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It was February 5th, 2013 and only took one misstep that would change my life. Luckily, as I look back, it was when Tatum was only a baby so I did not miss out on so much of her activity. But more importantly, the massiveness of this calamity was a small window as I reflect one year later. It is amazing how the moment of an occurrence or the bit of time this occurrence effects is larger than life and at that moment we think that event will last forever. And it does….in our minds.

As I laid on the doctor’s table and he diagnosed me with a full tear with the foreboding surgery to be had, all I could think about was all I would miss with Tatum, how would I ever walk, all the people I would inconvenience…how my body would be messed up from not working out and the missed school….etc. It was all daunting. Isn’t that just like us? To think that in a lifetime this small window of time is continuous. However, it does change our lives for the better. The better in that the bitter makes us better.

I do not want anything like that to happen again, however, I do not regret the time. One year later, I see that I have learned to relish the small things and appreciate all of my blessings. No longer do I stress about something I cannot control because you never know when you can lose it (i.e. my mobility!)

Still I have less mobility in my left leg and the atrophy is still a bit embarassing. My left calf is almost half the size of my right, but it gets stronger every day. The therabands NEED to be used daily on BOTH legs. This way the OTHER leg will stay strong.

Strength…Found in pain, perseverance and patience.

Photo on 8-11-13 at 9.05 AM #3 Photo on 8-11-13 at 9.05 AM

I cannot believe it has been six months! I had my "check-in" with Dr. Waz on Tuesday to see how it is going. I stopped going to Physical Therapy about two months ago because things seemed to be progressing well. However, I would not have minded hanging out with my PT.. I definitely got the 2 most handsome guys to guide me through this (Dr. Waz and Troy have never been struck by an ugly stick)

Anyway, I digress! Dr. Waz wants me to go HEAVY at the gym on my calves once a week due to the atrophy. Also, he says "eccentric" movements with the bands is KEY "as much as possible." I take that as often! Otherwise, I’m jogging again, swimming and doing my weights. My ROM is perfect and equal to the other side. He’s very pleased. There is extremely LITTLE chance of re-rupture, but this could happen on the other side. So he says those thera band exercises must happen (eccentrically, which is pulling forward the toes rather than out). This really stretches and strengthens a TENDON. He differentiates tendons from joints or muscles. Unfortunately, there is no magic vitamin to take to strengthen a tendon…just the bands. For joints, sure, you can take glucosamine, calcium…etc… but for tendons? No. They just break down with wear and tear, and need to be strengthened AND stretched.

Now, I am so careful, and I will always stretch! With the atrophy, I also need to be in the gym doing my calf work along with the thera bands. Happily, I’m walking normal and feeling great!

Don’t get discouraged if you are experiencing this process. IT TAKES TIME, PATIENCE, and HARD WORK, but it GETS BETTER! :-) (He also said, most people are 150% stronger AFTER this happens, so there is hope.)

IMG_2241 At Physical Therapy today at Pro Sports , Troy said my ROM is near perfect. However, I have thickness in my ankle area, and it seems to be inhibiting my healing. Every time I go in, he massages it almost away which is a great sign in that it is malleable. We are not doing much strengthening yet. All we do is theraband exercises and toe crunches. After 2 weeks of PT, I’m ready to do more, but he cautions taking things too fast. I know we are all different in our progression, but I am getting impatient. I want my calf back! It’s a vanity thing, and therefore I know it’s best to just wait.

The swimming and kicking really feels great. I will continue to hydrate via the pool! In time…. I will be back to normal. At least I’m walking without a limp for the most part. He wants me to walk with full heel to toe motion and not flat foot. It does help.

OK…more later. Best to all my ATR friends! :-)

TWO feet and TWO shoes! To celebrate, I bought some bright teal and fuschia Reeboks in order to stand out and yell to the world: " Appreciate MOBILITY!"


I also decided to…..


