Posts Tagged torn achilles

1048124_10101398346644095_702605067_oIt’s been awhile since I’ve talked about my Achilles Tendon Rupture/Recovery. There has been MUCH progress since I last blogged about it. Therefore, I figured I’d update all of you! I haven’t mentioned it much on this end of things mostly because it’s been so much a part of my every day life now I am pretty used to it! Crazy, but true.

To recap my injury:
On February 7, I went to dig a volleyball and in the process I ruptured (completely tore) my achilles tendon – rendering my left food basically useless. It honestly felt like someone just kicked the back of my foot, nothing huge. Not a lot of pain and not much I could do. I was unable to have surgery due to the location of the tear and have been waiting for this bad boy to heal up the all natural way ever since.

  • February 7 – Initial Rupture (Full tear at base of calf muscle)
  • February 9 – Initial Ortho Appt
  • February 10 – MRI Scan (aka confirmation I fully tore the AT)
  • February 11 – First cast (Black)
  • February 27 – Second cast (Purple)
  • March 18 – Purple cast comes off and walking boot goes on (with crutches)
  • April 15 – Follow up Ortho Appt (Cleared for REHAB/Sans crutches)
  • April 17 – 1st Rehab Appt with Athletico in Arlington Heights
  • May 28 – Follow up Ortho Appt

Getting the second cast off was pretty exciting, yet terrifying. I was soooo ready for the next step and I was just so happy to be able to shower/shave my leg (yes, I cheated and showered without the boot once or twice), but ummm it hurt. I have been in little to no pain throughout most of the process, but putting my foot in the walking cast was the worst day for me – It burned and felt all sorts of wrong. I actually cried in the doc’s office when this was going down – I was in a LOT of pain for a few days, but eventually it just went away and I’ve been rocking the boot ever since.

I think what has surprised me most about this whole process is the ever changing timelines. Initially I was told 8 weeks (or maybe I imagined that) and I am sitting at week 10 and I am only a little more than halfway healed back up. Basically I am unsure of anything at this point… I just have to be patient. That being said, I am thankful that this injury happened during winter time, although the crutches on the snow/ice of Chicago wasn’t fun – I’d much rather be trapped inside during those months (along with everyone else) than have to deal with this during the summer months. Hands down!

Fun Facts about my recovery thus far:

  1. My Ortho called me “middle aged” (sweet – I am 32). Thanks! Bhahaha.
  2. I most definitely cried once (or twice) when I saw someone parked in a handicapped spots without a pass/permit. Just don’t do it. 🙁
  3. Target go-carts are the slowest. Whole Foods has really narrow aisles and makes the go-carts near impossible to go down.
  4. Not everywhere is handicap accessible… Opening doors with crutches is NOT easy. Lend a hand.
  5. People ask you all sorts of questions when you have a cast on – I welcomed the conversation.
  6. Netflix is truly a wonderful thing – I mean…. I already knew that, but I took it to a whole new level with this experience.
  7. Breaking Bad is an AWESOME show (I watched the entire series in EIGHT days).
  8. Depression definitely can hit you pretty hard if you have nothing to do for more than a few days. Friends and family are the absolute bestest.
  9. Walking casts take a long time to get to the “Walking” stage… it took me 10 full weeks to get to the point of walking without a crutch.
  10. I will not be able to run for about a year (so they say)… but that means my obsession with Shred 415 and Orange Theory is over. 🙁
  11. My mom is amazing. Not only did she put up with me for 6 weeks, but she did my laundry, cooked/brought me food, fashioned me a sweet pulley system to get my crutches up and downstairs, baked cookies every night (hahaha) and even massaged my smelly/gross foot when my cast came off. Best. Mom. Ever.

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I still have bad days and good days – my foot still swells up if I work it too much. But it’s hard not to enjoy the newfound freedom of being able to walk on my own. So when I DO push it too much, I definitely take some time to rest/ice/elevate it.  I still have quite a ways to go, but I am making progress and that’s all I can ask for at this point. Side note: If you know of anyone on crutches – send them a little note, you’ll brighten up their day. Crutches are NOT easy and not really all that fun and can definitely take a toll on you.

Mostly this whole experience so far has taught me that I need to SLOW down. I am so used to working all the time, traveling every free second and doing everything else a million miles a minute. During this, I just couldn’t. I’ve just had lots of time to think. Think about where I am going and what I want to do with my life/business/travels. Lots of fun and exciting things on the horizon to say the very least.

But for now, I am rehabbing my butt off (aka trying to spell out the alphabet with my foot) and taking it day by day and most definitely still rocking photoshoots in between.  <3

What I DO know:

  • I will not be able to run for at least a year.
  • Volleyball is definitely out for awhile.
  • Swimming and biking will be happening a lot this summer.
  • I am outtaaaaa shape.
  • My physical therapist rocks.

