princessachilles’s AchillesBlog

So, how does a Princess deal with Achilles Tendon Surgery & Recovery? Follow along…

Finally made it to 2nd follow up appt.!

Filed under: Uncategorized — princessachilles at 11:41 pm on Wednesday, March 26, 2014

After being sick, having a tummy bug from hell and having to reschedule twice, I finally made it to my 2nd follow up appt for my Achilles Tendon Lengthening Surgery.  The surgeon said the incision looks good and it is healing nicely. He said it’s time to get the physical therapy started, 2 - 3 days a week and he wants me to do water therapy.  YAY!!  There is a place that’s about a 20-30 minutes away, it will be a bit of a drive, but I have a couple chauffeurs that hopefully will be willing to help.  I know that I will do better working on all this in the water due to my weight and my bad back so I am really excited he ordered the water therapy.

He said he’s turning me loose now so I progress as I am comfortable and along with the PT therapists recommendations. I’ve been trying to use my cane more and not as dependent on the walker and I can stand fine, not holding on to anything!

He did say that he thinks I should have then lengthening done on my right AT as well.  He wants me to work on it in PT and see if I can get it stretched out that way, then we will take a look at it and decide.  I really don’t want to go through this all again, but after the way this one feels so much better and my range of motions is a lot better, it might be worth it…..but, not for awhile, I don’t want to be down all summer.

I’ve been doing a lot of spring cleaning and getting things in order. Hopefully the PT therapy will help me get even more mobile. I am on a roll and really looking forward to our upcoming vacation in June!!

I wish I had a Vacocast…Anybody got a S or M to sell or lend?

Filed under: Uncategorized — princessachilles at 3:05 pm on Sunday, March 16, 2014

I hear all of these great things about it and with my poor health it would have been such a godsend.  Would it be a waste of money to get one now at 5.5 weeks?  Anybody selling one cheap or got one to lend, that might make it worth getting at this point?  I need a Medium

Help Needed….bump on incision and bruising

Filed under: Uncategorized — princessachilles at 3:33 am on Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ever since my 3 week checkup, when the Dr. removed my bandages, I have been wearing a ACE bandage on my ankle/foot, because when he removed the bandages my incision was rubbing against the boot.  I take it off often and I clean my foot and ankle then put it back on….it’s been working great.  Tonight when I took it off I noticed that there was a bump on my incision area that was tender and when I pushed it I actually got a little woozy and light headed.  The bump is just slightly red and I’m not running a fever at all.  There are a few other bumps on the incision that I know are that scar tissue, I just can’t figure out why this one is so tender.

The other thing I noticed is that my foot has bruising all over it.  On the side of the ankle where this bump is and along the top of my foot.  My feet do swell in the evenings some, but the ACE bandage had actually made an indentation.  Is it possible that I had the bandage on too tight and bruised my feet?   If anybody has any of this please let me know.  For all I know this is normal and I just noticed it tonight.  Thanks again all!

P.S.  What do you all wear under your boot?  Sock, specialty sock. ACE wrap, nothing, etc.?

More questions…this time about athletic shoes specifically

Filed under: Uncategorized — princessachilles at 9:55 pm on Friday, March 14, 2014

I know I am jumping the gun here since I am still at PWB, to start thinking about 2 shoes, but I am wanting to spend tax refund money wisely on things to help me, before the money is gone.  I have an appt on Monday and since it will be 5.5 weeks I imagine I will be able to go FWB around that time. My boot is just a regular plain jane gray boot.  It has the air pump option on the sides but, anytime I have used those I have had more pain so, I don’t inflate them.  There is a plastic piece that goes on the top of the foot and up my shin but, ever since the surgery I haven’t been able to have that on, my foot is too pudgy and the surgeon said I am fine wearing it this way.  I have the straps that go across the top of my foot and across my shin so my foot is well supported.

I saw someone else talking on here about the EvenUp and I think that looks so helpful so, I am definitely ordering one of those.  I am getting the small…I think that’s right.  I wear a size 9 womens shoe and it was right on the border line, it said if you are unsure to go smaller versus larger.  Anybody else get these and what size did you get?

