strengthinumbers’ AchillesBlog

The Two Month Milestone Passes
May 18, 2011, 1:59 pm
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Well, let’s see here. I have really not been up to much lately. I had one more check in with my doctor yesterday concerning the slowly fading infection that had built up on the very bottom part of my incision. The antibiotics have finally done their job and the wound is getting smaller and smaller. I have officially been walking around in normal shoes for the last 2.5 weeks and the progress has been amazing! This past weekend, in order to avoid putting unnecessary stress on my leg, I decided to go sea kayaking. It was such a good time and I didn’t have to use my leg at all (except for the one time I rolled the kayak and went for a swim), but all in all my tendon felt strong and it was a great outdoor alternative to hiking or climbing.
I’m still taking it relatively easy, no running, no stairmaster, no basketball etc. but the doc tells me that in a few more weeks I can be back to 100%. And I believe him. If you told me this 2 weeks ago I would not have believed you, but time and patience really do make the difference. I have taken to wrapping my ankle with an ace bandage in order to quell the buildup of fluid throughout the day. This has helped tremendously and allows me to walk normally as well as gives my still healing tendon a little support. In another week or so I will stop wearing the ace bandage altogether and see what happens. I’m walking a thin line between wanting to challenge my tendon enough to make it strong and functional again, and not wanting to cause undue stress that will only delay my progress. It’s hard to make these calls by myself but I listen to what my body is telling me and try to push myself accordingly. What I have made my mantra due to this injury has been to say to myself, “What CAN I do, not what CAN’T I do”.
While I was in my boot I managed to get out rock climbing 4 weekends in a row. Now I’m taking it a little easier. I still climb at the gym but I also have made a strict regimen of hitting the ‘normal’ gym with free weights, inclined bench, pull-up bar, etc. I have a thin wide long strip of rubber that I use to flex my Achilles with some tension added. I do 3 sets of 20 ankle pumps with this band and then I do circles pumping my ankle in a clock-wise and counter clock-wise motion. I’m also trying to weight my toes on my ‘bad’ leg as much as I can and lately I’ve been able to take partial weight on my toes.
I’m really excited about the upcoming month of June because I’m taking a Wilderness First Responder course and it will be a real test to see if my leg is up to the challenge. I’m also headed to Alaska in the last part of June to do some mountaineering so wish me luck! I hope everyone out there is healing well and finding progression in their everyday lives. Being able to write about my experience and read other ATR blogs has been a huge piece of my rehab, so thank you to everyone who has commented or offered advice. I’ll let you know how the next two weeks go. I’ve never looked forward to taking run so badly in all my life.

4 Comments so far
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Sounds very impressive and positive, SIN! Keep healing and strengthening, and (continued) good luck!

Me, I’d add “incrementalism” to your rehab principles: If you’re adding something new and potentially scary-sounding to your routine, try a small dose on the first day, then add to it gradually in the following days. In my experience, “listening to your body” while loading on the AT challenges does NOT always give fast enough feedback to prevent injury. Better to lose a day or two in rehab than to set yourself back a month (as I did) or (worse) back to square one, as quite a few here have done.

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