Posted by: pezfuerte | February 12, 2009

Overdue Update, and Hope for Everyone with the Achilles Blues

Hey all,

Sorry for the long overdue post, but as everyone says as life starts to get back to normal you start to neglect your Achilles Blogging Duties.  The purpose of this post is to catalog my recovery and give hope to some recently ruptured people out there.  I know I was devastated when I first saw the doc and he told me it would be 6 months before I could start doing all my favorite activities.  So right now I’m at 13 weeks, and I saw the Doc last at 8 weeks when he took the boot off and gave me the green light to start wearing shoes.  He told me that I could start doing strengh excercises for the calf and that once I could start walking without a limp I could start jogging.  Well within a week I was walking normally without a limp, and my Physical Therapist who is familar with all the outdoor sports I enjoy told me that I could start doing them again very gradually.  I was also doing toe presses (not sure if this is the right name) with the bad leg on the squat machine and making reps of 20 with 80 lbs weight.  He also had me doing several balancing excercises like standing on the bad leg and throwing a ball at the trampoline and catching it again.  I started to go to the gym and at around 9-10 weeks I was taking Yoga classes, and climbing on tope rope in the gym.  Also at 11 weeks I went surfing for the first time, at a real mellow break on a Long Board which was very stable.  That went great, I was a little sore after, but no complaints.  At that same time I also went on my first mountain bike ride on a real easy non-technical trail.  That was great and no complaints, even standing up on the pedals descending.  I’m now up to reps of 20 at 120lbs on the toe press, and climbing 2-3 times a week and yoga 2-3 times a week.  I also took out my shortboard last weekend in some bigger surf and had no problems.  For the most part my leg feels very good.  It is definitely not as strong as it should be, and I know it still has weakness and instability.  I notice that doing one legged balancing poses at Yoga on the bad leg is noticeable more wobbly and unstable than on the good leg.  The calf itself is back to its normal circumference, and it’s good to look down and actually see a muscle again and not just a little chicken leg.  The leg is still stiff in the morning, and after sitting or laying down for a long time, and takes a minute or two to loosen up.  I’m still probably only pushing it about 65%, but it is great to be back out and doing active things.  I think the biggest thing for me has been being positive about the recovery, and making sure to warm up the leg with walking or stretching thorough before any activity like surfing etc.  Also, just taking it slow and letting my leg dictate how much I push it.  For example my first day surfing on the longboard, I tried my friends short board for one wave to see how it felt and it felt very unstable and insecure on such a small “fidgety” board, so I immediately switched back to the longboard which was a lot more stable.  The last thing is my scar is quite thick and tough, and it seems to bulge a bit when I use it, like when doing the toe presses.  My PT says that is normal and just scar tissue which we have been massaging as much as possible trying to work it away.  There is still a little swelling in the anke, and when I wear socks they leave a noticeable mark around the ankle from the pressure of the sock and the swelling around it.  But that’s pretty much it.

I’m seeing the doctor again in 3 weeks, so I’ll try and update again after that appointment and let you know what he says.  Hopefully some people will find a little hope from this email and it will help them get through the first couple months which are definitely the toughest.  Also, I don’t think this information is shared that often, but I’m 26 years and in very good health and have always been extremely active.  I just think my age is pertinent because I’m sure if you’re 60 and reading this you might take a little longer and if you’re in your 20’s then this is right up your alley and totally within reach.

Cheers and best of luck to everybody!


Posted by: pezfuerte | December 28, 2008

Christmas Kayaking with Das Boot

Hey everybody.  Just wanted to share a little adventure I had on xmas eve.  A lot of my friends were in town for the holidays and everybody wanted to go surfing so I decided to come along to hang out and take pictures of people.  The waves were super fun and everybody was having a blast and I was pulling out hairs stuck on the beach taking pictures, but still happy to be out and about.  About half way through their session my buddy comes in and says “hey lets take out the double kayak.”  He lives a block from the beach so it was easy to get and after thinking about it for a minute I decided what the hell, I’ll go out if you carry it to the beach.  I had just seen my physical therapist the day before and asked him if I could top-rope rock climb in a gym with the boot on.  My physical therapist climbs and surfs so he understands the mechanics, and he told me that climbing would be fine with the boot on.  So I figured kayaking can’t be that bad.  Their’s no real chance of an impact to my foot and the worst that could happen is we flip and end up swimming, but my PT said swimming was okay too.  So needless to say we went out in the kayak and had an absolute blast.  No incidence, other then getting a bit cold because the wetsuit I borrowed was full of holes.  The only downside was I had to walk around in a wet boot for awhile, but just being back in the water made everything worth it.  Hope everyone else is having as good a xmas as I am, I wish you all the best of luck and the speediest of recoveries.



