Just another Achillesblog.com weblog

All Sewn Up

Hello all!!!

   I went in for surgery today and I got all patched up, and skipped out of the doctor’s office with my daughter riding on my shoulders…….and then I woke up. :(    Last night I could hardly sleep. All I could keep thinking about was the last thing I heard about general anesthesia and the fact that some people don’t wake up from it. I stayed up thinking about that all night, wondering about how my family would fare without me. That stuff can really eat at you if you let it. But in the morning I stumbled across some other information about mortality rates. After reviewing the numbers concerning my chances of getting hit by a small meteor, getting stung to death by killer bees and being caught in the crossfire and killed by two Pigmy tribe warriors in a dispute over a Snickers bar, I decided I have been beating the odds for a while…call it luck!  So with that being said, I felt better about going under the needle.

    Well first off, I started my day by waking up a washing up with my non-scented soap and capping it off with no deodorant and of course none of the other smell good options. I guess just a dip in the water is how the surgeons prefer it. I know there are some precautionary reasons why this is done but I figured I would complain about it anyway. I don’t want to get to explicit here, but my wife decided that we should fool around a little before I am in a more fragile state for the next couple of months. On that note, what are everyone else’s experiences with “fooling around” while in your fragile states?

   We leave the house on schedule and low and behold there is a fog so thick outside that you could barely see 20 feet in front of you. So after getting to the hospital 20 minutes later than scheduled, we valet park and get checked in. Through the whole check out procedure I am watching every piece of paper and watching every process, namely because I have seen way too many hospital horror story shows. Well it get’s interesting when I am finally loaded up on the bed and they get my IV running. I got very nervous as I looked down at the tube from the IV and I saw a small air bubble in the tube. The first thing I thought of was when I saw a three way love triangle movie where the guy killed his wife by injecting air in her veins with a needle (Do not let your kids watch TV, they will grow up to be as paranoid as me! lol).

     The young lady then explained to me the difference between arterial injections and how that small bubble would be absorbed by the lungs and so forth. Following an explanation worthy of being published in the Harvard Medical Review, I relaxed and waited for the doc to arrive. The doc finally came in his business suit, as most expensive doctors do, and he cut my cast off. After all the other stuff I have been warned about, they could have warned me about the hand held commercial grade diamond bladed circular saw that was going to be used to sever the cocoon from my wounded appendage. I may be exaggerating slightly about this tools appearance, especially since I was told that it could not cut skin (which I have also been told about butter knife, but with the right amount of effort….you get my drift). The doctor finally got my cast off and wrote his name on the leg he planned to operate on. I suppose this is done to prevent him from taking a more in-depth look at my healthy Achilles.

   Now this is when it gets weird yet again. After the doctor made his cameo appearance, the Anesthesiologist lady came in and placed a container on my stomach that was supposed to “relax me” and get me prepared for my GA. After glancing at the fluid filled container for a moment, as if it were the most expensive cocktail I have ever purchased, (which it is) I decided to lay my head back and take a deep breath and get ready for this procedure. After I came to from “nodding” off I noticed that the Anesthesiologist looked a lot different from how I remembered her looking. After getting over this woman’s abrupt aesthetic transformation I asked her exactly how much longer it will be until I go in to see the doctor. To that query she replied, “It has already been done”. WHAT THE HECK….HOW……WHEN???????

    It was not until this moment that I became convinced that my brain only saves information in 5 to 10 minute increments because I have no recollection of the new liquid being added. Then as I processed this information I became aware of the fact that there was a slight throbbing going on under my new “leg cocoon”. It was not really a sharp pain, but it was just enough to let me know that something had occurred. That last thought was about the last clear thought I had for a good amount of time, because soon thereafter, my body and brain caught up to the fact that I should be “hung over” from my expensive little cocktail. I could not focus on any one object for longer than a few seconds, the oddly patterned “privacy curtains” ( that allowed me to see the exposed breast of a recovering drug addict going in for surgery in the bay next to me before I was sedated) made me feel like I was on an amusement park ride. I tried to focus on the nurses that were close to me and speaking to me, but occasionally I had to look off in the distance because I felt like the longer I looked at them, the bigger their heads got and the more I thought to myself, “Wow, I am really F@#$ed up”.

   After about an hour of trying to come to and trying to prevent from regurgitating food that I knew was not there, I was finally convinced by my wife to get up and get ready to go. At some point she mentioned me looking sad and for some reason I thought of my daughter, and that caused a problem. A little background….. When I went to the ER Sunday when I first discovered my injury, my wife and my daughter were along for the ride. I was doing fine and sitting back trying to accept the fact that I will now probably never make it to be an all-star running back in the NFL (age and experience notwithstanding. lol) And I must have had a really blank look on my face and the following exchange took place between my wife and my 4 year old daughter…

Daughter: Is Daddy feeling okay?                                                        

Wife: He’s okay baby, he just hurt his leg.

