This is my second post (trying to catch-up) to document this journey post an ATR . I plan to post periodically going forward and hope this helps those who stumble upon it. I know the other blogs in here were extremely helpful to me and find myself coming here quite regularly to catch-up on the progress others are making and to learn from their stories. Wish everyone the best for the coming year and a healthy and fast recovery!
The first week back from surgery was pretty much a routine of Sleep-leg elevated, Eat and Take Pain Meds (every 4 -6 hrs), watch some TV, a little work and repeat. For most part, I was in a slight state of daze and slept a lot, may be because of the pain meds (Percocet 10mg/325mg). Pain for most part was limited though on most days I could feel the leg get swollen up towards the end of the day or with increased activity. Moved around the house primarily with crutches and in retrospect should have looked into a scooter or an iWalk just so that my hands would be freed up to do stuff.
The second week was an eventful one and a mixed one….the early part of this week was joyous with a 50 year birthday and a 20+ year marriage anniversary celebration and a trip to our favorite restaurant and a party at a friends place. Was glad to get out and felt much better about everything and active as I had gradually stopped my pain meds and the swelling had also reduced. Was feeling good about the progress and that’s when it happened!!!
It was Sunday morning and a trip to the bathroom that turned into a disastrous one…..Lost my balance and found myself about to fall head first when my instincts kicked in and found my self breaking my fall with my injured leg, just for brief moment before my hands were able to cushion the fall and help me regain my balance. That was it, felt horrible about everything especially about potentially having regressed on my rehab journey, all kinds of thoughts - all bad ones, went through the head and no amount of reassurances from the family (some of them docs) seemed to help. That’s when I found this blog and read some stories and experiences and had a sense of some relief that I was not alone, others had been through falls and had turned out ok (Thanks Dennis for getting this set-up)
I found myself oscillating between extreme pessimism and a sense of hope (primarily by reading blogs) and went through what was a painfully long and depressive day. Next day upon talking to the doctor’s office, I was further assured that I should be ok and they will check me out at my 2 week post op appointment (day after Christmas). However, part of me was still unsure and kept feeling that my splint had become lose from the fall and that it was scraping against my heel and causing some blisters…..It got to a point where the next day I felt a little sick thinking about the blisters and decided (upon some suggestions from fellow bloggers) to call the office again and see if they would check me out before the holidays (rather than wait 3 more days). Fortunately, the PA agreed and asked me to stop by their office for a change of cast. Was not sure if I’d get to see the doc or if they could change this into the 2 week post op appointment, but in anticipation that this could happen, went prepared with my boot.
The appointment was quick - the cast was taken off and some of it had broken (from the fall), the Doc was there and he was happy with the progress, the wound had healed well, no swelling, the AT was still intact (what a relief!), the blisters were missing (later realized that the pain was from the area where the AT was attached to the bone and was internal). Was told that I could go home in a boot and was asked to work myself from PWB to FWB over the next 6 weeks (Yay!) at which point they will prescribe PT. Was also asked to wear a compression sleeve. All in all a great end to an otherwise eventful, stressful week!!! and a sense of progress, graduation to the next level!!!
Since then this last week has been quite good, was a little confused about what PWB really meant and figured I’d start with just resting the foot while sitting or standing. Upon calibrating this on a scale it was about 10% of my body weight and felt quite comfortable doing this for 3-4 days gradually increasing the duration. Over the last couple of days, have started taking this one step further by actually walking with both legs and crutches. I usually lead with my booted leg (heels) and the crutches and then bring in the good leg behind to slightly forward, while trying to maintain a normal walk (with evenups). Seems to be working well with some mild shooting pain once in a while that seems to go away on it’s own. Based on my measurements, I am putting in about 20-25% of my body weight on the injured leg doing this and am quite comfortable with it. I also have some knee high compression socks that I use (will switch to compression sleeve once I feel that my foot is not as tender), these feel really good and comfortable. I was also advised to keep my boot on while sleeping, primarily to ensure that I did not accidentally walk off without it.
The one area of concern that I now have is the burning sensation of a blister that I felt seems to still be there, albeit milder, and it seems to be directly where I would think the AT was attached…..is this to be expected? How long? I have started icing it and will give it another week for it to heal…..any thoughts?
All in all, happy about the progress, relieved about the near-disaster….and some lessons learned…I stopped taking my pain meds cold turkey and in retrospect feel that my depression/pessimism (I am normally quite an optimist) may have been to some extent a withdrawal symptom of the meds. If I had to do it again, I would have reduced the pain meds earlier but more gradually.
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