And guess what? I’m so out of shape. I used to be able to swim a mile no problem, and after about 1/2 a mile, I was ready to wave the white flag. Maybe that would have buoyed me up!?

What I did find, is:
1. Swimming breaststroke and freestyle loosens the ankle if you don’t tense up.

2. Swimming calms you and gives your body a comfortable workout

3. Don’t use the ends to push off. Just stop and turn!

4. It reduced my swelling

I only did about 30 minutes, but I sure felt better.

Anyone else find swimming to help the healing?

IMG_2219 , I decided to…..

And guess what? I’m so out of shape. I used to be able to swim a mile no problem, and after about 1/2 a mile, I was ready to wave the white flag. Maybe that would have buoyed me up!?

What I did find, is:
1. Swimming breaststroke and freestyle loosens the ankle if you don’t tense up.

2. Swimming calms you and gives your body a comfortable workout

3. Don’t use the ends to push off. Just stop and turn!

4. It reduced my swelling

I only did about 30 minutes, but I sure felt better.

Anyone else find swimming to help the healing?

Well, today at least.


Friday at school (left foot a bit swollen)


Saturday after a day of walking. Still a bit swollen, but no pain!!!

IMG_2204 IMG_2216

FitFlops are the Bingdadabombbomb!! These shoes may be pricey, but are they worth every stinkin’ penny! In PT yesterday, he massaged the scar a bit and tried to lessen the swelling. If this is not done, it can stay there and inhibit healing. We also did 3 sets of ten on the therabands (left to right and vice versa). Plus flexing with the bands. I have my ROM at normal, and he said not to stretch anymore because it may be counterproductive at this point.

What did I also do today??? SWIM!!!!! Yep! I did just 20 minutes in the pool fluttering my feet (and no pushing off the sides), and it felt D…I…V…I…N…E!!! :-)

Mobility is something we all take for granted. Today, I praised GOD for my TWO feet.

I’m posting to get some feedback from all you fellow ATR’ers. I feel akin to this group because we once were active, mobile people, and WHAM…it all changes with one movement. You get the tremendous frustration and physical/emotional pain.

There is so much that can be said about how this has changed you physically. However, I want to know what has this injury done for you in other ways? (the good, the bad, and the ugly if you will, and the amazing!?)

I have grown to really be thankful for this board. There is such a tremendous give and take of not only advice, but encouragement!

I want to walk!!

I had my follow up with Dr. Waz on Tuesday to "get out of my boot" so I thought. I’m 8 weeks post-op, and I had high hopes.

Here’s the dealio: I’m to stay in my boot until 10 weeks. I do start PT next week for 2 days per week. The good news is that in my boot, I feel good, and my stride is pretty fast. However, just to be safe, I need to keep it stable. The swelling is pretty bad after a long day in the classroom, so they suggested compression socks. It is to be expected.

When the boot comes off, he wants me to be walking as much as possible. I can even start swimming if I don’t push off the side and aggressively flip. (I figured so!) I also need to do my PT, exercising with the bands to really strengthen the tendon.

HE ALSO STRESSED the FOUR MONTH MARK is when the most potential exists for re-rupture. It probably won’t be 6 months until I even run or do any forceful movements. (I figured so again!) This tendon is slowly growing back in strength and cannot be abused.

What were you doing at 8 weeks? How did it look? When I’m home, I do take off the boot and try to walk a bit. Today, I want to walk! (In my boot I guess.)

Charles Spurgeon (1834-92), England’s best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century, said these famous words, making me truly ponder….is this what life really is all about? Sorry to wax eloquent, but honestly, being idle for 7+ weeks can make one really introspective on the WHY!? Moreover, can we even bask in our troubles and be happy?I am going to argue for the "YES."

As I was laying in the Dr.’s office being informed of the "bad news," my first thought was this: How will I _______? When will I________? What will I do about________? Every question about what will become entered my mind. Not once did I say, Thank you God for this injury.