Daughter: I know he hurt his leg but is he FEELING okay?

Wife: I don’t know, why don’t you ask him?

    I was really giving though to what I had heard when my daughter turned to me with a very concerned look on her face and asked me in an unusually quiet and reserved voice…….”Daddy, are you feeling okay?” Wow, I had to fight a tear back a little bit and change my attitude and get more up beat and tell her that I was doing great and the doc is going to put me back together. It breaks my heart to see my little girl worry about me like that. So when I thought of my daughter as I was getting gear up to move out, I had to fight my tears and try to focus on getting up. Suddenly, something was not right. My chest felt tight, I felt warm, and I could not breathe and speak as well as I was able to a minute ago. I notified the nurses and they had me drink more water, juice and Sprite, but, to no avail. Then they had me sit up after I had laid back in the recliner they had bought in for me, and that made it worse. after a while they had me explain what I was feeling in more detail and they checked my vitals and said besides being a bit out-of-it, I should be fine. But I did not feel fine, I felt like I was dying from the inside. They told me to rest for a couple minutes and try again.

   During that point in time, my wife started speaking again and she said my daughter’s name, and I asked her why she had to go and bring up her name. She told me, “Because she loves you just as much as I love you, and she wants you home”. After that, the dam’s that were blocking the tears where about as effective as a New Orleans levy against a catagory 5 hurricane. I had to let them out and keep dabbing my eyes as I summed up the strength to tell her how I was feeling about my little girl and the conversation they had the day before, and how I don’t want to make her sad and worry about me.

   An odd thing happened after I let those few tears go… I felt better. The chest pressure was gone, I did not feel warm and I did not feel like someone had hit me in the sternum with a medicine ball anymore. I guess it is true, stress and emotions can wear down on you just like an actual physical ailment. After that sequence of events I am also of the mind frame that one of those nurses slipped some estrogen into my IV as some kind of a joke of some sort………moving on. J

   So, it’s finally time to bid my hospital friends adieu, and I make a stop at the rest room. At this point I have had a full IV and a couple drinks of water, juice, and Sprite, and the bladder is not full, but it could stand to be emptied. Oddly enough, I stood in front of the toilet…on one leg and a crutch, for about 5 minutes, and nothing! I would get to the point to where the golden ropes should start to flow and then POOF, nada. So I thought that perhaps I did not have to go as badly as I thought I needed to. Well, after I get home and hydrate myself some more over the course of 3 hours, I am to the point that I need to go…NOW. After hiking Mount Everest, a.k.a the stairs leading to my bathroom, the same thing happens..AGAIN. So I hit the web and research my position, (just had surgery, GA, can’t Pee). Bam, and there it was, my full bladder functions are not quite awake yet. Soooo, what am I supposed to do? Well I make some calls to the hospital and I am given a few options all leading to one end result…I need to go in and get a catheter put in. So I asked the nurse on the phone, “Wouldn’t that be counterproductive?” And told me she did not understand what I meant. So I told her, “Won’t you just have to put me under GA again just to put the catheter in?” Of course I was being myself and joking around, but I could hear that she took the phone from her ear to let of a quick giggle and regain her bearings. She then informed me of the painful truth.

    Great, so now I’m pissed (no pun intended)! I have to go get this painful crap done and noooobody told me that this was a side effect or a possible situation with a GA? Hmmm, well before I make this trip (that my wife is already trying to make me hurry and get dressed for before my bladder erupts and poisons me with waste ) I figured I was going to do some anatomy research on the internet a give myself 5 minutes to figure it out. Well long story short (as if this can get any longer) I went back to my little toilette, and I stared it down, and I held my breath and pushed with all the might I had in my body as if I were try ing to have a child or pass a gallstone, and low and behold, I got a few little trickles out. YES, YES, YES. No catheter for me! I was in the bathroom for a good amount of time pushing out what I could and I worked up a sweat doing it. If you are looking for an excellent toning exercise for your mid section, search no further! But since that point my bladder has awakened itself, due to the number of times I have to go since my wife has been throwing more water to me than the cops threw the protesters in the African American Civil Rights movement.

