Thursday, March 18, 2021

 Milestone on the Achilles Journey

No posts in a long time!  Not sure anybody has even noticed.  (I've been a little more active on the facebook since the pandemic struck; that's been sapping me a little.  But I'm going to work harder at it... I've had some notions bouncing around in my head.  I may post stuff here AND on the facebook.)

Update on the Achilles injury...

- Injury occurred on July 24th

- It was a month before I sought professional advice

- X-rays, MRI (my first-ever), scheduling, etc...

- Surgery to repair it on November 17

Dr. Kaitlyn Neary told me to wait five weeks before putting a load on it, so I hobbled around in a boot on crutches for awhile... seemed like a LONG while.  (Her assistant said, "That seems awfully soon... I'd say 6 to 8 weeks is more realistic."  I took her suggestion "under advisement," as they say.  It's the doctor's advice that counts, right?)

On December 22 - five weeks to the day after surgery, I went on a little low-load ride around the neighborhood.  Felt a little "ginger," but it felt great to be pedaling again.

Between then and the end of the year, I clicked 57 miles, in ever-increasing bites... and taking it very easy.  No risky routes, riding on ice, etc.

I went to 3 or 4 physical therapy sessions, where they gave me some useful ideas about exercises, balance routines, etc.  (All along, I've figured that cycling would be my primary strength-builder, and I'm more sure of that now, than ever.)

Well... yesterday was the 4-month anniversary of the surgery.

Since February 8 - my last follow-up with Dr. Neary - I've been cleared for unlimited activity.  I told her I felt really good about my progress.  She asked if I could stand on my right foot, and then raise up on tiptoe.  NO WAY!!  That's HER precision way of assessing full recovery.  She said, "It can take six months, or even a year, to build back up to full strength.  I'm heading in that direction, and that's good enough for me.

Today I hit 1000 miles for the year 2021 - right on schedule.  (Looking back six or seven years, except for one time I've hit the 1000 in mid-March.)  Strength is still on the upswing.  I'm focusing on using my right leg for most of the power.  The way I figure it, I gave my calf muscle almost five months of vacation - from July 24 to December 22.  No wonder it atrophied a little.  In February I went on a 25-mile ride; I've been on a 30-mile ride in March.  I fully expect to be able to stand on my right tippy-toe... not sure when, but it'll happen.