Pity Party

My cast issues have resolved on their own pretty much.  I am in this cast at a neutral position for 12 more days and then I will get my boot at about 4.5 weeks post op.  I’m not sure what my weight bearing status will be when I get the boot.  This surgeon say something different each time.  He did say he wants to check how good I am with crutches when he puts the boot on me.  I’ve been using crutches all along so I’m not sure what he meant.

Anyway, I’ve had a hard couple of days.  I’ve been off work a month, can’t care for my kids how I want, etc.  I know this will come to an end but I’ve just been in this funk of feeling sorry for myself.  I can’t seem to snap out of it.  I’ve also started obsessing about rerupturing and am probably reading TOO many horror stories about it since I’ve had free time. I’m just venting and don’t make a very good injured patient.  Any tips to get out of the funK?

14 Comments so far

  1. normofthenorth on March 13th, 2010

    Check the bottom of the glass! (It’s half full.) You’re receiving good care for a non-life-threatening mechanical injury with a good chance of recovering 100%. The Internet is full of news from people who have REAL problems. (And if that doesn’t help, ignore it!!)

    I’ve already ranted a couple of times today at people who I think are being immobilized (and NWB) too long. According to the study-tested protocol I’m following — which worked fine with post-op AND non-op ATR patients — 2 weeks of NWB is enough, and 2 weeks isn’t too soon to start gentle physio and home exercises, out of the boot. There is NO evidence to suggest that more “conservative” approaches post-op produce better outcomes — and the weight of evidence is clear that going much slower does harm. And it leads to more funks, too!

    I told some people here to print out the U.W.O. study and protocol, roll it up, and slap their conservative ortho surgeon with it — and you’re welcome to do that, too. Surgeons don’t have time to do science, and the system doesn’t require them to, so it’s up to us to challenge them with the facts. Do it! Do it for the next few dozen patients, not just yourself!

  2. 2ndtimer on March 13th, 2010

    Sara, I can imagine how frustrated you are not being able to care for your children when they are so young. I sprained my ankle when my son was 5 months old and remember how upsetting it was that I could not pick him up from the crib because I would have keeled over if I bend over like that with my foot in cast. However that lasted only for a month and I did not need crutches, I could walk on it, so it was relatively easy. The ATR is much tougher. I can’t imagine going through it with small children, fortunately mine are teenagers now, so they could actually help me.
    I hope with surgery your recovery will go fast and you will be able to ditch the crutches in a month. That will make your situation easier in the house, though not outside. The boot mostly frees your hands, but you can’t walk far with it. But wearing it all times is essential, you can trip too easily with kids around. Once you get the green light to be in two shoes, I do trust the re-rupture rate after surgery is quite small.
    Please do not feel guilty about your disability, it will pass, and the kids won’t remember it. It is very important for your recovery to rest and let your body do the healing the first few weeks.
    It is impossible to be a good patient when you see the need to do so much. I found it very depressing. There is one good thing I can say: it will end. But now take good care of yourself, and take as much time out of work as you can.

  3. sara on March 13th, 2010

    Thank you both for your comments.
    Norm, I do agree with you and the early weight bearing protocol. Due to a variety of circumstances I ended up with a more conservative surgeon. Right from the start I asked about early weight bearing, the boot, etc. The fact I have small kids made him want to keep me in a cast LONGER but we were able to convince him to cut 1 week off the total cast time. I wish it could be different. Originally he was going to push my foot to neutral in 2 weeks to get it in the boot. But due to my cast issues my foot is in neutral now. I’m hoping this will give me a little edge with him since my foot will have been in neutral for awhile.

    2ndtimer-thanks for your kind words about the kids and how they won’t remember it really. I guess it also is giving them more special time with their dad and other relative/friends and maybe they will remember that part. Since I hurt myself at work this is a worker’s comp issue. so I can’t go back until my surgeon says. I guess in some ways it is good it happened that way but it does take my return to work date out of my hands somewhat and that feels weird. I don’t want to go back and trip over some kids boot or something though.

    My husband made me feel better today during one of my “breakdowns’. He told me I am living in “another time” and need to live in the now. Remembering how life was pre injury, what could I have done differently, or obsessing about the future and hurting myself again is making the now harder. He reminded me this is a small moment in a long life.

