Sylveeuh’s AchillesBlog

2nd Post-Op Visit

October 24th, 2012 · 4 Comments

So it was finally time for another cast change. I was taken to the cast room per usual and was greeted by my cast tech. Honestly I love this girl, she is so nice and encouraging. Full of information. I must remember to send her a Christmas gift/card! Back on track, naturally my mother accompanied me to this appointment. The cast tech began to saw off my cast and I was afraid my mom was going to pass out. Seriously? It just tickled! I laughed ridiculously, she removed the cast and I stared at my leg. It was amazing to see how much my leg had atrophied (lost muscle). My leg was considerably smaller and considerably hairy. They still wont let me shave and told me to get over it. The surgical site looks great! I wasn’t able to see the doctor since his wife had a baby during the night! Congrats to him lol. The PA who saw me was worthless, she couldn’t answer my questions and said to wait to see the doctor. Whatever! My main question was whether or not the first week post op counted as part of my 6 weeks in a cast, and the cast tech said of course! Thank god!

It means that I will be put in the neutral position for 1 week before placed in a boot and PT is started. I can do this! The interesting thing was that my cast tech warned me that the change in position was going to be extremely painful and that I would most likely cry. She warned me at the last appointment to take pain meds before coming. I forgot of course and took one in the cast room. SURPRISINGLY I didn’t feel any pain!!! It was amazing! She said this was a great sign! If I continue to progress this way she said definitely the cast would come off at the week 6 mark. But there is always a risk of the cast not coming off then if its not ready. Honestly I hate reading others’ blogs and seeing people in a boot and weight bearing so quickly! It’s not fair that my surgeon is so damn conservative!
This is my new red cast

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Surgical Consultation

October 1st, 2012 · No Comments

Three days after my injury, the following monday, I struggled with my insurance. After much advice from fellow healthcare professionals I finally was approved to see an orthopedic group. I was amazed at the difficulty I experienced in getting authorization. Didn’t they understand I was incapable of living life this way? I’m sure this is being dramatic but it’s how I’ve felt this whole time. After some sobbing and being kind to strangers I finally got my approval. The office called me and had an appointment for me that afternoon! What a relief.

Naturally being the incapable person I was at that time and having the over-bearing mother I did I was picked up and assisted by my mother to go to the surgeon. Our consultation was interesting, they first led me to the "cast room"where the removed my splint. In case you didn’t know a splint was, a splint is a sort of soft/hard cast, it is very padded but provides support in the area needed. Basically there was plaster along the back part of the leg and up both outer sides of my leg with padding everywhere else. I’ll post a picture soon. In the cast room my splint was removed. The doctor came in and assessed my leg, did a Thompsons test and we discussed my options.
He explained that I could take a conservative route of healing, which involved serial casting and allowing my tendon to regenerate naturally, or I could have surgery with the serial casting. He explained that each method would keep me immobile the same amount of time and that the only bneefit to the surgical option was a decreased risk of re-rupturing my achilles. I chose surgery. My main concern was returning to work as soon as possible. You see, my work is everything to me. He expalined that I would be out for at least 12 weeks. 6 weeks of serial casting and 6 more weeks of PT (physical therapy) and a walking boot. Surgery was scheduled for friday.
They sent me home with some rinky-dink make shift cast. The doctor didn’t think I needed a cast since surgery was so soon and he said there was no way to injury myself further. However, when I attempted to crutch out, the pain from my foot flopping around was too much so I had an interesting splint.


This is my rinky dink splint

The ladies at the doctors office helped me fill out my disability and said they’d send it out once the doctor completed it. Now it was time to head home and "patiently" wait for friday.

I did decide that I couldn’t do crutches any more. I had a friend who used a "Kneely", it’s a scooter for leg/foot injuries. I rent it for $100/month and it’s made my life SO MUCH EASIER!! Check it out! I highly recommend it. Honestly, I can go distance now and move around without becoming tired quickly. The only down side is you cannot do stairs with it.
This is my scooter, it’s amazing! I call it scootie

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The injury

September 28th, 2012 · No Comments

Here’s my story. I’m only 25 and who knew I’m not invincible? Apparently I didn’t. It started with a cold, I hadn’t been sick for nearly 2 years and finally succumbed to the common cold. I had been off work for 2 days and decided I wanted to sweat out the remainder and chose to play tennis that morning.  I had stretched a little and was playing a tough match against a strong opponent. I suddenly sprinted to a short ball and I heard what sounded like a gun shot. Quickly, I was on the floor. It hurt, but honestly the pain was nothing more than a 4/10. Lying on the asphalt I had a feeling that it was a tendon injury and not a fracture of some sort. I rolled over and felt the back of my left heel/calf and for lack of better words, all I felt was mush. The girls ran over to me and swore it must have been my shoe because the sound was like rubber snapping. I attempted to stand but was unable to place pressure on my leg. To add to my luck I was on a back court, we called for help and of course there was no wheel chair or crutches at the club. I had no way of getting to a vehicle short of being carried by 4+ people. I was forced to call an ambulance to help me get to a hospital.

I’m a nurse so I chose the hospital I work at. They took me there and thankfully one of my favorite physicians was working, after a quick Thompson’s test he told me he knew it was a torn achilles. He snuck me into an MRI in attempts of moving things along since it was friday and I have a managed care type insurance. The MRI confirmed the tear and also noted that the gastrocnemius was also torn (slightly). I was splinted and informed to contact an orthopedist. My ER visit was pleasant, they medicated me frequently and in my opinion, never let me experience pain. I was discharged home with some pain meds and crutches. My mother at my side the whole time, we left for my apartment.

Unfortunately, I was never instructed on the use of crutches. Let me just say, crutches suck! I have 3 steps leading to my apartment both in the front and back, I never knew how horrible this wound make my life. I fumbled around and some how managed to make my way into my home. The first weekend was miserable…

My mother helped loads.  I couldn’t figure out how to prepare food and bring it to a place to eat. We ended up rearranging the kitchen and dining room in attempts to make it more “handicapped friendly”. My how I’ve grown to hate that phrase…
This is my splint I got in the ER, very soft and comfortable

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