Friday, February 18, 2011

Slight Set Back

Many people near me already know by now that I ruptured my Achilles tendon. I have had so much help and support from friends and family. I feel so blessed. I have told the story of how it happened almost too many times, but I'm gonna go it again:) About a month ago I was playing basketball at the OSU gym. I was trying out to get on a competitive team for the intramural league. Daniel was at the gym with me working out elsewhere. He came to the gym and I told him just one more game so he continued to work out. After that one more game Daniel wasn't back so I decided to play one more. Basically I was just transitioning from defense to offense. I turned and heard a loud "pop" and felt some pain in my heel area. It didn't hurt crazy bad so I thought that someone had just kicked me in the heel or someone had thrown something at me from the track above. It took me a few seconds to realize that I had done something to my Achilles tendon. The only reason I knew that for sure was it had happened to a family friend just weeks before and I had heard his story. I went to the on call doctor and squeezed both of my calves. It's called the Thompson Test. Basically the injured heel will not react when the calf is squeezed and that is an indication that the tendon is ruptured. He wrapped up my ankle, referred me to an Orthopedic, prescribed me pain medication, and told me to ice it until I saw the Ortho. Luckily I was able to get into the Ortho three days later. He verified that it was a complete rupture, about 3cm apart. He gave me several options and I chose surgery to repair it. Again luckily I was able to get in for surgery two days after that appointment. I am a major wimp when it comes to blood, needles, or the thought of someone cutting into me so I was very relieved I was going to get the surgery part out of the way. The surgery was an outpatient procedure, meaning I would leave that day. Daniel came with me to get me all checked in. He tends to use humor to ease tension. When I am nervous about things I just need it to be quiet. I knew he had meetings to go to and was planning on missing but it really was a waiting game once we got checked in. The surgeon was an hour and a half behind. Once the nurse put the IV in I politely told Daniel that I would be okay if he just went back to work and the surgeon would call him once I was in the recovery room. I think he was relieved. The anesthesiologist came in and let me know what he was going to be doing to put me out. He had to perform a nerve block and I had to be awake for that because if I started to hear ringing in my ears that meant he had hit something he should not have. He did give me something to calm me as they wheeled me into the waiting room but that never really kicked in for me. The nerve block was HORRIBLE. It felt like someone was grinding a rock into the back of my leg right into my nerve. He had to administer 30ccs of the medicine and it seemed like it was taking eternity. I felt like the biggest baby as I was squirming and clenching my pillow. Next thing I remember was a mask being put over my face and then lights out. I woke up in the recovery area wishing to go back to sleep. My leg was throbbing. My first thought was, "I am going to be so mad if that nerve block didn't work after all that pain." I told the anesthesiologist that my leg was throbbing and he told me that the surgery only took thirty minutes so the nerve block probably hadn't taken full effect yet. I basically had to lay there in the recovery room next to other patients recovering wondering what I was waiting for. My surgeon came in and told me that everything went fine and just as planned. A huge relief to me. He did verify that the tendon was completely ruptured but it had ruptured in the best way making it the easiest to repair. Basically the ends of each side were not all shredded but more like two stumps. The surgery happened on a Thursday and my mom couldn't come until Monday. Isaiah was such a good boy the whole week prior to my surgery and the day after. He got himself up and ready for school every day and made it out to the bus on his own. I also had a lot of help from friends providing rides and meals for us while I was down and out. Again I feel blessed. The nerve block was annoying and I wanted it to wear off so badly because it just felt weird. After two days it finally wore off and I wanted it back so badly. The pain was indescribable. I had to lay on the couch for four days straight with my leg elevated and I only got up to use the restroom or if I needed to get something and I was alone. The sensation of the blood rushing to my foot when I stood up was so painful, especially at night when the pain medication had worn off and I had to use the restroom. There were many nights that I would wake up and take some pain medication and then just sit there and wait for it to kick in before I attempted the walk to the bathroom. It actually feels weird thinking about that time now because I am in no pain now and really healing nicely. My stitches are out and I am in a walking boot but I can't walk on my foot yet. I have one more week until I can start putting 30% of my weight on my week, adding more weight each week for four weeks. By then I should be standing flat footed and putting all my weight down on my foot. I have to take this one stage at a time. It drives me crazy to sit around and not be able to do as much as I am use to. I've told myself that I will not complain because I know many others in my life that are dealing with much worse. This is only a bump in the road for me and has just caused me to have to slow down and have patience. It really has been a blessing for my family. Isaiah has learned so much about service and I have been able to see that he loves being able to help me. It has also caused me to swallow my pride and ask my husband for help from time to time. Not an easy task for me. I like to think I can do it all. I know most of you will think the pictures I attached are disgusting but I just had to post them. My leg is hairy, swollen, and just plain ugly but hey, it is what it is right? Enjoy...or not.This was right after I got my cast off. My legs have never been this hairy. It actually grossed Isaiah out the most.
My skin was also saggy and dry.

I know really gross shot but I had to show it:)
I guess I was a bit naive because I was really surprised at how swollen my entire leg and foot was.



My foot reminded me of the feet of the people on WALL-E:)


As you can see I have already lost a lot of my muscle in my calf.



Look at that WALL-E foot!






Okay now I shaved. I can't tell you how good that felt. My skin was a little tender to the touch but getting rid of that hair was fabulous! I have never had skinny calves so it is weird to see my let this way. One of my older sisters has really slender legs and I love the look of them. It's kind of fun to see what my leg would look like slender. Is that just totally weird and vain? Yes.




This is the most recent shot of my leg. I think the swelling is starting to go down. I can't express how happy I am to be on the mend!
Just one last shot to show my lopsided legs. I can't decide what I am going to do. Should I build the muscle back in the left one or loose the muscle in the right one and go for the slender look? I kid. Totally want the muscle back!
So there you have it. I'm an unemployed gimp. If it wasn't for all the love and support I have around me I would probably be going crazy....not to say I don't have my days, but seriously thank you to everyone near and far that have brought meals, helped with Isaiah, provided activities for me to do while I am out, or just called to give me company. You are all so great!

4 comments:

Stacey said...

The "wall-e foot" made me laugh. I'm sooo sorry...I'm glad you are on the mend.

Kirk+Chelsea+Malia Schilling said...

Steph, I'm so sorry!! What a bummer for a girl as active and athletic as you! Either slender or muscle-y your legs are gorgeous! And on another note- your family picture at the top of your blog is GORGEOUS!!!

Dave Fuhriman said...

Wow Stephanie, I know how bad that sucks. Sorry!

If it makes you feel better, I played indoor soccer again for the first time this week since I tore my Achilles a couple years ago. Works like new!

Bridget said...

Hahahahaha! I know it's not funny but your Wall-e foot had me crackin' up. Now you know what your "cankles" would look like if you let yourself gain some weight! :) I love you Stephy and am so happy you are getting better. Can't wait to see you in April!