But when you can move again, boy howdy, do you move! Aside from finishing my Fitness Technology certificate and having a great summer internship at a whole-body gym, I am now a nationally-insured, ACSM certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. I have two work sites I’m instructing at and a third job as a smoothie maven in a gym. Life is great. My leg still hurts, almost constantly, but its a different kind of pain and dwindles with time. The muscles are almost as large on my 3x rupture leg as the other one!!! After only eight months!!!!! I can hop, jog and even cycle for thirty miles without grief! It’s wonderful to feel my life back in my hands again, though I am incredibly grateful to those who held it in their hands for those long, grueling 14 months. Though physically and emotionally, I suffered for a long time, I am now in a wonderful place, existentially speaking. I wish you all the same!
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It’s been a long time since I’ve checked in… and I will post again soon with more detail, but I have been released from physician’s care for the first time in thirteen months!
The glorious epic continues! With two days of uncannily beautiful weather here in the dramatically wet Pacific Northwest, I rode 6 miles in 80 degree weather yesterday and another 3.5 today! It’s amazing how much of a "mind over matter" this is for me now, especially with my doctor telling me "you just have to get over the idea that this is an issue for you anymore." That’s just about the best thing a doctor can say to you! I don’t have another check-up for two months and am encouraged to work through the pain, which I now know could be a daily part of my life for up to a year. The pain reaction is hard to overcome but with good times on my bike, it seems a lot easier already.
Not only did I successfully ride my bike to the neighborhood pub (15 blocks downhill), but I MADE IT BACK! (15 blocks uphill It feels strange to adapt to getting some of my life back; I’d just gotten so used to not having everything I loved and was used to as a part of my life. Also, finally got to drive my ‘88 Camaro again! I thought the stick shift would be a pain but it turns out it’s great exercise; I even do something akin to shifting a car in my physical therapy sessions! Life is good.
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.
…but I have to Less than two weeks away, I test rode these guys around the house last night. Needless to say, I’ll be cruisin’ in style once I’m able!
Had my first two physical therapy visits and man oh man, it’s a whole different ball game after surgery. When I attended PT for my first two ATRs, I was in constant pain– like 8 out of 10 every hour of every day and I’m still not even sure how I went through seven months like that. Now I’m at an intermittent 3-4, making me able to do so much already.
My physical therapist has been massaging my leg, both with a grastining tool and his hands and it feels so good! There were times before where I was wincing through the pain, hoping it would do some good. It’s great too to see how well my scar is healing, complications and all.
I also tried my first session of acupuncture, for general imbalance, pain due to compensation and astronomical stress factors. It was ethereal! I would encourage anyone who is dealing with an ATR to try some acupuncture; it really takes the edge off. Not only did I have a positive experience, but the clinic I went to was so insistent upon bringing me back for regular treatment that they’re helping me pay. It’s nice to be helped through this process and to feel some real hope.
Well, I went into see my doctors today due to fear of a serious destiny for my “good” leg and not only was I cleared to resume daily activities and working out, but I start physical therapy next week!
I’m allowed to take short journeys through the house with my boot off immediately but am to keep it on for most of the time I’m up and moving around. The best part? I’m officially one month away from two shoes. It’s nice to see my doctors almost as happy as I am about such a change.
As I’m monitoring the progress of my post-op leg, my right leg continues to worsen. I have pain and cramping reminiscent of sensations I experienced prior to my first rupture. This whole thing makes me sick sometimes. It’s like two steps forward, one step back all the time. Please keep me in your thoughts as you work through your rehabilitation and know that you are strong. Going through this three times has taken its toll on the rest of my body. I am strong too, even when I feel weak.