rosethorn’s AchillesBlog

Just another AchillesBlog.com weblog

New triumphs come with new pain… and old memories.

Great news! I’ve been in two shoes for ten days now, and my longest time yet without re-rupture. My second rupture occurred at 101 days after the first, and my third rupture 104 days after the second. I have now made it 118 days and am feeling great!

However, I will admit I had gotten quite used to the lack of pain post-surgery, both from the lack of nerves in my integrating tissues as well as my limited mobility in the boot. The pain is here again, with cramping that can only be relieved by intense stretching. It’s particularly bad in the morning as I ( and most others) sleep with my feet in plantar flexion.

It is so hard not to let the fear consume me like it did before, as it is almost an immediate response to my pain threshold, which is already abnormally high when all my nerve endings are intact. I know now that more psychological injury occurred to me than I had previously identified with. I sometimes feel like an animal that has been beaten for no reason, punished for trying to live normally.

I hope and pray for all of us going through this journey and try not to blame myself for the guilt and fear that come into my life almost daily now. With a great support system of health practitioners, family, friends and a very loving boyfriend (I sometimes wonder how has he stayed with me through all of this and am relieved to have love so true), I am able to accept these feelings and almost completely release them in the same minute.

We will all be healed again one day, inside and out. I know it.

18 Responses to “New triumphs come with new pain… and old memories.”

  1. pablomoses Says:

    Wow Rose… I recently read your story. The positivity & optimism of your posts is inspiring…
    Congrats on the shoes!!!

  2. gtgtgt Says:

    Hi Rose,
    wish u all the best and get fully revcover soon. I read your story and admire for your positive attitude. I know its not easy to go through the reovery process again and again. you are very strong.
    In my case, I first raptured in 100 days from now and re-raptured in 56days after the first, and now I m at 34 days after op for my 2nd rapture. And I must admit I did cry when I was told that I re-ruptured the tendon again…. I was so depresed for couples weeks.
    I am 31 now and the road ahead is still very long, I agreed with yours that we will all be healed again one one day, inside and out!

    Hope you will return to full activity very soon, and wish all others do not suffer the same as ours.

  3. mike44 Says:

    Hey Rose, I know what you mean when you talk about the psychological injury you have. I’m only 4 weeks into my recovery but just thinking about attempting to play basketball again or even just taking that first step on the injured leg scares the hell out of me. I know that you and I will make it back to our active lifestyles soon. Staying positive is the key.

  4. doryt Says:

    Hi Rose, My appt at the wound clinic went well. The doc said if he could do cartwheels down the hall he would as he said my would looks great lots of granualtion and better than any other of his patients. He had not had expiereince with would due to a ATR but more so with diabetic patients and those had ulcers at the AT area. He measured depth and diameter, gave me a gell called Solosite and I use it and a gauze 3 x’s daily. Next appt is in 3 weeks. The Integra Placement did help generate cells and even though the skin graft did not take after the Integra there has been cell growth and less tendon is exposed. It is about the size of an eraser head now. So I am happy with progress (I guess I have to be) But OH SO slow! If we have no or mico gain in 3 weeks we may do what is called an Oasis matrix non surgical. Promotes cell growth like the Integra but non surgical.
    Thanks for your suggestions. I do need to rest more as I am only elevating heat and ice 2x daily if that. All doctors tell me this type wound is best to keep moist until it fills in more.

  5. rosethorn Says:

    Pablomoses, gtgtgt,
    Thanks for your support; it means a lot. Somtimes I get on a gripe like the one I posted on here then later I feel embarrassed about it… But then I realize this blog is out safe place, the place we get to express ourselves without fear of anyone not understanding the pain and trials that come with this injury. I am so grateful for people to truly share my experience with.

    Mike,
    You are too right. Positivity is the key, even in times of darkness… Scratch that — especially in times of darkness!

    Dory,
    That’s wonderful news! I’m fascinated about the moisture treatment for your wound; it must be very healed on the inside! I’m glad it’s healing and can’t wait until you post about your fully-closed leg.

  6. Janus Says:

    Rose, helps people like me keep things in perspective, quite frankly. I let myself get occasionally overwhelmed just dealing with just the one ATR and related nonsense (absurd medical bills, and idiot institutions included).

    It’s wonderful that you have a strong support network, and a loving, caring partner.

    My best wishes to you, & to all.

  7. jimminyc Says:

    Rose, your positive attitude is inspirational. Wishing you all the best for a successful recovery. Keep strong.

  8. Tony B. Says:

    All this positive energy talk is making me think you all are from California.

    Truth be told, this is a pretty bad injury and all this BS about returning to bball or tennis etc… is just asking for trouble. Your body just told you not to do it (as evidenced by a major tendon snapping) and I keep hearing from even my family (except my wife) that of course you can return to normal sports blah blah blah.

    My primary care doc had it right - he said a year ago to quit tennis after I hurt my lower heel and I looked at him like he had 2 heads. Now I’ve really went and done it. I bet he’s gloating now and saying “I told you so.” Well, maybe he’s not gloating but he’s definitely going to say “I told you so” at my next visit.

  9. beralic Says:

    Tony, most people do return to their sports (professional athletes included) and there is next to no evidence to say you are more at risk after a full recovery (1+ years) of a rupture than anyone else in the population, one of the toughest thing about an injury like this is the mental battle, you have to think positive or you will be misrible, if your convinced that the sport you were doing was the cause, maybe its a great time to take up another one that works your body in a different way? :)

  10. ultrarunning316 Says:

    Yup, it’s difficult for everyone, of course there are times when it looks like nothing is going to work out…A little faith that things will get better can take you a long way. Some people want to live life to the fullest and for some of us that means doing what we do sports wise. I tell ya this every athlete that’s gone down with this injury that’s made a comeback is of interest to me and when they’re on the court, track, or field they’re the center of my attention…Some of these athletes are years past their ATRs and looking good. I hope you can come to terms with your injury and also live and let live. This too will pass.

