Recovery has started (I think)

First night after surgery was spent with my leg propped up on a minimum of three pillows and popping a vicadon every 6 hours….. coupled with a bag of frozen peas ( and carrots…no expense spared here) pressed against the back of my knee.

Living in this 3 level house is certainly a challenge; but one that will be overcome.

Getting comfortable is not the easiest task in the world, so I went to bed and tried to sleep. Just moving was painful. How many “paid programs/infomercials” can a person watch in a 10 hour time frame.

Morning finally arrived and it was off to the surgeon’s place for a post op check up.

Got there, and as with all the other appointments so far, everything was very organized and punctual. Joe the cast guy (not the plumber) took off the contraption from the surgery, the surgeon came in checked out my wound and went over the pictures of the procedure…potential christmas card material and said everything looked ok.

New splint/cast was put on with my toes pointing down an d an appointment was made to take the sutures out on the 10th….

Keeping my foot elevated was stressed over and over and over (did I say over); together with the story of the lady who started to do too much in the first few days and popped the tendon on her other leg.

This cast/splint is much much heavier than the compression bandage and is taking  bit of getting used to… hit my big toe off the the ground a couple of times; but hey you got to learn the bad to know the good.

When I go home I tried to follow the instructions, not as easy as it sounds, in fact it was/is difficult, but so far no weight has been put on my right leg.

My favourite position (get your mind out of the gutter) is lying on my stomach with my leg perpindicular to the ground and the cold peas ( and carrots) on the back of my knee. Email and blog writing is just about possible without messing up one’s back

11 more days to go until the sutures are removed.




Under the knife

One of the most frustrating things about the surgery was having to fast from midnight; not even a sip of water.

The surgery was being done as an out patient. I arrived at the facility (Waverly Surgery Centre in Palo Alto Ca). Nice touch, complimentary valet parking. I hobbled up to the reception area. The paperwork side went pretty quick. The whole insurance thing is confusing to me; I’m originally from Scotland and this is the first big medical issue I have had in 14 years. The last part of the paperwork was to give my wife a complimentary food voucher for a local cafe.

Got settled into the reception area and started to get some work emails sent. Wireless internet is free at the centre a great benefit for my wife who ended up working while I was in surgery.

I had just sent the last work email I wanted to send when the pre-op nurse called my name. No turning back now.

The pre-op questions covered medical history and if I had eaten anything; they do like rubbing that fasting thing in don’t they.

Next came the anesthesiologist; the most painful part of the whole procedure (even worse than actually popping the tendon) was getting the local into my wrist so the iv could be put in. After that it was plan sailing. 15 mins went by, the anesthesiologist came back in and said it was time to get the show on the road. He said that he would put the stuff into the iv and it would take an effect within four or five seconds…yeah right… thing I knew I was coming to in the recovery room. I was so sure he was sandbagging, it only took two or three.

Coming to, was kinda weird but after about 20 mins was ok to drink some apple juice…where was the cliff bar to go with it?

My lower leg was encased in a plaster splint…plaster cast down the back of my leg and elastic bandages wrapped round to keep it in place.

It was time to go home.

I live in a three level house so getting around is definitely an opportunity to get an upper body work out. Food was a welcome sight and taste.

Like other folks, the transition from having my leg elevated to being upright was really painful as the blood flowed back towards my foot and gravity kicks in. Still can’t figure out how to minimize the feeling.

Ended up taking some painkillers and retiring to bed. The recovery process had been started.

What was that?

Over the last 18 months, I have increased my overall flexibility and cardio. I thought I was in pretty good shape to play racquetball (something I had not played in several years). Warmed up and stretched in the gymnasium while waiting for the court to free up. No twinges, no nothing; this was going to be fun.

Warmed up on court, not as accurate as I used to be, but was positive that accuracy and power would return after a few rallies. First point came and went, my partner smacked the ball into the floor.

Second serve came over and I started to move into position…ouch what was that? Back of my leg felt as if it had been hit by someone’s racquet and my foot felt like a sponge.

I dropped to the floor and looked at where my Achilles should have been; emphasis on the words “should have”

Hopped off the court, suprisingly I was not in too much pain.

Trip to the E.R. confirmed that the Achilles had been ruptured. X-rays were taken, obviously did not show anything abnormal, but when the doc squeezed my right calf, there was no foot movement.

I was put into a toe to thigh splint (solid at the back, formed to my leg then wrapped with elastic bandages)

Next day was spent, finding an orthopedic surgeon (was lucky enough to find one who specialises in sports medicine). He did the same test to confirm the ER’s diagnosis, drew some nice diagrams on the white board to explain the situation, set up and MRI check and told me to keep all my weight off the leg and keep it elevevated.

Spent the weekend on crutches and getting sympathy.

Went back to see the surgeon on Tuesday to review the MRI results…..there was a large dark area where there should have been tendon.

Time to go for surgery to join all the mop heads together.