|Well, if you haven't heard already, I ruptured my achilles tendon running in the water on the beach (07-19-00). It was pretty random. I wasn't doing anything hard-core at the time. Just running out into the surf at mission beach when all of the sudden, POW, no more tendon. When it popped it actually didn't hurt that much. It definitely felt really weird. Like my foot was detached or, like it was someone else's foot on my body. That, and my calf hurt like a son'of'abitch. Like someone had just unleashed the sweet sounding ping of an aluminum baseball bat on the back of my leg. Basically, your achilles tendon is like a giant rubber band. When it breaks, it snaps up into the center of your calf with alot of force. Kind of like having your bungee cord break mid-air as you plummet towards your death. |
Now my ankle didn't hurt bad at all. It kinda felt like my foot was dizzy and was about to throw up. The pools of blood that collected inside my ankle were interesting as well. I swear I could see the red, blue and black portrait of Elvis on the inside of my heel. My calf was a different story. There's a constant, dull throbbing pain that lives in the back of my leg now. The only way to describe it is if you were to unzip the back of your leg, insert a golf ball into the center of your calf, then zip the whole thing back up and get someone to tee it up on a nice par five. Yes, nothing feels quite like a ruptured tendon in the morning.
On Wednesday (23rd) I visited Dr. Sxxxxx Mxxxxxxx, an orthopedic surgeon. He scheduled an appointment for Friday at 7:00am to have my Achilles tendon repaired. This is what he told me. "We're gonna open the back of your leg, weave the two ends of the tendon together, and suture the whole area. Basically your tendon is gonna look like a big ball of velcro. Then I'm gonna cut a piece of your calf, fold it down over the repair and stitch it into place so your tendon will have a nice smooth surface to slide against. When it's all over your leg is gonna hurt like hell, and your foot is gonna be pointing straight down for a couple weeks" (cause the tendon will be so tight). NOT FUN! 6 to 9 months down the road my tendon should be stronger than it was before the tear (ha).
On Friday I arrived at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. and checked in. By 7:00 the nurses had stripped me of any clothes and self-esteem that I might have had and began asking a series of questions I thought would never end. Are you allergic to any medicine? Are you allergic to any food? When was the last time you ate? When was the last time you drank? When was the last time you fucked? Have you ever had gum stuck in your hair...ect...ect? When they finally got bored of raping my ego the anestesioligist (SP?) showed up.
"Okay, step one" sez she "I'm gonna numb up your hand so I can put in an IV".
"Great" sez I. She sticks the little needle in to numb the hand.
"Not so bad?" sez she.
"Not so bad." sez I. She sticks the BIG needle in to hook up the IV.
"Ahhrrg, I CAN STILL FELL THAT" sez I.
"Looks like THAT vein is gone, we'll have to try another" sez she.
"Son of a..." sez I.
Despite all this she was very nice and eventually got the IV in without too much hassle. Overall she did a great job and kept me feeling good despite what was happening. Step two, they make me hobble down the hall to the OR. Wouldn't have been so bad but the floors were cold as a wedge and all I had on were those little surgical booties.
Now step three "I'm going to give you something to put you to sleep for 5 minutes while the doctor numbs your leg. Then we'll wake you back up for
the operation. You'll feel this sting a little in your hand as it moves in the IV" sez she.
"WHEE, I feel smurfy" sez I " How long does it take for this stuff to put me to sleep?"
"Just a few seconds" sez she. A minute passes. She begins to look at her watch.
"WHEE, I feel REALLY smurfy" says I "How long does it take for this,..... THUD. "How long was I out?" sez I.
"Just a few minutes" sez she.
So now the doctor is all ready to begin. Just one problem. I CAN STILL FEEL MY LEG. Yes, the doctor is drawing on my leg with a marker or something. It isn't numb at all. "Ah, yeah doc, I can still feel my leg. Maybe you could numb it up a little MORE!". He numbs it a second time. "Ah, yeah, I can still feel my leg." He numbs it a third time. "Yep, still there." He gives it the knee shooters and goes to town with the numby stuff. "Nope, no sir. Can't feel it anymore. Like it's just been hacked off." The anestesiaoligist gives me some more Smurfy stuff to help me "Relax". Everything feels good and cozy and warm. Even though I was awake for the whole surgery I don't remember what the anestesiaoligist and I talked about. It was alot of fun though.
Now comes the boring part. Stuck in a room alone with nothing to do for 4 days. We'll skip ahead.
I go back to see the doctor yesterday and get my first look at the scar in question. OOOh, AAAh, BIG SCAR. There's a giant zipper in the back of my leg that runs from the center of my heel to the the base of my calf. About 8 inches in all. Lots of staples. The doctor says this is one of the worst achilles tendon injuries he's ever seen (And he's done alot of these!). They usually measure this type of tear in millimeters. Mine was nearly 7 centimeters. It ripped diagonally across my tendon from the base of my heel up to the middle of the tendon, and shredded like roast beef. Doctor said it looked like spaghetti back there.
I'm doing much better now. It's gonna be awhile before I'm doing a whole lot but the doctor gave lots of good drugs to keep me entertained in the
meantime. So now, if you ever rupture your achilles tendon you'll have a
pretty good idea of what happens next. See ya soon kids :).