Back to Volleyball

Volleyball took me out in January.  I popped my Achilles and that changed my life for a while.

On Monday, July 21st, I got back to playing volleyball.  I was a bit worried about my right ankle.  Strangely, during the first two weeks of play, my right leg was hurting.  Eventually that went away.

I recently finished up the session.  I’m not playing indoor anymore, partially because the harder floor is hard on me, and partially because it’s farther away than I want to travel.  I’ll play again in the Spring when they come back outdoor.

Riding, Updates, and New Resolve


I don’t care for driving, but I still do it for longer trips.  I first got a drivers license two days after my 16th birthday.  I rarely drive these days.  After having a valid license for a solid 27 years, I managed to let it expire yesterday.  I didn’t realize it until this afternoon.  It’s now been renewed.


I’m taking a one-month break from beer.  I’m not cutting back, I’m cutting it out.  I’ve gained too much weight.  I’ve been lazy.  I’ll re-evaluate in a month.


Diane and I often ride the tandem to her work in the morning, then I ride solo a few blocks to my work.  We did that today.  In the afternoon, I picked her up, and headed to get my drivers license renewed.  She had changed into casual clothes and flip-flops.  She learned that flip-flops can come off while pedaling.  She had to retrieve her footwear in downtown traffic.

Look carefully – there’s Diane grabbing her flip-flop


My weak ankle has been causing me to limp.  The weird walking caused a large buildup of callous on my heel.  The heel split open and was quite painful.  This caused quite a few issues.  I started putting “heel balm” on it a few days ago, and it’s much better.

Sunday’s ride with Tim showed me that the ankle is still quite weak.  I think the uptick in activity that I’ve had recently has been good, if a bit painful.  I noticed today that I can barely lift myself onto my toes while standing only on my right leg.  I haven’t been able to do that since before the accident.  I’m also not limping at all today.  I still have some weakness, but I’m making good progress.

More About Beer (and Food)

Beer and food is the keystone of my current social life.  I often go out for beer after a bike ride.  Diane and I go out for beer too often.  Since I’m not drinking beer for a month, we need to come up with healthier habits.  We started today by taking the dogs for a walk.

We walked the dogs to the bank, post office, and coffee shop.  It was about a 2.5 mile trip.  I much prefer riding a bike that distance, but it was nice to do something different and the dogs liked it.

Sandy enjoyed her break at the coffee shop

What’s Next?

I’ll eventually start weighing myself again.  My last doctor visit had my weight at 268, which is pathetic.  It basically means I lost 100lbs only to gain back nearly 70% of that.  I weigh more now than I did since before I started riding a bike.

I’m going to have to help more with the cooking around the house.  I have some ideas for healthier eating.  I’m going to start tracking calories again.  Once I do allow myself beer again, the beer calories will have to be tracked.

I want to feel like a cyclist again.  I’m not selling the Fargo.  I’m holding off on buying another bike.  The bikes I have can get me through.  It’s more about riding the bikes than buying them.

Atrophied Cankle in the Rain

Tim and I had planned a 7:00am ride for this morning.  At 6:30 a storm with heavy rain and lightning was moving through.  We made the decision to wait it out.  By 7:00, things had settled down, and I headed out in the rain (by then, just a drizzle) to meet up for the ride.

I took the more direct, but hillier, route along Eastern Parkway.  My loss of fitness was obvious.  I was terribly slow up the hills.

My right ankle swells up frequently.  I call it a cankle.  The calf-portion of the cankle has atrophied due to the achilles tendon not being connected to the foot for a while – then not walking on it – and finally walking carefully on it with a limp.  So, I have an atrophied cankle, and I took it out in the rain.

It was about 65F degrees.  I dressed in shorts and short sleeves.  That was probably under-dressing considering the rain.

Tim and I headed around some neighborhoods to warm up before hitting the hills.  I had already warmed up on Eastern Parkway, but I was glad to tone it down a bit.

The hilly roads in the park are a lot of fun.  I had to ride the brakes a lot to dry them while descending into a curve, but it’s all part of the fun.  There were no accidents or almost-accidents.  I am a bit out of practice with fast riding in the rain.

