44 weeks post ATR

And I only realised it was 44 weeks because my timeline said so!  Amazing how time flies and how eventually you stop thinking in terms of days, weeks and months post ATR.  I can even get up some mornings and not remember straight away!
I’m not long back from a 6.5 week trip to Malaysia and happy to say that I had no problems at all with my leg - and no more DVTs either, yippee.  Before I left I had my heart and lungs checkup for the PE and they were all fine.  I’ve an ECG at the end of April and if all is good, that should bring this experience to an end hopefully, at 11 months; an "interesting" time!
I can do everyday stuff without any issues now, run up and down steps on tip-toes, etc., without the tendon complaining.  In fact, I can feel my calf muscle moaning a bit now, which is great - can’t imagine having thought that this time last year!
Can manage a single heel lift on the bad leg, which is about half the height I can do on my good leg.  But I don’t remember having to do many of these in my 50 years, so I could live the next 50 like this ;-)
I’ve been pretty slothlike for the last few months - I’d like to say that was because of the PE and severe anemia caused by the anti-coags….yep, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it ;-)  But now I’m off the anti-coag pills I’ve run out of excuses and so I’m going to have to start some gradual, routine exercise again.  Good time of the year to start :-)
I pop in here every so often to see how everyone else is progressing.  I saw Kellygirl was around not so long ago - great posts as always :-)  Glad to hear all the people who were suffering along with me are doing well too.  This site is such a help, only those who have gone through an ATR (or 2, NormOfTheNorth) can understand the frustration; it kept me sane.  There were times when I felt I’d never be "normal" again (whatever that is!).
And so today I find out if I can stop the iron tablets too.  Woohoo!

5.5 months and a uni-lateral heel raise :-D

Just back from the physio (a new one - good to have a 2nd opinion). She was very happy with my progress, which I have to say, so am I. Just this last 2-3 weeks things seem to have started to come together (excuse the pun).
I can walk most days without a limp and no pain. I can feel my calf muscle working and today the physio got me to do bi-lateral heel raises and then a uni-lateral. She was very pleased with the bi-laterals and happy with the uni-lateral, but obviously needs more work on the calf muscle.
I’m ecstatic - I’m not sure I ever did uni-lateral heel raises before but good to know I can sort of do one now :-D Next step is a lower-limb rehab class - a sort of circuit of exercises with a physio watching over me.
I still have two different coloured legs - from the DVT I think, but that’s ok; kind of quirky :-) Finally, I feel that the worst might be over.

week 21 - one step forward, 3 steps back…

… or so it seems sometimes. I’ve been travelling Northern Spain for the last 5 weeks and just before I went, I really hurt my tendon at physio. I had a lot of pain and so decided to ease off on the exercises and just do stretches so long as it was bearable. It took about 3 weeks until I was back to where I had been! Was doing well on holiday until last week, when I overdid trying to walk normally and I’m back with the inflamed, swollen tendon again :-( So I’m back to resting it as much as poss.

13 weeks and 3 days

My doesn’t time fly when you have use of all your limbs!
I’ve had 3 physio session - 1 a week since I last updated. I’ve officially ditched the boot and crutches - I say officially, because I had really anyway, but it was good to get the ok from the physio.
I can walk barefooted around the house and outside, I’m in shoes with a heel of about 1.5-2cm. Still have a limp when I walk outside but not so much when I’m in the house - must be a speed thing or a length of stride. I’m trying very hard to put equal weight on both legs and not fall into the habit of limping.
Around my ankle still swells badly and that does affect the movement I have, but the physio measured my ROM and there’s a 5 degree difference in my bad leg in the dorsiflexion and 25 degrees in the plantarflexion, which she says should get better but wouldn’t be too much of a hindrance if it didn’t. I’ve got 1cm difference in calf size. She was pleased with my progress.
I’ve been using my exercise bike in the last couple of days - she said it would be fine (I worry more about my heart and lungs after the DVT/clot). I’m taking things easy on that front.
I’ve got a new toy - a wobble/balance board. Thought it was it too easy…until I closed my eyes! Quite good fun and I can feel everything working to keep that balance.
I’ve other exercises to do to strengthen my calf muscles and to loosen the tendon (heels hanging over a step and lowering from my toes slowly, etc) and she suggested walking uphill and on uneven surfaces too. I can go upstairs on alternate steps, but not down.
I’ve had a couple of moments when my heart and the World stopped - one where going upstairs, I forgot I had an injury (how brilliant is that!) and just put my toes on the step instead of my whole foot. My ankle gave way thankfully and not my tendon…scarey. I must remember to concentrate at all times.
I can cook, clean, drive - who would think that would be exciting! I’m guessing the novelty will wear off soon ;-) So I feel like I’ve turned a huge corner from the bleak, dark days of not so long ago, when it felt like I would never live a normal life again. A bit melodramatic, I know, but you feel what you feel.

