Will I Ever Work Out Again - Life After Achilles Tendon Surgery

Friday, March 23, 2012

I tore my achilles tendon on Leap Day this year. Still to this day, I don't understand how it happened. I was in the last 5 minutes of a kick boxing class (I injured my knee 3 years ago in a different kick boxing class) doing an exercise that I call "step ups". I do this exercise 3 days at week at the gym at my job...what made this day soo different? Well, we were supposed to do 30 each leg, the left leg in the chair went well, and I knew the right leg would be even better because it's my strong leg. On number 24 of 30, I heard a loud pop as my foot hit the floor. I feel down into the chair and was wondering who hit me in the ankle with a football. But wait, that makes no sense....I am in kickboxing class - there are no footballs around!!!

I hobbled home and made an appointment with my primary care physician the next afternoon. While performing the standard "achilles tendon rupture test", my doctor says..."Oh no, that's not good!". I reply..."What? You are not supposed to tell a patient that!" He said..."You tore your achilles tendon, and if it's not completely torn, it hanging on by a thread!" I vaguely remember the next few sentences. All I heard was "...up to a year to fully recover..." and "...not able to wear heels for a long time!" As I was coming to, he was on the phone trying to get me in to the Jewitt Orthopedic Center.

I left the doctor's office and headed to Jewitt. There is was confirmed by 80% tear and surgery is suggested in the next few days. few days...I need time to mentally prepare!

Exactly one week after my injury, I met with the surgeon. He discussed the pros and cons of both surgical and non-surgical repair and left the choice up to me. Although I am terrified of needles, anesthesia, and pain in general, I opted for surgery. Surgery was scheduled 2 days later. about fast...I felt like professional athlete!

Since the evening of my injury, I had many sleepless nights leading up to my surgery, and the day finally came. I was so nervous. Every time a hospital staff member approached me, my eyes started to water. YES...I am a big baby. I've never broken, fractured, or sprained anything and I hate needles...that's why I only have one child. AND, I had my son by natural childbirth no medication because of my fear of needles... Ok, back to the topic at hand. The nurse sprayed numbing spray on my hand and stuck me with a tiny needle in order to get the IV started. I thought to have to stick me with a needle to prepare me for the needle...something doesn't seem right. Anyway...needle goes in and then so does the least that's what they call it.

So here I lie almost 40 years old and I now know what getting drunk or feeling high is like...the anesthesia worked. I wasn't half awake like those stories I've seen on TV, nor did I not wake up...hence the reason why I am here to type this blog.

My wonderful boyfriend was by my side as I came too. He explained that the doctor told him that the tear was worse than what the x-ray showed. My tendon was completely shredded! With that being said...I had a nerve block in my leg which made my leg completely numb at the surgical site, therefore; I didn't have any pain once I was fully awake. I was sent home with instructions to take Ibuprofen and Tylenol every 6 hours and to alternate. By the time Sunday came around (I had the surgery on Friday, March 9th), it was time for me to take the real stuff...Dilaudid! the nerve block had worn off and the over the counter stuff just wasn't cutting it. It felt like my foot was on fire. It was burning, stinging, throbbing, name it. I couldn't do anything but lie there and keep my foot elevated!

Lie's now 2 weeks after my surgery, and I am still just lying here. I had my stitches removed on Monday, and I CRIED like a baby. Ok we won't go there, but I will tell wasn't really painful at all...just suffering from major anxiety. I've been working out religiously since 1/1/12 on my road to Fab @ 40, and for the last 2 weeks, I've done nothing but alternate between lying on my back and sitting up with my legs in the air. My lower back, tailbone and neck has started hurting along with my foot and ankle. My injury from my last blog 5.23.08 has seems like I am going down heel (get it heel instead of hill) from here!

If nothing else, at least I still have a sense of humor!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo HEALEAH
    Hey there, I’m reading your post from 2012 and your story literally mirrors my own. I just had my staples taking out 4 days ago...sitting here in the bathtub, wondering if I’ll ever be able to workout again. May I ask, how are you doing 5 years later? Many thanks, in advance πŸ™πŸΌπŸ’—
    1251 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3409143
    Hope you are OK I had a family member go through surgery not fun.
    2079 days ago
    I hope you can give an update on your progress so far?

    I had repair surgery 11/7/13. I don't know how I tore mine, I guess gradually over time and being over weight since I wasn't a runner or extreme sports person. I also had Haglund's Deformity (removed with 2 bone spurs and extra piece of heel bone) and Plantar Fascia release as well as release of a nerve that was pinched close to the Plantar Fascia. Anyway, almost 5 months post surgery, I still have swelling, pain and walk with a limp. Although the pain is different from pre-surgery it's still pain none the less. I never was one to wear heels but trying to just wear shoes with backs in them rub the scar so I'm alternating between Alegreia & Orthoheel (no-back slip ons) and NB 608V3. I would really like to start walking again for my health and hopefully I can soon.
    2606 days ago
  • no profile photo KEN470
    It is now a couple of years later, is your Achilles tendon (I hope) fully recovered? What recovery steps worked for you?
    2665 days ago
    Thank you both for your comments and encouragement to my blog entry. I was able to go back to work on my one month surgery anniversary. It felt good to be back but, I am still experiencing swelling 9 hours after I left work. This too shall pass...
    3323 days ago
    What an absolute bummer. I tell you, after reading your post I will NOT try kickboxing!!! Work on the anxiety. Be careful with the narcotic painkillers, you can get addicted to that stuff, and you don't need ANOTHER problem to deal with! Wishing you a speedy recovery!
    3323 days ago
    OMG they say that is very painful, I don't think you were being a baby! If I were you'd I'd definitely give up the kick boxing classes for sure hahahaha not trying to be mean , but I think you'll be much healthier without them!
    God Bless you I hope you recover quickly and you don't have to get anymore needles anytime soon... A Red Sox player tore his at a game I was at and they rushed him to the hospital, they said it would end his career , but in fact he came back in less then a year so just something for you to feel positive about. You might heal quickly too, hopefully you will.
    I'm glad you have someone supportive to take care of you and be there for you, it's a great feeling to know when something bad happens you have someone to depend on.
    Hope you'll soon be feeling better!
    3340 days ago
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