Finally, the Achilles surgery is over! It’s been 9 days since the surgery. It’s been a little slow going since the procedure, but at least I am still going and plugging along.
The day of the surgery was a non-event…I was prepared and looking forward to the surgery. I knew recovery would be long, but I had been suffering with this injury for a few years. The pain in the right heel was getting so bad that I couldn’t walk to the end of my driveway without pain. And at age 45, I knew the pain would gain as the years progressed. My doctor was Dr. Reinke of Cary Orthopaedics. He did a great job. He made a single incision at the back of my heel, detached my Achilles tendon, shaved down the horrid bone spur from hell, cleaned up some huge swelling/bursa situation, reattached the tendon, and stitched me up! My mom and husband were with me that day. And my sweet friend Mandie came to visit me shortly before I went in for surgery. A surprise visit from a wonderful friend really did my heart so much good. She’s been a friend for 10+ years. So sweet of her to come by and wish me well! Then…I’d had a nerve block in my right leg, so I didn’t feel a thing. I had an IV full of silly sleepy juice. I remember trying to get comfortable face down on the table with oxygen tubes in my nose. That’s all I remember until…
The morning after. After the block wore off. It was a pain I cannot describe and hope I never feel again. Dr. had prescribed OxyCodone. I’d started taking it the minute I got home to stay ahead of the pain. I also had some anti-nausea meds in case the Oxy made my tummy upset. the night before, I slept well and woke at about 3am noticing that the block had worn off. Took more pain meds and back to sleep. About 9am Thursday, I was begging for more drugs and my mommy. LOL. Jason, my husband, called the office and they prescribed a couple of days’ worth of OxyContin. A couple of doses of that stuff and I was able to cope. I took 1 every 12 hours when needed. I gritted my teeth when the pain would get too hard to endure and just tried breathing through my nose and exhaling through my mouth. I am not too proud to tell yall that the pain I felt made me cry like a baby.
The next couple of days weren’t too terrible. I am able to work from home while I recuperate, so I was able to catch up on work tasks, from my bed and with my foot elevated. My family would bring me breakfast in bed and make sure I had all I needed. My teenager gets home mid-afternoon, so I was really only alone for a few short hours per day. I did experience one episode while trying to get back to my bed from the restroom. My crutches got away from me and lost my balance for a second. I put my toe down and it was horrendous:( Let’s not do that again, I told myself.
Jason helped me get a shower every other day. I am no prima donna, but girls, you know if you don’t LOOK good, you don’t FEEL good. I already didn’t feel good, so I could at least make an effort to look good. Here is how we set it up…
Put a plastic (empty) square-shaped cooler in the bathtub so I could sit on it. Hey- we don’t have one of those benches, so we made due with what he had!
Prop my bad leg up over the side of the tub and onto a lawn chair. Doesn’t EVERYONE have a pink lawn chair in their bathroom?
Tuck shower curtain between my knees so I didn’t get water all over the place. Our shower head is detachable, so I was able to sit, enjoy a nice hot shower, wash my hair and shave my one leg. LOL. Getting out was a chore for the first bath because I was still so incredibly sore!But the baths after that just got easier as the soreness went away.
Progress along to Day 7 and then the terrible awful happened. I fell. The bathroom floor was wet from previous shower my dear daughter had taken. We didn’t see water on the floor:( My right crutch flew out from under me and I caught myself with my bad foot, that at the time, was still in a splint, wrapped by an ace bandage. I was good at getting to and from restroom by myself, so by this time, I felt pretty good.
I am fairly sure I woke up dead people with the sound and pitch of my scream of terror. I caught myself and put ALL of my weight on the bad foot. ON a scale from 1-10 with 10 being worst, the pain was a 7million. And of course, my poor daughter felt horrible She was home with me when I fell. She heard the screams from hell and experienced the crying meltdown as she helped me get back to my bed. Besides the pain, I was worried I’d damaged something. How could that kind of fall with that level of pain NOT cause damage? I don’t know, but it didn’t cause any! I took some pain meds, called it a day and rested the entire rest of that Wednesday.
The very next day (yesterday) I had a scheduled checkup. Dr. Reinke said all looked well and I couldn’t believe the size of the scar! And I couldn’t believe my foot wasn’t more swollen. Because in that heap of dressing/splint, it felt swollen.
I’ve graduated now to a hard cast. I will wear this for 2 weeks and then will get a boot! Like an aircast thing. I’ve had one of those before. That means I can WALK!!! Praise Jesus. Walking without crutches will be such a joy!
So that’s where I am now….enjoying having a tiny bit more independence. I am able to put 25% body weight on it, still with crutches. Every bit of progress is a positive step in regaining my full independence and re-entrance to getting back on the fitness regiment. Not being able to exercise for several months has really resulted in some packing on some pounds. Carrying ALL of this weight with me and on crutches is really difficult for me. I am up quite a bit. Depression had set in and when that happened, I lost sight of all my goals. Now that I am progressing, I am incorporating some upper body exercises into my days. Nothing crazy. Just some 5# hand weights and lifts similar to these in this video:
And since I can’t really get TO the floor, I have tried some v-ups and leg lifts while on my bed.
when I am cleared for exercise on lower extremities, I think I am gonna have a party. LOL. What a glorious day that will be….but first I have to go to physical therapy. Not sure when that is happening yet…but I’ promise I will go SLOW when I CAN go. Running is not ever going to be in my future. I’ll be glad to walk my dog…walk with my family…bike a little, swim a little. NO boxing for quite a while. I am so afraid of kicking the bag and injuring myself that I just can’t fathom boxing or kickboxing for a long, long time- even though that particular exercise was my main weapon in my weight loss journey.
A few pictures from this fun time in my life… these are pics of my incision site and stitches. Ouch!
This is how I started my day last Monday and up to this past Thursday.. propped up foot, icepacks, hospital tray/table with my laptop and my phone to my left. My cute puppy would join me most days, too. I can’t sit at my desk yet, so I work from my bed.
New Cast I got yesterday. I’ts already working my nerves at night. I still have to elevate it most times. No letting it dangle in seated position too long. It’s better to elevate so that the swelling goes down. I haven’t had pain meds in a couple of days. Feeling good and looking forward to gaining strength!
I’ll update again when I get my aircast!
My family and friends have been fantastic sources of help during this time. From sending flowers, bringing food for dinner, just a call, text, email, or visit, has meant so incredibly much to me. I am blessed beyond measure.
Happy Halloween, y’all! If you and your kids are trick or treating tonight, please enjoy and be careful!