Vacation Report

Posted on August 8th, 2011 in Uncategorized by quepasa18

I am currently on vacation on the west coast (USA) and by and large it hasn’t been too bad. I am still on crutches so mobility has been somewhat difficult at times. First, I discovered that escalators are scary, scary things! I came upon one and just froze because I didn’t know strategically how to get on it. I figured it out quickly enough but I’m avoiding them from now on.

Of course, my boot set off the metal detector going through security so I had to have the full body patdown. While they did that, they sent my crutches, shoe, and boot through the detector. Everyone was nice so it wasn’t too bad. We got early boardIng on the plane so that was smooth.

I am still PWB but I’ve found I can go without the crutches for short stretches, which is nice, such as around the hotel room. But I do use the crutches when I’m out and about because I get tired quickly and don’t want to do too much too fast. I’ve also found that I have to think a lot about things like getting in and out of the shower in a different bathroom than I’m used to.

So, so far so good. It’s been good for me to do more than just sit at home. I’ve gained a lot of confidence in the last few days. I’m scheduled to go to FWB in about a week and I know now that I’ll be ready for it.

4 weeks post op — PWB!

Posted on August 3rd, 2011 in Uncategorized by quepasa18

I saw my doctor today and he has now given me the go-ahead to start PWB. Yay! Although I must confess I started doing it a couple days ago. I just have to figure out how much weight I should be putting on it; I don’t think I’m putting enough on right now. But I’m just really excited to move to the next phase of this recovery. I can’t believe my surgery was a month ago already.

So here’s the schedule: I can walk with both crutches for a week. Then, I will switch to just one crutch for another week, and then can go to FWB in the boot. Can’t wait for that! Then at some point I’ll transition to 2 shoes. I assume that will be after my next followup appointment 4 weeks from now.

On Saturday I go on vacation, so the transition from two crutches to one will be while I’m there. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I think I might stay on two a little extra just because I think I’ll feel more secure walking around Seattle and Portland with both crutches, but I’ll see how I feel.

I fell while using crutches

Posted on July 27th, 2011 in Uncategorized by quepasa18

I guess it had to happen sometime. It’s raining here today, and when I walked into the school where I teach, the bottoms of the crutches were wet and slipped out from under me. The whole time while I was falling all I concentrated on was keeping from putting weight on my bad leg. I landed hard on my knees, and have a nice lump on one of them, but no damage to my achilles. Whew! That was a scary second or so though as I fell.

Hopefully that was my one obligatory fall and that’s the last time that happens.

Crutches on a plane

Posted on July 26th, 2011 in Uncategorized by quepasa18

I am currently NWB but next week should go to PWB. Next weekend I’m going on vacation and will need to take my crutches with me plus I’ll be wearing my boot. Any advice on dealing with security, etc. Do I need to contact the airline ahead of time or anything?

2nd follow-up — 2.5 weeks post-op

Posted on July 22nd, 2011 in Uncategorized by quepasa18

Today I got my stitches removed.  This is the first time I’ve ever had stitches, so I was a little nervous; but there was nothing to it.  I could feel it, but it didn’t really feel like anything, and took no time at all.  I asked the nurse when my next appointment would be, and she said 4 weeks.  That didn’t seem right to me so she had the doctor come in.

He pushed up on the bottom of my foot and said he was surprised how much flexibility I had.  He also said I’m quite a bit ahead of schedule and was pleased with that.  Me too!!  He adjusted my boot to a neutral position and said I had to continue with NWB for another two weeks and to come see him again.  So the nurse was wrong about the the 4 weeks.  I can get the area wet starting Sunday, and no longer need to sleep in the boot (hooray!).  I also don’t need to keep the boot on when I’m just sitting around the house, but should put it on any time I’m moving around, even in the house.  I am also to continue the ankle pumps every hour.

When I first got in the boot at 15 degrees, I had trouble getting my heel down.  I thought that might be the case at a neutral position as well, but it wasn’t.  My foot went right in, heel and all.  I felt good about that.

To be honest, I was kind of hoping to go to PWB sooner, but I’m not going to rush things.  I’m doing so well and don’t want a setback.  I’m going on vacation in two weeks, so should be PWB at that time, and that’s what I’m most concerned about.  It will be much easier to get around that way.

So, so far so good!

First follow up — 1 week post-op

Posted on July 21st, 2011 in Uncategorized by quepasa18

My first follow up appointment was a week and a day after the surgery.  I had thought the doctor mentioned I’d be in the splint for another week, but I wasn’t sure so I brought the boot with me just in case.

When I got in the room, the nurse cut off the splint.  It felt so good to get some air on my leg!  It was also funny to see the word “yes” still on my leg.  Then the doctor came in, looked at the stitches, and said it all looked good and that I should schedule an appointment the following Friday to get my stitches removed.

Surprisingly, he did put me in the boot right away, at 15 degrees.  At first, I couldn’t get my heel down in the boot and the stretch of the tendon was pretty uncomfortable.  But by the next morning I was fully in the boot. 

I was given stuff to change the bandage every 2-3 days and told to take the boot off every hour and do 10 ankle pumps.  I’ve been pretty good about that and am surprised at the range of motion I have.  Sometimes, I feel like it could bear some weight but I’m not doing anything until the doctor gives me the OK.  I do not want to make a mistake!   If I understood the doctor correctly, I have another week of NWB left.

I get my stitches out tomorrow.  I feel pretty good.  My toes get pretty swollen after a day at school, so I make sure to elevate my leg as much as possible.  Sleeping in the boot is getting a little bit better, but it’s still not very comfortable.  My doctor said I could take it off at night if I wanted, although he didn’t recommend it.  Therefore, I”m not doing it. 

