Surgery and Sanity

Posted by on August 7, 2008 at 10:22 pm :: 2 Comments

I got the sad news last week that surgery on my ankle will unfortunately be necessary. The physical therapy and orthotics didn’t improve the condition of my ankle enough. The doctor told me that at this point, after everything I’ve tried, it appears very unlikely my ankle will ever improve on its own. At best it will stabilize and not get any worse. However, it is possible that, instead of stabilizing, the tendons will continue to tear further up my leg and that at some point they might even rupture all together. So he recommended getting surgery.

Since I have tried every noninvasive option available to me, and my ankle may continue to deteriorate without intervention, I decided that going ahead with the surgery is probably a good idea. I opted to have it done at the end of this month, so I can just get it over with and start the recovery process.

The good news about this surgery is that it takes relatively little time, about an hour, to perform. The doctor will be stitching up my tendons in a few places, cleaning out scar tissue, and exploring the area to fix anything else out of whack. The surgery has about a 90% chance of significantly improving the condition of my ankle and could potentially make it as good as new.

However, not everything about this surgery is good news. The worse part is that I won’t be able to go back to doing the things I love (snowboarding, soccer, mountain biking, running, racquetball, etc.) until February. This is very depressing. By February my sanity may be questionable.

Unfortunately, in order to give my ankle adequate time to heal after surgery, I will be in a cast for two weeks, on crutches for six weeks, in a boot up to my knee for three months, and then back in physical therapy to regain strength and movement. In total, my recovery time will be about six months.

Me getting a ride with Aaron

Me getting a ride with Aaron

Those of you who know me well know I need exercise. It keeps me balanced and focused. It also helps me get rid of some of that excess Rachel energy, which I have in abundance. So, if I have to go without it for months, I might as well institutionalize myself. I am therefore trying to come up with alternative, non weight bearing, exercises I can do while my ankle is out-of-order. I have already ordered several arm and ab exercise videos but if any of you have other excellent ideas please let me know.

Me and my boys

Me and my boys

In the mean time, I am trying to pack as much fun into the few weeks I have left as possible. Jason and I went biking up Millcreek Canyon on the Millcreek Pipeline twice last week. Aaron joined us on one of those occasions. The ride was excellent and the mountains were beautiful. Those of you who live here in Utah and don’t take advantage of your proximity to these lovely mountains are really missing out. I plan on getting my fill of them in the next few weeks before my surgical escapades.

Those crazy boys

Those crazy boys


  • Lauren says:

    What a bummer!!! I’m so sorry to hear that! I feel your pain, if I can’t bounce all over the place, I go nuts. I wish you a speedy recovery!

  • Rachel says:

    Thanks Lauren. It will definitely be an interesting challenge for me.

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