   All in all, things are good, and I have yet to take a pain pill and I am 12 hours post op. Good night folks




My legWell, here is my MRI. I got a copy from my tech at the MRI place and I figured out how to use these tools and find my injury sight. I have a 2.5 centimeter gap and my tendon is not lined up. It is actually twisted and turned inward. At the top of the pic you can see the it is a little wrinked as well. I am pretty sure I turned it inward while trying to feel for it when I first injured it. Surgery tomorrow. since my scribble on the pic is hard to read when published I will describe the pic to you. The lower portion extending from the heel is twisted and turned inward. The white area is the gap filled with fluid. The dark tube above the white area on the right hand side going up is the other half of my achilles. My wife said she did not understand the need of surgery if it is causing me no pain, and I explained to her what that tendon does and what now having it will prevent me from doing, and she understands now.






It start’s…..

Well, it happened to me. I woke up, my allergies were bothering me all night and I could not breath through my nose so I had been breathing through my mouth all night and my mouth was as dry as a Catholic School Prom. I was constantly getting out of the bed, running to the bathroom for water every 30 minutes or so. I did notice that when I stood up to go to the bathroom one of my nostrils would open and I could breath, but when I laid back down…..it would get all blocked up again. So after going through this cycle of what I consider to be likened to passive water boarding torture for about 3 hours, I decided to stay up and get busy around the house painting a room that was in severe need of a change. So for 3 hours I filled holes and cracks, sanded down my fillings, primed the wall and painted it while waiting for the clock to roll around to about 1:30pm so I could make my way to my flag football game. This sounds like a regular day right????

     Well I get to the game, do a couple calystenics and head out to the feild. The game started off well. I did not run too hard too fast becuase I kind of wanted to warm up a bit before I unleashed the fury on the field. About mid way through the game there was a long pass that was going toward the in-zone to my side. The ball was pretty high so I figured I would have enough time to leave the man I was covering and make it over to the intended receiver. Well, skipping the frame by frame replay commentary, the ball was still pretty high in the air when it was about to pass me.  Suddenly, I had a flash back of when I was 18 (I am 28 now) and I figured I could lift my now, 65 pound heavier frame into the air and land with the grace of a 80 pound olympic figure skater performing a routine axel. But once I was in the air (and conseqeuntly after misssing the ball) reality took less graceful approace to my Disney on Ice routine. I soon realized my err according to the laws of physic’s as I contemplated my crash landing. Unlike a bee who excels at defying the laws of physics, I was well with-in my range for verticle leaps (maybe about 36 inches or so). But my problem can be explained like this…. a 210 pound male, running close to full speed ( I run the 40 in 4.55) who is now 3 feet in the air and diagonal with one foot behind him. Now, my right leg is my “strong leg” so there should be no problem right? Well as I was in the air I visualized a soft landing, but as I got closer to the ground I figured I would let my leg collapse and roll some of the impact off. Well I came down on my right leg a little hard and I kept my toes pointing down to act as a bit of a shock absorber for the fall……and  it seemed to work. I got up, did a quick damage assesment as a Captain of a 17th century Galleon would after battle. I was perfect and felt good. I took a breather on the sidelines after the play and went back in after about three plays because it felt like my right leg was getting tight on me and I wanted to stay loose.

     Well we were losing by two touchdowns and there was only 59 seconds left in the game so I was not really trying to go all out, I just wanted to finish the game. Well, I was sent on a hook route, but I wanted a fly route, but the quaterback felt otherwise. Well I ran the hook and unexpectedly he tossed me the ball. I knew there was someone right behind me so I did not expect to make it too far so I caught the ball and just turned to go to the sidelines. Well….I took one step, or at least I attempted to, and the guy behind me must have kicked me. In my mind I thought, I felt it, I heard it, I must have been kicked. Perhaps that kick hit me in just the right spot and caused my leg to cramp up, and that is why I can’t walk right now….right? Well I limped off the feild to massage my “cramp” out, and it took me about 20 seconds to figure out what really happened. Upset, I got in my car and drove off so I could get home before the pain and swelling came. The pain never came but the swelling did, and after putting ice on it and researching ATR’s on the internet and watching a few surgecal repairs on the internet, I had learned and done the Thompsons test, was able to recognize an ATR occurence from a distance and if given the correct tools, I could probably surgically repair one myself. Lets see, some fishing line, a razor, and some needle nosed pliers should do the trick. I went to the hospital and pretty much gave the doc the rundown, complete with medical jargon and all. I got the CAM boot and almost hyperextended my knee taking my first step.

