5 months post op. It gets better!

This post is for anyone who just recently ruptured their AT or is less than 5 months post op. Message: it gets better and is all about ATTITUDE. Follow your ortho advice, trust your therapist, and persevere to understand God works in mysterious ways.

Not 5 months ago I thought I would never be athletic again. I’m 29. Rupturing this tendon while playing flag football was an incredible psychological and physical hurdle. Thankfully surgery was uneventful, except for the fact the intern OR surgeon who wrapped my splint did it too tight. Result: heel ulcer.  It’s been a nasty open heel wound that I still must bandage daily and see a specialist for every other week. It’s healing finally, but has been a long road. Achilles and heel pain (sore and sharp, respectively) is not a fun combo. However we have to see the forest through the trees. I have developed an incredible appreciation for permanently disabled people. Could you imagine being on crutches or in a wheelchair the rest of your life?? I am simply thankful it’s temporary. 100 plus hours of therapy and gym time later, I can say I’m back on track to physical and emotional well being. I bench pressed at the gym today without hesitation. Have been doing 60 mins daily of cycling jogging combo. Not 100pct yet, but damn it feels good to be a normal gym goer again.

Dont fear the surgery or recovery. It takes patience, but 5 months flies by honestly. In addition to finding out who your real friends are, you’ll feel a real sense of accomplishment when you finally get back to being yourself. You get out what you put in. Learn from the adversity and you will emerge a stronger and more caring person! For anyone having a difficult time do not hesitate to email me at johnmroscoe@gmail.com

God Bless,

John

10 Responses to “5 months post op. It gets better!”

  1. John this is very uplifting. How soon did you end up going back to the gym and to what capacity? I am not sure if I should keep my gym membership or not, I am 1 month post op. I workout at home right now upper body and core as limited as I am, has PT kicked your butt enough where you dont need the gym in that stage or if you didnt end up going for 5 months then not worth paying?

  2. John, maybe I’m weird — OK, I AM weird, references on demand! — but I see double-edged swords in some of your statements. “Follow and trust your health professionals, but my leg almost got destroyed by one of mine!” How about “Follow and trust your health professionals UNLESS they make a mistake, get distracted, haven’t been keeping up on the literature, or are still doing things the way they learned them a decade or three ago”? There are a LOT of people posting here who have gotten bad advice or been actively harmed by their health professionals. It helps a lot to have a good smart Health Advocate, and for ATR patients that’s usually us, the patient.

    I couldn’t agree more with your new sympathy for the permanently disabled. Have you heard physicist Stephen Hawking’s (Homer Simpson: “the wheelchair guy”) calling people who walk and run “the temporarily able-bodied”? Food for thought.

    In addition to sympathy for the less fortunate, this injury could easily make you more thankful for how well the rest of your complicated body works, and how well THIS part will work soon, too. Keep healing!

  3. It’s aways good to hear “it gets better” because someone is always farther down the road. Cheers to your recovery!

    Beardedmurray: Regarding the gym membership - I kept mine and began using it right away. It got me out of the house and back to a routine, of sorts. Like you, I could do the upper body weights and core at home, but it was nice to do it at the gym, too. The gym also had the Windjammer cardio machines, which I used before weight bearing and then treadmills once I was off crutches (safer than the snowy, icy sideswalks). Lots of bike options, too. Just a thought:)

  4. This is great to read. At 8 weeks out, I’m looking for posts like this to see where I might be, down the road.

    It really is true, being laid up like this has made me appreciate my formerly mobile self. Just seeing people walking their dogs in the park makes me wistful for the days when I could do so too - and look forward to getting better shoo I can do it again!

  5. Great post and energy.

    I must admit, the first month or two went by like a snail, but after I went FWB, time flew. I know one thing, the first 3-4 weeks are terrible (mentally and physically). LOL.

    Good luck and keep posting.
    Ron

  6. I just started reading everyone’s blogs. I ruptured my Achilles on Dec. 16th leaving the gym after a 5am spin class. Tripped on a parking bumper and my foot landed on the curb. Ouch! I had my surgery on NYE. I was in a splint until a week ago. I have the walking boot now. I can’t put hardly any weight on it but it is easier to get around on the crutches. I also use a walker sometimes when I need to go somewhere. I feel much more stable having 4 legs on the ground.

    I started out with 5″ lift in the heel. I don’t even wear 2″ heels in real life! Very awkward for me. I can take a 1″ wedge out every week. What a difference 1″ makes! I go back to my OS on the February 27th for my next checkup.

    I started driving this past week. What a sense of freedom! I can get in and out of the car just fine, using the walker. I use a knee scooter a lot during the day at work because I am up and down a lot. I just looked at the icrutc that someone else had mentioned. Do any of you use that? Can you sit down with it on?

    I’m sorry to ramble on here but it’s nice to share with people who are going through the same thing. I need to get myself back to the gym for upper body workouts. I haven’t been doing anything - it’s exhausting just trying to prepare a meal for my family. And I’m at really needing to do a thorough cleaning of my house, lol.

    Thanks for listening to me. And thanks for the inspiration!

    Vicki

  7. @john @ron - thx for the uplifting post. cheers to continued improvement and getting back to 100% gym shape! \

    @beardedmurray - the past 4-5 weeks have been tough, i was just there. but this next month is going to amaze you with how resilient your body is, how it miraculously heals, and how much progress you can make daily. i have been surprised by how far I’ve come in the 2.5 weeks since i got my cast off at 6 weeks post-op and i’ve taken a very methodical and conservative PT approach. because i hadnt been able to drive, i havent been to the gym but have been working out daily at home. let your body guide you, just listen to it.

    @vickiN - I got back onto a stationary bike as soon as i was able to get into a shoe, at about 6.5 weeks post-op (6 weeks in cast). never felt so humbled by a routine physical activity. good luck and keep up the positive approach!

  8. Vicki, for most of us walking PWB — with crutches but otherwise as normally and straight as possible — is the best way to get to FWB. And it’s important to build up your “good” foot so it’s as high off the floor as your injured one.

    Did you really mean 5 INCHES?!? Even 5cm is a lot of heel wedge — lots of very successful studies used 2 or 3 cm — even non-op without sutures to hold the ends together. (Post-op, you should logically need less not more.)

  9. Yes, normofthenorth, I meant 5″. My OS said my rupture was further down towards my heel and was more difficult to repair. It sure made a difference when I took the first 1″ wedge out if the boot. I “walked” quite a bit today, (used a walker, not crutches) wore me out. I hope I don’t regret it tomorrow.

    @sittinginthestands, thanks for the encouraging spin info. I look forward to getting back to cycling. Fortunately, my injury is my left leg. Once I feel a bit more stable, I will go to the gym to get some cardio in.

    Thanks, everyone!

  10. Great uplifting blog. Great to hear positive things from those further down the recovery road. Happy healing , take care and keep us posted on progress.

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