During the ride we had two downpours.  One of those times included a little lightning and thunder.  It passed.  We looped through St. Matthews, Mockingbird Valley, and Indian Hills before heading back to Breadworks for coffee.

I stayed warm during the ride.  I think the effort I was putting into keeping up with Tim kept me warm.

We arrived at Breakworks much drier.  The rain had let up.  We each had coffee and a snack before going our own way.

The ride home was cold.  I had sat, cooling off, at Breadworks.  My top speed for the day was also in the stretch home.

I got home with 31 miles on the odometer.  I took a warm shower, poured another cup of coffee and sat on the front porch with the dogs for a while.

This has been a good start for the day.


Life is strange.  I’m in a weird place.

Diane and I had a wonderful wedding, and the marriage has been good so far.  Yes, we’ve had an argument, but nothing we won’t get over.  Mostly, things are quite good.  I really have planned on a big post about the wedding, but I think that’s dead now – over a month later.  We wedding was great.  The weather was perfect.  The reception at BBC Taproom was a blast.  I’ll write about the honeymoon – including tandem bike, later.

Wait. I’m married now?

My temporary job has been extended until the end of the year.  I don’t enjoy the job, but being employed is nice.  Work has kept me busy, too busy at times.  I feel like many other things are falling behind.

My doctor has not sent me to physical therapy for my leg/ankle/achilles.  I had my final appointment with my orthopedic surgeon, and he believes all is well.  It could take a year to feel normal again, but I have no more activity restrictions.

I still get swelling and soreness sometimes.  Walking causes more issues than riding the bike.  I still intend to start playing volleyball for the next session.  In the meantime, I need to stretch and work on strength.

I’ve gained weight.  I haven’t been weighing regularly, but I’m about 260lbs right now.  I still drink too much beer.  I’ve left the weight issue on the back burner for now.  I know I shouldn’t, but I feel like I have to finish the transition to married life and fixing financial issues.

Diane and I are trying to fix some financial issues.  We want to own a home someday.  Our spending on beer is down – most due to buying it from a store rather than a bar.

I’m on the bike pretty much every day now.  Diane and I ride the tandem several times a week.  We bike-pooled to work three days this week on the tandem – and plan to do so in the morning again.  We work within a few blocks of each other, so it works.

I seldom ride at a fast pace.  Serious distance would hurt.  This is killing has killed my fitness.

My depression issues have resurfaced again, but in a different way.  I’m able to monitor how I feel.  Maybe I’m just learning a new coping mechanism.  It still sucks, but it doesn’t paralyze me.  I can analyze it.  I can usually avoid hurting others.

I hope to not go another month without posting.  This blog was built on accountability on my weight control.  It’s been failing at that recently.

No Focus?


I’m glad I have friends to remind me where I’ve been.  In April of 2010, Tim and I did a nice ride.  He grabbed a picture of me that I didn’t think much of at the time.  I was just over 200 lbs.  I was much fitter.

He posted that picture to me earlier this year on Google+.

The “good old days” should be coming back.

I need to get back to that instead of the 250+ I’m at now.  I don’t even know what I weight, as I haven’t been weighing myself.  That will require cutting *way* back on the beer.


After a week of riding the recumbent to work, I realize that it hasn’t been my favorite bike for many years.  That’s unfortunate, as it’s a nice bike.  I won’t get ride of it, as I need a bike for the “bad neck days”.

The rSogn has been in pieces.  I finally got around to picking up some used 650b tires* from Tim for a fair price.  I’ll re-assemble the bike this week.  I won’t be commuting on it.

The Big Dummy is in great shape for commuting.  I’ll ride that tomorrow.

Diane and I have been riding the tandem quite a bit over the last three days.  I made the wrong choice in tires for this bike.  The 26×1.75 Paselas are nice tires, but with our combined excessive weight, glass works it’s way through the tire pretty frequently.  I fixed another flat yesterday.  I’ll keep using the tires, but when they’re worn, I’ll replace them with something tougher.  Also, the rear wheel has two broken spokes.  I had no idea until changing the tire.  The wheel still runs true – one of the benefits of a 40-spoke wheel.  I’ll be taking it in this week for repair.