Fast forward 7 weeks, I think I get it. I’m not saying I’m rejoicing about being in pain, but I am saying the light shines on the darkness. This is where I must defer to Spurgeon’s words. He notes, “There is a blessed proportion. The Ruler of Providence bears a pair of scales-in this side he puts his people’s trials, and in that he puts their consolations. When the scale of trial is nearly empty, you will always find the scale of consolation in nearly the same condition; and when the scale of trials is full, you will find the scale of consolation just as heavy. When the black clouds gather most, the light is the more brightly revealed to us.

AAAHHHH, since this injury, people have come out of the woodwork to bless me, helping me when really I didn’t want it. (Shame on me.)  I have always been reluctant to take help because I don’t want to put someone out. But this allows people to be a blessing! (and that is a blessing!) Since this injury, I have had face to face CONVERSATIONS! With technology and busyness in our lives, often tete-a-tetes go to the wayside, and we sacrifice many relationships in favor of getting more done. Since this injury, I spend time staring at my 4-month old daughter (because I cannot move from my spot!)

So, I could make a much longer list, but the consolations are weighty next to the trials. God has provided so many blessings, and I wonder, Did He will this to get me to STOP!? and focus on the here and now and to stop MOVING!?

Spurgeon continues, It is a blessed thing, that when we are most cast down, then it is that we are most lifted up by the consolations of the Spirit. One reason is, because trials make more room for consolation. Great hearts can only be made by great troubles….God comes into our heart–he finds it full–he begins to break our comforts and to make it empty; then there is more room for grace. The humbler a man lies, the more comfort he will always have, because he will be more fitted to receive it.

Humbled? Yes. Physically, mentally, emotionally…. Now, I must be still.

"When the barn is full, man can live without God: when the purse is bursting with gold, we try to do without so much prayer. But once take our gourds away, and we want our God; once cleanse the idols out of the house, then we are compelled to honour God

So when I am at the bottom….

“Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.” There is no cry so good as that which comes from the bottom of the mountains; no prayer half so hearty as that which comes up from the depths of the soul, through deep trials and afflictions. Hence they bring us to God, and we are happier; for nearness to God is happiness.

When I am weak (lately), I have found that my strength cannot come from me. I have to use a crutch, and I have no problem leaning and hopping along with God. When I am empty, He can fill me. However, when I have no need, who can I turn to? I’m justfinethankyouverymuch. No, fine is what I don’t want to be. I want to be filled with Him.

This injury has allowed me the ability and the fragility I have needed to say, “Come in Dear Father and comfort me; fill me with your presence and strength.”

AAH…Standing is King.

It’s hard to believe how much you can appreciate standing on two feet until you are denied one foot for 7 weeks. The other day, I removed my boot to sit in the shower. (yes, sit…). Somehow, subconsciously, I stood, and realized, “I AM STANDING!” It did not HURT either! I did put the boot back on after I showered, but it felt so good to feel my heel on the ground sans the tingle.

Fast forward to yesterday at the PT. It was my first visit before I “really” start ( in two weeks). He tested my ROM and gave me insight into how I may have injured my AT. First, my ROM was -10 flexing forward and 42 flexing down. (It should be 0 and 64 I think). Yes, that is great, he said, but also he had to check my other side. Flexing down, I was only at 56. He inferred that my AT is really tight and has been due to inadequate stretching and then overusing with tightness. The step I took downward when I injured it was the bane of my existence. This motion is a killer if you are not adequately stretched. One uses this motion to jump or push off if you will. I CAME DOWN on my foot in this position, and BOOM. Now, I just want to learn how to do things right. It seems as though this is how I always learn…through injury.

His massage of my edema-filled foot was crucial because he mentioned if it stays this way, it could harden and inhibit healing. BOY DID IT HELP!

He showed me how to stretch my foot, and told me to continue the alphabet. My foot MUST BE in the neutral position in the boot and my heel must hit the floor.

