I apologize in advance if I violate a blogger code of conduct as this is the first time I have ever been on this side of a forum, but something is compelling me to blog about my experience as of late, and possibly aid any future ATR’ recoveries.
A little about me before I detail my experience.
I am a 24 male and quite active. I have been training again to run my first half marathon since 2008 and possibly a 30km race this summer as well. Aside from ultimate (which I am so/so in) I also am an avid biker, and an amateur yogi.
I ruptured my right achilles on April 1, 2011 in an ultimate frisbee game… couldn’t have been more than 3 shifts in for me. I was back peddling and about to make a cut forward when something caught the back of my cleat keeping my foot flush to the turf and as I took the step forward my achilles popped (actual sound). I can summarize how it felt… it was like a shopping cart had run into the back of my heel x’s 10.
Now being an all season runner in Canada I have had my share of twists and bends on running on snow/ice/ice chunks/slush puddles… often without stopping after a twist I’d just continue to run and any sensation quickly passes (no swelling ever) so I can conclude with reasonable assurance that my foot and leg strength was not a factor. It was just a freak accident. Luckily I played with 2 doctors who were able to provide an on field assessment. I recall the moment when I rolled on the turf and the sensation of numbness hit as I literally lifted my right leg with my arms and tapped/banged it onto the turf and I just felt a throbbing sensation. Thats when I knew something was wrong - still optimistic that it was just a minor tweak similar to those experienced on a winter run, however I have never been brought to the ground before. I recall the night where I was comparing the rigidity of my left and right achilles… a healthy one was firm as I placed my thumb on the heel, however my thumb would collapse the skin on my right heel (swelling hadnt set in yet). I apologize if this is quite graphic. I should have placed a disclaimer at the top… My bad.
Leaving promptly to the emergency room and returning the next morning (Saturday April 2, 2011) for surgery ( a total 13mins).
Fast forward to present day.
I took 2 weeks off work to rest and to ensure as much elevation as possible. The first few mornings I would wake up not fully comprehending the situation and it would slowly get to me..but 2 weeks later it has fully sunk in. So I probably have experienced one of those stages of grief from denial to depression/anger to acceptance.. and back and forth from depression/anger to acceptance. Not quite sequential - I would definitely say it was very circular or cyclical. I would be a psychology major’s best friend :P.
People have said the sympathy from others must be nice… yes and no as I can bet some bloggers or readers of achilles blog can agree we would trade the sympathy for an undo or a fast forward from nwb (non weight bearing) to rehab. I am 50/50 pumped for rehab.. but also really angry too that I have to take things slow when in the past I haven’t. Being young I am still under the illusion of invincibility or that nothing can go wrong this has been a big wake up call…but by no means do I regret being active nor have future plans of taking it easy. I’ll just rehab stronger, and I am sure if it was not for that coincidental moment I would have never experienced this.
So far I have purchased a groupon (mass online coupon company) for future 10 pass yoga drop ins at a local studio, and have made contact with a friend of family member who will be opening his own physio clinic in preparation for rehab.
As soon as I am able I will be ‘jumping’ into both. I have been told sports would be out for a year. I can take that I don’t play anything other than ultimate, and I have quickly made the decision to sub in disc golf for the summer.
This marks the end of the cast and the beginning (fingers crossed) the beginning of the walking boot (as of Monday April 18, 2011).
I have experienced greater motion in my foot as I have gone from no range of motion to full toe wiggle and span out - spreading the toes apart. I call this the p90x of foot workouts. Currently my leg is in a cast with my foot pointed forward, but I have experimented with calf flexes and my foot moves a bit :).
Periodically though I experience poor circulation and feeling of blood pooling in the heel depending on the angle i am sitting. I am looking forward to the walking boot this Monday.
I will conclude with a question for the blog.
What are some of the exercises you can perform within the first month of post surgery?
P.s Stairs suck - alot. Makes me sympathize with individuals who are permanently immobilized.
P.p.s With the amount of COD (Call of Duty) these past 2 weeks I more than likely will not buy the next one hahaha.