Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Spinach Avocado Blueberry Smoothie

Today I needed greens. I didn't want a smoothie that was all fruit and yogurt and sweet, sweet, sweet. So I started with the spinach then noticed I had quite a few ripe avocados that needed to be used (thank you roadside stand-I <3 California). Because it has to have some sweetness, I added the blueberry ingredients. The result-holy creaminess! I have used all kinds of dairy to add a creaminess to my smoothies but avacado blows them all out of the water! It is chock full of nutrients and great Omega-3 fats too. Just use it in moderation due to the calories-from-fat content ;)

Spinach Avocado Blueberry Smoothie

(as usual, ingredients are to your liking so I don't post measurements)

Baby spinach leaves
Frozen blueberries
Blueberry yogurt

Blend it all up and enjoy! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Post-Op Appointment *Warning...Incision picture*

Yesterday I went to see my orthopedic surgeon to have my cast and steri-strips removed as well as receive my new walking boot and further instructions for how to care for my leg. It all went very well.

My doctor says I will be in the walking boot for another 3 1/2-4 weeks when after then my tendon should be fully healed. That is amazing to me! In the meantime I should be starting physical therapy soon and it will last for an undetermined amount of time. How long it takes depends on my progress.

Removing the cast was the weirdest thing! I guess I have grown accustomed to it, in all its cumbersome glory. It's amazing how much leg hair I can grow in only 10 days too-haha! The walking boot is very similar, just more comfortable, secure and easier to manage. My heel is pretty sore though since it has taken so much of the weight these last weeks.
Da Boot! (and my slipper)

The incision...I was very nervous to see the incision. It is 6.5 inches long I must admit and I am still a bit shocked by it. All in all everything besides the length looks fantastic! It was such a precise cut that the edges meet perfectly. I am optimistic that it will heal up great! I bought some steri-strips at Rite Aid just in case I felt like I needed a little extra security but it is a nice and strong wound. I have been wrapping it with a soft wrap just to protect it inside my jeans.

If you look closely, you can see the places where the internal sutures exist.
I hope I haven't grossed you out too badly! Each one of my three boys gasped and grimaced and one ran away when they saw it! My oldest kept saying, "Ugh...I can still see it when I close my eyes Mom!"

Saturday, January 18, 2014

One Week Post-Op!

It is hard to believe my surgery was one week ago! I'm actually kind of thankful that I've gotten past this first part. I don't have pain, I'm feeling good and I have been able to get back to most of the normal things I do on a day-to-day basis. I am limping of course, but it is somewhat on the level I was at prior to surgery which in a weird way is encouraging. I can work the clutch in our Jetta but not in the big truck yet. I am still using a crutch or both occasionally throughout the day just because it is smart and it really does help.

I am mostly sick of my makeshift cast. It has begun to kind of unravel at the toes and is looking kind of ratty with the batting pulling out and the bottom on the dirty side. It's ok. I get it off on Monday when I go in for my Post-Op appointment. My leg inside the cast itches from time to time but it's not too bad. Mostly it gets in the way of sleeping. It isn't flexible at all and we have named it The Club because it is just a big, hard awkward thing.

But I am proud of myself. I have gotten over some pride issues and just accepted that I need help right now, and I need special assistance. I have had a friend chauffeuring the kids to and from school, and I even used the motorized cart at Home Depot yesterday.
Yesterday was awesome though. My husband was home for a few hours and since we had some errands to run, he got me out of the house. I stayed in the car for most of the errands but then he took me to a gorgeous viewpoint and then a wonderful lunch. It was the best!

Monday, January 13, 2014

On a separate note...

I read a bunch of reports of folks running during the Disneyworld Marathon Weekend. Events were the 5K, 10K, Half, Full and Goofy and Dopey Challenges over the weekend. All I can say is I am so jealous! One day I will do the Dopey! ( least if I can stomach the nearly $500 in registration fees...)

Day 3 Post Op

Day 3! My recovery is coming along. I can now hobble around without crutches if I want to and the doctor said I can put as much pressure on my foot as I am comfortable, within the limits of pain. I still have my crutches nearby, but for the most part (at least this morning), I am doing ok without them.
My splint-cast! Today was nice and warm so I got to wear shorts...which made getting dressed much easier.
I take several breaks throughout the day and sit and read or lay down and rest. I have a million options for things to do around here with an entire household to take care of, but I have been taking it easy. It's amazing what you can go without doing and it doesn't really matter that much. I am taking Naproxen-an anti-inflammatory-twice a day. I discovered on my first night that I DO NOT like Percoset. It makes me loopy and while it numbed the pain and such, it kept me from sleeping. Today I also had my first BM since surgery and I must say, I should have taken a stool softener. Your GI habits are not to be ignored after surgery. I know this better than most and I simply forgot. This morning I woke and realized that I had not gone since surgery and figured it would not be a pleasant experience. It wasn't. But from here on out it should be a breeze.

