Archive for September, 2011

Sep 25 2011

Invalid carriage sorted, feeling better already

Published by shootingthebreeze under Uncategorized

One week back at work completed, the makeshift foot platform got superseded with much more appropriate support and I ended the week much more comfortably than it started.
A colleague came out of his way to play taxi for me which was really cool.
Trouble is, I’ve always been used to being able to get about without calling in favours, however with a boot the pedals all seem really close together in my manual (stick shift to those of you across the pond) motor. So, research time …. Find an auto that has lots of space in footwell and is an auto so can drive left, right or two footed without endangering self or others ….
Well …. Got myself a 12 year old Mercedes E320 invalid carriage now and just for the rehab box to be fully ticked, it comes with the othapedic electric leather seats up front ;)
Not suffering any pain with my healing but still not had any info back regarding physio, so unable to discuss rehab plan with anyone yet :(
For me, mapping this out is crucial to ensuring an efficient and effective ‘fix’ and return to normality ….. Mobility removes some of the psychological pain, and I suspect I will have time to hone my sports photography skills at the beach as a result ;)
Keep on recovering everyone :)

5 responses so far

Sep 18 2011

Return to work

Published by shootingthebreeze under Uncategorized

Due back at work tomorrow.
Lift organised for the week.
Work is permitted on non weight bearing terms, alothough with the boot I am fine PWB about the house they are really keen to ensure I don’t overdo it.
My work will be office based and I will be deskbound with foot raised on a makeshift platform.
Hopefully this return to some form of normality will help the time pass quicker, plus it means that I will get paid !!!
Time to chase up physio contacts, letter sent to consultant and GP to get this moving ;)

6 responses so far

Sep 13 2011

Post op check up

Published by shootingthebreeze under Uncategorized

10 days after the op, and following the mixed treatment options having left the hospital initially in a walker boot with weight bearing permitted, to the psychological blow of complete change of heart and cast fitted ….. I was heading in really unsure of which rehab process would be the preferred flavour this time around!!

First things first, off with the cast and wound dressing to check the stitches …. Looked really good, nurse just needed to cut the knots off each end and job done.

Consultant came round to see me and was pleased with the healing (certainly the external healing) and then hit me with her prognosis of 4-6 weeks in a cast, 4 weeks with foot pointing down, then the next 2 with a flatter angle but still pointing down.

After lengthy discussion where I expressed a preference for a walker boot she maintained regardless of the stats i could offer the stats she looked at showed a 20% chance of re-rupture when patients go into the walker boot before 6 weeks. Trying to establish the relevance of the demograph surveyed for her stats to my own situation was not possible, and she conceded that the study was from 5% of the total Achilles tendon ops …. So perhaps the cut from 100% operations treated with the walker boot at an early stage is much greater, or perhaps as per my own findings it’s considerably less. Either way, their preference differed to mine …. So a second opinion was called in. Sadly no additional relevant info was available or offered, just doom and gloom stories on how ‘if you re rupture it…..’ basically it’ll be really bad news. The re rupture rate for passive versus surgery route is statistically higher, and for surgery route there is no difference between plaster cast versus boot options so whichever route you go, the re rupture issue is bad news and also equally likely, or so it seems.

Compromise met, I left with a walker boot and non weight bearing instruction for the next 4 weeks. I will do some research regarding the physio side of things with a view to kicking this off in 4 weeks time, although I’ve seen a few start physio earlier claiming it promotes a stronger lattice type fix as opposed to a weaker strand type fix of the tendon.

This will be an interesting topic of research and the hunt to find a decent physio can commence.

On a plus side for the brain cells, having a boot as opposed to the cast means that I can return to work in the office on ‘amended duties’ ….. The dress code with the boot on will be shorts and tee shirt so may look a little casual but …. The boot does limit the potential for office attire, and a shirt and tie combo with shorts will look pretty stupid ;)

I still cannot fathom why they have done a full u turn on my treatment plan, and I guess that’s the tough bit. Maybe if the prognosis was for a 10-14 day stint back in a cast at tweaked angle and then boot, then maybe I would have accepted the disability and tried to cope with another couple of weeks full rest, but that wasn’t the option, which left me with no option but to express desire to not follow their plan, and to go with the original plan.