     The next day (today) I went to see a surgeon and I am awaiting my MRI tomorrow to decide if I need surgery or if the best methond would be to let it heal on it’s own. I can feel that it is mostly gone and I do not want to risk a rerupture. But in the mean time, the surgeon put me in a cast to prevent further injury. I can not stand being confined in this cast and I can not stand not being able to walk. I hate crutches and I almost fell on my face using them because I want to move faster than they allow me to move and I feel as if I would be better served hopping along on one foot. I am told that I may not even be allowed to hop on one foot or walk on crutches for the first two weeks? WTF am I supposed to do then? Lay in the bed all day? I need to go to the gym, I need to go to work (though I could work from home doing my job) and I need to…..just move around in general. Man this stuff sucks, and to top it all off, my house is 4 levels and my bedroom is at the very top, as is the other bathroom. The last bathroom is at the very bottom level, yeahhhhhh. :(   I was also told that my leg will atrophy as well due to lack of use and lack of mobility.

     I have made up in my mind that I will use this time to finish reading my Bible and studying scriptures. I need a long book to get me through this. I have no pain in my leg at all, it feels fine as long as I elevate it. My pain comes from the feeling of being imprisoned in my own home.

trying to keep a smile

Went to the doctor today to get my MRI and I requested a copy of it. I will post the picture on the site as soon as I get a chance. I am not in any shape or form qualified or certified to draw conclusive medical information from the MRI photographs, but according to the research I have done on the subject…..I am screwed. :)

   The trip to the doctors went well. Driving an automatic vehicle with your left leg is not that bad if you have driven a manual transmission vehicle and you are sure you can mentally handle the task of remembering which pedal is gas and which one is the brake. Not that I would recommend anyone else do this, but if you do do it, test your braking and acceleration in a safe place like an empty parking lot first. The pressure you apply to the pedal is a very new feel for your left foot and it takes a moment to calibrate your left foot to its new job. The first time I went to apply my breaks I felt as if I was going to jettison myself via windshield, luckily there were no cars behind me.

    Well I got the MRI offices parking lot a noticed there were three medical buildings all on different ends of the parking lot. I saw one that was labeled Orthopedics, so I figured I would park as close a possible to that one. as luck would have it, there were no close parking spots, the only few spaces left were in the farthest back corner of the parking lot where people park their expensive 60k up up vehicles to prevent the less fortunate percentage of the population from carelessly dinging the doors of their, monetarily speaking, “house on wheels”.

    Well I maneuver into my spot after nearly getting T Boned by an Aston Martin, and I made my way towards my MRI office. With my crutches digging deep into the reddened and tender area under my armpits that they have created, I made my way across the parking lot and between cars around to the front of the building. By the time I got there I was already sweating an in slight pain and discomfort from the crutches, which at this particular junction, are by far more painful than the injury they are there to support. I make my way into the building and to the receptionist desk to get checked in, and upon finding out that I am there for an MRI, she grimaced and apologized and said that the building I needed is next door. Next door also happening to be on the other side of the parking lot! I made the long painful trip to the other building and got checked in.

     For those of you who have never had an MRI, it is a bit unnerving at first. First you fill out forms asking you about any shrapnel or other metal pieces you may have in your body and then you are told to remove everything from your pockets that might be metal. Then  you are taken to a room with machine in it that looks like it is highly capable of producing a time travel portal and you are told to lay down, relax, and most importantly, don’t move……for a half an hour. Then you are given head phones to prevent you from being distracted by the noise. This is the unnerving part, you are sitting almost waist deep in this huge machine and all of a sudden, you see some indicator lights come on and a couple number flash across the dashboard…and then you hear this weird noise. Its almost as if there are some gears turning in this machine that are stuck or misaligned and causing a terrible vibrating noise to be made. It was almost enough to make me want to slide out and dive out of the door to shield myself from the impending explosion. But the tech came in over the headphones she gave me and notified me that those noises are normal. WHEW!!!

   Now the long wait for my doctor to call me and possibly tell me my leg looks like a frayed knot and I need surgery. I felt really bad about being so negative about this whole ordeal after hearing two stories. The first story came from the physical therapist that trained me on my arm guillotines a.k.a crutches. He told me about a guy that was Wake Boarding and had a quick wave came under his board before he could realize and alter his position and pushed both of his feet upwards and snapped BOTH of his AT’s at the same time. The other story came from a guy who I have known for a while that has probably had more surgeries than he has had birthdays, and he is in his 50’s. He got a bad case of Rheumatoid arthritis at a young age and he has had surgery on his elbows, hands, fingers, spinal cord, neck, chest, stomach, legs, ankles, stomach and probably a few I have missed. He recently found out that one of his knee replacements was loose and his bones in one of his legs were deteriorating. He had to go into surgery to replace the bone in his thigh and in his calf and get a new knee replacement and his whole leg had to be cut open to do this procedure. He is in good spirits even though he will still be in the hospital for another couple of weeks because he will finally be able to walk regular again, something he has not done in over 15 years. All this and I am complaining about 3 inch cut, some stitches and a little down time? I will go on trying to keep a smile on my face through this whole ordeal.