches by the ankle bone.  After a breif talk with him he schedules my surgery for Monday.  Oh no.  Surgery.  I’ve never had Surgery.

So there’s the first part of my journey.  A little long.  But it’s hard to shorten it.  In the next couple day’s I’ll continue to update it until I get to my current condition.  Hope you enjoyed the background…….