Monday, March 19, 2007

Ask an expert

And when you do ask the expert, he tells you "Six weeks, is that what they told you? No, it'll be three months in plaster for you my friend!"

I have completely ruptured (i.e. snapped in two) my Achilles Tendon. I was at the fracture clinic this afternoon and while the person I saw at A&E yesterday was knowledgeable enough, the experts at the clinic have told me what's actually happening. Apparently what I've done is a fairly major injury.

So I was given the choice of having surgery or not. They take about the same time to heal, they both involve immobilisation with a cast, but the surgical one results in a stronger end result. The reason I didn't opt for surgery though was that the stronger end result would only make a difference if I was a sprinter, an athlete, or basically if I took part in sport at a high level. I don't so there seemed no point in risking the complications (and presumably enduring the extra pain and discomfort) inherent in surgery. And I'm a woose.

So what's happening is that I have a cast on for 4 weeks, then a different one with my foot at a different angle for another 4 weeks, then ..... well, you get the gist of it. That said, in 3 weeks I'm off to Belgium for the weekend, so the day before I fly I have to pay a visit to the plaster room to have a different cast put on. A split one apparently so that if my foot or leg swells while on the aircraft there'll be enough "give" to be safe. The wonders of modern medical science!

The new cast which was put on today is just as comfortable as the one put on yesterday (so far), and although the painkillers I took just before going to the clinic are still working, I'm starting to feel a wee bit tender, not just in my ankle, but in fact in my shoulders, arms and hands, all of which is connected to my use of the crutches and the unfamiliar exercising of little-used muscles. Oh well, early days.

On the subject of work, clearly there's nothing to stop me actually working since all I do is drive a computer all day, but I was told that firstly I should be totally resting my leg and there would be the obvious danger of overdoing it if I was at work (and while travelling there and back - and on that subject I can't drive so that's another issue), and secondly it'd be OK as long as I was able to raise my leg. When I asked how high I would have to raise it I was told "usually we say up to the same level as your heart" so funnily enough I can't really sit at a desk with my leg on top of it so quite simply I can't go to work for the moment.

I really can't face being off work for 3 months (not that I'm a super-keen work-loving tosser, although I do enjoy my work very much), because apart from anything else I just know I'll be bored shitless, but right now I'm forced to consider that this is a real possibility. I'll take it a bit at a time though and what I'll do, while following medical advice of course, is to be off for the first 4 weeks, until my next appointment, and then see how I'm feeling, how the leg is doing, how I'm managing to get around on the crutches, and decide whether I need to stay off longer. That said, it's entirely possible that the doctors will overrule me and won't let me go back as quickly as I might want, or indeed work may not want me to come back until I'm 100% better. We'll see.

Anyway, who'd have thought that I'd ever have "sports injury" on my medical CV!

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