25 days post-op. Waiting waiting waiting.

This week will be a grind. My next appointment is on 4/13 so there’s nothing like that to look forward to. Now I’m back to my regular weekly schedule and tasks as a stay-at-home dad, only everything takes twice as long due to iWalking or crutching around.

Random thoughts:

  • My boot is comfortable, and I enjoy the freedom of being able to take it off for showers or resting on the couch. I still have the discomfort of the casts in the back of my head so really anything is better than that 3 weeks of frustration. My only complaint is that the boot liner is loose and can irritate my incision. The assistant who fitted the boot mentioned that Breg used to include two socks and they don’t anymore. I checked out options online and decided to buy 6 pairs of tube socks (hello, ‘80s version of me) for the same price as one “official” Breg or Aircast sock. The tube socks work great - I put them on, fold them halfway down my calf, and the incision has some nice padding. And with 12 I don’t have to worry about washing them all the time.
  • My incision gets irritated now and then but appears to be healing up well. There’s still a lot of scabby stuff hanging on, which is kind of gross. I clean the area each time I take my boot off and change out my sock - I sweat like a pig and it’s already warm here so I’m paranoid about keeping everything clean in there.
  • I started using a cold therapy wrap on my ankle and foot a couple times a day and that’s reduced the swelling a bit. I think it also helped with ROM. My doctor didn’t give me any specific advice when he mentioned doing gentle ROM exercises (he also didn’t mention any icing) so I made up my own routine based on some protocols here. Basically, I do 15 side to side movements, 15 super-gentle up and down movements, 15 toe curls, and the spell-the-alphabet thing. Ice wrap before and after that, and I stop any movement if I feel any discomfort. Each day has been a tiny bit better, especially after I added the cold wrap component. I don’t notice any extra swelling or discomfort after these exercises so I figure I’m okay at this point.
  • My secret hope is that being diligent with the early, gentle ROM stuff will somehow get me driving faster. Only time will tell!
  • Seeing my foot move, even slightly, has been a nice morale boost. I finally stopped wanting to barf every time I saw my swollen foot and incision, and I’m starting to think I might want to play tennis again. (Immediately after the injury and surgery I never wanted to exercise or move quickly again.)
  • Others have recently mentioned the fatigue at the 4-5 week mark and I have to agree. I’m not even fully 4 weeks past surgery and I feel like I’ve been extra tired at the end of the past 2-3 days. I guess it’s another one of the stages…I’ve been doing more work in the yard and around the house, but not enough to make me feel so wiped out (or so I thought).
  • Still taking vitamin C and adding a protein shake as a mid-morning snack. Not sure if that helps, but why not? I’m trying to eat well and maybe even lose some weight over the next couple of months.

That’s about it. I’m in one of those doldrum periods - a ways to go until the next appointment and milestone. I’m hoping to get PWB clearance next week. Fingers crossed for some kind of progress indicator like that.

4 Responses to “25 days post-op. Waiting waiting waiting.”

  1. I’m surprised your doc didn’t give you the exact ROM exercises to do - but you figured them out on your own. At least those are the exercises my doc gave me. 30 of each, 3x/day. If your doc didn’t talk to you about scar massage and reducing the scarring here’s what mine told me. Get a silicon based sheet or gel and apply that to your scar once the scabbing flakes off (it will). Massage the incision to help loosen scar tissue. I just do my ROM exercises then use my thumb to massage my scar. I’m doing 20 seconds at each spot for a total of about 2 minutes. My doc didn’t say how long to do it so I just took a guess.

    And those ROM exercises will help get you driving too. :) There were some Kaiser exercises as an attachment on someones blog that I downloaded. I emailed them to my doc to find out which I can do right now. Can’t do any for calf strength - mainly just ROM exercises and some isometric ones in the boot or cast (curl toes in boot, push toes up in boot, push sideways in boot, both directions). I’ll see if I can find the post again and maybe you should take those into your doc and ask which you can do after your next appt since s/he isn’t telling you what to do.

    I’m just happy that now that I’m able to walk I’m sleeping better. Not sure if the 2 are related but I assume so.

  2. Here’s the blog that has the link to some exercises you can download. http://achillesblog.com/tomtom/exercise/

    I’m weight bearing in a boot now and my doc said only do the exercises on the first and last pages (other than the last exercise on the first page since I can do NOTHING in bare feet right now). You may get different instructions since yours isn’t a haglunds surgery which requires I give time for tendon to reattach to bone securely.

  3. Thanks so much - that’s a great help. Sounds like I could expand my initial ROM work a little bit.

    I can’t quite figure out my doctor. He’s either a) from the conservative school of “well, let’s just immobilize and go from there,” or b) handing out small amounts of info because he’s worried about me rushing ahead and suffering a re-rupture. Or he’s busy? Who knows. Each time I’m in there I get the sense he’s just read something new (i.e., from the past 10 years) and mulling over whether to let me try it. “Hmmm, we might have you PWB a little earlier than I thought…” or “Some ROM exercises wouldn’t be bad now.” Fortunately, the PT place I’m looking at seems to be more willing to put together a concrete plan (that they’ll let me see).

  4. I should add that tomtom’s blog also looks like a good reminder of possible complications (like healing long). Even though it sounds like there are a lot of variables, and little certainty as to why it happens, reading stories like that will keep me from going nuts with the exercises

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