6 Weeks Post Op

So it has been a few weeks since I checked in. I have been FWB and driving since day 9 (got my stitches out day 9 and was cleared to drive and FW in my boot) in my Vacocast (no pain, no swelling) at the 4.5 week mark I put myself in an athletic shoe…I had enough of that boot. I obviously was VERY careful. I went Monday the 10th for my 6 week post op appt with my orthopedic surgeon. I walked in a nice flat type sandal with a slight wedge along the bottom. My OS came in and was just in shock…gave me the exam and had me take off both shoes and walk down the hall…stood there and shook his head. He sat down and said listen…you are 6-8 weeks ahead of patients that I do this surgery on and I am progressive in my treatment and thoughts on this. He asked what I thought the difference in my recovery was…I have to be honest I think it was 3 things…I did the hyperbaric chamber for 5 visits starting the day after my surgery, I bought a Vacocast (life saver) and I had a great doctor. I really think that things made all the difference in my recovery. Today, currently I am walking pretty normal…straight, not to the side…I have a slight limp, my calf is weak, but I make myself slow down and walk with the full motion on my foot. I do exercises at home, starting next week I will be in PT 3 times per week and I plan to try to do some walking on that AlterG treadmill to try to get my normal gait back. My OS said go ahead and really push yourself, no running until I am walking normal 100% and until I am at the 12 week mark. Otherwise all is good. Listen, we I first had this injury I cried myself to sleep for 2 nights…I could not believe that my body gave out on me like this…then reading how horrific this injuries recovery is for so many people had me scared to death. If you have this injury and are depressed (because believe me I was) do your best to get out of the funk. Pick a progressive OS, not just some foot ankle guy who is going to keep you in a cast forever…interview and find the right doctor. If you can find it and afford the treatments do the hyperbaric chamber (in my area $165 for each 1.5 hour session…I did 5 starting with the day after surgery) for sure get a script for the Vacocast…best boot ever and order it you won’t be sorry…I also got one of those knee scooter things WAY better than crutches. Lastly keep a good mental spirit about it…yes it sucks, but celebrate the small victories and things you can do. It is really easy to get down…ask for help if you need it and if you need support come here to this blog and type your heart out. People are great about lifting your spirits and offering advice. Well I think that about covers it. I don’t expect that I will be checking back in for a while so I hope everyone has the best recovery and keep healing…All the best :)

3 weeks post op and 2nd PT appt

Yesterday was 3 weeks post op…I am and have been FWB for close to 2 weeks. Zero pain and swelling and am in the Vacocast (which is awesome) I went to my second PT appt and he let me do some exercises while in my boot…I was sweating :) it felt so good to exercise and move. I only see him one time this week and next week which will be my week 4 post op I think he will let me come in 2x per week and eventually move up to 3x a week. He said I can ride the stationary bike with my boot if I want which I will for sure be doing. What I did notice is I actually not only have calf atrophy, but my foot too!!! He said that is normal… I have not been on it or using it for a month if you count the period after my injury waiting for the surgery. All things considered I am so grateful for how I am doing. I notice that so many of us have different protocols for this injury so I really enjoy reading what everyone posts. Wishing everyone a positive healing experience <3

Incision Pics

I finally figured out how to post pictures. First pic with the stiches is 5 days post op, the second pic is 9 day post op when I got my stitches out and the last pic is 14 days post op when I took the tape off.

1st day of PT

Well first day of PT today…pretty uneventful. I feel fabulous and am healing great, but with the extent of a few exercises and a massage I still need to wait for anything hard. BOOOOO LOL. I guess the dream I had of a great workout is down the road, bummer. But forever the optimist I am walking bearing full weight on my Vacocast and today was my first day driving…so at 13 days post op not bad. It will be another week or two before the hard PT stuff starts.

I have pics I wanted to post of my incision just so you guys could see if you think the hyperbaric chamber really did help, but I have zero clue how to get them up here. I will work on that.

PT again Friday…keep healing and smiling everyone :)

First 24 hours in my Vacocast 10 days post op

Dear Vacocast inventor THANK YOU!!! I love this thing. I am 10 days post op bearing full weight with the boot. The ONLY downside is it is much higher than your other side even in an athletic shoe so I definitely have to get one of those even ups. I am still going to use my knee scooter for long walking periods to help my back and hip. A few people have asked questions about the hyperbaric chamber…there is one study they did with rats that showed good results which you can find on the Internet. What really pushed me in this direction was a very large percentage of professional athletes and teams use the hyperbaric chamber for their injured players. They don’t publicize it, but my friend who is the massage therapist for several professional athletes in the area massages them and they go into the chamber. The other thing I am looking into is this AlterG zero gravity treadmill when I am ready for it. I also have a 5 day post op pic of my incision and the day the stiches came out day 9…if it won’t gross people out I will post them so you can see an actual visual of my healing. I just have to figure out how to do that :) Monday is Day #1 of PT :)

2 GREAT things…stitches out and Vacocast arrived WOOT!!!

So today has been fabulous considering where I was at 2 weeks ago with my heel falling off from a torn achilles. I will start with my Doctors appt…

