A Year and 2 months…

August 19, 2010 | | 2 Comments

I have continued to ghost and check things out on the site, but am now writing after finishing that grueling 26.2 some 2 or so months ago.

My tendon is healthy, my leg stronger, and I’m feeling normal.  My Achilles is never far from my mind and how I’ve survived its rupture, though.  I guess it will be one of those things I never forget.  My gastrocnemius muscle is not as built-up as my right leg, but it is only a slight difference that I can tell - no one else seems to be able to!  I feel like the strength, overall, is about 99%.

What’s been a very interesting development since my injury is the knee and plantar pain that I experienced on my left side (IL) pre-injury is practically non-existent.  Instead, my right side has picked up pain in weird places.  Sometimes I’ll feel some lateral miniscus pain that eventually goes away.  And I sometimes get right big toe pain that feels like it’s being stretched.  It’s totally weird.  Having done nothing out of the ordinary, I do wonder if even the slightest bits of overcompensation that may continue unbeknownst to me on my right side are causing this.

I am so very appreciative of all the support that I received on this site.  I honestly took a chance checking the Web post injury just to see if I could get some medical information about what I was to go through.  This site can do what doctors can’t- give true experiential accounts about the process of healing and build incredible comaraderie as like individuals share their grief and joy.

I love having this record of my Achilles journey.  Although I wish never to have to go through it again, I hope this site stays around forever.  Thanks, Dennis.  And to my fellow Achilles injury conquerors.

A little over 7 months…

January 18, 2010 | | 1 Comment

It’s been awhile. I hope everyone is doing well.  I have been back in the gym for about two months, doing great.  I’m back to my regular routine, still trying to get my calf muscle strong.  It’s coming along just fine, and I’m looking forward to a 5k in March.  Every day, I can’t believe how thankful I am to be back amongst the walking!

I know that when my marathon recovery is done, I’ll be in great condition again.  You know what’s funny, though?  Buying boots this past winter!  One fits the injured leg,but I have to pull with all my might to get the right leg up.  Sometimes they fit, sometimes they don’t :-)

So, last weekend I wrote how I’d walked six miles.  Well, at the last minute a friend asked if I wanted to get a little 9-er in before a meeting yesterday.  I say, SURE, and gleefully pack my clubs in the back of the Jeep, head to work, and look forward to an afternoon on the course.  This was the first time to play golf out of my boot.  Yippee, right?

It went great, and then the hitch came back.  At my PT appt on Tuesday, she warned me to take it easy, and not to go hog wild this week with golf out of my boot.  I really didn’t think playing 9 holes (and carting it) would be that big of a deal.

So, at the 12th hole, my golfing buddy pretty much says, “Dude, I think you should stop.  You’re really favoring that leg and you’re limping pretty badly.”  So, I listen to the caution of my friend because although it was becoming more uncomfortable, I didn’t really realize how much my gait had changed.  Also, my balance wasn’t so great when I used my woods.  You certainly don’t realize how many different little things are affected until you try to do things normal again.

So, with plans to hit the driving range tomorrow and play 18 holes on Saturday, my PT tells me to remind myself that until I can get through that one legged toe raise, chill the hell out and understand that my strength is not all back.

I’m seriously going stir crazy.  I’m going to up my frequency to the gym so that I can find my cardio rhythm - and my sanity.

So, I told my PT a couple of weeks ago that as soon as I could walk a mile at a fairly good clip, without any pain and mucho swelling, I’d feel like I was 85-90% recovered.  We all know it’s that last 10% that’s the pain in the kicker.

Well, this weekend, I inadvertently did 5 miles more than that!  Fe and I took a hike loop that took us from inland, to the coast, along the beach (yay - beach walking!), then back up the hillside and around.  It was awesome.  Here’s Fe peeking for more gophers or something under the tree.  He is scary close to the cliff edge- do they have no perception of falling over?  I tell ya:

Fe peaking near the cliff's edge

Fe peaking near the cliff's edge

This 3-miler went so well that I decided to do another hike the next day (Sunday).  No pics from that hike, but a damn fine accomplishment nonetheless!

Hey, All! It’s been a minute, to say the least, since I’ve had something interesting to write about. PT is going well, I’m walking in two shoes without a limp, and believe that I am about 80% into my return to normalcy on the affected leg. My calf muscle is coming along nicely and I can walk longer each week.

My question is this: Although I’m doing single-leg balancing and dual leg raises pretty well, when can I expect to do a single leg raise? Given that I’m at 14 weeks, am I behind the curve? I tried last week in PT and it was just…not possible. Like, my leg didn’t move. It was the weirdest sensation that the brain knew what it was trying to make the body do, but the body just didn’t respond.

For those of you that are successfully doing single leg raises, when did you get there?

Hope you’re all doing well.


Walked 9 holes today!

August 8, 2009 | | 4 Comments

This course happened to be so hilly that carts weren’t even possible.  Check out the 4th hole:

It took me about five minutes to get down the stairs that were constructed into the hillside and boy was my quad burnin'!

