My Achilles Story

October 11, 2010

This Is Why I Run…

Filed under: Uncategorized — soccersnap @ 7:57 pm and

This is why I run. 

I run with purpose and resolve in my heart.  I run as a personal challenge and a personal commitment to myself.  I run against everyone that ever told me I couldn’t do it.  I run for all those who told me that I can.  I run with hope, perseverance, and determination.  I run with God’s grace and blessings beyond comprehension. 

I run through the rain, through the pain, and through the tears.  I run against the wind, against the odds, and against my fears.  I run through the frailty, weakness and fatigue.  I plow forward even though I feel out of my league.  

I run in the face of negativity, self-pity, and self-doubt.  I run from my own demons that might get the better of me, if I let them. 

I run out of inspiration by some and in hope to inspire others.  I run alone, pushing myself to keep fighting.  I run with the support of family and friends.  

I run for the person I used to be, so her spirit may live on.  I run for the person I have become, to forge her spirit strong.  I run to celebrate the challenges I have overcome and small victories won.  I run for fulfillment, accomplishment, and to conquer the improbable. 

I run because I can.  I run for those who cannot. 

I run in spite of multiple surgeries and long roads of recoveries.  I run against all the doctors that told my parents I would never walk without braces or be able to play sports.  I run for my parents, who in spite of that, believed I could.  I run for all the children in the world that suffer from afflictions like Club Foot or Autism.  I run so that they may have faith in themselves and strive to rise above these setbacks.

I run for my daughter, Avery, who is my biggest fan and motivator.  I run so that she may know that she can do anything she puts her mind to, no matter how difficult the task at hand or what obstacles may lie ahead. 

I run for Santino.  I run for his voice. 

I run by the glory of God.  I run against the wind and against the odds. 

This is why I run. 



Stacy Masch

October 5, 2010

A reflection as I prepare for the Detroit Half Marathon.

April 17, 2009

“Ran” my first mile! 36 weeks post-op!

Filed under: Uncategorized — soccersnap @ 8:49 am and

Well, I did it….although not very fast.   I “ran” my first mile since the surgery on the treadmill last week. 

I put it in quotations because it is not very fast and it is not full-out running.  More like a slow jog sort of shuffling my feet - but I do get the heel-to-toe motion.  My time was 13:26.  Then I tried again a week later and my time was 12:55, so I am improving.   I am not up to doing it everyday as I noticed I have been very sore the day afterward.  The first time I tried to “run” was almost a month ago and I hurt myself and had to take almost a week off of doing everything - and was back to limping badly.  I pushed it a little too hard. 

I am very excited because I love to run and be active and these last 8 1/2 months have been hell for me!  I think the key is to increase the activity level slowly and just try to be patient, although it is very difficult.  I still have a long way to go but at least I am making progress!

March 12, 2009

7 Months! Achilles doing great, bone on bone issues though…

Filed under: Uncategorized — soccersnap @ 9:23 am and

I know it has been a few months since my last post - life has just been very hectic.    I am at 7 months post-op and the achilles is doing really well.  I can jump now - although not very well.  My PT started making me do single calf raises with weight and single leg presses.  My workouts are finally getting more intense and when I coach basketball and I can get around the court with my team a lot better.

Unfortunately, I am dealing with another issue.  I was having quite a bit of pain in the front of my foot.  My surgeon took some Xrays and told me I am bone-on-bone on the front of my foot (Tibia and Tallus bones).  This is a result of my Club Foot and also the added pressure on the front of my foot to compensate for the achilles recovery.  I have been doing rounds of steroids and injections but I am really trying to just bare through it since I hate taking steroids.  They have made me gain a lot of weight and my husband and I want to start trying for our second child soon, which means I cannot be on those kind of meds (0r any really).  Some days I can work out hard and as long as I ice it and take Motrin, it feels ok.  Other days, I cannot even walk without a limp.  Not sure if anyone else has dealt with this as my situation is sort of unique.  Overall, I am very happy with my achilles progress though and it feels good to be able to do most things again.  Still cannot wait until I can run!  Just wanted to check in - take care all!

November 19, 2008

No More Boot!

Filed under: Uncategorized — soccersnap @ 7:11 am and

I know I have been slacking on my posts.  Today I came to work without the boot for the first time!  I used a crutch because I can walk much faster and with a better heel to toe motion than when I don’t use the crutch.  It was getting to the point where it hurt way more to wear the boot than to not wear it and I was ready to boot the boot, if you know what I mean.  Some of you know that I have a more conservative recovery as my surgery was a little more complicated than most but I am really coming along nicely. 

The last time I had PT, I went 10 mins on the bike, 10 mins on the elliptical, and 10 mins on the treadmill (incline and then decline).  Of course I move pretty slowly and it was painful, especially when I got to the decline at the end of the treadmill.  It was awesome to feel like I got 30 mins of cardio (sort of) in though!  I really cannot wait until I can start jogging but I know I still have a ways to go for that. 

