The reason for this blog

Many times this summer as I've traveled down the path of my Achilles journey, I've taken to the internet to find firsthand accounts...

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Day 109: Tired foot

Well the therapist said I could walk SHORT distances without my boot (like to the bathroom), and I could ditch the boot while sleeping. So I kicked that thing to the curb!

I'm doing petty well, but my foot is TIRED. One step closer to FREEDOM! #eyesontheprize

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Day 108: Demoted back to the recliner

So on Monday, I graduated myself to an office chairπŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰,  but by Wednesday I was demoted back down to a recliner ☹

My foot has to be elevated or the swelling is UNREAL by end of day.  Also when I'm in the recliner I ice more often.

So I've given up my dreams of an office chair for now. Recliner all the way baby!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Day 101: Kinesio Tape

This post goes a lil off topic, but it is related tangentially. With my left Achiles injury, my right leg is bearing the brunt of the work these days.  Which would be fine except that I have bone-on-bone arthritis in that knee. So my knee is INFLAMED beyond description.  I'm trying to teach my left foot to walk again with little to no support from my right knee.

I started googling and stumbled upon kiniseo tape. I've used it before and it was nbd. Didn't change my life, but didn't hurt anything either. But this time was different. 

I followed a video at the manufacturers' website and a MIRACLE happened.  I cannot overstate how well it worked.  IMMEDIATELY, I felt incredible relief and since then the swelling in my knee is almost non-existent. 

This tape is a bit pricey, but one application lasts for about 3 days so there's that. All I know is this tape is helping my knee feel better so I can concentrate on rehabbing my Achilles.  This. Stuff. Is. Great.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Day 100: My own plan

So much of my day is spent on my rear end working at a computer. I decided that even if I leave my boot off all day long, I wouldn't spend more than a couple hours actually walking anyways. So the second day, I developed my own plan.

When I get up in the morning, I take off the boot. When I walk around, I wear two shoes. When I'm sitting at my desk (still in my recliner with my foot elevated), I take the shoes off and for the first 10 to 15 minutes of sitting there, I have ice on my Achilles.

As the day draws to an end, I just pay close attention to how my leg is feeling. If it is feeling fatigued or at all painful then I pop that boot back on. I'm also sleeping in the boot still to keep my foot in a good position all night long.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Day 99: Walking again

I'm walking! On two Skechers-clad feet! It feels awkward. I walk SLOWLY and gingerly. My calf muscle is pretty tight so it doesn't like passing that 90-degree position. But walking doesn't hurt!

My biggest worry is my stupid bone-on-bone arthritis in the knee of what is supposed to be my "good" leg. That is a bigger hindrance to my walking than my Achilles is.

Making sure to ice and elevate frequently, I started out with the 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon weaning out of the boot plan as instructed. Initially I used crutches, but by dinner I was confident enough to give it a go without them.

Day 1 of walking = SUCCESS!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Day 93: Two feet

I gingerly stood on two bare feet today just to prove I could (and to give me a bit more confidence for navigating the shower). I find myself feeling insecure and unprotected without my boot. I needed to see (in a dry, non-slippery environment) if putting weight on my foot while barefoot would hurt.  

It didn't. But oh the emaciated horror of the atrophy! Good golly! I'm going to have WORK to do on this calf!

Friday, August 11, 2017

The reason for this blog

Many times this summer as I've traveled down the path of my Achilles journey, I've taken to the internet to find firsthand accounts of what I was experiencing. I found a few comment threads but not much of what I wanted to know. I've passed the summit of my journey, and I'm descending the backside of the mountain, and it's my hope that I can share some of what I've experienced to help the next traveler.
To start, here are my top 3 (well 4 if you live near me) takeaways:
1. This is going to take A LOT longer than you think.
2. It may involve the worst pain you've ever felt.
3. If you LISTEN to your foot and OBEY what it is telling you, this will go much better for you.
4. If you live in the Milwaukee area, go see Dr. Brian Fischer of Aspen Orthopedics (no he isn't paying me to say this... I just love this doctor THAT much)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Day 87: Driving

Now that I was able to wear a shoe, I decided to try driving.

After hobbling to the car in my boot, I removed my boot, put on a shoe, and drove myself (and Hannah) to return my knee scooter at the medical supply store. Just for good measure we tried (unsuccessfully) to mail packages as well (post office was closed). We also dropped off stuff at Goodwill. I returned home feeling successful and almost giddy with the independence of it all.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Day 86: Wearing a shoe

I brought a shoe to PT as instructed today. They had me riding a stationary bike. I also did weight transfer onto my injured foot with only a shoe on! It was liberating, exciting, and a little bit exhausting.

Coming soon: walking!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Day 85: Last wedge & rounding a corner

I had read horror stories online.  Taking out the last wedge and transitioning to flat was reportedly the worst transition yet. I was pretty nervous but at the same time excited because walking had become a billboard on the side of the highway not too far ahead instead of a speck on the horizon.

So I removed that last wedge, and you know what? For me, it was the easiest removal yet.  I used the crutches one time and then ditched them again.

Later in the week, I would explain that looking back, I realized that Monday I turned some sort of corner where I got A LOT of my life back. The recliner became somewhere I rested instead of the place where I lived.  It was a momentous day!

Bye bye wedges!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Day 79: Saved by the doctor

Tuesdays are the day that Dr. Fischer is at the New Berlin clinic, where I go to PT. On this Tuesday, I dejectedly hobbled into the therapy area. I could've sworn there was even a storm cloud hovering over my head.  I'd been GRUMPY for two days with the refrain "two more weeks... two more weeks..." running through my brain.

I spilled my depressed guts to my physical therapist. Before you know it, he had Dr. Fischer in the PT area looking at my foot and delivering SWEET salvation. He said I could take out this last wedge after only ONE week. 

My mood instantly improved. The dark cloud rolled away.  Somehow one more week was SO much more tolerable than two!