I won’t be buying a new bike for a while – probably not this year.  Money is tight.  I need to fix some things on the bikes I have.  I need to make the single-speed ridable.

The Leg

I’m recovering well from my Achilles repair surgery.  I still have a bit of a limp.  I started riding the bike (against doctor’s orders) five weeks after surgery.  This quickly led to accelerated recovery.  I quit wearing the boot within days.  The borrowed wheelchair was returned.  The purchased crutches, walker, and knee-walker are in the basement.

On March 13th, I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor.  He said although I’ve been aggressive with my recovery, that I’m unlikely to re-rupture unless I start running or jumping.  Easy – I won’t be doing any running or jumping.  He hasn’t ordered any physical therapy as it would only be for range of motion, which I have no issue with due to my “aggressive” recovery.  I still need strength training, but he wants to wait a bit longer for that.  My next appointment is April 24th.

Tomorrow will be ten weeks since my Achilles rupture.  Friday was nine weeks since the surgery.  I’m pleased with the progress.

Fun Riding

I really haven’t done much leisure riding.  It’s mostly been commuting and errands.  I’m pretty liberal on what errand really means though.  It includes riding the tandem with Diane to the bar, the store, her mother’s house, or whatever.

We hauled her dog (Baxter) in a backpack on the tandem last night for a trip to Apocalypse Brew Works.  They are a dog-friendly establishment, and have good beer.  We had drivers pointing, laughing, and taking pictures on the way.  Baxter is a cutie.

Today, we hooked the trailer to the tandem and rode to Diane’s mother’s house.  We hauled the borrowed wheelchair back to her house.  We then went to her oldest son’s first apartment and had dinner.

On the way home we stopped for beer.

The Wedding

It’s still on – just in case you were wondering.  🙂  It’s two weeks from today. I was asked if I had cold feet.  I said I’d wear warm socks.

There are a few small details to iron out, but most everything is ready.


My job was a contract position that was supposed to end on 3/31.  That’s now been extended to 4/28.  That means I can’t tease Diane that she’s marrying an unemployed bum.  Oh well.

There is talk of another extension.  I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that.  I do feel as if I’m wrapping things up and fulfilling my duties.  I will be ready to move on at the end of April.  I just hope I can find a job.

Weight, Beer, and the Elephant in the Room

I haven’t been weighing.  I know I’ve gained weight.  Diane has gained weight.  She had to have her wedding dress re-altered.  Yikes!  She’s not happy about that.  Our combined weight was apparently too much for the tandem’s rear wheel and two spokes have broken.

I gave up beer earlier this year for weight loss.  It didn’t last long.  I’m getting married on April 6th, and our reception is at a bar.  There will be beer.  My birthday is 4/26, and there will be beer.

I’ve made tentative plans to quit drinking on 5/1, but will I stick to it?  I honestly don’t know.  I know I need to.  I want to lose another 70 lbs.  I want to be able to crank out mildly-hilly 70-mile rides on the single speed.  I’ve done it before.  I want to be able to do it again.

Diane and I talk about losing weight.  We just don’t do anything about it.  I’m sure that will be a recurring theme here for a while.  This website is after all.  Maybe I’ll find focus someday.  Maybe I can reach my goal weight of 175.  Then will redirect to, or something.  🙂

*Tyres for Mark because he’s from the UK, and for Timothy, just because he’s weird.

Moving Forward

I haven’t been concentrating on weight loss.  I’m still not weighing myself.  I am on the bike most days now.  I have an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon later this week where he can tell me I’ve been reckless, but that it’s turned out well.  🙂

Diane and I have ridden together on the tandem and on single bikes.  We had an argument while riding single bikes on Friday night.  It turned ugly, but was fine later.  We’re both out of shape from lack of riding, but she was struggling more than I.  We had both been drinking.  It wasn’t a pretty sight.

I still can’t run.  I still have a limp.  Otherwise I feel mostly normal.  I don’t feel so fragile anymore.  I haven’t done any big rides.  I may not be ready for that.  I need to get back on the scale, back on the bike, and back on track.

Diane and I spent some time on the computer today to print wedding invitations.  She bought pretty paper.  I had to make it work with my laser printer running Linux on my computer with less-than-ideal drivers.  I wasted a lot of plain paper getting it right, but the finished product looks good.