My biggest issue at the moment is that I sprained my foot so most of my pain is not coming from the achilles, but from the top and side of my ankle.  I also have been having a lot of back pain that shoots down my good leg.  My PT says because of wearing the boot for so long and overaccomodating,  so she has been helping with those issues as well.  I see my surgeon again in a few days so we will see what he thinks of my progress.  Thanks to those that have offered advice thus far and good luck to everyone. 

October 27, 2008

12 weeks post-op; PT going well!

Filed under: Uncategorized — soccersnap @ 8:49 am and

I know it has been awhile since my last post.  Been very busy.  I am now coming up on 12 weeks post-op and things are coming along nicely!  I saw my surgeon two weeks ago and he said the incision is healing beautifully and I am making nice progress with PT.  I can now walk around in the boot without any crutches.  At home I have started limping around without the boot on and I am getting pretty good at that.  My therapist had me walk on the tread mill the other day (no boot) because she wants me to work on the heel to toe motion of walking instead of limping.  It was hilarious how slow the treadmill was going and it was a bit painful but I did well.  As some of you know, my recovery is a bit lengthened due to my previous surgeries on my achilles. 

It is so nice to be able to wear the boot and walk around pretty well without the crutches.  I have the peace of mind knowing I will not re-rupture as long as I am wearing it so I can get around pretty quick.  It helps to have both hands free to take care of my 15 month old daughter and do things around the house.  I still take my scooter (leg racer) to work because I started taking the bus downtown when I couldn’t drive.  I can get from the busstop to work much faster with the scooter.  I am thinking I will ditch it pretty soon though.  Everyone at work will have to come up with some new clever nicknames for me instead of Scooter Girl and Speedracer.  ;-) 

September 24, 2008

First PT session - 6 weeks post-op

Filed under: Uncategorized — soccersnap @ 2:20 pm and

Well, I had my first PT session today…6 1/2 weeks post-op.  A lot of scar massage which felt both good and bad.  Actually, as my therapist got higher up my calf, it was actually worse than massaging my incision.  She did some ROM exercises and had me move my ankle joint up, down, side to side as much as I could and measured it.  She said I was really stiff - but this is no wonder as my foot has not been moved at all in 8 weeks.  I will be having physical therapy 3x week - MWF - during my lunch break as there is a PT office in my gym at work.  This is very convenient!  So I will be doing therapy MWF, and my upperbody/ab workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Those of you that read my previous post, know that I was having trouble with my good foot tendon.  It is still strained but I have been icing it almost everynight so it is definitely better.  My ATR foot is aching a bit already and I just had PT three hours ago…but it is a good pain I guess.  I am looking forward to making progress and hopefully will be able to bear some weight soon.  My husband is getting sick of having to do all the laundry and always carry everything for me, etc.  ;-)

September 9, 2008

2nd Post-Op; New degrees & worries about “good” foot

Filed under: Uncategorized — soccersnap @ 10:23 am and

Just had my second post-op appt with my surgeon.  Just over 4 weeks since the surgery.  Took some the last of the sutures out and peeled away some dead skin from the incision.  Yikes!  That hurt and it is very tender now.  I am starting to use cocoa butter to help the wound heal.  Said I was making very nice progress and I can start PT in 2 weeks.  Still NWB until then.  We didn’t have the allen wrench with us, so he said to turn the angle on my boot to 0 degrees when I got home. 

At home, my husband changed the degree and I tried the boot back on.  OMG!  I could not believe how different it was (it was at 12 degrees before) and how much it stretched the tendon.  I did not think that I was actually going to be able to get my foot all the way in and bent that way, but a few cringes later it was in.  I needed a Vicodin after that though!   

Things are going well, I guess.  As good as they can.  Some days are harder than others.  I still find it very frustrating not being able to get around.  I do love my scooter (leg racer) though.  That is saving me a TON, especially at work as my HQ building is very large and not anything you want to do on crutches.  I am trying to find a ride share for getting to and from work so my husband and baby don’t have to drive me.  I also have been having to pass up some things such as our annual white water rafting trip.  I just sat in the cabin while everyone was having a great time on the river.  We have been selling all our season tickets to baseball games (Detroit Tigers) because there is so much walking and so many stairs and I can’t imagine being comfortable crammed into a seat for the game. 

I am trying really hard to stay positive though!  I started working out again.  I put together a nice upper body weight regime and doing sit-ups and the hand bike.  I guess it will be a long time before I can do any other type of cardio. 