It took me about five minutes to get down the stairs that were constructed into the hillside and boy was my quad burnin'!

But I did it!  And at the end I asked the bartender for a bag of ice to go with my Hefeweizen to prevent any excess swelling.  Not much at all, now that I’m home.  Feels great and finally like I got some good exercise.  Hope everyone’s enjoying their weekend - the weather in the Bay Area is fantastic at the moment.

Incision Update

August 5, 2009 | | 3 Comments

Since I cannot take out any aggression on myself, or do an extreme workout to let out my frustration, I asked Felix to demonstrate what I wish I could do, on his lobster:

Take THAT!

Take THAT!

Things are definitely looking better, but I swear from one day to the next the scar goes back and forth.  I visited a special wound care unit in one of our local hospitals, at the referral of my surgeon.  Although at my 3rd post-op on Monday, he noted that things looked pretty good, since there was a part still scabbed over, he said to keep my appointment to be sure that everything underneath was copasetic.

The TWO nurses that tended to me before the doc came in initially stated that they didn’t think I’d be there long, because the wound looked healthy.  When the doctor walked in with THREE medical students (yes, there was a total of 6 people in the room with me at one point), he said the same thing.  But they put some Lidocaine on the skin to numb before the doc took a scalpel and debrided the incision.  When he did that, a small part that was previously underneath the scab did open.  Not a big deal, but it just goes to show that what’s on the surface isn’t what’s happening underneath.

I was given some Acticoat, which looks like a sheet of seaweed that you roll sushi with.  It contains silver and I’m to place that over the small part of the incision each day until it’s dry.  I suspect that this will be just a few days.  When I took the below picture , it looked dry already.  It basically fills in the open part of the incision.  The square of discoloration is the seaweed’s doing:


I started walking around in two shoes today entirely when I’m inside, whether at work or at home.  With every step, I say “Heel-Toe-Heel-Toe” in my head.  Otherwise, I have a tendency to flat-foot it.  I have no limp; I just take very deliberate steps.  Before I left work today, I tranferred back into my boot.  I experienced some tugging/stretching at the bottom of the tendon.  I’m thinking it’s because I essentially kept the tendon “short” all day by putting a heel wedge in my running shoe, and then when I put it back into the boot, it was stretched out.  Has anyone also experienced this or have any thoughts?

Still a teeny swollen at the end of the day on the left.

Still a teeny swollen at the end of the day on the left.

Today’s the 8 week mark!  Whoa, it’s been a quick ride to this point, I have to say.  When I allowed myself to live with the moment and not worry too much about what I was giving up by being injured and focused on recovery, the time really flew by.  I know I’ve got miles to go before I sleep…

I have a bone to pick with David Graston.  I’m sorry that he suffered a bunch of ligament injuries but I hate him for developing his tools and making them popular.  Oh thy tools of torture and pain and swear-making!!!  I better not get an iota of adhesion left after this Graston technique, lemme tell ya, my peeps.   Seriously, my PT approached me and was like, “Say heh-lo to ma little fren,” brandishing that deadliest of soft tissue weapons.

So, I started walking in two shoes!!!!  *cartwheel*  Yeah, baby!  I’m to walk liberally around the house and do these weight-shifting exercises, all on top of the calf stretches, the bike pedaling, the Theraband exercises….it’s added up to like an hour or more a day - without breaking a sweat.  It’s just wrong!  I yearn for sweat like I yearn for reaching the finish line at the San Francisco Marathon next year…

2010, you’re right around the corner.  I’m gunnin’ for ya.

So I’ve been comfortably, easily, and without pain, FWB in my boot for the past week.  Today I played nine holes of golf, and have some mild soreness in my quad, which started around the 6th hole.  I did use a power cart.  Although I’ll see how everything feels in the morning, I think things went pretty good today, with it being the longest that I’ve walked unaided.  The exercise felt great.  Tomorrow, I’m headed to begin biking at the gym everyday.  By the time I see the PT on Friday, I’m supposed to be up to 20 minutes with no resistance.

So, my question is, even though I feel no pain, and walking in my boot is easy, do you think it’s too early to start walking a mile a few times a week?  I firmly believe in relying on how my body feels (in HONEST assessments), but know that us ATR sufferers can begin to get overzealous when things feel right.

Quarter for your thoughts…

I wrote earlier that there was a portion of my incision that didn’t close.  So, at my 4-week post-op appointment, my surgeon gave me these silver nitrate-tipped matchstick looking things that I was to roll over the open area in an effort to close the skin, create a scab, and yield healthy skin underneath.  Well, two weeks later, I have to say it looks really good!   It starts out a bit gross, just to warn ya.

3 Weeks (just before seeing the doc)


5 Weeks (after 1 week of using the matchsticks)incision_5_wks

6 Weeks, 2 Days (Today)incision_6_wks