6 weeks 2 days

July 14th, 2011

Went to PT today.  I go once/week.  This time my therapist had me use a sheet wrapped around my foot and put just a slight traction.   towards myself.  No pain allowed - just a little stretch.  He doesn’t want me to do any exercises that cause pain.  Also keep working on hip and thigh strengthening and ROM.  I spent this week with my boot on and used 1 crutch at work.  I see many posts where people say they have no pain.  Unfortunately, by the time I get home, my foot is swollen and hurts quite a bit.  I elevate and Ice it every evening - that feels good!!  I am also very frustrated that I can’t drive.  All of our cars are manual, so it’s going to be awhile.  I am very lucky that my husband works at the same hospital that I do, so I bum a ride with him.  I have to flex my hours to match his, but we are doing OK.  I actually ventured to the grocery store last week with my daughter.  First time to a store in 7 weeks!!                   I am very concerned about how bad my good tendon hurts.  I actually seems to be getting worse every week.  Has anyone else experienced increasing pain in their good tendon??  I have tried massaging, which helps for awhile, but doesn’t last long.

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5 1/2 weeks - Turned the corner!!

July 10th, 2011

What a great week!!  My incision finally stopped hurting so bad.  Was rubbing terribly in the boot and driving me crazy!!  I kept the boot off for much of the long Holiday weekend and that helped so much.  I am not supposed to be weight bearing yet, but like many, am eager to go as fast as I can.  I have been able to walk pretty well.  Much of the time I am barefoot around my house.  I always put the boot on when I go outside - too afraid to trip or hurt it.  And I always put the boot on when I go to work.  At work I walk now with 1 crutch.  That horrible creepy crawly pain in my foot is also getting much better and the numbness in my toes is almost gone.  This is the first week that I feel real progress and can actually believe that I will be normal again someday.  I  have read that some people are very afraid to sleep without their boot on.  I actually never wore my boot to sleep - could not stand it.  I had a splint ace wraps for the first 2 weeks and did leave that on.  But, once I was in a boot - I was free at night.  I figured as long as I was not walking on it, I wouldn’t hurt it.  If I got up during the night, I did put the boot on.  Now, I just get up barefoot - and walk very carefully!!  I go to PT once a week and have gone twice.  This last time my therapist spent a long time on thigh and hip strengthening and on ROM.  I did a lot more this time and hope to keep progressing.  He had a chart from my Dr. which said I can start weight bearing at week 6, but I don’t go back until week 7.  I plan on bringing my shoes and showing him how well I can walk!!

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5 weeks! Went swimming (very carefully)

July 6th, 2011

Well, I’m now at 5 weeks post surgery.  Had a great weekend with 4 days off work.  Did wonders for healing my foot.  I spent a lot of time out of my boot, but was extremely cautious.  My worst pain is from the boot rubbing on my incision.  By the end of the day I can hardly stand to  have anything touch my foot.  Even just the sheets on the bed are painful.  After a few days of good rest, my foot felt so great!!  Swelling was almost gone and slept without a pain pill.  Now, back to work for 2 days and my foot is swollen and sore.  My incision is much better, though and I am not getting that rubbing pain.  On Sunday, I even braved the pool.  I floated on a raft and kept weight off my foot.  It felt so good!!  We actually had 18 people over for a BBQ.  I was nervous, but everyone helped out and it went great.  I kept the food simple and everyone pitched in.  It was nice to have a somewhat normal summer day :)

I started using “Mederma” on my incision.  It is supposed to prevent scarring.  Hope it helps!

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4 weeks after surgery - Flower planting :)

July 1st, 2011

This week I had my 4 week appt.  My orthopedic doctor is the best and always spends time and answers all my questions.  I am now allowed to “touch my foot on the floor” when walking, but not really put much weight on it.  Still in a boot.  My incision looks great - healed completely.  But it’s very tender, actually the whole back of my calf is tender.  I get the craziest creepy crawly pain in my foot, especially at night.  Sometimes even get stabby pains between my toes.  I am guessing that this is nerve pain.  I hate the boot they gave me and have been wearing an old boot that I have from when I broke my ankle 4 years ago.  The new boot has an air cast with several compartments that they inflated.  It hurts my incision and calf so bad!!  By the end of the day I want to chop my foot off.  My old boot is much better.  It still is very protective, but much softer in the back.  I had been doing some minimal ROM - point and flex foot.  Went to PT this week and they did ROM measurements and gave me more exercises.  No resistance yet, just ROM.  Also, exercises to keep my thigh and hip strong.

I got outside today and did some weeding and planted some flowers - in my boot, on crutches.  Great fun!!  I put a towel on the ground to kneel on and crawled around - too funny.  Stuck to the back yard. I am sure I look like a crazy lady :)  It was good to get out.  My foot got pretty sore and now I am sitting with it elevated on an ice pack.   At least I saw the sun today - getting tired of doing nothing but going to work and then sitting on the couch when I get home because I’m so tired and my foot hurts.  That’s my normal day.  After crutching around all day, I am beat when I get home!  I am so eager to be walking again and it is very hard to be patient.  Hopefully the Holiday weekend with revive me!