K time for the question.  There are so many types of athletic shoes I have no idea what to get…walking, cross training, running, etc.  I always get confused about this anyway and have just gone with what looks good but, this time I really want to get the right shoe so that it is comfortable walking and I will walk more.  I am not a runner, just a walking girl so what do you all suggest.

4 1/2 Weeks Post Op and feeling a lot of anxiety

Filed under: Uncategorized — princessachilles at 2:22 am on Wednesday, March 12, 2014

So I am 4.5 almost 5 weeks post op, I still haven’t had a bath or shower yet and it’s driving me crazy.  As I’ve discussed before I am a heavy set woman, with chronic back problems and PWB at this time.  There is no way that I could push myself up and out of the bathtub and my balance is no where that I could stand in the shower, with no boot on and try and clean myself without falling over.  So, I got myself a good set up…a shower transfer bench, a hand held shower nozzle that has a pause on the grip so, I don’t have to lean over and keep turning the water on and off while freezing my butt off, I even got a shower speaker so, I can listen to music while I’m in there…I got it all within 2 days of ordering it.  The only problem is, you have to have a curtain that has a cutout for the bench or I will have water all over the bathroom.  Of course I had to buy the curtain from an authorized seller and it is taking forever to get it!

Also, now I have developed a huge blister on the pad of the bottom of my foot and tonight it opened up…I don’t know if the pain or the itching is worse.  I’m not sure why it’s developed, except that I am wearing an ace bandage on my foot because my incision rubbing against the back of the boot was painful and irritating.  I guess the moisture built up under the bandage and caused it.  I am dreading the next time I have to get up to go to the bathroom and I put weight on it.

My progress is not as fast as most but, I am doing good, I think.  I got rid of the knee scooter and I use the walker every time I get up.  I go  to the bathroom several times a day and I walk around the house once or twice a day now, inside that is.  I have a split level house so, going anywhere is horrible since I have to crawl down the stairs and back up.  I feel bad when I read other blogs where people are getting up and going to work and doing all kinds of things at this point in their recovery.  Also, every time I take off the boot and ace bandage to clean myself, I am worried that my foot is going back into that position it was in that made me have to have the surgery in the first place.  I can’t pull my toes up without my foot shaking and it makes me nauseated.  Is this normal?  I try to flex it on and off throughout the day to help strengthen those muscles.  That’s the only time I take the boot off…too clean.  The Dr. told me to leave it on all the time and after reading on here about people that walked around without theirs and fell or reinjured their tendon.  No way I am risking that, it’s not worth it.  Anyway, I’m glad we have this blog…I learn a lot and it’s nice to have people to talk with that understand where I’m at.

Okay it’s PWB time & I need advice from you pros on Crutches.

Filed under: Uncategorized — princessachilles at 8:50 pm on Thursday, February 27, 2014

So I am at 3 weeks post surgery tomorrow and when I saw the surgeon on Monday,  he said that I could start PWB on Friday.  He said to start out at 15 min a day then increase it 15 min every couple days as tolerated.  Now before I get into my question there is something I want to explain.  I am an overweight woman, my surgery was not due to an injury or tear like most everyone on here.  (Read my post Not your everyday Achilles Tendon injury…in fact, there was no injury. )  I have chronic back pain and had to have this surgery done before I can do back surgery so, I have spent the past year in bed.  We have a split level house so, I haven’t gone anywhere except to the follow up visit.  I have pretty much zero upper and lower body strength.

That being said, I’m trying to figure out the best option for me of what to use while doing PWB.  I have been using the knee scooter for getting around.   I originally had a walker that I was going to use for getting around before the nurse explained to us that I would be NWB.  I see a lot of people talk about using crutches, I some with no upper body strength that’s gonna be very difficult BUT, a great way to start working on my upper body strength.  The Millennial crutches look interesting and like they might be easier for me to use.  I’ve also seen the forearm crutches,  I don’t think those would be very easy to use.  Anyway, I would like to find out what you guys used and your opinions.

What did you use to help you get around when you started PWB?  Did it work well?  Did you switch to something else?  Did it work better?

I really appreciate any help you guys can give me!  Thank you! :)

1st Follow Up Appointment

Filed under: Uncategorized — princessachilles at 2:13 pm on Monday, February 24, 2014

This is my first glimpse of the incision. I would say the incision is around 4 - 4 1/2. This is before they took out the stitches. I will post more about the appt and all the other details in the next day or so.First look at incision

The Surgery….Finally!

