Posted on February 28th, 2013 by walkel
Well sort of…..I’m actually at 1 year and 3 weeks since rupture and surgery and I can’t even believe that the time has gone by so fast!! I remember joining this blog about a year ago and reading the “It gets better” posts and not feeling so motivated. For those of you just now starting on this long journey that only a special few of us get to endure, I can assure you that it does, in fact, get better.
I’m at about 90% now, and getting better every day. I’m back to running 3 miles on the treadmill straight (going to push that up to 5 in a couple weeks) and I’m playing tennis at the level I was at before with the same speed and endurance (I played for 6 hours last night!!!). Of course, there are some days when my AT requires a little extra stretching, but those days are very few and far between now.
There is still a difference in strength between my ruptured AT and my normal one so I’m thinking about getting back into physical therapy in a month or so to work on that now that I can endure heavier workouts, but I’m truly happy with my recovery and progress and I hope that my story motivates at least one of you out there!!!!
Watch your steps, be careful and HAPPY HEALING!!! It does get better….
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Posted on July 30th, 2012 by walkel
It’s 3 days until that pivotal 6 month mark, and not only did I finally play a full tennis match….I WON!!! Today I felt pretty good and decided to say “what the heck” and attempt a match. My warm-up was great, my movement was pretty good and I was curious how far I could go before I said “No Mas.” It was a pretty rocky start, however. I lost the first 3 games, then went down 4-1. I don’t know what hit me, but I entered a zone that I haven’t been in since before my injury. Much to my partner’s chagrin, I rallied off 11 straight games and took the match. When we walked to the net to shake hands, I actually started to tear up a little just thinking how far I’ve come since my injury date. My partner jokingly said “Welcome Back”…. I know I still have so much further to progress, but it was a great feeling nonetheless. I hope you all are healing and getting back to your normal lives sooner rather than later and that this big smile that I have on my face right now is something you all will feel in the near future!! Happy Healing!!
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Posted on July 3rd, 2012 by walkel
5 months have passed since “that day,” and I can’t even begin to believe that it has been that long already. I’m now starting to understand the “it’ll get better with time” posts that used to somewhat annoy me in those early days of my injury. Now, I too, can echo that same sentiment to those of you who may be just beginning this tedious journey known as ATR recovery. It does, in fact, get better. Time does heal, and normalcy reinstates itself just about when you’ve given up on it.
I know that I’ve experienced somewhat of a speedier recovery than most, but it hasn’t come without it’s up and down days. I’m finally back to playing tennis (hopefully matches soon) for about 2 hours, 2-3 times a week. My balance on my ATR foot has almost fully returned, and I’ve been back at work for 5 weeks and I run around my store like the crazy man I was before that fateful day. I can jog again (can’t wait to run my 10 miles a day), and I can do my plyometrics DVD on my P90X!!!!
I know that I’m a ways away, but I’m hoping to be the very same encouragement that I sought those months ago looking for “someone who understood” what I was going through. I’m excited that each day brings new strength and a closer step to full recovery. Next month will be a half year since my rupture and I can’t wait to see what new competencies I develop in that time.
To all of you, stick with it because it does get better……HAPPY HEALING!!!
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Posted on May 6th, 2012 by walkel
This week marks 12 weeks since injury and 11 since surgery and I got back on the tennis court today. I finished PT on Monday and got the go ahead to venture out and hit a few balls from my therapist. Nothing crazy, but just something to start to get my footwork and strength back. It felt great!!! By no means am I 100% yet, but it was amazing to feel myself bouncing around on the court after only 12 weeks. I did about 1 hour and 15 minutes so I’m going to go ice for a little while, but I just wanted to send some encouraging progress news someone’s way…..Happy Healing!!
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Posted on April 17th, 2012 by walkel
The weather has just been way too nice to not do anything, and since I got the go-ahead a couple days ago from my PT to hop on a bike and see how I felt, today became that day. Biking and the elliptical at the gym seem to really work wonders for my tendon so I decided to go for a ride today. Five miles later, I felt absolutely amazing. No pain, no soreness, no swelling. However, I didn’t want to overdo it as I began to remember just how great my AT felt before I ruptured it, so I called it quits after five. I did do some PT exercises when I got home, and I can’t wait to report to my surgeon and PT tomorrow on exactly how great today felt.
I’m crossing my fingers, though, because my PT gave me the “go” to return to work in two weeks instead of four. My surgeon, of course, has the final say so we will see what the verdict is tomorrow after some scans. All in all, my tendon continues to strengthen everyday as I am 100% committed to recovery both in and out of my PT sessions. I still have a very slight limp, but the word is that I may be a couple weeks away from being totally limp-free. Hope all of you are taking it one day at a time. Happy Healing!