Happy 4th everyone!!

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Golf (kind of) at 3 weeks post surgery :)

June 24th, 2011

Had a great day today!!  We had signed up to play in a golf outing long before my injury.  I was very depressed and told my husband to find someone else to play.  He insisted that I go an just ride along on the cart, just to get out.  Well, I’m not much for sitting around and figured that at  least - I could putt.  So I did and actually even tried a couple of chips.  At first I was off because my boot foot is quite higher that my shoe foot.   But, after a few bad shots, I actually  made a few nice chips and putting was easy.  I crutched it out to every green.  I did very well, but I am very tired tonight and my hands and arms are very sore from the crutches.  I was quite a sight and got a lot of compliments for “giving it a go”.  It was rainy off and on, so I had my boot wrapped in a bag - huge fashion statement :)  Can’t wait until I can try my driver, but I was a little scared to try that today.  I go back to see my surgeon next week at 4 weeks post- op and hope (and will beg ) to be allowed to walk

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Newbie Angie - June 2011

June 21st, 2011

So, I like to run, golf, hike - always active.  On May 20, we went to a local winery and were goofing off dancing and this is how I rupture my achilles?!  Totally not fair.  We were jumping - I was in flat flip flops on concrete, so maybe that contributed to my injury.  My story is similar to others.  First thing I did was look behind to see who had kicked me.  But to no avail and soon realized that I could not stand on my foot and behind my ankle was mush.  No tendon at all.  So we go off to the ED where they confirmed my suspicion, gave me pain pills, splinted it and told me to call an orthopod on Monday.

On Monday I call, from work of course, because I’m in denial.  They tell  me I can get in on June 7th.  Well, I didn’t think it would be wise to wait 2+ weeks so I got pushy and demanded that the receptionist tell the physician that I have a ruptured achilles.  Amazing - Now they could see my that day at 2pm!  Thanks goodness!  He put me in a boot and ordered an MRI.  MRI was done Wed, back in the office Thursday and surgery scheduled for the following Tuesday.  My doctor said that he likes to wait 1-2 weeks for the bleeding to clot and stabilize the tendon.  Sounded gross, but who am I to argue.

On Tuesday, I’m at work as usual.  I actually work at the hospital where I would have my surgery - very convenient.  My surgery was scheduled for 6pm so I figured I might as well keep busy.  Then I get a call from the OR at 2pm and they tell me the person before me had to be cancelled so I could come right now.  Suddenly- very sick to my stomach - I wasn’t mentally prepared yet and very scared.  I’ve never had a surgery before.  But, maybe it was better that way.  They were eager to get going so before I knew it, I was admitted, IV started and they were taking me to the recovery area to get my nerve block.  A little versed and I was out.  I thought I was waking up from having the block done and I was actually done.  Woke up easily with no nausea at all.  Seems like 30 minutes went by and I was on my way home.    I was in the OR at 4pm and home by 8:30.

My doctor did a brand new procedure where he made a 1.5 in horizontal incision.  Inserted a jig and ran 10 lines of suture above the incision in my calf and 5 lines below by my heel.  With the jig, they pulled the suture and 2 ends of the tendon together and sutured it together in the middle.  My block lasted 24 hours, but I still had some residual block until 48.  I could tell the exact minute it finally wore off - first time I needed 2 percocet.  That was a hard night - very sore.

I stayed home for 2 weeks and during that first 2 weeks, I fell twice on my foot.  As much as you try not to, crutches suck and combined with weakness and pain pills - deadly combination.  When I fell, the pain was horrible and took probably 10 minutes to start to subside.  The it took about 2 days to get back to the pain level I was at before.  I was so worried that I re-ruptured it.  Reading this blog has been very helpful and I saw that several others had also fallen and done OK.  I was also put on Lovenox (blood thinner) shots for 10 days.  I was glad for this because I know there is a risk of emboli.

2 week checkup on June 13th and allowed to go back to work as long as I promised to stay at my office.  No damage from falling, thank goodness!  I work in a hospital, and I have been pretty good, but do crutch it off to a few meetings and down the hallways to see my staff several times a day.

First week was very hard and I did not make it to Friday.  By Thursday night my leg hurt so bad and the boot rubbed my incision terribly!  So, I took Friday off and went back to ice and elevation.  Much better by this week.  Still sore and now getting itchy, so I think that means it;s healing.  The swelling is almost gone and my incision looks great!  My doctor is the best and I am so grateful for the new procedure.  I am at 3 weeks post surgery today.  I can walk on my foot, even though I know I am not supposed to.  I only take a few small steps.  It’s hard not to, now that it’s feeling better.  I go back on Monday, so we’ll see what he says then.  I think the plan is to start PT next week.

This blog had been such a great help.  I read a million stories before having my surgery and it really helped me prepare for it and for what to expect in recovery.  I am very impatient and want to get back to running ASAP!

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Hello world!

June 13th, 2011

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