Got my stiches out…I have been the talk of the office according to the nurse because my healing at 9 days is where others are usually at 3-4 weeks. I will go into that theory later. I am cleared to put as much weight on my foot as I feel comfortable…it is up to me. I start PT on Monday which is 13 days after my surgery. I have zero swelling and residual bruising which is from my initial injury of tearing the Achilles. It is really remarkable how I feel. Oh and I have been cleared to drive…that is like winning the lottery for me LOL

My Vacocast arrives YAY!!! I put it on, make the adjustments and I CAN WALK!!! I cannot believe how light it is and how good it feels. ZERO pain…if there is one bad thing the heel I have on it is high and there is a big difference in my leg height, but I will work that out. This boot is going to be my best friend :)

So what I want to share and believe me I am not some crazy witch doctor. If it is in your power with this injury (or any injury needing healing) consider looking into getting yourself in a hyperbaric chamber for 5 visits following your surgery. I realize this is not covered by insurance and it can be expensive, but it it is in your means to do…look into it and do it. I have no doubt this has been the key to my recovery…if my Achilles is healing like the incision on the outside I am thrilled. When I was in the chamber I actually felt my Achilles area sizzle almost like falling asleep or hydrogen peroxide on a wound. That was the healing process no doubt. My visits cost me $165 for about an hour and a half in the chamber. I did 5 visits starting the day after the surgery…I am not sorry at all.

My second theory is find the right Orthopedic Surgeon…do not go to some old as dirt guy/girl who are going to keep you in some old school protocol. There have been amazing advancements with this injury that do not require 10 year old treatment protocol. So really look into your OS and ask them what their treatment is like…the Doctor and how they allow you to heal is a HUGE factor in how bad this injury is to you life and the quality of your life and your mental state. If it were not for my tears, research, frustration and great Doc I would be just a huge sloppy mess. Really research this injury, read everyones blogs, ask questions and make the best decision for your health and well being.

I think that is all for now…I hope this stuff is helping whoever reads. I am 9 days Post Op today and smiling :)

Ordered my Vacocast

Well enough of this 10 pound Frankenstein boot they gave me at the hospital. I ordered myself the Vacocast this morning. I figured I am going to be in it walking around forever so I might as well have something lighter and more comfortable. Plus all the money I am going to save on buying myself any cool shoes for the Summer can just go to pay for one shoe LOL. Hoping I like it as much as everyone else does. Any pointers from users let me know…Thanks!!!

1 week post op :)

Went and saw my OS early this a.m. to give myself a piece of mind. My healing is amazing and off the charts (thank you hyperbaric chamber)…he still wants to wait till my Thursday appt to take out my stitches just to be on the safe side. I can put weight on my leg now in the boot, but use some help like crutches or a crutch. And he wants to wait one more week for me to start the beginning stages of PT. I am really grateful :)

The story of rupturing your achilles while sprinting to save a turtle :)

Well…I want to say hello and thanks to everyone for all of their valuable posts and information.  This bar none has been one of the craziest injuries of my life and I feel alot less crazy and depressed knowing that there are others like me out there.

I ruptured my achilles about 2 weeks ago and am a week post op.  I ruptured my  achilles sprinting to save a giant turtle from death as he was crossing the road…the irony LOL.  I have never had any part of my body fail me…I have been like a thoroughbred race horse my whole life so as I am sprinting in the road wearing my Nikes and all of a sudden a pop happens and I feel like my heel is no longer attached to my leg…I just could not believe it…really I still can’t.

The first 24 hours were horrific for me psychologically (and I have a mind of steel), but reading all the stuff people say did my psych more harm than good.  It took me seeing my ortho surgeon to set my mind at ease, like this ain’t no big thing.

Within 24 hours I ordered myself that cart with a basket from Amazon and one of those covers for my leg so I could bathe…taking no bath or shower is not an option.  I duct tape that thing on my leg and clean up…this in itself helps me feel better.  I am one week post op and I want to share what I have been doing.

My surgery was on a Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning I was in a hyperbaric chamber for an hour and half…I did this for the first 5 days.  This is not covered by insurance, but I am making an investment in my health and recovery here.  I have also been sleeping on an Amythest bio mat.  My doctor was nice enough to agree to put me in the boot right after surgery…and that alone has been a Godsend.  I take it off to air it out at night and wiggle my toes etc.

One of the nights last week I fell asleep without my boot on…I was on my pain pills and I slightly remember having a pain in my leg.  I have completely freaked myself out to the point that I called my doctor today and asked him to see me tomorrow morning to “make sure” that I didn’t do something to my tendon in my sleep that I vaguely remember because of narcotics.

I am doing this because I almost feel TOO GOOD…zero pain, zero swelling, bruising that was from before, my incision looks like a paper cut with stiches, I can point my toes like a ballerina…the only thing I refuse to do is flex my foot or put any weight on it whatsoever.  Either I am healing like a sci-fi film or in my sleep I just tore the crap out of everything and there is nothing left to feel bad.

So I am going to my ortho surgeon to get a piece of mind or hear the worst news in the world.  I am literally laughing at myself as I am typing this because I sound like an obsessed hypochondriac which is like the furthest thing in the world from what I am.  Lets just say this injury has brought out the worst in me.  Being dependent on others or asking for help is NOT my strong point.

Send me some good mojo tomorrow…hoping for good news from the Doctor :)