So that’s where I am now.  Friday will be one month since my injury.  Time goes by fast, and hopefully that continues.


Posted on July 21st, 2011 in Uncategorized by quepasa18

My surgery was scheduled for 4:45pm on July 5.  I arrived at the hospital at 2:45.  My husband and my parents were with me.  I changed into the hospital gown and was put in a little room to wait.  I was told at my last doctors appointment that, even though it was an outpatient surgery, because it was so late in the afternoon I could stay overnight if I wanted to.  I had decided ahead of time that that is what I wanted to do.

I usually get really nervous before things, and this was the first time I’d had surgery aside from wisdom teeth removal.  As soon as the IV line was in, I pretty much had a panic attack.  The nurse went to talk to the doctor and he gave me a valium to calm me down, which it did.  Once that passed, I was fine.

One thing I found kind of funny was how careful they were to make sure they operated on the correct leg.  They verified it was my left several times and wrote “Yes” on that leg.   I vaguely remember being wheeled into the operating room, and then waking up later.  I wasn’t in a lot of pain, which was good.

Eventually they took me to my room to stay overnight and I had morphine for pain if I needed it.  I only pushed the button maybe 4-5 times and felt pretty good other than tired.

My parents said that when the surgeon talked to them, he said it was good I chose surgery.  Apparently, the ends were pretty far apart and if I had chosen the non-surgical option it probably wouldn’t have healed well and I’d have needed the surgery anyway.  He also gave them a before and after picture from the surgery.  It’s kinda cool and kinda gross at the same time.  But it was interesting.

The next morning at 7am the surgeon came in to see me and said everything went well and I should make a full recovery eventually.  I then had a couple sessions of physical therapy where they just had me walk around with the crutches, and I went home about 3:30 the day after the surgery.

For the next week post-op, I really had very little pain.  That’s good because the pain medication made me sick.  I only took it maybe twice.  I was more in discomfort than pain.  So I was happy about that.  My leg had a splint on top of the leg from above the toes up the shin to a little below my knee.  I really didn’t leave the couch much for the rest of the week, and I was able to return to school the following Monday.

My next post will get us caught up to today.

Second Doctor Appointment — 1 week post-injury

Posted on July 21st, 2011 in Uncategorized by quepasa18

One week after my ATR I met with the surgeon for the first time.  I really like him a lot.  He took the time to explain my choice between surgical and non-surgical options and answered my questions about his qualifications.  I chose the surgery because it seemed best for me.

This was going into the 4th of July holiday weekend (the 4th being on a Monday) so the earliest I could get in was Tuesday.   Because the school where I teach has that whole week off for summer break, I really wanted the surgery ASAP so hopefully I’d be ready to go back to school the following Monday.  He was able to schedule the surgery for 4:45pm on Tuesday, which was great.

I also expressed concern about getting around school after surgery.  I teach at a technical college and have to cover a lot of distance between my office and the classrooms or other places I need to go.  So he  gave me a prescription for a knee walker.  I feel like a huge dork rolling around campus, but it’s a life-saver.  I’d hate to have to use crutches the whole time I’m NWB.

My next post will cover my surgery.

1st Doctor Appointment — 3 days post-injury

Posted on July 21st, 2011 in Uncategorized by quepasa18

I had my first doctor appointment on June 27, three days after my injury.  I saw a doctor who specializes in sports medicine.  To be honest, this appointment was a waste of time and money, although maybe it was required to get a referral for my surgeon.

But basically, this doctor just confirmed what the ER doctor had said.  I did get a boot though, which was better than the splint I’d had up until then.  With the boot, I was able to walk without crutches until I had my surgery.  I was scheduled for an MRI on June 29 and an appointment with the surgeon on July 1.  The doctor also signed the form I needed to get a disabled permit.  I was very glad my injury was the left leg so it didn’t interfere with driving.

I teach at a technical college, and had taken off work the Monday and Tuesday after my injury.  Truthfully, with the boot I probably could have/should have gone back to work on Tuesday.  But I decided to wait a day.  I taught on Wednesday and Thursday.  I don’t have classes on Fridays, so I only had to put in those two days.  I don’t get paid for the days I don’t teach in the summer, so I didn’t want to miss any more classes than necessary.  Luckily, we had off for summer break the week of the 4th of July, which is when my surgery was, so I haven’t had to take any other days off than those two.

The next post will detail my first meeting with the surgeon.

My journey since June 24

Posted on July 21st, 2011 in Uncategorized by quepasa18

Hello everyone!  I have found the blogs on this site very helpful in the last month since I ruptured my Achilles and thought I would contribute for others in the future.

I thought taking tennis lessons this summer would be a really great idea.  Well, I had all of one lesson, on June 22.  Then, on June 24 (a Friday) I was practicing with my sister-in-law.  We were about 5 minutes from being done, when I felt what turned out to be the classic symptoms of an Achilles rupture.  I heard a loud pop and thought that a tennis ball had hit me in the back of the ankle.  But when I fell and looked down at my leg, it was obvious my Achilles was no longer where it was supposed to be.  My sister-in-law called my parents, who took me to the emergency room.  I was put in a splint, sent home for the weekend, and told to make an appointment with another doctor for the following Monday.  My husband was able to borrow crutches from a co-worker, but I spent most of the weekend on the couch with my leg elevated and icing every hour or so.

I think with that, I’ll end this post and will create a new one for each significant day until now.  I think that’ll be easier to read for everyone.