  11. pablomoses Says:

    Hi Rose- Here’s hoping that all is going well with you! - I just had to give answer to Tony’s post on your page here…

    Hey Tony,
    You’re right is is a “pretty bad” injury… don’t think anyone here would argue with that - in fact, I generally use much stronger language when describing it. I’m in a bit of a minority as I ruptured my achilles through trauma (ladder), rather than during sport. Would you then say, as you’ve posted elsewhere, that my body is telling me “no” as far as returning to the things I love to do? I plan to surf, snowboard, climb, mountain bike, mountaineer, canyoneer… and whatever else I care to do once healed… Not saying that you should do anything other than you chose to do, or not do, but for myself - I choose life. And yes, I was born in California… right next to Disneyland - “The Happiest Place on Earth.”

  12. jenniferanderson Says:

    Tony - You say “all this positive energy talk is making me think you all are from California” like it’s some kind of insult. I am from California and I’m proud of my positive attitude. I have bad moments and bad days coping with this injury but then I pick myself back up (with the help of the wonderful people on this site) and move on. I know that one day I will return to my active lifestyle.
    Hope everyone has a great Easter Sunday. The weather here is beautiful and I’m going to walk outside with my trusty crutches and watch the kids hunt for eggs. :-)

  13. jimminyc Says:

    Jennifer/Pablo, being from the UK I have never had the chance to visit the US West Coast, only the East Coast. However, I am loving the positive vibe from you guys and have added California to my travel list!

    Bad days and good days, I agree. Today I have been FWB no crutches for 2 days and my leg feels tired, my PT is ’slow steaming’ as I am tired but that is okay with me, I know now to expect some good days and some not so good days. What I do know though is that with some patience and support I will get back to doing what I love also.

    J, I hope you enjoyed your egg hunting!

  14. rosethorn Says:

    Thanks all for making this a worthwhile thread! Your reinforcement proves the worth of a forum such as this one.

    Tony,

    Saying that returning to an active lifestyle after an ATR is “asking for it” is akin to driving after being in an accident. Things like this happen to certain people for reasons we cannot understand. A cancer patient does not usually want to lay down and die; he/she wants to fight to have what was once there. Taking the struggles in life and learning from them, understanding both the blessings and the curses is not easy. It f*cking sucks if you really want to know how I feel about it… But what choice do we have? I had undiagnosed orthopedic issues for the majority of my life that only became obvious when I started living my life as an athlete. Is that my fault? No. I wanted to make my life better by being healthy and active but didn’t have all the information I needed to be fail-safe. Is that my fault? Maybe a little bit… But do I resent myself for that? Hell no! I cannot wait to have my life back to normal. I hope it doesn’t take you a year worth of agony and three ruptures to get yours back.

  15. Tony B. Says:

    Hey I’m just telling you what I think. Of course I will go back to my active lifestyle - I’m just not going to go mountain biking down hills and off jumps etc… I think my body is telling me to stop otherwise risk further damage. I’ll go to the gym and go on those bikes and/or ellipticals or something. I’m tired of playing through injury after injury anyways. (Not that I could play through an ATR, but the thought did cross my mind for for a split second when I initially hurt it but then I figured no because I couldn’t even move the foot).

    Sorry if I insulted you Cali people - didn’t mean too. Cali is the Land of Good Vibrations.

  16. rosethorn Says:

    Tony,

    Good to know what you think! That’s what the blog is for, right? :) I just wondered if you had ever been to California, especially LA, because what you’re sayin’ is the epitomal opposite of my experiences… Oregon, on the other hand is filled with neauvous hippie-yuppie hybrids (yippies) and your comment may have been better directed at such a state!

  17. Tony B. Says:

    Not to worry Rosethorn, after a 1 week suspension by the positivity police of the ATR blog, I am now a reformed optimist.

    I ran into a guy while I was in AZ and he was 1 year post op - playing with his kids in the pool etc… He hurt it while playing basketball. Anyways, he showed me his own ATR and I was kind of taken aback at how much thickening there was in his achilles. He was able to move it and had decent range of motion. His calf was still noticeable smaller than his other good leg. This guy worked on PT etc… the minute he hurt it. I’ve been doing my own PT but not like that. I mean, for you ladies a nice lean calf is desirable, but for myself I’d like to get my full lower leg musculature back.

  18. rosethorn Says:

    Hehe. The positivity police! Love it. Yeah, I’ve been biking a bunch in the past few days and that has really broken up some of the scar tissue composition surrounding my injury. They also reconstructed my tendon to be longer than average so to compensate for the extreme and repeatedly atrophy of my calf muscles. As a result, my range of motion is already normal, and has been at every check-up! At this point, my ATR calf is just under one inch smaller than the other and growing!

    That being said, I’ve always had “shapely legs,” meaning they’re pretty beefy for a girl! After years of being self-conscious about it (they’re short too :)), I came to appreciate my musculature and strength thanks to cycling, roller derby and a strong personality that matches my lifestyle. So, I’m definitely with you on building that business back. Cycling has been incredible– it’s triggering my proprioreceptors and giving me a dynamic stretch with very low impact every time I pedal. I suggest hopping on an exercise bike though it’s not nearly as fun as being outside!

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