Up and down…

Disclaimer: For me, starting to blog on this site is partly to share with others who know the ATR struggle.  It is also a way for me to “journal” my path to recovery; not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.  This post is the latter :)

This injury has definitely put me on an emotional roller coaster. I have my good days and bad days. Days when I feel like (almost!) springing out of bed and starting my day with enthusiasm and a positive attitude, and am ready to accomplish some tasks!  Then there are the days when I wish I could stay in bed all day, crying and binge watching Netflix. And there are also the days that are mixed with emotions.

Seriously though, I’m doing my best to keep a positive mindset. I am typically “that type” of person anyhow. My life is usually on-the-go all the time and I love it, I view it as full and abundant (even if sometimes it’s tiring).  Now I feel like I’m at a standstill and missing out on so much, especially with my boys who are 8 (will be 9 in five weeks) and 5.  They somewhat understand the extent of my injury.  They surely got a kick out of looking at the pictures of my staples and the incision after removal.  And of course they try to play with my crutches and knee scooter any chance they can get!

I’m very fortunate that my husband has such a flexible job, and was already working from home two days a week.  Now he’s working from home four days a week, doing school runs,  all the errands, and most of the housework.  I’m a full-time mom/”homemaker” and do part-time event planning from home.  We had a really great division of labor, and he hasn’t complained about having to take on what I can’t do right now, but….well,  he’s a a trooper, and though he won’t say it, I know it’s exhausting for him.  I am so grateful, and let him know that as much as I can.

Anyhow, it’s a struggle not be able to do what I need and want to do when I need and want to do it.  Being forced to slow WAY down has been tough.  I’ve always been someone who takes on a lot, often “busy”, schedule full, and I thrive on that.  Now I feel like my livelihood is being sucked out of me.  There are tasks I can do for my event planning (though I won’t be able to have another event until after the new year) and volunteering from home, but it’s not the same as getting out of the house and being hands-on.

I miss driving, taking my kids to school and picking them up, seeing all of the kids, volunteering at school, getting a coffee a few mornings a week, going to the library, going to yoga class, doing my home workouts, grocery shopping and other errands, taking my kids to the park to play and ride bikes, exploring the tide pools with them, going on a hike with my family, taking my son to baseball practice, going to the zoo,  getting my hands dirty with yard work.

I know it’ll all be there waiting for me, and I’ll be able to get back to things bit by bit throughout my recovery.  And I do my best to remind myself that even a year is a short amount of time compared to the life behind me and ahead of me.  I do my best to keep perspective on this injury, it’s not life-threatening and I’m going to be okay in the end.  I do my best to be grateful for everything and everyone around me, the comforts that I have and the lack of worry in my life.  This too shall pass, and I hope I’ll be a stronger and an even more mindful person after this experience.

Staples & sutures

There we about thirty staples removed from my incision at my post-op earlier this afternoon.  Then the sutures (not quite as many).  It was little bit painful, but not too bad.  And probably took about 10 minutes, if that, to remove everything.

So happy to have them out!

staples

First post-op appointment

Today was my first post-op appointment, at 3 weeks and 3 days!
Though this boot is HEAVY and uncomfortable, I am so happy to be out of the cast.  Every little step counts, and I’ve been so encouraged and inspired by reading many others’ stories on Achillesblog.com.  I’m trying to stay positive!

Anyhow, my surgeon is putting me in the hands of the physical therapist for my protocol.  He’s extremely confident in the procedure, but doesn’t want to move forward too fast too soon.  So for now, I have four wedges (due to my high arch) and am still NWB.  But the plan is to get me started in PT as early as next week, and I see my surgeon again in four weeks.

How did this happen!??

I’m a fairly active and in shape person.  I practiced yoga a few times a week, did HIIT/circuits at home a couple of times a week, a little bit of weight training (also at home), hike, bike, and run around on the playground with my kids.  Aging, I have some aches and pains here and there, but nothing that ever stopped me.
Luckily, I only had about a five minute drive home.  I took a shower, then R.I.C.E.’d up for an hour or so before bed.  I wasn’t able to get in to see my doctor until first thing Friday morning, and he ordered an MRI.  I finally got in for that on Tuesday, but it was still another nine days before I was able to see the ortho my doctor had referred me to.
By the time I saw him, I had done a little bit of research online.  I felt as if surgery was the route I wanted to go.  He didn’t pressure me either way, but when I let him know I’d be opting for surgery, he said “this needs to be done now.  Surgery will be tomorrow.”   WOW!!  That was a shock, but at this point I was fifteen days past the injury.  I had been driving still, and getting around on a knee scooter and crutches otherwise.  But I knew whatever the next step would be needed to happen quickly, so as not to make the injury worse.
So after about 15 years of not being on the softball field, I started playing with a co-ed team.  It’s fairly low-key, but somewhat competitive.  The first night I played (Wednesday), the team had a rare double-header (they were filling in for a team that dropped from the league).  The first game, I played right field.  Not much action, mostly running to back up other fielders.  I hit a couple of times, made it around the bases.  I was probably playing harder than I needed to, but I was so excited to be on the field again!  (I grew up watching baseball and playing softball & fastpitch.  Baseball has always been and will always be my favorite sport!)
The games are only an hour, so we had about five minutes before the next one started.  I felt warmed up enough, so didn’t stretch much in between.  Plus, I was trying to be smart and not overdo it, so I volunteered to be catcher for the second game.  No crouching, no gear, literally standing there, as each team pitches to their own players.  Still in the first inning, I took two steps to catch a throw that was coming to me, and….SNAP!!!  I went down.  It felt like someone had taken a crack to my ankle with a bat.  The ump thought I jammed my ankle in a little dip that was by home plate, but that just put it over the edge (playing in brand new cleats didn’t help either).  My teammates helped me to the bench, got me some ice, and I elevated as much as I could while I stayed to watch the game.
So here I am now, three weeks and three days post op.  Still sometimes thinking…if only it hadn’t been a double-header.  Oh well!