When the stairs disappear (A story of the ruptured Achilles tendon)

posted in Achilles tendon, fitness, health on by

This is my leg in a plaster splint. Here is my story of how it got there.

Tuesday night I was heading to bed and bringing up the laundry basket up the stairs. On my way to the stairs I noticed I had left a sharp knife on the edge of the counter in the kitchen. I didn’t want to leave it there for the kids to find in the morning and I didn’t want to go all the way up the stairs and forget to put it away. So I placed the basket on the upstairs landing (we live in a split level so there are only 8 steps from one floor to the next) and I turned around to step down, what I thought was only one step but ended up being four steps and I landed hard on my leg and it smacked against the bottom step. Immediately I heard and felt a snap. Then came the excruciating pain. I scream “I broke my leg, I broke my leg. Oh my God it’s broken. It hurts so bad!” And I just couldn’t stop screaming it hurt, BAD! I woke up my girls which scared them a lot, they knew mommy was hurt bad too.
I made a trip to the ER thinking I had a broken leg. The strange thing was my leg wasn’t swelling too badly. I didn’t understand how I could hear a snap, feel such pain but have no swelling. After a long wait I finally saw the doctor. She said I ruptured my Achilles tendon but wanted x-rays to be sure I didn’t break anything either.
Thankfully nothing was broken. But after the doctor explained to me the healing process I will be going through I’m not sure I’m happy with this either.
I have to have this plaster splint on til I can see the orthopedic surgeon. (hopefully next week) He will then decide if i will have surgery or have a series of casts. If I have surgery I will be off my leg for 6 weeks and then have physical therapy. I won’t be able to run for 6-8 months. If I get the series of casts, I will be off my foot for 12 weeks and won’t be able to run for a year! When I told the nurse I was a runner she replied, “You were a runner sweetie.” I knew what she meant.

It’s going to be so hard not to be able to run. I love to run. but I’m not going to let this injury keep me from staying healthy and fit. “No Excuses”. I will find ways to work out my arms (right now using the crutches is enough, my arms are already killing me) and I will find ways to get some cardio in too. No matter what there is always a way to stay fit, you just have to figure out what will work and do it. It’s going to be a long road but I know I can do this.
An awesome thing the doctor said was it’s really good that I have such strong leg muscles from running. It’s going to make my recovery much easier. I’m glad all my hard work this summer will help me heal faster. AND when I was checking into the ER I gave them my health card, the photo is from two years ago when I was 250lbs. The registrar person looked at the photo and then at me and with a confused look on her face asked if I was Erica. And the triage nurse said she had a hard time believing it was me in the photo because I look so different. Made my night, especially after all I was going through.

On a side note, it’s really going to suck not being able to take showers or bathe for 6-12 weeks. I can’t get any water on my leg and I’m not allowed any weight on my leg. All I will be able to do is sponge bath. I do plan on visiting my hair salon and have them wash my hair every other week. In between I’m thinking of looking into dry shampooing. I’ve never done it and have no clue which products work and don’t, but I’m going to give it a try (maybe I can test out a bunch and share with you my thoughts on which one I like best).
I’m also having to learn how to take care of my kids and myself while walking around on crutches. We have three flights of stairs and I can’t stay on just one level during the day. the floor with the kitchen doesn’t have a bathroom room and I’ll need to be able to use both, so there will be a lot of learning to climb the stairs with one leg. (and being careful)
it’s been a day and a half and I’m still in A LOT of pain. The doctor gave me T3’s to take, which makes my mind really fuzzy. I’m trying my best to keep up with everything I need to review and get them up on time. I just want to make sure I write them well and they make sense. So, if you’re a company I’m working with I hope you will understand if there is a small delay. I’m working as hard as I can. Thank you for your understanding.

Thank you all who have already shared your love, prayers and support on facebook/twitter. It means a lot to me. Much love to you all.