The wedding date is approaching too quickly.  There are too many things to handle.  My medical bills are coming in.  I need to do my taxes soon.  I need to start looking for another job, as this one will be ending soon.  Bleh.  This is the wrong time of year to get married.

I worked on bikes today.  The rSogn has had a flat tire for over a week.  It turns out the rear tire is worn.  The tire came used with the bike.  It’s had enough.  I can see the casing through the tread.  Buying a set of tires is another item to add to the list.  I tuned up the recumbent for tomorrow’s commute.

I know I need to get back on track, but I feel overwhelmed with everything going on.  So instead of worrying about everything, I’m trying to tackle short-term tasks first.  The weight loss isn’t on the radar yet.  :/

Stay tuned.  I’m sure it’ll be an interesting ride.

Almost Normal?

Okay, very little about me or my life is normal, but we’ll let that slide.

On Sunday the 23rd I wrote about getting back on the bike.  I had ridden wearing the boot to protect my ankle.  It did bring it’s own issues.  It was awkward and almost caused a wreck on it’s own.

I ditched the boot after that.  I haven’t worn it since.  I did a short ride that Sunday evening.  I had no issues.  I rode the bike to work two days last week.  It’s great to wear two shoes again.

This past Saturday, I had intended to get up for a ride.  It was going to be the last nice day for a while.  I felt like crap and stayed home.

I did get up for a morning ride yesterday with Tim.  It was 33F and raining – PERFECT!  We were staring down a winter storm warning.  The frozen stuff wasn’t due for hours.  I met Tim at Breadworks, as is usual.  We meandered a bit, complaining about the weather.  We tried the recently opened Gralehaus for food and coffee.  It’s not someplace I’ll go regularly, but it was a nice change of pace.

Tim’s thoughts are here.

We split up short after that, where I went for a beer at Four Pegs before heading home.

A recent change is that I’ve started drinking a lot more water.  I’ve had too many nights/mornings over the last couple of years where I woke up sick and dehydrated from over-consumption.  Drinking water will alleviate that if I keep the amount of alcohol under control.  I also wonder if dehydration was partly to blame for my Achilles tendon rupture.

Yes, I’m still not supposed to be walking on this leg, let alone riding a bike.  I still have ten days before I go back to the doctor to get set up for physical therapy.  I’m just considering this an early start.  I’m listening to my body instead of my doctor.  I just hope the body is right.

On The Bike

On Friday, five weeks after my surgery, I rode the bike to work.  It wasn’t planned.  Diane was working.  I overslept and missed the bus.  It was the latest bus for another 50 minutes.  So I grabbed my rSogn and rode.

I was wearing the boot.  I was very cautious about stopping and starting.  I had no issues but I was quite slow.  Diane met me at work at the end of the day (on her bike) and we rode out to Apocalypse for beer.  I had eight miles for the day.  I was a little sore.

Saturday, I joined Tim for a short coffee ride.  Then Diane and I went out for food and drinks – on bikes.  I got 16 miles in.  I wasn’t as sore as I had been Friday.

Today my ankle feels really good.  I haven’t left the house yet, or even gotten dressed, so I haven’t had the boot on.  My ankle feels almost normal.  I still have no strength to push forward with my toes, but I’m walking differently to compensate.

Yes, I’m drinking beer again.  I’d like to blame Diane for bringing beer back after a week without it, but the responsibility falls with me.  I still have some decisions to make about all that.

I intend to continue riding to work.  The injury took away my freedom now I feel I have it back.  I just need to continue to be careful so I don’t re-injure myself.

Baby Steps, Beer, and Bikes

My last post was pretty negative.  I was having a bad day.  Today is much different.

I had a good day yesterday, but last night was rough.  I had drank too much and eaten some questionable food.  I had trouble sleeping with an upset stomach and a headache.  I also had muscle aches that are probably due to dehydration due to alcohol consumption.

Getting up for work this morning was hard.  I made it in to work a bit later than intended, but still before 9:00am.  Work was a busy blur.  I can’t complain – I was productive and time flew by.