On a side note, my sweet hubby brought home a new kitten for our family on Saturday. We named her Ysabel and she is 4 months old. Our previous cat that we loved dearly was killed back in November (we think by a large owl) and we have been talking about bringing another cat into our lives. He found Ysabel at a shelter and apparently she was scheduled to be euthanized in just a week! So she is a rescue, and she is the sweetest thing. She has been just the diversion that I needed in this time of recovery, while life is slower and I can't do as much running around and staying busy.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Day 1 Post Op!

Well I made it through the surgery-yeah! I was very nervous yesterday, and I dreaded going under anesthesia. However, when I woke up, I got the best news ever. The tear was more internal than anything, with healthy tendon around it. There wasn't as much scar tissue as originally shown on the MRI (or that they thought they saw), and the surgery took 45 minutes instead of the anticipated 2 hours. So the doctor repaired the damaged part, stitched me up internally (no outer stitches I guess!) and put me in a big splint cast. I was pretty groggy coming out of anesthesia yesterday and into the ride home. Then last night was touch-and-go painwise, but by today I am feeling so much better.

I can't believe my surgery was yesterday. This journey has felt so long! I just spoke to my orthopedic surgeon and he said that I should do very, very well and should be back on my feet much sooner than originally expected. The rehabilitation and recovery should be much easier than he thought! It sounds like it was a fairly minor surgery all in all. The doctor says it went the way a best case scenario possible could go in my situation. I am so relieved.

I am up with crutches and can actually put weight on my affected side, but it is still pretty tender of course. So I am taking it in strides. I see my Doc again on the 20th when I should get the large splint cast off in exchange for a more manageable walking boot.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Wow, 2 months goes by fast when you are injured...

Said NO ONE EVER...but honestly I shouldn't have left my blog hanging on such a negative note. I haven't written much because my running life has been non-existent. But yes, it has really been 2 months since I tore my Achilles Tendon. Oh I forgot to mention that I did finally get an MRI and the results were a 1 cm tear right at the tendon-gastrocnemius insertion point. The original doc I saw at the urgent care was a complete idiot. A good doctor would have at least recommended I follow-up with my regular PCM and get an MRI to confirm. Always get a second opinion! The only option for treatment? Surgery to reconstruct it...then lots of physical therapy. We're talking a process of 6-9 months most likely.

My orthopedic surgeon is the coolest though. Honestly, along my journey through nursing school and through personal experience, I have never met an orthopedic surgeon I did not like. If I ever become a surgical nurse of some sort, I think I'd like to work in ortho. This guy has a great disposition, and had a way of making me smile even in the midst of explaining how my options were either to get surgery or limp the rest of my life. Yes he managed to deliver that message with a certain lightheartedness that I received well. After chatting a bit, I learned that he is also a runner, did some of his residency in Eugene, Oregon where in his spare time he would run on Pre's old trails. Are you kidding me? Where did I find this guy? Perfect match!

But the thing I appreciated most was that he was willing to learn about me and understand what was important to me in life, and apply that information to my care plan. As he was brainstorming options of what my surgery would like (out loud) he was mumbling and making mouth noises and in the middle of that I heard him say..."eh...but you are a runner..." in a way that communicated to me that he understood how important it was that I get back to that level. Not just some everyday, hey-I-can-walk-again level, but to the I-can-run-again-and-now-I-feel-like-myself-again level.And while walking will be a blessing no doubt, it gave me hope that he's going to do everything in his power to allow me to have another chance to be my running self.

In the meantime we moved into our new house, had a nice Christmas and got our kids settled into their new schools. We did not go to Disneyland since that was our back up plan if we did not find a house. We did go to Knott's Berry Farm shortly after the new year and my hubby wheeled me all over the park. He's a sweetheart. The world has by no means slowed down because I am injured! I love our new little town though. It has a lot of nice places to run and get this...a great track with grandstands just down the street! I can see it now...I walk out my front door, have a nice warm-up jog just long enough to get to the track then do some speedwork/intervals/fartlets/Yassos. Ahhh, one day I hope! I do wish that a year ago we could have seen this coming...otherwise we would not now own two vehicles with manual transmissions. *facepalm* We did not think that one through! I won't be pushing any clutches down in the near future.

I'm nervous as hell about tomorrow. It's crazy because I have sat through and observed surgery as a nursing student. Back in 2005 I literally had my own neck sliced open and my thyroid removed and I made it through that. I shouldn't be nervous, but I am. I hate not being myself. I hate being the one with all of the needs. Being put under freaks me out because I have NO CONTROL over what is happening to me.

But what I hate more is waking up every morning being reminded that I can't walk. It's like waking up to a small nightmare each day. It happens throughout the day when I'm playing with my kids and I get the urge to chase them or something and I can't. Or when I simply want to bend over and the result is knives through my left foot. I need to go through this to get better. I need to try.

With all of the nervousness I feel there is also an exponential measure of hope. This journey will take the good part of 2014, but I have hope that the end result will be a success story. I have hope that I will walk again normally, that I will run again one day. Hiking, biking, swimming, etc...I will do it again. It sucks not to be able to do it for such a long time but at least I know that once I can again, I will never-not for one second-take it for granted.