  4. ultidad on March 13th, 2010

    Sara-
    It sounds like you have a wise husband. This really is a small moment and in the not-too-distant future, you’ll read posts similar to your own and have a hard time remembering exactly how crummy you feel right now. I paid attention to my 6-month mark last week, but if you asked me how many weeks it has been I’d have to look at my blog page.
    I’m glad to read that your cast issues have cleared up.
    For the “funk”, I strongly recommend spend therapy - get yourself the Kindle that you’ve been coveting. Or, you can move to Colorado where medical marijuana is legal… ;)

  5. jr on March 13th, 2010

    First time I left the house about 2 weeks post op I went to my daughters basketball game and saw a girl about 5 years old completely bald from her chemo therapy.

    Boom. No more feeling sorry for myself.

  6. coolkiwi on March 13th, 2010

    Sara - my trick is to take one day at a time and know that this is a passing phase. Fast forward yourself mentally to six months/whatever and see yourself doing all those things that you took for granted pre ATR. I am going on holiday to Australia in October (the annual trip for sunshine and r&r) and am so looking forward to maybe hitting a few tennis balls but also being able to walk freely, swim etc. In a way this has given me the opportunity to realise how much I take for granted in terms of health, and how lucky I am that this is temporary.

    Re the kids - I can understand how frustrating that can be, but in the spirit of the book “pyjamas don’t matter” the fact that you are still there as their Mum to love them is the most important thing. And an ATR won’t change that! And I would guess that they probably won’t starve, go naked or suffer much either :-)

  7. diane on March 13th, 2010

    Hi Sara,

    I can totally relate and I was feeling the same that you are in November. I ruptured mine on November 11th and I am a single mom of a very busy 4 year old boy. I was very stressed and felt very sorry for myself and thought how am I going to get through this, but you don’t realize how strong you are. I didn’t like to ask for help but I had no choice and I am greatful and now paying it forward when I can. You will get through this, and set small goals for yourself, it helps when you reach them. I found just when I could partial weight bare it made a big difference. I still have a limp and my leg still gets swollen, but it doesn’t matter this injury has made me appreciate the little things in life that we can sometimes for granted.

  8. sara on March 14th, 2010

    Thanks for all the responses. I am feeling better and my attitude is more positive than 2 days ago for sure!

    Ultidad: a move to CO sounds like a good idea!
    JR: that would be things in perspective for me definitely…
    coolkiwi: I live in Maine and have realized I’ll be getting “better” right around the time I can get outside to walk, bike, and swim. I am a big mountain biker and know that will take longer but Ihope to find a love of road biking.
    Diane: Good idea on the small goals. PWB is next for me. I’m going to Sedona,AZ with my family in 5 weeks and although I won’t be able to do the hiking and biking I’ve planned, I’m excited to be with my family and be FWB (hopefully) by that point.

  9. normofthenorth on March 14th, 2010

    Sara, one of the guys on achillesblog.com uploaded a photo of him mountain-biking down a fallen tree-trunk at about 60 degrees pitch, apparently in Whistler somewhere — in an orthotic boot!! I thought he’d faked it, that the boot I saw in the pic was something that extreme mountain-bikers used (you could only see one leg in the photo), but I was corrected. I’m sure seeing that photo would really cheer you up!!

    I can’t find that discussion now, but the name of the photo was july-15-whistler-with-bryan-010-small.jpg . Maybe erased now?

  10. sara on March 14th, 2010

    Norm,
    Couldn’t find the pic but it sounds cool!!
    I have been happy to read that biking is good for the achilles. I was supposed to be in a mountain bike race the week after I ruptured my achilles. Obviously I wasn’t able to participate. It was a downhill snow 4x race, my first ever. The joke with my friends is my achilles rupture saved me from a broken neck in the race! Most of the time I think they are funny.

  11. doug53 on March 14th, 2010

    achillesblog.com/peterh/2009/08/08/4-months-fully-healed-summary/

    is the place with that picture.

    Doug

  12. maryk on March 14th, 2010

    Hi, Sara, One thing that really helped me was getting outside and getting a little bit of sun. Even if I just sat on the porch for a minute or two. Also, make sure you have the curtains wide open in whatever room you’re in. This, too, shall pass.

  13. normofthenorth on March 14th, 2010

    Doug, you wizard, how did you find that? I used the Google search field. It found it, but it kept steering me to the AchillesBlog home page, instead of peterh’s blog.

    Share, dude!

  14. doug53 on March 15th, 2010

    Norm, I searched Whistler mountain bike, and it popped right up.

    Doug

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