Before I even made it to work, I’ve decided to quit drinking.  I seem to have an issue with moderation.  I’m also not going to lay around like a lump until my leg heals.  I’m borrowing a trainer so I can use my recumbent bike as a stationary bike.  I’ll pedal one-legged with my SPD shoe until I’m cleared to use both legs.  I’ll have the trainer tomorrow.

Two days ago when I complained about lack of progress with my leg, things got better.  I can walk now.  I’m not supposed to, and I rarely do, but if I need to get up some stairs without a rail, I can.  I only walk slowly taking very small steps.  It’s almost a shuffle.  I can’t “push off” with my right foot, but it’ll hold me up.  There’s no pain when doing this either.  I only do this when wearing the boot to support my ankle.

I’m still using the Knee Scooter.  I hate the crutches and the walker.  I don’t need the wheelchair.

Now I just need some exercise.

When Will I Notice Progress?

This is frustrating.  I have good days and bad days.  Today is firmly a bad day.  I haven’t left the house and have no plans to until tomorrow.

After my post-surgery follow-up doctor visit, I was given a boot to wear.  They removed the sutures and sent me on my way.  I’m still not weight-bearing, so I’ve been enjoying the new Knee Rover.

Knee Rover at the office

The knee rover does well for most things, but is actually a bit awkward in tight spots – like at home.  I managed to fall while trying to negotiate the kitchen.  I hadn’t put my boot on yet, and I put my foot down to attempt to stop the fall.  It was excruciating pain.  It felt like I re-ruptured the tendon.

I went back to the surgeon, where he tells me that I probably didn’t rupture it again, but even if I did, there isn’t anything else to do until I heal more.

Since then, I’ve been more careful (and leave the boot on more).  I’m paranoid as hell that the two ends of the tendon aren’t going to heal, and that I’ll be gimpy from now on.

I know I have weeks left to heal before I can even think about physical therapy or weight-bearing.  The wait is killing me.  I want to ride a bike again.  I want to walk normally.  Instead I can simply scoot around.

Diane takes me to work when she can.  When she can’t, I take the bus.  The recent weather has made that challenging at times.

The Knee Rover is not great in the snow

I work on the second floor of a building without an elevator.  Luckily, there’s a chair lift, so I take that up to my office – with my “scooter” in my lap.

I know I’m being pretty negative.  On the positive side, the Knee Rover works well for me.  I can walk (scoot) around outdoors without worrying too much about cracks in the pavement.  I can do the occasional step (although more than two in a row is a challenge).

The Knee Rover was poorly assembled when it arrived.  I’m glad I checked it over.  After a few minutes  with a wrench, it wasn’t ready to spontaneously disassemble anymore.  Other than that, it’s a neat product.  I like the basket – it’s hard to carry things otherwise.  I put bicycle lights on it – for those night trips to the bar.

The Unveiling?

As I mentioned in a comment, I removed the splint early Tuesday morning.  It was causing great discomfort.  I went to work yesterday, worked a full eight hours, then even spent a couple of hours at Car-Free Happy Hour, but I rode there in a car.  🙁

11 days after surgery

When I got home in the evening yesterday, my Knee Rover had arrived.  I put it together and got it adjusted.  So far, it’s only been around the house.  I haven’t taken an pictures yet, but it comes with a front basket.  I added headlight and taillight.  I’ll be taking it with me to work today.  I’ll write more about it once I have a little more experience with it.

Back to Work

I’m leaving for work in a few minutes.  The week of being stuck in bed is over.  I’m still using the walker, but moving around isn’t quite as painful.

Once I arrive at the office, I’ll do my best to prop my leg up and get to work.

Wish me luck.


Yes, I’ve been getting restless.  I’ve been allowed to do a little work from home, but sitting up with my leg propped is not exactly comfortable.

Last night, I really wanted to go out for a beer.  I also wanted some exercise so I didn’t want to take the car.

I used the crutches to get down the back steps.  This is a white-knuckle experience for me.  I’m lousy with crutches and the stairs have no rail.  I joked with Diane about wearing my bike helmet for the steps.

Once down, I got in the wheelchair.  The weather has been bad.  The roads and sidewalks were covered with ice and snow.  Taking the wheelchair was safe – I wasn’t going to fall.  Diane did fall once on the ice, but wasn’t hurt.

