ATR Timeline

  • Name: szaitz
    Location: New York City
    Injured during: Touch Football
    Which Leg: L
    Status: 2-Shoes

    424 wks  6 days Post-ATR
    424 wks  1 day
       Since start of treatment

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You say Hello world! I say Goodbye

December 22nd, 2013 by szaitz and

Woohoo…got the go-ahead from Dennis to start my Achilles Blog.  I’m unemployed and immobilized, so now I have a reason to get up in the morning.

before injury - obviously, but i was doing this exact activity

I’ll get the compulsory stuff out of the way.  On Thanksgiving (ironically enough) I was playing football - the brown and white kind of football, as I know there are a lot of Brits on this site - and felt The Kick in the back of my left leg.  My very first thought was that I was gonna be in major trouble from my mother for ruining Thanksgiving dinner.  I’m 46 years old, btw.  It was only at that point did I crash to the ground, screaming in pain.

I should amend that to say that after the initial snapping, which felt more like a hot cannonball than a kick, it really didn’t hurt that much.  I think I was screaming and spinning around on my ass, holding my foot, more because of the realization of what just happened.  As the Lennon/McCartney-esque title of this post references, my athletic career will never be the same - I must say goodbye to it.  Even if I’m physically recovered, I don’t think I will ever be without the fear of this happening again.  And I hate golf.  So what the hell am I supposed to do?

I have been around this blog for the past few weeks and I do appreciate the positivity generated by everyone.  However, I’m negative by nature - so to quote another musical genius - Justin Timberlake - I hope nobody minds if I bring a little ‘misery’ back.  But I’ll try to to it in a humorous way.

I’m not new to the blogging world.  I used to write about my misadventures in New York City.  The blog was called What Pissed me off in The City and was a collection of anecdotes of my various misadventures living and dating in NYC.  It sometimes bled into R-rated territory, but my friends enjoyed it.  I’ll endeavor to do the same for this community which I’m pretty sure can use some cheering up.  In this case, I’ll do my best to keep it G rated or PG-13.

Back to my heel.  So Thanksgiving is on a Thursday in the U.S.  I had the surgery the following Tuesday.  Dec 3, I believe. I’m three weeks post-op and have been out of my cast for one week.  The morning I had the cast removed was the same day I started PT.  I’m trying to set the record for quickest return to normalcy in the history of the Achilles.  Of course, that very day, that stupid movie Troy was on.  That film is 45 minutes too long as it is and with commercial breaks, it’s insufferable, but of course I had to wait until the end to see Brad Pitt get nailed in his Achilles. (left foot, just like me). Now Brad Pitt and I have something in common. Yeay!

Speaking of insufferable - back to this rupture. btw, does anyone else hate that word, ‘rupture’?  It’s so violent and explosive-sounding. It makes me nauseous.

My surgeon, while very gruff and impatient, I think is a surgical genius.  My scar is very small compared to the others I have seen.  My Physical Therapist remarked on this at once.  When I figure out how to post pictures on here, I will show you.  The surgeon used a blue plastic device that enabled him to reach up the calf and grab the top torn piece, thus shortening the incision to maybe two inches. This will facilitate better healing, not to mention look a lot less freightening.  My friend Noah, who is on this site and was injured playing football with me in Sept, 2012, has a much longer scar. He was misdiagnosed at first and had surgery 3 month after injury.  I know a malpractice attorney and gave him the number, as the first doctor he saw didn’t do the Thompson test???!!! I spoke to him last week (texted back and forth, but in 2013, that’s the the same as spoke to) and he said he’s almost back to normal. Almost!!!  That’s 15 months.  That really distresses me.

I am in a DonJoy boot and on crutches.  I have been using a motorized scooter for the last two weeks and have been getting used it, but alas, the rental contract ends today.  On the crutches, I am allowed to put my bad foot down a little, which I do mostly for balance.  This alleviates the pressure on my arm.

This arm thing was very bad actually and was very mysterious, because it started when I was using the scooter pretty much exclusively.  A sharp, pinching pain in my right triceps muscle if I moved my arm  at a certain angle, away from my body.  I had to T-REX myself for a week, which is especially annoying when having to reach for things from the scooter.  When he took my cast off, I asked for cortizone in my arm.  He laughed at me.  He also laughed at me when I handed him the list of questions I found somewhere on this site.  One thing I have learned - doctors hate questions.