In truth, I think they just wanted to guard against me taking the boot off and doing myself damage by trying to do too much. If that is their main driving case then I am insulted …. I want it fixed, and I want it fixed properly. As I said before, I know there are no shortcuts but I don’t want to be held back either. Fixed as efficiently and effectively as possible so I can return to the surf !!!!

5 responses so far

Sep 10 2011

How hard can it be ….

Published by shootingthebreeze under Uncategorized

Just lying down with your foot elevated 24/7?

This has proven really hard as I’m generally not only pretty active but also used to getting stuff done for myself and my family and friends.

Now I’m needing to be waited on hand and foot and the simplest of tasks become a real logistical issue.

I feel a bit like I’ve been mugged, having left hospital post op with a boot and in weight bearing mode. Losing the boot when just expecting an exchange for one the correct size was a massive body blow, mentally, psychologically and also physically.

Coupled with this, the increased time resting allowed more time for research and the recovery stories didn’t make for good reading.

I’d seriously underestimated the severity of the injury …. 6-8 weeks max was my original guess …. The numbers weren’t too far off but the units of time look like being a factor out !!!! We aren’t talking weeks, we’re talking months!!!!

I thought that maybe a blog might help me keep check on my sanity and also maybe help others who find themselves in the same sorry position !!

Pain wise, since doing it and being poked and prodded, the pain has been pretty bearable. Meds wise I’m just taking the Voltorol each day as prescribed, and an aspirin each morning to help blood flow. Pain killers I’m avoiding unless I get real pain, preferring to feel any pain to remind me to relax than potentially damage something feeling no pain.

Next appointment is in 3 day, this I’d the post op appt to check wound and recovery progress and look at the next stage … Hopefully see some progress as well as a return to the boot …

Also, need to establish suitability to return to work. This could prove to be a prolonged period of absence unless a more relaxed dress code and feet on the desk posture becomes acceptable behaviour ?!?

Time will tell and time will heal …..

7 responses so far

Sep 10 2011

Man down

Published by shootingthebreeze under Uncategorized

I’m an active windsurfer (was) before rupturing my AT on dry land.
Did mine on 31st Aug eve, went to doc then hospital the next day, and slapped in back cast and sent home pending call to return following day for surgery. Got deferred a day due to influx of kids needing surgery so in and sorted on 3rd Sept.
Surgeon put me straight in a boot, with a splint fitted to shin and down top of foot to restrict potential movement, and enough wedges in boot to point foot down keeping tendon short to heal. She had me up and full weight bearing through boot the same day, although she did say that my next 10-14 days needed to be horizontal with foot elevated, but I would have some mobility and independence around the house.
A cruel twist of fate ….. The boot was massive so I phoned the hospital to see if they could swap it for one that was my size ….. “no problem , just pop in and we’ll swap it over” …. So on the 5th Sept I went back plaster room as instructed. The guy there was same guy initially cast my ankle, and he had already got me the right sized boot lined up. However as soon as he saw my boot and splint combo he looked concerned. His guidelines did not allow for such a mix of fixes and without consultant signature he couldn’t replicate my boot and splint. He was pretty apologetic as he slapped a cast on and sent me off non-weight bearing on crutches until he could contact consultant. He did call me later to confirm a discussion with consultant backed up his action, and a subsequent discussion with the consultant confirmed this. I have to admit to feeling really let down at this point, especially given surgeon who set me up with this had previously recovered from ATR herself so I figured had first hand knowledge of my journey to recovery!
I have chilled out and kept foot elevated as much as possible, and have post op appt on 13th sept. The cast comes off for wound check then and I’m pretty determined to get a boot fitted at his point, and from there the wedge reduction program is as the surgeon described.
With this being my right foot, driving looks like being a royal pain in the ass. Like you my transport is manual, not auto. The boot is pretty big so looks tricky to drive in it, even if full weight bearing. I’ve been looking at auto’s but might have to drive them left footed anyway!! Maybe I qualify for a mobility vehicle on short term disability?
I have to admit, the hardest thing for me to accept has been the potential for 6-9 months off sport! Windsurfing maybe something I can back to sooner than say running and football etc, but I’ve not found any evidence to back this up. Maybe some kayak sessions for fitness before I can do the standing up exercise options.

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