It was slow going. I pushed myself along until I got stuck, then Diane would give me a push.  I did most of the work, but I was traveling at less than a walking pace.

Once at Four Pegs, Diane handed me the crutches she’d been carrying for me, and I made my way in the door.  We had several beers (to hell with the beer tickets for now).

The return trip seemed to go faster.  I slept really well last night due to exhaustion and alcohol.  This was my first good night’s sleep since the surgery.

I do need to stay off that bad leg for months.  I need a better solution for getting around.  I found something that will go over mixed-terrain a bit better.  It’ll be more fun.  I ordered it today, and I should get it next week.

This is not an insurance-provided device.  I’m paying out of pocket for it.  I figure I’ll use it until I don’t need it, then I’ll sell it.

This will make it possible to “walk” longer distances.  I could even go all the way to work on it.  I could avoid the bus, or car-pooling.

I’m going to be silly and put lights and a bell on it.  🙂


Can Your Doctor Do This?

I like my family physician.  He’s a genuinely nice guy.  When I tore my achilles, he recommended an orthopedic surgeon.  I researched the surgeon before my first visit.

He’s a well-known orthopedic surgeon who specializes in knee and hip replacements.  His (mostly older women) patients love him.  Some say “he’s hot”.  He speaks three languages.  He rides a Harley.  He runs a karate school.  He’s the Chuck Norris of surgeons.  He also a really nice guy.  I hope his skill is up to the hype.  As I heal, I’ll know more.

Regarding that, I’ve quit taking the pain medication.  I’ve dialed it down to Ibuprofen now.  The leg/ankle area barely hurts, at least until I stand up.  Strangely, my big toe is extremely sore.  There shouldn’t be anything wrong with the toe.  I’m guessing it’s just general inflammation in the area causing that.  I have to wait until the 30th to get this splint off.  Maybe the release in pressure will make it feel better, if only briefly, until they put the cast on me.

I’m starting to get bored.  I’ve read four books since Friday.  I’m getting ready to start number five.  Sitting up enough to use the computer is still uncomfortable.  I do it for short stretches.  I can lay down and read a book for hours with no issue.

Diane’s mother had a wheelchair in her garage.  I figure I can use it to get around the neighborhood if I choose.  We’ve had bitter cold temperatures, so I haven’t bothered.  It also doesn’t allow adjusting the footrest to keep my foot elevated.  I can still use it, but it would be more comfortable with my foot up.  I’d like to get out if the weather warms up.

Okay, I’m going to dig into another cup of coffee and my book.

Slow Recovery

I’ve been home since Saturday afternoon.  We stopped at Four Pegs for a beer before heading home. That was probably a mistake – I had trouble navigating through the door with the walker and I banged my foot.  I hurt bad enough that I didn’t feel well enough to drink the beer.

Getting up the back steps at home was worse.  I had to sit and scooch myself up backward.  Trying to stand after that was difficult and painful.

The spare bedroom has become the main bedroom.  It’s closer to everything.  I have no reason to go to the front bedroom, office, or living room.  I stay in bed most of the time.  I shuffle with my walker to use the bathroom or let the dogs out.  When Diane is home she takes care of most things for me.  When she’s not I sometimes have to get creative.  I keep a full coffee pot here in the bedroom with me.  If I run out, it’s problematic to carry a full coffee pot back – and a full cup is out of the question.  I need a basket on the front of the walker.

I’ve updated my weight page, but I’m not weighing at this point.  It’s not worth the extra movement.  Although I can move, getting vertical causes blood flow down into the legs, which really hurts the bad one.  I try to stay horizontal as much as possible – with the bad leg propped on a pillow.

I have Percocet here for pain, but I’ve found it does little good.  I’ve never had luck with narcotic pain killers.  I’ve been taking ibuprofen throughout the day, and I save the Percocet for bedtime so I can sleep.  I’m having mixed results.

I have my laptop, phone, and Kindle all with arm’s reach.  So far I haven’t been too bored.  Some cheesy sci-fi material keeps me interested.  I surf the web when I’ve had enough of reading.

