wessullivan1’s AchillesBlog

Just another AchillesBlog.com weblog

Two Shoes :)

I popped in to the doctor’s office yesterday for a six week check up.  I wasn’t expecting anything more than a poke and a prod and another two weeks in the walking boot.  To my surprise the doctor said to ditch the walking boot and to start physical therapy.   Two shoes???!!!

I got the usual instructions: no running or jumping.  However, I got the go ahead for the following activities: walking, rowing, and riding.

My walking boot was good to me.  I’m going to put her away and don’t think I’m going to miss her.

Any thoughts on yoga?  Thanks all!

I’m walking like Frankenstein + A question.

Much like many of you guys said it took me about two days to transition from two crutches, then one crutch, then free-style! Admittedly, I’m walking very slowly and stiffly…like Frankenstein. At least I’ll be ready for Halloween.

I forgot to ask my doctor: Now that I can go FWB can I squat? Not a 400 pound back squat but a simple squat to stretch out my low back. Or will squatting destroy the tendon?

As always, thanks and have a safe journey.

The world’s biggest staple remover.

Yee-haw!  The staples came out yesterday!  I was hoping to see the tool the doctor used to take the staples out. I assumed it looks like a…staple remover.  But I was on my belly and it happened really fast.

The boot is adjusted to 0 degrees.  I was hoping to get the okay to swim, but alas, the doctor said no go.

He did mention that it was okay to go partial to full weight bearing and to go down to one crutch if possible.  Does anyone have a schema to do this?

And does this mean I can ride a stationary bike?? (It would be awesome if the answer was yes.)

Wherever you are…enjoy your Friday!

Boot, beer and whiskey.

Three days ago I drove up to the medical center where they cut my cast off and checked out my left leg.  I was mildly surprised by how much my left calf muscle had atrophied after 18 days (measured at 13.5” compared to my right calf at 14.0”).  The doctor said I could wiggle my toes but strongly discouraged me from moving my ankle.  Of course, my first instinct was to flex my calf muscle and rotate my foot.   After the quick exam (the staples were still left in the back of my calf) I was placed in a boot (Medtherapies Stabilizer ROM Walker).  I was sent home with the instruction to not place any weight on the boot and to keep the boot on at all times.  For the rest of the day I had to fight the urge to take the boot off and move my foot around.

I found that sleeping with the boot on was about as difficult as sleeping with a cast.  The last two nights I woke up early in the morning (4:00am-ish), took the boot off, slept a couple of hours, and then put the boot back on.  During the day, I took the boot off for an hour to let my leg cool off and air out a bit. Frankly, I’m not entirely convinced that I need to sleep with the boot on.

Getting around and handling daily business?  Still takes three times as long and a little planning to avoid redundant movements or trips.  Fortunately, I have great work benefits and I get to stay at home and recover via sick day usage.

Physical training is a little bit of a challenge.  To be honest, I cannot wait until I can walk, run, ride, lift heavy things, go to yoga, fight, whatever.

One thing that I noticed when I had the cast on: I was a little reluctant to venture outside for fear of falling.  The moment I had this realization I understood why some elderly people don’t like to go out.  I understand how it can be a terrifying feeling.

Reading is become a huge part of my daily existence.  I have a stack of work manuals and amazing books that I compiled the week before surgery.  I long to venture outside to work, move about, and play.  But I know that I have quite a few more miles to go before that happens.  In the mean time, I’m going to keep reading.  And, I’m going to enjoy this boot as I do something I don’t do with enough frequency.  I’m going to appreciate life and enjoy a fine whiskey and a cold beer.

Surgery, Vicodin, and Good Times

I had surgery four days later or Friday, August 30, 2013 at UCLA.  Thanks to a rocking anesthesiologist I remember nothing of the surgery.  They sent me home with a big ol’ bottle of Vicodin.  I remember looking at the bottle and thinking, “Why on earth would I need this much medication???”  Well, I found out that night.

Everything felt fine prior to going to bed.  But, uncomfortable pain woke me up (slight understatement here), every couple of hours.  The best way to describe it: a withering sweating mass.   I ended up popping Vicodin every four hours.  Turns out, as most of you know, the swelling in the cast is a dog to deal with.  No big deal after the first night.  Except…

After two nights of sleeping with my leg elevated, I noticed that my low back, hip, and glute were absolutely tweaked!  The cascade effect kicked in.  Bummer.

But there were remedies to this.  This is actually what drove my back to my gym much sooner than I planned on.  My back, hip, and glute ached so much that I absolutely needed to mobilize them (PVC roller, lacrosse ball, band work on the opposite leg, and easy stretching).

CrossFit, Muay Thai, and everything fun.

On Monday, August 24, 2013, I trained in the morning (CrossFit).  The particular workout escapes my mind and I did not log it as I normally do.   At 7pm that night I stopped at my local muay thai gym for an hour of training.  I went through the usual warm up routine: rope jumping for a couple of rounds, shadow boxing for a couple of rounds,  then light stretching.

I moved over to the heavy bags where I began to throw light knees into the bag (maybe 75 percent power and speed).  At one point, I knee the bag with my left leg and return my left leg to the ground and I feel a “pop”.  It felt like someone had stepped on my heel.  I assume the guy working the bag next to me has stepped on my foot.  I turn to talk to him…and there’s no one there.  It felt like a bad cramp but I could sort of walk.  I hobble over to a nearby wall and sit down.  I feel about the back of my heel and it’s completely mushy.  My first thoughts: Dang.  This is going to be a long recovery process.

The muay thai gym was half-way between my home and the UCLA emergency room.  I figured it be easiest to drive up to the ER and have my wife meet me there.  Four hours later, the fine physicians had my leg in a cast and a couple of Vicodans down my throat.

I turned 40 this year.  But I don’t consider myself a weekend warrior.  I’ve been active most of my adult life.  I’ve Crossfit the last seven years or so, muay thai off and on since college.  On most days, I train in the morning and then again at night.  It’s always been a fun mix or the above plus running, yoga, and occasionally swimming.

So, as I sat in the ER, one thought kept running through my head: How did this happen to me?