Not bad...before PT that morning
Stretch to NEUTRAL
Stretch to NEUTRAL

Not bad…before PT that morning

ICE! for 15 minutes. The first 5 are KILLER...GUT IT OUT.
ICE! for 15 minutes. The first 5 are KILLER…GUT IT OUT.

It is the last day of school before SPRING BREAK! Not only is it Tater Tot’s 4-month birthday today;


It is ALSO the 6th week since my surgery. I have bought some compression socks which were hard to find! They needed to cover my foot, and only a few places carried them. I had to go to Endurance Rehab , and they were not cheap! But at the point of PAIN, you’ll pay the moon for comfort. $45 later, I felt less swelling.

This week, I plan to really soak in each moment with Tatum, visiting family, mom, and friends! (Oh, and the Cotster ). But as I wrap up this week, I am awestruck by how the book we are reading in English has me reeling with hope of influencing young minds. I read Fahrenheit 451 years ago, and thought it was about book burning, but now, it means so much more. I see a lifeless society, consumed with zero substance and complete nothingness. However, everyone is occupied and busy all of the time.
This somewhat reminds me of this (by unknown author)

The Devil was speaking to his angels. He continued, “This is what I want you to do. Distract them from Bible study, prayer, and meditation.” “How do we do that?” asked an angel. “Keep them busy with nonessentials. Invent unnumbered schemes to occupy their minds. Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, then borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade wives to go to work for long hours and husbands to work six or seven days a week, ten hours a day, so they can afford their lifestyles. Keep them away from their children as much as possible. As the family becomes fragmented, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work.”

Satan added, “Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot concentrate on the Word for more than just a few minutes. Entice them to play the radio or CD wherever they go, to keep their TV, VCR, CDs, and PCs going constantly in their homes. Fill their coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with news

24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards, talk radio, and Top 40. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, sweepstakes, mail order catalogs, and every kind of newsletter and promotional pamphlet offering free products, ‘essential’ services, and false hopes. In their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return angry, exhausted, and disquieted. Don’t let them stop to see nature and reflect on God’s wonders. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts, and suggestive movies.

“And when they do meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in socializing, gossip, and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotions. Let them be involved in good causes, but crowd their lives with so many ‘good causes’ that they do not have time for church activities. Soon they will be sacrificing their health and their family for the good of the cause.”

It was quite a convention in the end. The evil angels went eagerly to their assignments. Christians everywhere got busy, busy, busy and rushed here and there.

How successful has Satan’s scheme been? Look at your life, and the lives of your family and friends, and be the judge. Someone gave this anagram of busy : B —Burdened U —Under S —Satan’s Y —Yoke.

(God wants us to enjoy life, but He wants to be first (Matthew 6:33 ). He must be life to us (Colossians 3:1-4 ))

I have always been busy. But, my goal is never to be of "nonessential" things. I rarely watch TV. However, I rarely stop moving. ENTER: AT rupture! Many would say that I was being punished or I dug my own hole. Others, me included, have surmised that this has completely changed my perspective on life. No longer can I rush; No longer can I accomplish my mile long list. Things must wait, and I must say NO more than ever now.

What have I gained?  Well, in Fahrenheit 451, the character named Clarisse, enjoys picking dandelions. She drinks in the rain as she lays back her head. She has many one-to-one meaningful conversations about "meaningless (depending on what you consider meaningless)" things. She engages in LIFE; in PEOPLE; in PURPOSE. The rest of society? They "plug in" to their talking walls and don’t need to give anything back. They don’t even think and they don’t realize they don’t think because they have lost their capability to have any introspection. The "devil" has succeeded in taking their eyes off what matters: Relationships and finding purpose (and I would say that comes from having a personal relationship with our Father through Christ who gives us the ability to LOVE/LAUGH/CREATE..)

I guess being grateful today is what I am. I have not gained "the world" but have gained insight into what matters. BE INTENTIONAL with your time :-)

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