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Posted on March 30th, 2012 by walkel
It has been exactly 7 weeks since surgery and 8 weeks since rupture. Physical therapy continues to go very well, and today I got the great news that it was OK to leave without my boot and WITH two sneakers on. This week I saw a great increase in the strength in my calf and ankle areas as the elliptical, walking up and down the edge of stairs (on the balls of my feet), and full two-legged squats were all introduced to my regiment this week. My PT says we are going to move on to some running next week which makes me extremely excited. All in all my progress tends to go unusually smooth…..At this point the only reasons my PT can come up as to why I am recovering so well is that 1) some people just heal much better/faster than others and 2)my decision to not be totally immobile while I was in a cast has seemed to help my body bounce back faster…..I continue to keep my fingers crossed because I know I’m still a ways away from full recovery, but at least now that’s not looking like February 2013 like originally thought when I first got injured. Happy Healing to all of you!!
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Posted on March 16th, 2012 by walkel
Today makes exactly 6 weeks since rupture, and 5 weeks since surgery. I actually can’t even believe that much time has passed already. I miss tennis immensely, but I’ve been doing really well with PT and, if it continues how it has been, the coming weeks are looking really good (knocks on wood). I did my second PT today with both sneakers on and my therapist seems a bit surprised that I haven’t had any pain, soreness or swelling on my “rest” days. My ROM gets better and better with every day, and today I actually added the laying squat machine and one-leg balance exercises (which i struggled with the first few reps) to my regiment. All in all I remain pretty patient and positive about what’s to come. Happy Healing!
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Posted on March 10th, 2012 by walkel
My first PT appointment was yesterday, and I think it went pretty well. We started off with a 15 minute elctro shock treatment to my ATR foot to help with some of the swelling and circulation down there. Afterwards, we did some leg exercises, and my PT was surprised that 1) my leg and calf haven’t shrunk as much as he’s used to seeing and 2) the strength in my leg hasn’t really fallen off much. He attributes this to the fact that I was intensely involved with tennis - and exercising -prior to the injury, and is hopeful I can get back to my normal leg and calf size rather quickly. After the leg exercises, I went to the stationary bike for 10 minutes (with the boot), and it was just amazing to get some cardio in and burn some calories after a month of being immobile. I go back on Monday but have been advised to keep with my flex ROM exercises for 10 minutes, 3x a day. I’ve already noticed a little more flexibility in the foot since my assessment on Wednesday, and now standing in the shower doesn’t hurt at all. I’m excited for what the next couple weeks will bring! Happy Healing!
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Posted on March 7th, 2012 by walkel
I am finally at the pivotal 4 weeks Post-Op moment and I should be getting my cast taken off in about an hour. I say “should” because I’m such a busy body and I haven’t really stayed put these past few weeks. I would lose my mind if I did! However, I’m hoping for the best and hoping that my constant moving around hasn’t interrupted the healing time for my tendon forcing me to stay in a cast and crutches a little while longer….WISH ME LUCK!!!
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Posted on February 15th, 2012 by walkel
I soooo should have written this a couple weeks ago, but recovery has taken up pretty much all of my days……But before I get to all of that, let me start from the beginning….
Like most of you, I’ve been an athlete for pretty much all of my life…..I’ve played several sports, but for the past 17 years, tennis has been my drug of choice. I must admit, I’ve always hated stretching (which may be one of the reasons this injury happened in the first place), and I’ve played on teams in High School, College and pretty competitively since so I’ve become pretty arrogant with the whole not needing to stretch or hydrate thing….It almost made me feel inhuman because I could last hours longer than almost everyone I know with little to no conditioning…..Let’s just say I’ve been humbled.
On February 2nd, I was playing in a Doubles league tennis circuit that my tennis partner and I have been apart of for several months. Not really sure why, but when we hit Singles we play so well and for the past few months we had been struggling in the circuit. Not this night. Our games, mine in particular, seemed to really be coming together and we were pretty much winning on every court we were placed on. Yay! We were playing a thriller of a point and one of our opponents sliced the ball short. (A big part of my game is that I am very fast), so I begin to dart for the ball and that’s when it happened…..
I ended up on the floor and didn’t quite know why….I knew it felt like someone threw a cement block at the back of my foot…..Like most of you, I looked back so I could find the person who Tonya Harding-ed me so I could give them a piece of my mind….Of course there was nobody, and when I stood up I immediately knew that something was wrong. I felt the back of my foot and I realized that “that thing” that was supposed to be there was not……I knew something was terribly wrong, and the first thing I thought was “oh man, I hope I’m not going to miss too many weeks of tennis….” especially because I didn’t feel much pain at all…..
I told the coach that I couldn’t go on any more - to the excitement of a few of our opponents I’m sure……and I told my partner that he needed to go with me to the hospital that second. Because it was my left leg, I did drive myself to the hospital hopeful, but prepared for the worst….
(Next post for hospital visit, surgery, and the beginning of my recovery….)
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