Sylveeuh’s AchillesBlog

Entries from November 2012

I can walk! (With a boot)

November 18th, 2012 · 6 Comments

So I’ve been out of my cast for 1 week and 4 days and so far it’s going much better than those first few days. After about 2 days I was able to wean myself off of the crutches, now it’s just me and my boot. For a short time I continued using my scooter during the night to go to the bathroom but I ended up returning scootie and so now those mid sleep bathroom trips are dreaded, but doable. Showering is still the same obstacle except now I’m able to get my injured leg wet and clean! I do not shower standing up. I’m too afraid to chance slipping and re-rupturing so I stick to baths and my shower chair.

I’ve been doing PT 2 x a week and I’m pretty bored with it. Range of motion seems pretty tedious but I understand it’s the foundation to strengthening. My PT is wonderful!! She is young like me, has her doctorate, and we get along quite well. She’s even got me doing upper body strengthening to occupy my time. Why not?

Other than that, my quality of life has vastly improved. It’s amazing and wonderful and so many other adjectives to be able to walk without crutches or my scootie. I don’t get around very fast, but I get around. I’ve even stopped using my disabled parking placard except in extreme cases when I’d have to walk very far to get somewhere.

I have been a little bad…. I did take about 3 steps on my own in my room (very carefully) to see what it would be like. It’s disheartening to feel how weak my leg is. My tendon feels weak and/or stiff (not sure) as well. I’m pretty scared to be out of the boot in about 4 weeks, but I’m sure I’ll feel a little better when that time comes. I just wish there was some way to strengthen my calf without really using that tendon. Anyone know of exercises that are minor but will help build your calf?

All in all, things are going well, I’m less depressed and back to being independent again. I’m eager to go back to work, but realistically I know that it won’t be until after at least a few weeks of strengthening PT. I’m HOPING for week 15 post op to “feel ready” to go back. I get worried because FMLA runs out early December and my exact position/shift at work will no longer be protected. I LOVE my job, and the thought of not getting to do it when I recover terrifies me.

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My first steps…Question!

November 9th, 2012 · 6 Comments

Well yesterday I had my cast taken off and my first PT session. To be quite honest I was very discouraged after not being able to walk with 1 crutch. I began to realize the true gravity of this type of injury. I’m not sure why I thought that this was really no big deal, cast for 6 weeks, then 6 weeks of PT and bam, life is like normal. Truthfully, I didn’t think learning how to walk would be this difficult. But it is, if not more so than I could have imagined.

I’ve been quite fortunate, I’ve maybe only experienced pain once or twice during this whole journey. Granted there’s just generalized aching and I understand when I need to rest, but now that I’m learning how to walk there is some real pain happening.

First my bones ache. I have pain in my heel and most of my foot. While walking, the first few steps are the worst, probably as bad as a 6/10. After I get going and have walked a few feet, the pain continues at about a 4/10. My biggest concern is when do you know it is acceptable/expected pain vs. warning pain? This is something I’ll be asking tomorrow at my 2nd PT.

I guess I finally understand the magnitude of this situation. I do have some questions… I return back to my physician saying I’ll be doing 12 weeks of PT first 6 are ROM then 6 of strengthening… is this normal? Anyone else with jobs where you stand for 12 hours or similar survive and are telling the tale? Help a sister out. It seems extensive compared to what I’ve read around on other blogs…A total of 18wks for recovery….?


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My first PT

November 8th, 2012 · 3 Comments

What a day. Got my cast off (shockingly early) and called to set up an appointment for PT. My PT actually got me in the same day! I arrived to the facility and began filling out pages of questions. This facility also does fitness training and I’m actually a member here so it’s nice to see familiar faces. Well the Therapist finally gets me back and starts evaluating me further. We get to talking and we make a plan that today I will be measured to see my degrees range of motion (ROM), stretch a little, ice, and practice walking with 1 crutch.

She evaluated my gait and felt that I could easily do 1 crutch. Funny… Well she started by having me put myself back to the neutral position, it was hard, but possible, she then further pushed my foot to just past where she said it felt “leathery”. Basically she said it means it needs to be stretched. Okay… Then we tried flexing the other way (pardon my lack of knowledge on correct terminology), then side to side. All went fairly well. I did feel 1 sharp pain when trying to move my foot to the left. Overall, not too painful! Next they iced my leg for 10 minutes to try to bring the swelling down. Basically I have a cankle right now (no distinction from calf to ankle, gross). It’s honestly not too bad but I’ve never seen my leg or foot swell before. It’s kind of interesting.

She then demonstrated how to ambulate with 1 crutch. Funny, the crutch goes on the side of the good leg (I had it on the bad leg). I attempted, no success. It’s very painful to put full weight on my foot. I feel my bones (metatarsals) hurt, then pins and needles throughout my foot when I truly put weight on it. I probably did this for 10 feet, then 10 feet back. It was honestly exhausting! She then did some passive range of motion (PROM) and I was done.

Goal is to work on 1 crutch ambulation on friday at my next PT. I’m pretty satisfied with how it turned out. I feel a tiny bit stronger and I’m looking forward to going back.

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Best Day/Worst Day, 3rd Post op Visit

November 7th, 2012 · 7 Comments

Well Today was my 3rd post op visit, 5 weeks post surgery. I was expecting to go in and have my cast changed to the neutral position. I even had it in my head to convince the doc to let me go into a boot this week but talked myself out of it thinking that another week wouldn’t kill me. Funny how things never go as we plan.

I went into the cast room and was chit-chatting with another patient. I told him I had been in a splint and/or cast for 6 weeks, then the doc came in an over-heard me say that. He left but didn’t examine me because my cast was still on. The PA came back shortly and said, well we are going to put you in a boot!! I was over the moon ecstatic! Happy and grinning like an idiot! They came in, sawed off my cast and started fitting me for a boot. I had so many questions but never really talked to the doc.

He came back in after I asked them to ask him to and he explained things, he said that I can start ROM PT and begin walking FWB in my cast. I was completely shocked! He then said in 6 weeks I will start strengthening at PT for 6 more weeks. That’s where things got iffy. I asked him when I was supposed to go back to work. He told me 12 weeks!! What the heck?? He told me on my consultation that it was going to be 6 weeks of casting and 6 weeks of PT. I was in such shock and disbelief.

Here I was under the impression I am half way through my disability and he comes out saying he’s adding an additional 6 weeks. I wasn’t emotionally prepared for that. He swears he warned me about this during our consultation but my mother and I never heard him say that. I understand that I don’t have a desk job and I have to be able to stand on my feet for 12 hours but I thought this would happen by 12 weeks!

After many tears he explained that after 12 weeks post op I can make the decision when I’m “ready” to go back to work. I’m not sure how I will know this but he said he will release me when I’m “ready”. So I get the boot on and they say okay, “Walk”. HAHAHAHAHA

Not funny actually. I can’t walk. The pain in my bones is awful. I can’t put all my weight on it. I haven’t used my leg in 6 weeks. How do they expect me to do this?? I feel defeated. I used my scooter and left the office. After I got home I began trying crutches. Using 2 crutches and weight bearing is possible, but EXHAUSTING.

Well, I start PT in an hour, just ROM. I’m nervous. This has been such a bad day…
Here is my boot

This is my super hairy leg, you can kind of see the difference in the size of the calf

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