Being a baseball fan and a White Sox fan in particular, I was a bit familiar with ATR’s. Our pitcher Jose’ Contreris went down with one a few years ago and I can still see the scene in my mind of Ryan Howard of the Phillies ATR in the NLCS last year. I knew that it took Contreris 8 or 9 months to get back on the mound. Nine months after suffering his ATR and a severe infection as a complication to his surgery, Howard has yet to play in a regular season game. So when I ruptured mine, I new my life was going to be different for the next 9 months or so.
Looking back on it, I’m a bit surprised how quickly these 16 weeks seem to have gone by. I went non-surgical so I missed the ordeal associated with surgery. Cast changes were every 2 weeks then on to FWB in 5 weeks and PT in 7 weeks. At 6 weeks my doctor was concerned about my swelling and had me wear a compression sock. He also was concerned that I might have a DVT.and sent me for an ultrasound. The ultrasound indicated I had a clot in a superficial vein. I was then ordered to take an aspirin a day and do 2 more ultrasounds to confirm that the clot was stable (which it was).
About the most trying time for me was the night that it happened. I then spent the evening researching my options. I found out that non-surgical was a possibility. Since I suffer from trypanophobia, an extremely irrational fear of needles, I knew that even getting an IV would be tough. As I tried to go to sleep that night, I kept repeating the mantra in my mind, “one breath at a time, one day at a time” and actually managed to get some sleep. I was pretty relieved the next day when my orthopedic surgeon said I could go non-surgical.
Fortunately I own a home-based business so commuting was not a problem and I could service my customers on the phone and through the Internet. My wife has been a huge help, driving me around and assisting me especially early on. I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been without her. Crutches weren’t too tough for me to master including going up and down stairs. I was able to attach bags to them so I could carry stuff.
I actually look forward to PT. I have an awesome therapist and everyone in the place has a great sense of humor. We’re always cracking jokes and some of the stuff he has me do is even kinda fun. Of course seeing myself being able to do more and more is a great reward.
Still I have been missing out on a few things. I have a 1-1/2 year old German shepherd that I was training for AKC obedience competition and I had to put that on hold. She is a real ball of energy and I’m fortunate enough to have a big enough back yard to wear her out playing Frisbee. Maybe by the time, I’m ready to get back to training her, her energy level will be at the right range were she can actually slow down enough to pay attention to me. I was also looking forward to getting a new 370 HP Dodge Charger but I wanted to wait until I put another 5,000 miles on my current car. I’m able to drive now, but it will be a while before I can make a couple of round trips to California. Still, I’m sure I’ll be able to find a car dealer that can sell me one when the time comes.
Having just about transitioned to 2 shoes, I’m really fortunate that it looks like I’ll be able to enjoy boating season. And I think I’ll be able to make a few White Sox games. I just hope they’ll keep playing as well as they have been so far.
I have to say, I really haven’t had many down days because of the ATR. I’m not really sure why except that I have a firm belief that this will get better and that all it takes is a few months. The most important thing is to discipline yourself to do what you need to do and especially discipline your mind to keep your attitude positive.