Week 4

The optimism I felt from the stitches removal appointment quickly wore off. I cannot stay motivated like others can. Sitting on the couch all day watching TV and movies is making me go crazy. I’ve worked out a deal with my employer so that I could work from home. They weren’t really too pleased but I’m grateful they are allowing this. I also cannot get a decent nights sleep with this heavy log attached to my leg which I also think messed up the alignment in my back. I have never had back problems before but now my back aches constantly. Just curious to know how others handled sleeping with the log and how it affected your back. I’ve read that some people choose to sleep without it but I think I move around way too much at night to risk it.

Pic of the log.

Cast and stitches removal

I had my first follow-up appointment to see the surgeon on 4/18/2012. This is the first time out of the house in 18 days so it felt nice. The nurse removed my cast and stitches and letting my leg breath was such a great feeling. The doc took a look at my incision and said it was healing up nicely. He said the next step would be to fit me in a walking boot with 5 heel wedges. Each week he wants me to remove a wedge and start PWB by the second wedge. By zero wedges, he said I should be walking into his office FWB when I see him for the next follow-up appointment. This was really exciting to hear. I paid for the boot which cost $200 and $50 for the heel wedges. That’s $10 a wedge which is a darn piece of plastic. The doc even said he doesn’t understand why they charge this much for it.

Pics of incision:

Pic 1
Pic 2
Pic 3

First week post-op

Coming home was such a great feeling. Got myself setup on the couch to make my life bearable for the next 2-3 months. I wouldn’t say my pain level is excruciating but there is a constant throbbing of pain in the area. I started to take 2 percocets in the morning and 2 at night. I did this for the first 4 days and then weaned to 1 in the morning and 1 at night for the next 3 days. After that I stopped taking them. I noticed that when taking 2 before going to bed it gave me some crazy nightmares. I am curious to know if others experienced this as well. When I weaned to 1 it wasn’t too bad. My doc also prescribed me some stool softening pills in case I needed them. I took 1 pill on day 3 and 1 on day 4 and by day 5 my stomach was a complete mess. My advise is to use these cautiously if you were also prescribed them.

Surgery day

Leading up to the surgery day, I was extremely anxious and nervous.  This was the second time I had to do surgery.  The first time was about 10 years ago for my sinus.  I was constantly reading sites and watched Youtube blogs of others who have gone through this.  I didn’t realize how common this injury was.  So the day finally arrived and I get a call early in the morning on 3/31/2012 to come to the hospital.  This is now 6 days post rupture.  I gather my things and the wifey drops me off.  For those who would like to know, health care in Canada is free.  Meaning the government pays for it through our taxes.  Companies here usually do provide health insurance but that covers things like prescription drugs, physiotherapy, hospital expenses, etc…  There are pros and cons to having free health care and my experience with this injury I believe highlights this.  The pros are fairly simple.  I don’t have to spend a dime.  The cost for all the appointments with the surgeon and the actual surgery are paid for by the government.  The cost for my semi-private hospital room, prescription drugs, physiotherapy, crutches and walking boot are all paid for by my health insurance from work.  I don’t know exactly how much all this would cost elsewhere but my guestimate would be between 3-7 thousand dollars.  The cons for this is that I suffered for 2 days pretty much before I got the surgery done.  I was admitted to the hospital in the morning of 3/31/2012 and didn’t have surgery until the evening of 4/1/2012.  During this period, I was not allowed to eat or drink and was put on an IV and was watching TV.  This was truly torturous.  I would not want to go through this ever again in my life.  Because my injury was not considered "life threatening", I was put on a waiting list.  If there were more urgent surgeries that come through the emergency, I would get bumped down the list.  And trust me, there are a lot of stupid people who need to get surgery at all hours of the day.  I say stupid because the nurse told me I got bumped down cause some kid jumped off a moving vehicle.  It’s your opinion if you think the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa.  A hard working fellow like me, I appreciated the money factor even though I suffered for it.  The surgery itself went pretty smooth.  Was put fully asleep and woke up in the recovery room all stoned.  The nice little nurses took good care of me and made sure I was drugged up so that I didn’t feel too much pain.  The following day on 4/2/2012 I was released from the hospital.

Pic of my leg post surgery at the hospital.

First appointment

So I had my first appointment to see the orthopedic surgeon on 3/29/2012.  3 days after I ruptured it and got casted in the emergency.  My wife drove me to the hospital and I crutched my frustrated arse to the fracture clinic.   When the surgeon saw my foot he immediately said that it was fully ruptured.  He didn’t even bother doing any tests on me.  He began to explain the pros and cons of surgery and basically told me that if I ever wanted to play sports again that the surgery route would be the best way to go.  I started to ask him the usual questions, how soon before I can play sports again, what are the risks with surgery, etc…  What I found interesting is that he said most ATR’s happen to males between 30-40 years of age and who are weekend warriors.  I thought to myself that I totally fit the bill.  It didn’t take me long before I decided to go the surgery route.  The doc said that he could book me in for surgery that weekend on 3/31/2012.  He said that sooner the surgery is done the better.  I signed all the required papers for the surgery and off I went to the couch where I would spend the next 2-3 months on.

How it happened

Hello my fellow ATR bloggers,

I ruptured my right achilles on 3/26/2012 while playing soccer.   I was having such a good game.  Scored a goal in the second half to tie it.  Started accelerating on a corner kick and then BAM it happened.  I didn’t hear the pop but it felt like somebody had kicked me in the back of the leg.  I fell down and looked back.  I started screaming at the closest opponent saying what a cheap shot that was.  My teammate who ruptured his achilles 6 years ago immediately knew what happened to me when he heard the pop.  He ran onto the field and carried me off to the sidelines.  After the game a couple of the guys drove my car home and took me the the hospital.  I waited in emergency for 5 hours before seeing the doctor.  It was so frustrating sitting there in a wheelchair with my leg propped up.  I finally saw the doctor who said I might have ruptured it.  She said that I would need to see an orthopedic surgeon to confirm 100%.  In the meantime, they casted the back of my leg and bottom of my foot pointed downwards, sold me crutches for $55 and sent me home.  I called my manager and left a message that I hurt my leg and would not be able to go to work for a few days.  What made me more angry about this injury is that I decided to quit smoking new year’s day.  I was never a heavy smoker.  Smoked maybe about 6-8 a day.  The ironic thing is that half the guys that I play hockey and soccer with smoke.  And what makes it even more ironic is that these guys including myself played AA hockey and rep soccer back in the day.  We could still play but the smoking probably doesn’t help.  I guess we truly fit the definition of a "weekend warrior".  So back to my point, I decided to quit new year’s and made a pledge to play more sports to help get my mind off smoking.  I joined my buddy’s indoor soccer team and this is where it happened.  I keep saying to myself that if I didn’t quit smoking that I wouldn’t have joined the team and thus no achilles rupture.  I’m only 4 months into my quit but with the extreme boredom that comes with this injury it’s starting to make me want to smoke again.  I know it’s not gonna help with anything but it sure would help with killing the time.  Thanks for reading my first blog post ever.  Will keep everyone updated on my progress.