9 weeks and 2 days - and 2 shoes :-D

I’ve managed to walk, without crutches, in 2 shoes and I’m so happy. There’s a long way to go with the walking style but I’m seeing the physiotherapist on Monday. I will still be wearing my boot outside though.

more disappointment from the NHS

I kind of knew I should stop trusting what NHS staff say to me, but I hoped that when the consultant told me I was an urgent physio case and someone would phone me in 1-2 days about seeing a physiotherapist, that it would happen that way.
However, it didn’t, and so after chasing down where I’d been referred to (hurrah! my local hospital, 5 mins drive away instead of 50 mins!), the first available appointment was the 5th August. So it’s taken 10 weeks from my injury to see a physio and officially start exercising my leg. I shall continue to do my own thing until then I guess :-/

week 8 - recovering from PE and DVT

So, where to start. Not long after my last post, I ended up in hospital with a pulmonary embolism, caused by a DVT in my injured leg.
I’m feeling much better now - angry that this could happen but it just confirms my feelings about my particular NHS care.
Back to the fracture clinic tomorrow for my 3rd visit, with absolutely no idea what they have in mind for me, but I’m not holding my breath with anticipation of an improvement in the service.

week 5 - cast off and in a boot with wedges

So I had my cast removed on Tuesday (4 weeks after ATR). I had to ask for a doctor to examine my tendon, they were just putting me straight into a boot. The doctor felt my ankle area and claimed the tendon was intact. I’m hoping he’s right but I wasn’t going to get a scan out of them.
I’m in a very, very heavy boot (NHS style) with wedges. To be kept on at all times - sleeping was disturbed again the first couple of nights. I’d gotten used to the cast!
They reduced the angle that my toes were pointing down and I’ve to take another wedge out in 2 weeks time, returning to the hospital in 4 weeks. The doctor said that they would be organising physio at my next visit - I think that meant getting organised then, rather than doing physio then! Still not to put any weight on that leg although they said I could gently rest that foot down for help with balance.
I’m not feeling very confident and I’m terrified I re-rupture the tendon or that it actually hasn’t rejoined. When the cast was off I had a very shakey leg and foot that had no movement capability - I hope that is normal. My tendon area was very tender when the doctor was examining (prodding!), but I’m not aware of any pain at any other time.
I don’t have much discomfort and I can wiggle my toes and push down (not weight bearing) through my foot, which I try to do to keep circulation moving. I still keep my leg raised when I’m sitting, which seems a lot of the time. My arms are aching with the extra weight of the boot - thought I’d got used to the crutching.
It’s hard to put trust in other people when I feel so much is at stake but the UK NHS is not open to patients taking control of their treatment, so I’m going to have to.

My first major injury ever!

So I got to almost 50 and then bang (or pop is maybe more like it!).  I wouldn’t describe myself as a keep-fit fanatic, but I’ve always tried to be active and recognising old age symptoms creeping up on me, I decided about 4 years ago to take up a regular class at my local gym.  On Monday evening, a week ago today, as I was running I felt and heard a pop or snap and the ground beneath my left foot just disappeared as if there was a hole under it, or the heel of my trainer had broken.   Next thing I was on the ground; trainer intact and no holes, so I knew there was another, less simple explanation.
My trainer suspected I’d damaged my achilles tendon but hoped it was just a strain, so I didn’t put any weight on that leg, kept it raised and put an ice pack on it.  The next morning I hopped into see my GP who did the Simmons/Thomson test and declared I’d ruptured my achilles tendon and sent me with a letter to the A&E.  They repeated the tests and agreed (no scans) and said they tend to treat ATRs conservatively (for my age and activity) and stuck my leg in plaster from knee to toes with toes pointing down.
I’ve to be in cast for 4 weeks (1 down, 3 to go!) and then if all looks well, I’ll be in a WB for another 4 weeks with various wedges, I’m not sure at what point I start to put weight on that leg.  Then physio for weeks after.  If not all going well, then it sounded like an operation was the next step.  I’m hoping that because I didn’t put any weight on my leg at any time after it happened and kept my foot raised as much as possible that I’ve not made things worse.  We’ve booked to go to Malaysia at the end of September and the orthopedic doctor was very non-commital if that would be possible or not.
I’ve never really had any pain - the back of my leg ached severely for about 10 mins after it happened and for about an hour.  I do have a lot of twinges, which is weird but not unpleasant.  My hands are aching from crutching - they gave me the wrist type, not underarm ones and so I’ve been using my weight training gloves which helps.  Shoulders were sore, but they’re ok now.  My hip on my damaged leg hurts if I crutch too much as it’s taking the dead weight, so I try not to do too much.
My biggest worry (apart from boredom!) is how much moving around I can do without causing any more damage.  I can’t help feeling that I’m tensing my calf muscle when I crutch and I’m sure that can’t be a good thing to do?  Can anybody advise me on this please?
Not looking forward to the next 3 weeks!  Ironically, I retire from work in 2 weeks time!  I’ve never had more than a week off any job before and then this happens.