Now my main worry is my good foot.  With all the added weight and strain on my good leg, it is getting really sore.  The other day I was sliding around my kitchen on one of the chairs getting dinner ready and the chair slipped and fell on my good foot - hitting that tendon that goes across the top starting from your big toe.  All bruised up and really sore.  I think I may have tendonitis as well and my surgeon said it is very likely.  He just said to use RICE method - and take Motrin for it.  I don’t know what I would do if I messed up my other foot!  Has anyone else had this happen? 

Anyway, trying to keep my head up.  Trying to lay off the meds.  I have a sinus infection right now too so sorry this post is a bit negative.  Just feeling like I can’t ever catch a break.  I am excited to start PT in a couple weeks.  And in 4 weeks I will see the surgeon again.  Take care all!

August 27, 2008

My Surgery Story

Filed under: Uncategorized — soccersnap @ 8:47 am and

To find out more - just read “my first post - my rupture story”.  I had my surgery on 8/8/08.  Dr. said the more the swelling went down, the better the surgery would go.  He was very happy with the results but did mention that they had to do a lot of extra digging around and pulling in there to deal with my scar tissue, etc.   I had the nerve block from knee down before the surgery and was then given general anesthesia.  Unfortunately, when I woke up after the surgery from the anesthesia, we quickly realized that the nerve block was unsuccessful!  I was in a TON of pain (not felt like that since I was in labor).  Since the nerve block takes about 20 mins to kick in - the nurse gave me some narcotic in the IV while the anesthesiologist got to work again.   After about 10 mins I was feeling a bit better from the narcotic.  I was presribed Oxycodone, Vicodin, and Motrin and was sent home in a full cast.  When the nerve block wore off the next morning,  like everyone says,  it was HELLO pain.  It is the strangest feeling to still feel the numbness and tingling in your toes and feel as the block is wearing off, but to still have the different kinds of pain presenting themselves - burning, throbbing, sharp and dull!  The first three days are, by far, the worst and the best advice I can give is take the pills on time or even before.  You don’t want to be chasing the pain down - you have to control it from the start.  My Dr. told me this is a very painful surgery so don’t be afraid to take the drugs!  I was taking two Vicodin every 3 hours and then I just went over the Oxycodone.  Be sure to take the Motrin in between because the narcotic just helps the pain and you need to get the swelling down with the motrin.  This is especially true if you have a cast, because you cannot ice it.  You really have to be on bed rest.  I have a one year old daughter and I think the first couple days I was trying to do too much.  I wanted to play with her, change her, feed her - but I quickly realized you have to let someone else do things.  You have to keep your leg up!  It is difficult to look at the messy house and want to clean, or want to cook dinner but you just have to give yourself the rest you need.   


My First Post - My Rupture Story

Filed under: Uncategorized — soccersnap @ 7:57 am and

Hello fellow achilles injury victims!  I am really glad I found this site because it is helpful to read all your posts and learn from your recovery stories.  Here goes my story…

I completely ruptured my achilles tendon and also tore all surrounding ligaments in my ankle and heel playing soccer.  There is a very nice gym in my corporate office and I work out everyday on my lunch break.  I play in a 3v3 soccer league during my lunch break on Mondays and Wednesdays, which is when the dreaded snap occurred - Wendesday July 30th.  I felt a tremendous pain and I knew instantly that it was bad…really bad.   I had a pretty good idea it was my achilles too. 

Now I have to back track a bit and tell you all some history.   I was born with a Club Foot on my right foot.  I had to have 5 operations on my foot all before I was 2 years old, starting with the first one at 2 months old!  A couple of the surgeries were to cut and then lengthen my achilles.  I was in casts and braces for the first few years of my life and was told I would never play sports or walk without corrective shoes.  I was determined and today I am an athlete who works out everyday - I run, play soccer, floor hockey, and softball as well as many other things.  Because my right foot is so weak, I do commonly sprain my ankle, but I deal with it. 

Now that leads me back to the achilles rupture and you can imagine what was in the back of my mind on the way to the ER - with all my prior injuries, how bad is this going to be? 

I got to the ER and waited a couple hours to get Xrays (which I knew were useless).  Finally a doctor performed a Thompson Test and said that my achilles was definitely injured, but unsure to what extent.  I was put in a cast, given a script for Vicodin and told to make an appt with a surgeon in a couple days when the swelling went down. 

Two days later, I met with the surgeon who promptly told me that I injured my foot in the absolute worst way possible - complete rupture, including the surrounding ligaments and I would need surgery very soon.  He also mentioned that with all my scar tissue and previous surgeries, he anticipated that this operation would be the most challenging in his career, he would most likely need to use cadaver tendons to do the repair, and that my recovery would be twice as long as a normal person.  Great!  Oh, and I would most likely not be very good at soccer anymore as my range of motion will be very, very limited (it already was limited by the Club Foot).    Needless to say I was upset but no choice but to have the surgery and think about recovery. 

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