You will be in an altered state for many moons...

If your Achilles tendon is ruptured, torn, or even simply inflamed with tendonitis, your life is about to change. Mine sure has - so I decided to chronicle these events, and create a place for others to share their experiences, advice, resources and emotions during our journey toward recovery.

Nothing in this blog is meant to take the place of the medical advice of your physician. Follow the instructions of your medical professionals, not me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Everybody sing along - "Feelin' stronger every day!"

OK, so you would have to be a certain age to really know most of the words to that Chicago song - or to have even heard it - but since so many baby boomers are ripping off into their 50 year old  Achilles tendons while playing at life like they were still 25, I figured it was an appropriate title.

Update - things are working out OK with this ankle bidness.  I'll tell you about how things progress through a pretty typical day for me and my tendon.

6:00 am - my two idiot dogs hear something  - probably a rabbit - in the back yard.  "ALERT ALERT ALERT!  MASTER, PLEASE JUMP OUT OF BED IMMEDIATELY AND LET US OUT SO WE CAN PROTECT YOU!  Yay, she's up, she's up, life is grand, let's see if we can hurl ourselves and her and knock her to the ground!"

The first five minutes or so that I am up walking around, well I have to admit that my leg is stiff and sore.  It doesn't help that I'm having to fight my way forward with each step because two seventy pound dogs are leaping at me.  But hey, it's good exercise.

While I am drinking coffee and net surfing before the day starts, I rather absentmindedly do some ankle stretches, rotations, that sort of thing.  Not because I am so disciplined, but because, ladies and gentlemen, this ankle hurts enough to make me WANT to stretch it out - and the stretching really does help.

As the morning progresses, my ankle and leg get to feeling fine - I mean great really.  I don't even think about tendons for hours on end.  The only time the thought crosses my mind is if I've been sitting awhile in one position and then get up without doing an ankle stretch or two.

The thing is, as my doctor explained to me, when we're lying down or sitting for a long time, our tendon draws up, due at least in part to the scarring.  That's why it's so important to stretch this baby out as often as possible, and it's also why exercising makes it feel better, not worse.

Anyway, I try to walk three miles a day.  During this walk, I'm not thinking about my ankle at all - until it sort of makes me think about it.  Usually on my walk, I will have some minor twinges and little protestations from my leg - nothing that impedes me in any way, but I know I'm working something that doesn't want to be worked.  And by that I mean, my whole leg - it's still weaker than the other one.  But - to put it in perspective, I am able to walk at 4.5 mph for three miles so life's not so bad.

During the evening after my walk, my ankle is OK, just a throb or two here and there.  It doesn't bother me at all at night.  I have noticed that when I get down on my knees or whatever, like when I'm digging around in my tupperware cabinet looking for a matching lid (usually to no avail), I have to remind myself to use the weaker leg to get back up - because now I default to the stronger leg, and I want to change that.  It's a matter of being aware of opportunities to strengthen that leg, and to give you an idea of how long you may have to think about this - it's been nearly a year and a half since my surgery and it still ain't right.

But it's better - and stronger every day!