Filed under: Uncategorized — princessachilles at 6:13 am on Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I finally had my surgery on 2/7/14, almost a full year since it started! The Surgeon cut my AT in a long Z shape then slide the pieces apart and sewed the two top pieces together.  My husband and I were under the impression that I would be up and walking around right after the surgery.  This is what the surgeon was saying when I had the appointment to set up the surgery.  Now that I know more about the whole process, I guess he was talking about after I was FWB but, he did not break it all down for us very well.  So we were getting ready to leave the surgery center and the nurse asked if I had crutches or something since I was NWB.  She told us about the knee scooter and we went straight to the medical supply and rented one.  I absolutely love this thing and I recommend it to anybody that has had this surgery!

The surgeon put me in a boot, not a cast, he said with a cast there’s more of a chance of it rubbing or cutting me and causing an infection. I took the boot off once and that was to try on a different boot but, I quickly put the original one back on. My foot is very padded over the surgery area then wrapped with an ace bandage. I have no desire to try and sleep with the boot off or any of that. I am a bigger woman, non athletic and all I want is to be able to walk normally to my bathroom and back. I am not gonna risk injuring this thing or tearing it and having to start all over.

The days following the surgery were very rough.  There was a lot of pain and since I was already on pretty strong pain meds there wasn’t much that was stronger.  The hardest part was getting to the bathroom.  I used the scooter to get there but, our bathroom is very small so I couldn’t turn the scooter around in there.   The key to keeping the pain down was to keep the foot propped up above my heart and keeping ice on it.  You can’t get the ice pack in the exact area of the incision so, they showed me a trick at the surgery center.  If you put the ice pack higher up on your calf from where the incision is, the cold will travel down and still work on the incision area so, I would just tuck the edge of the ice pack in the top of my boot cast and I was good to go.

I do recommend staying on top of that pain medicine those first 4 or 5 days.  Take it every 4 or 6 hours, depending on how it’s prescribed, I would even set the alarm on my phone and take it in the middle of the night.  The other thing I recommend is getting some of those orange juice drink boxes and drink a couple a day to help keep your potassium up so you don’t get the muscle cramps in your calf as bad.  I would get the cramps when I got on the scooter after laying down for a few hours.  When, I would bend my leg up to knee to kneel on the scooter is when I would get them really bad.

Not your everyday Achilles Tendon injury…in fact, there was no injury.

Filed under: Uncategorized — princessachilles at 1:52 pm on Monday, February 17, 2014

Yup, you read that right, there was no injury to my Achilles Tendon, not until my surgeon cut it that is.  Let’s go back to the beginning…..

Long ago, in a land far far away…lol just kidding.  I have had chronic pack pain and issues for the past 10+ years and over time it’s gradually gotten worse.  In August 2012 it got so bad that my Dr. said it was time for me to stop working for a bit and take it easy, while we tried to get my insurance company to approve a special therapy for my back.  Somewhere in the middle of January 2013 I got up one morning to go to the bathroom and I noticed that my left foot felt weird.  I realized that my heel was no longer touching the floor when I walked.  The only way I could walk was on my tiptoes which completely threw off my balance and that caused 1 minor and 1 major fall.  After the minor fall I had ordered a cane off of Amazon and I was actually using the cane during the major fall.

The next time I went in for my back injections at the surgery center I showed my pain management Dr what was going on.  He tried putting a few injections in my heel and foot to see if that helped.  While I was there at the surgery center several of the nurses told me I needed to go have it looked at by this Orthopedic Surgeon that was really good and did surgery’s at that center too.  Needless to say the injections didn’t work so, I got the appt. with the surgeon.  He said that he was pretty sure that he could fix my foot but, what was happening to it was not something that was very common so, before he would do the surgery he wanted me to get a back surgeons opinion.   After several months of waiting to get in with the back doctor he did confirm that the foot issue was not related to my back so, another month of waiting to get back in with the surgeon but, we finally got the surgery scheduled, over a year later from when I woke up and couldn’t put my heel to the ground.