Today, being Monday, has me making phone calls.  I set up my follow-up appointment with the surgeon.  I rescheduled a dentist appointment that I’m just not ready to go to yet.  I’m having issues with my HSA account since switching insurance plans, so I spent considerable time on the phone with Humana.  Unfortunately, the bank that holds the account is closed for the holiday today, so I’ll have to try again tomorrow.  I hate the bureaucratic bullshit that goes with dealing with any large company.  Their mistake becomes my problem to solve.

Although I’m grumpy, the peace and quiet of downtime has been kind of nice.  I know that won’t last before I get stir-crazy though.  Hopefully moving around will be less painful by then.

Hospital Stay

This hospital stay is much different than the last one.  This one was planned.  The last one began with a trip to the E.R.  This one I went in feeling decent.  The last one I went in with excruciating pain.

I arrived at the hospital at 5:30am for the 7:30am surgery.  They had me undress, prepped me, and shaved my right leg.  They asked the same questions several times – in several different ways.  They stuck an I.V. in my right arm.

They took me back to do a nerve block.  This involved sticking a needle, guided my ultrasound, into the back of my right knee.  I did not like this idea one bit as I would be awake for this part.  It would ease pain post-op though.

They gave me some drugs to relax me.  I spoke to my doctor who said we’d talk more in the O.R. before starting surgery.  That never happened.  I fell asleep before the nerve block.  I woke up after surgery in the recovery room.

During the time I was out they did the nerve block, flipped me over, put me to sleep even better, intubated me, flipped me over again, fixed my achilles tendon, and put a splint on my lower leg and ankle.

I woke up in the recovery room.  It was a peaceful waking.  My thoughts weren’t clear.  My memory was foggy.  I had trouble staying awake for more than two minutes.  No matter, I was whisked to my room, where Diane was waiting.

There’s a dry-erase board in my room with Plan of Care

  • Pain Control
  • Fluids
  • Mobility

I wasn’t in severe pain when I woke up.  I was uncomfortable, but the nerve block was doing it’s job.  They gave me an anti-nausea medication and something for pain.  I had trouble staying awake.  Water and light food was pushed at me.  I had trouble keeping it down, but did manage.

Just a few hours after surgery the PT girls* showed up.  It was mostly to figure out how I can walk while I heal.  I now have a walker.  It’s easier to use than crutches, but it’s slightly embarrassing.

The PT girls will be back today to teach me to navigate stairs.

After my rather short PT session I was quite awake.  My appetite was back.  I started drinking copious amounts of water.  I was feeling better.

A couple of hours after that the nerve block began to wear off.  Ouch.  Surgery is painful.  I’ve been alternating between Percocet and morphine.  The Percocet takes the edge off the pain.  I’ve found the morphine to just make me feel weird and somewhat sleepy.


I had a lousy night’s sleep mostly due to the pain.  Diane insisted on staying with me the whole time.  She fell asleep early on the small couch in the room.  She did crawl into the tiny hospital bed with me briefly.  It’s just too small.

I’m supposed to be discharged today.  I’m still waiting to see my doctor.  I don’t know how things will play out.

I am to put NO weight on my bad leg for a while.  This is going to be difficult.  Even once I get home, I’ll spend a lot of time in bed.  My Kindle should keep me from being too bored.

Therapy has not yet begun.  I have no idea before I can walk without a walker, ride a bike, or climb stairs.  This sucks, but I’m going to follow doctor’s orders.  I want this to heal properly so I don’t have to worry about it again.

*PT girls are the Physical Therapists.  No, they don’t work at PT’s, which is just a few blocks from here.

Feeling Better, but… Surgery

I felt almost normal this morning – until I tried to walk.  Then my slow, shuffling gait reminded me that I’m damaged.  I got ready for work.  Diane had already left.  I knew the bus schedule and had plenty of time.

Walking down the alley to the bus stop was slower than expected.  I hate crutches.  I missed the bus by 30 seconds.  I called a cab.

I barely used my crutches.  I hate them.  I can shuffle slowly around.  I can even climb stairs slowly as long as I hold on to the railing.  I have almost no pain, just a dull ache and some stiffness in the ankle.