 

Friday, February 7th three friends and I played in a competitive 4’s volleyball tournament. During our second match of the night, I went to dig a ball, as I have done at least a million other times in my life. I stepped back and went to step forward into the dig. Right as my body hit the floor, it felt as if someone stepped on the back of my left foot. I looked around, but didn’t see anyone. It mostly felt like a sting of pressure, but mostly it just felt numb. I tried to get up and I couldn’t… Insert: Pure panic.

In less than 6 days, I was due to get on a plane to Hong Kong, crash there for the night. Then on to Bali for 10 days and then on to Thailand for another 10 days. A trip I had been planning for MONTHS. A trip that I had paid in full. A trip in which I was meeting a friend – who was ALREADY in Indonesia.

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With a quick stop at my apartment to grab my insurance card, Ingrid, one of my bestests, drove me to the ER. After about two hours, we were seen by a nurse. A quick exam, drug test and another 30 minute wait, the ER doc came in. While she couldn’t do an MRI that night, she informed me that I likely completely tore OR partially tore my achilles tendon. Super.

I was put in a splint, given a pair of crutches and sent home. She recommended that I follow up with an Ortho and get an MRI ASAP.  Gotta love 1 am ER visits on a Friday/Saturday morning – nothing was open till Monday. I had two days to wait and wonder.

I was able to get into an amaaazing sports injury doc first thing Monday at Castle Orthopedics in Aurora. They fitted me with a walking cast/boot and I quickly realized how hard this was going to be. I discovered that a walking cast is not exactly that. I couldn’t actually put much weight on it – without my foot/leg hurting. The boot was HEAVY. Crutches were difficult for me to manage. If I was planning on going on this trip, I would need to find ways to make it happen. I spent much of the afternoon researching knee scooters, per the doctor’s recommendation… thinking I could just scoot my way through airports and the streets of Bali. But seriously, WHO was I kidding??? My head knew what I had to do… but my heart hadn’t fully caught up.

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Traveling and seeing the world is a drug to me. I LOVE new adventures. I love the thrill of feeling lost in a new place. I love experiencing new cultures. It was so close… I wasn’t ready to give it up. But once I had some time to actually sit down and think, I started to process what was happening. I really thought about what I was about to get myself into. From boarding the plane, getting from the Hong Kong Airport to my hotel… on crutches. Getting ANYWHERE. Not being able to run along the beach, jump in the pool, swim in the ocean, etc. I slowly realized it wasn’t going to be the trip I had imagined.

And that is when reality set it – late Monday night. Where I had a good, hard cry that my trip was going to be cancelled… by me. I next to never cry, but I straight up sobbed my eyes out. Not only was this trip not happening, but more importantly, I realized this wasn’t [in general] going to be an easy road.

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The MRI showed that I completely tore my achilles tendon… aka a complete rupture. But I tore it at a point that I was not a candidate for surgery (I didn’t even know that was possible). I would need a cast right away; for which I need to wear for 3.5 weeks and then I’d be back in a boot for another 5 weeks. I cannot put any weight on either cast/boot for the next 8 weeks. Super.

It takes 4-6 months to fully recover from an achilles tendon tear. I could re-rupture it again and be in the same situation a year from now if I don’t let this heal properly. The timing sucks, but there are so many worse things out there that could have happened.

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I am only a week and a half into my recovery, but I am BEYOND grateful I have family close-by. I have had to move home for the next month. My apartment in Bucktown is a bit too tricky to get in and out of with crutches. But mostly I have help at my mom’s house. My mom (and sister) have been amazing and step in whenever I need an extra hand… which is about every two feet. As an extremely independent person, it is very hard to ask for help. But there is a lot I just simply cannot do. So I am beyond thankful for all the little and big things people are able to do for me. Thank YOU.

There are several positive things I’ll choose take away from this. 1) I’ll be back to 100% in about 6 months (hopefully) and those locations aren’t going anywhere. 2) I don’t have to have surgery. 3) I had trip insurance and I am 100% covered. 4) Most importantly, my arms and abs are gonna be RIPPED from rocking these (sheep-skin covered) crutches for 8 weeks. All I can do is look forward and work on getting better. In the meantime, I get to rock prime parking, Target scooters and watch a lot of Netflix.

If anything this is an eye-opening and humbling experience all around. I’ve stumbled, slipped and tripped. Not only in reality and metaphorically-speaking as well… but let’s be honest, that’s life in general. We all trip up, we all fall a little – it’s how you handle those types of moments that defines who you are. So as far as my injury is concerned, it’s just one little bump in the road. #bringit

 

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