Posted by: pezfuerte | December 11, 2008

4 week post op appt

Just thought I’d write a quick update.  I went to the doc yesterday for my 4 weeker and got rid of my cast and am now in a walking boot.  I’m allowed to start putting weight on it with the help of the crutches and he seems to think in a week or two I will be able to ditch the crutches and walk with just the boot.  What everyone says is true, my calf muscle has definitely gone awol.  It is a close match between my lower leg and my forearm as to which is bigger.  I guess we just don’t realize how much we really use our legs all the time.  The good news is that my doctor seemed pretty confident and basically told me that I can start progressing as allowed by my pain.  He told me my risk of re-rupture is solely based on a sudden impact or strain on the leg, so as long as I am in control walking, I should be fine.  I was also glad to learn that in another month or so when I get out of the boot I’ll be allowed to swim and ride a stationary bike.  That is great news, and just knowing that now everyday is going to be an improvement is a great feeling.  I’ve been putting a loop of webbing around my foot and pulling my toes toward my knee whenever I’m laying down and out of the boot.  I’m also going to PT tomorrow so hopefully they’ll give me some more exercises to do.  Well I’ll keep you posted as things progress, but so far so good.


more staples then I\'d like to think aboutSo I had my 2 week appt a few days ago to get a plaster cast and have the staples removed.  The good news is that the staples was altogether painless.  I was pretty nervous about that, but it ended up being okay.  I had a pretty nasty incision as you can see and there were a lot of staples so I was afraid the first one would hurt and then it would be that same thing 23 more times.  I will admit 2 things though, I did pop a vicodin the morning of the appointment, and the area of the incision felt a little numb to touch.  However my experience was exactly what the nurse told me “it doesn’t really hurt, its more of a burning sensation”.  That was true for a couple staples where it was a wierd burning feeling.  Other than that it went well.

My first question is when I should expect to be able to drive again.  I cut the left leg and I unfortunately have a manual transmission.  My doctor said I should be able to start walking in 6 weeks, but I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask him about driving then.  I’m wondering if just because I can “walk” will I really be able to stomp down on the clutch or will that take a while longer?  Also, I saw a PT yesterday to get some exercises to help keep my hip strong in the injured leg so that when I do start walking I will have a strong hip to help absorb the motion.  She told me that when I get the boot I should wear a shoe that makes my right foot the same height as the left that is in the boot.  She said to just put some foam or something on the bottom of a flipflop to make them equal heights.  Has anybody heard this or done it.  It makes sense but I’m just curious to other’s experiences.



Posted by: pezfuerte | November 18, 2008

Recovery Timeline Questions


I am writing with a few questions about how long this recovery is going to take.  Here’s my story:

2 weeks ago I was unloading some old aluminum frame windows at the dump when one of the windows that I was lifting out of the truck broke.  A piece of glass fell and cut my lower leg through my pants.  Turns out the cut was deep enough to sever the achilles tendon as well as a second tendon which I believe they call the flexor digitorum.  I had surgery a week ago to repair both tendons, and today I had the staples removed and was put in a solid cast.  Unfortunately I’m going crazy being couped up in my house and am trying to find some positive news that will lead me to believe the recovery might go a little faster than expected.  I know that you are thinking that I’ve only been on crutches for 2 weeks, but there’s a little more to my story.  In July I had heart surgery to replace a faulty aortic valve that I’ve had since birth.  My full recovery from that ordeal came on October 15th, so I had only been back in action for a couple of weeks before this happened.  I’m 26 years old and super active doing things like surfing, rock climbing, mountain biking, etc.  I’ve only met with my surgeon once and won’t see him again for another 2 weeks, so I’m looking for a little more info in my down time.  So here are some questions:

Does anyone think that I can be back doing strenous activities in less than 6 months?

Also, I had surgery a week ago and it is still pretty painful at night.  Actually painful is probably the wrong word.  It’s not bad, just bad enough to be constantly uncomfortable and making sleeping a disaster.  Is that normal? How long did other need to take pain meds to sleep at night?

I think that’s it for now, but I’m sure that I’ll think of more.  Thanks in advance for your responses.


Posted by: pezfuerte | November 18, 2008

Hello world!

Welcome to

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