Diane’s sister picked me up from work at 1:00 to run me to my appointment with an orthopedic surgeon.  It’s only five blocks from work, but I don’t want to walk that distance.

The fact the the ankle has been feeling better had given me hope that the tendon was only partially ruptured.  The doctor dispelled that thought.  It’s a complete rupture.  I have no ability to flex my foot downward.

Anyway, I go in for surgery on Friday.  I’ll be in the hospital overnight.  I’ll be out of work for a week.  Being in a new contract job, I have no paid time off, so I just don’t get paid.  Shit happens.

It’ll be a slow recovery.  I won’t be able to walk on the right leg for quite some time.  Riding the bike is months away.  This sucks, but that’s the way it is.

Diane was off work when I finished up at the doctor’s office.  She picked me up, and we headed to buy dog food.  As she was driving down Baxter Avenue, I saw a familiar cyclist ahead.  It was Katie who organizes car-free happy hour.  I rolled down my window and talked to her at a red light.  She said she had the same achilles problem before – from falling.  I didn’t have time to ask her if it was due to riding a bike.

Now that I’m home, I lubed the chain on the Fargo.  It had been a muddy mess after Sunday’s ride.  I haven’t had a chance to write about that yet.  I will soon.  I had washed the bike after the ride, but the chain was beginning to rust.

Now that the Fargo is done, I still have a flat tire on the rSogn.  I probably clean it thoroughly while I work on it.  I might as well work on the bikes since I can’t ride them.  I have some changes I want to make.  Now is a good time.  I just need the money to buy some parts.

I can still be a bike geek, even if I can’t ride.

Down and Out

I had an appointment with my family doctor this morning.  The Achilles tendon is fully ruptured.  The next few months are going to suck.

Oddly enough, I woke up pain-free this morning.  I can hobble around slowly and carefully without crutches.

I can’t drive.  It’s my right ankle, and I’m totally unable to flex my foot downward to push on the brake or gas pedal.  I’m not going to attempt to drive left-footed.  That would probably lead to an accident.

The borrowed antique crutches were replaced with modern aluminum ones, for a measly $5.50.  It’s nice to have friends with access to such things.

Diane was working today and had the car.  Her sister took me to my doctor appointment.  Her mother drove me back home.

I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon with an orthopedic doctor.  Then I’ll know whether I’ll be having surgery or not.  I’ll probably be outfitted with ones of those ugly moon boots.

Although I could pedal a bike well enough, I can’t ride a bike.  I’d probably put the wrong foot down when stopping and hurt myself worse.  The bikes are staying parked.  I’ll clean them, tune them, and look at them.  I’ll get back on a bike when the ortho says so.


Uh Oh

Today was the first day of the new session of volleyball.  I had a new team with a player new to the league.

We were struggling to keep up during the first game (of three).  We still had a chance, and we played well.  They were playing better.

About halfway through the first game, during a play, I thought one of my teammates had kicked me in the back of the ankle.  I went down.  Anger turned to confusion as I realized there was nobody behind me.

I sat for a minute, in the middle of the court, trying to asses the damage.  It still just felt like I got kicked in the ankle.  I decided to stand, and realized I couldn’t.  I hobbled off-court and sat in a nearby folding chair.

Then the pain came.  It was bad enough I felt cold, clammy, and a bit woozy.  Two guys helped me to the bleachers.  Someone else brought a bag of ice.

As the ice numbed the pain, I felt better and watched my team get beat all three games.  They tried hard.  They played decently.  The other team played better.

One of my teammates is a doctor.  After the games, she checked my ankle and she’s afraid I may have torn my Achilles Tendon.  Is it a small tear?  Is it completely ruptured?  Is it just strained?  I don’t know.  I’ll be making an appointment with a sports medicine doctor ASAP.

I was loaned some (antique?) crutches.  I can’t really walk without them.  There isn’t much pain now, but things don’t feel right.  I have little strength in that leg.

This sucks.  Unless it’s just a strain, I’m out of volleyball for the session.  I’m off the bike.  I can’t even drive, as it’s my right foot and I can’t press on the pedals.  Luckily, I can work – as long as I can get there.

I won’t be working tomorrow, as I intend to be at a doctor.  I’ll post another update once I know how much damage was done.