Thursday, April 12, 2012

A leg up

Trying to break things 34 hours after discharge
Day 2 of recovery is boring. I am through the worst, I think, only 268 days left until I can lace up. After reviewing the web and following the advice of my friends and their recoveries, my neglected competitive streak kicked in. I took my last oxycodone at 3:10 AM on April 11, twenty hours after my cleaving for a grand total of 30 mg. I was thinking of unloading any extras at Middle School playgrounds after recovery.  I could trade 2 for a used video game or maybe 1 for a Justin Beiber mp3 at the current exchange rates. On further consideration, I am unsure how 1 legged insulin dependent drug dealers fare under state run hospitality programs.
3 limbed butt scoot lobster crawl.

I have been managing pain with ibuprofen since abandoning the big gun pain killers. Combined with elevation they have been very successful in keeping swelling to a minimum. As for pain, it is tolerable, but I am pretty sure my surgeon may have left his car keys in my ankle. On the plus side, not suffering from opium constipation, I am sure my protein consumption has resulted in at least 1/3 of my healing tendon's new construction. Envision a new strong cable, parallel lines of corned beef and cabbage fibers closely packed together, comprising the belly of my new brevis. I am hoping for Leprechaun speed or at least the capacity to banish all the snakes from Umstead park.
I wanted to create a loose template for anyone going through this procedure. In that effort I have composed a brief list of pointers which helped me acclimatize to my new situation. Immediately following are my suggestions for one to consider before a tendon repair.

1. Shave your head. Ladies this is especially good advice for you. Having spent the last 48 hours on my back in various unheard of yoga poses, my head has rubbed into couches, beds, the floor, and pillows constantly. Add the difficulties of shampooing on one leg with the popcorn kernels and lucky charm bits that have ground into your hair while eating in a prone position and you have a great excuse to finally homage lieutenant Ilia's hair do from Star Trek: the Motion Picture.

2. Get fit. Think core over cardio here. I am very thankful that my 9 week running hiatus was partially filled with weightlifting, chin ups, push ups, sit ups, up-downs and 7up (diet). You really need to be in shape to be successful as an invalid. Focus on the stomach and upper body strength. I am very thankful for Penny's help, but if forced (and if the NC highway patrol did not look so unfavorably on driving after anesthesia) I think I could have muscled my way through this alone. Everyday tasks are exhausting on one leg so don't entirely neglect the cardio.

3. Move into a ranch style house or apartment. There are a total of 27 stairs in my house, each with an associated curse word. I have to do the butt-scoot boogie to get to my bedroom and the only bathroom large enough to encompass my stuck out leg with the door shut.

4. Butcher and prepare several large farm animals. Penny and I cooked pounds of meals and froze them into single serving sizes. I already wish we had more. When I return to work, everything is going to take longer. In retrospect I would have prepared a months worth of meals. A good suggestion may be to befriend an orphan baby pig. You can take care of him easily while he is small and then as he grows and you run out of food: ready made bacon. He might also serve as a comfortable foot rest to keep your leg elevated. Don't name the pig!

5. Trick someone into marrying you. (or be awarded a butler in an outlandish tv sitcom court settlement). Although I like to think I could have handled the last few days alone, I have a long track record of idiotic ideas. I transitioned from Forest Gump type footwear to 8 miles in KSOs on my Vibram debut. I ran Grandfather mountain as my second marathon. Last year, I misdiagnosed a pressure abrasion from my heavy courier bag as a melanoma. There may be a few other examples. A good nurse is indispensable, and easy on the eyes. Note: your nurse should not be dressed like you (see hint 6). If your personality is really lacking or if you are overly heinous looking I would suggest getting rich as your first step.

6. Wear Cargo shorts. The more pockets the better. They are all I have worn. With your hands occupied by crutches they are indispensable. Not good for ice cream, open sodas, rice pudding, large cats, or popcorn. 

7. Install a handheld shower head. Handheld shower nozzle, milk crate, trash bag, and packing tape make for a decent field shower. Its slightly better than talcum powder and a mint. And if your at all European it doubles as a bonus semi-mobile bidet.  

8. Blog. You can literally make tens of cents blogging from the comfort of your own couch. Turn your sick leave into a lucrative second career. If you are attempting more than 1 pudding cup per week, you may want to try blogging about something more lucrative. Maybe pornography or cats on treadmills.

9. Bib. I prefer napkin. If you are fancy you may prefer linen. Depending on your cuisine every slurp is wrought with peril when eating off of your back. As showers require a harrowing staircase journey, try to limit the amount of soup on your shirt. Tuck into collar and hope for the best.

10. Lap table. Works well with bibs. Keeps hot computers off your wedding tackle.

The doctor said toes above nose for the first
four days.
I did post my first crazy high blood sugar today. No activity mixed with the siren call of 1/2 cup of Penny's dry Lucky Charms resulted in disaster. Hit over 200 for the first time in a long stretch. I wonder if the inflammation of the surgery is playing a role? I managed a trimmed down work out with the hand weights. Unfortunately, regular sit-ups feel like they are pulling on the tendon. Better safe then sorry, I resorted to lying leg straight raises. Its hard to make sure your ankle stays above your heart. Felt really good to move though and I quit before braking anything.  

Day time TV is this bad.
My Omnipod expired at 8 am and I will exhaust the 8 hour grace period any minute now. I have put a lot of thought into its position. The surgeon's pit crew had to prop me up on a bean bag pillow thing before knocking me out to accommodate it during the repair. It has been in my way more than once, anchored to my stomach/torso on my good side. I am going to place the new one on my gimpy side so I have a whole half of body to sleep on for the next 3 days.

Blood sugar correction.



  1. Ha! At least you are staying busy! Soon you will master the arts of one-legged hopping and using your crutches with no hands (yes, it can be done).

    1. Dear Running Yoda I have now mastered no hand crutching. I am now trying to eat ice cream using only my mind.

  2. Dude, your arms are bigger than my torso.

    1. You must use a slow shutter speed and camera shake to exaggerate your limbs!

  3. Ryan,

    So sorry to hear that you're out of running for a while. I'm going to follow your blog. When can we get together for a healthy drink?


    1. If by healthy you mean beer, there is no time like the present. If you mean wheat germ, soon real soon, I'll call you.