First week-done!
Friday February 15th 2013, 12:36 pm
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It’s been 7 days since surgery.  I look at previous posts and think, “wow–that was some good pain medication”  I actually stopped taking it after 3 days because I felt so fuzzy like I couldn’t think.

I have been doing nothing but keeping it elevated.  So lucky to have a husband who took off work for a week and has been feeding me, helping me get around, and getting everything I need!

I did try going out a bit today–after about 5 minutes with my foot down my toes were dark purple, cold, and going numb. 

The only pain I’ve had in the past few days is when my foot shifts in the cast and it feels like my incision is ripping.  Takes my breath away for a few seconds.

Tomorrow–back to work.  I’m scared about the upcoming weeks.  I know I’ve been living in denial.  I have a knee scooter to get around but don’t have a “desk” job so I am moving around quite a bit.  Plus driving (since this was my right foot).  And then I do get pretty tired just being up for a little while.

I have tried to hire a driver/assistant but I don’t know if that’s going to work out.  Anyone drive with your left foot?

Thursday is my 1st post op appointment.  Cast comes off but I’m not sure what comes next–hopefully something removeable that I can walk in!

Surgery Day
Friday February 15th 2013, 12:09 pm
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I can see that I didn’t finish Day -1. Oops

The 3rd surgeon agreed that surgery was the best option, but offered that by grafting a tendon from my big toe I would be NWB for a shorter time, and overall recovery would be quicker and stronger.  So it was Door Number 3.

The day of surgery, I got to the surgery center and was prepped and ready.  The anesthesiologist came in and gave me a nerve block, where he had me on my stomach and he used ultrasound to locate the correct nerve.  It cause some weird leg twitches but was no more painful than a shot. (The iv was another story!)  I already had what he called a “cocktail” so it could be I just don’t remember the pain.

He then wheeled me into the operating room and had me scoot onto an operating bed on my stomach.  They had arranged supports and pillows all around so I wasn’t actually touching the table itself much.  I was getting situated and then I woke up (on my back) with the surgery done.  It amazes me how it seems like 1 second you are preparing to have the surgery and the next second you are done!

I had no trouble coming out of the anesthesia.  A little bit of pain and a little bit of nausea (that was fixed by eating a couple of crackers.) I shouldn’t have had the pain because of the nerve block but I now wonder if it took full effect later because it definitely was numb and I was not able to move my toes by the time I got home.

So really no pain after getting home that day.  Just slept, kept the leg elevated.  The first time I got up  Irealized how heavy this cast is!  Probably 15 lbs.  Going to the bathroom is basically doing a single leg squat with a weight on your opposite leg.  Between that and crutches, I am developing new muscles!


Day -1
Monday February 11th 2013, 10:50 am
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Well, tomorrow’s the big day.  Surgery to repair my poor achilles.

I’ve been in pain for a year now, so I’m looking forward to the end result.  I think I’m in denial about what my life will be like between surgery and full recovery.

In the wake of my “empty nest” I slowly became a runner.  It took me a long time to reach my first goal of 5 miles in an hour, so not winning any races, but eventually finished a couple of 10 k’s and sprint triathalons.  And felt like I was in shape for the first time in a long time.

So, I set my sights on a half marathon.  Last January, I went from running about 15 miles a week to running about 25-30 miles a week.  (I know, I know!)

After about a month of that, I was having pain in my right heel at the beginning of my runs, and then after I was finished.  I self-diagnosed plantar fasciits, iced, rested (a day or so!) and ran through the pain.

I happened to mention it to my doctor at a check-up, and he said that based on the site of the pain, it probably wasn’t plantar fasciitis.  He referred my to a podiatrist.

The podiatrist diagnosed achilles tendonitis, and prescribed an air cast, night splint, daily anti-inflammatories, and phsyical therapy.  I was faithful with the pills and the PT.  The night splint was too painful and I wore the air cast when I was walking a lot.  I continued running (with the PT’s ok) along with stretching and building strength in my ankle, flexibility in my hips, and core strength.

After my 12 weeks of PT, I was feeling less pain and starting slowly running.  Soon I was right back where I started.

Back to the doctor, back to PT for another 12 weeks.  This time, the PT did more massage of the heal, scar tissue, which seemed to help temporarily, but not for long.

At the PT’s recommendation, I saw an orthopedic surgeon, had an x-ray & MRI. The verdict was bursitis, a tear in the tendon, and a build-up of scar tissue–basically kind of a mess.  He recommended surgery, based on the amount of time and the number of things I had tried.  It would be 6 weeks non-wight bearing on my right (driving) foot.  I wanted a second opinion!

Back to the podiatrist, and with the new info, the same diagnosis and recommendation.

Then one more orthopedic surgeon, hoping for a different answer! 

Same answer about surgery, but with some glimmer of better news!  1) 95% chance of being able to run again in a year or so; 2) he’s using a tendon from my big toe for reinforcement which will decrease the recovery time……

The 3rd surgeon