I did reach a little bit of a milestone yesterday.  I was able to get out of the shower without the aid of the spinning bar stool I have set up in there.  I also don’t have to lean against the wall while showering and can put my foot down.  The atrophy in my thigh and calf is sickening, but my PT says we will get it back.  My good leg looks like Superman’s leg, sort of.

The angle of the cast forced my foot to plantarflexation  (check out all these new latin words I know) so I think the first order of business is bringing dorsi/sexy back.  The swelling comes and goes, so I take Aleve and Ice twice a day for fifteen minutes.  I also have to put a hot pack on my triceps, so when I’m doing both these things, I feel like a real invalid.  Sucks.  I will take a selfie next time I’m in this state of affairs. I have started to work out upper body and core after 3 weeks, which seems quick compared to some of the stories I’ve read on here.

Some other silver linings:

  • People are coming over with tons of food
  • I’ve sharpened my parallel parking skills, as negotiating the scooter in my little NYC apartment takes work
  • Sympathy and attention
  • A very tiny bit of perspective on having health and mobility.  It’s very hard to scooter in the city.  People don’t care or get out of the way on the sidewalk.  The cuts in the curbs are inconsistent and…oops these were silver linings
  • Better utilization of my Netflix account.

I’m a little upset that Kobe Bryant is hurt again.  But Terrell Suggs and Michael Crabtree seem to be doing well.

OK, my fellow Dorsiflexors.  I’ll see you later.  By next time I will figure out how to post pictures and come up with a better name for our Achilles Brotherhood.  Maybe we should have a contest for coming up with a name for our exclusive community.  Make T-shirts.  I know a T-shirt guy  :)

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7 Responses to “You say Hello world! I say Goodbye”

  1. Mr WordPress Says:

    Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  2. normofthenorth Says:

    Nice writing — a silver lining for the rest of us! :-)
    BTW, I don’t know exactly how you made that 49ers post, but there’s no way to post a comment to it! But playing pro football (& super-well!) at 7 months is pretty remarkable-amazing. There’s a Cdn football pro (Matt Browne?) who recently posted multiple YouTube vids of his amazingly fast non-op recovery. He’s more 2nd string than superstar, but his recovery looked world-class — and very unusual, since hardly any pro athletes are going ATR-non-op, even in 2013.
    Lots of people suggest NOT setting a goal of being the fastest and best in rehab. We’re all different, it’s easy to slow yourself down by going too fast, the mental game is an important aspect and super-stretch goals often lead to frustration, etc. OTOH, the best documented results are coming from the ALMOST fastest rehab protocols so “pushing it” is mostly good. (On one of my blog pages, RyanB and I discussed — & he linked — one study that went TOO fast, and got bad results, post-op and non-op both. And many of us have had setbacks or worse from overdoing, by accident or on purpose.)

  3. Riprap roar Says:

    Hi norm you mean brady browne
    But your correct on the nice writing comment

  4. szaitz Says:

    Thanks Guys. Since I’m Jewish and not doing too much the next cople of days, I will try to write again and post some pictures.

    In addition to my PT, I work with a personal fitness trainer. He encouraged me to walk without crutches today. I did pretty well. I took the boot off too, but only for a few steps, but I felt like Neil Armstrong. I’m not sure if this is considered FWB, but I’m pretty happy - Steve

  5. szaitz Says:

    And Merry Christmas to the people who are celebrating right now!

  6. anne Says:

    Great post. I’m impressed with your protocol. Regardless of what religion you are, we worship Norm on this site. I’m 5.5 months post op and in PT, definitely support Norm’s comment about the goal setting.

    Once I moved to 2 shoes at week 11 post op (I am a re-rupture) my linear progress forward stopped. I have good days and bad days. I have always had excellent strength and passed all those tests early. However, the symbiosis needed for proper foot mechanics is kicking my ass and the hardest for me to master. But somedays I am making great progress and other times I am going backwards. My PT says I shouldn’t evaluate my progress on a daily or weekly basis.

    Good luck on your recovery! Keep us posted.

  7. Taufik Says:

    Just read the first chapter of the Day Metallica Came to Church .wow .great stuff .made me start thinikng . so i’m gonna get the book and investigate further lol .and, BE CAREFUL on your bike dude! whoooooaaa scary!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

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