My Achilles Tendon Operation

My Achilles Tendon Operation

Tagged For Surgery

So just as my knee seems to have come right the shit has hit the fan!! (Oh, and excuse the kak photos, they were taken on my phone while I was hitting it up with morphine!)

Anyway, on Tuesday I played my usual league squash match, only this time it didn’t go quite as well as planned. During my second game I pushed off to go for the ball, felt a shooting pain in my calf, and collapsed in a heap on the floor. Being the smart man I am, I left the court immediately, iced the injury, and had a numbing beer.

Now I’ve had all the normal injuries like sprained ankles and pulled muscles, so I knew this was more serious, but decided to wait for morning before seeing a doctor. I spent the rest of the evening at Stokers having dinner and a few beers, followed by a few games of pool at On Cue…until 2am.

When I woke up I was unable to move my foot downwards and decided to go and see a GP. Not realising how serious it was I drove to ‘Martizburg, thinking I’d pop across to the office afterwards. Driving without being able to move your foot is interesting. I used my heel and leg to push in the clutch, and managed to only grate the gears once or twice. Respect!

The doctor looked at me for about two seconds, and then proceeded to tell me I needed to see an orthopedic immediately, and would probably need surgery. So I got back into the car and headed home…grating gears and all.

Sharon met me at home while my dad phoned around and found out which surgeon to go to. A few hours later I was back in the car, thankfully being driven this time, and on my way to Westville hospital to see Dr Bremer.

The doctor turned out to be rather casual, and we ended up waiting for 15 minutes since he was out having a swim. After examining me he casually informed me I needed surgery since I’d completely ruptured my Achilles tendon. He scheduled me for Thursday.

Recovering From Surgery In Westville Hospital

The next couple of hours were spent filling in admission forms, mostly to avoid having to do it on the morning of the surgery. Looking back, this almost seems like a waste of time, since they re-asked me all the questions again anyway.

Sharon drove me to the hospital on Thursday morning and stayed with me the entire day (thanks sweety). I lay in bed reading and watched the first of about ten movies I would see during my visit. Originally I was in a room with four beds, but after about an hour I got moved to a private ward, complete with bathroom, since they wanted to make my original room an all female ward. What luck!

At around 10am they collected me and took me down to theater. When I got down there the whole place was under construction, and they wheeled me, and one other guy, into a corner which was filled with random medical equipment and surrounded by dry walling full of holes, complete with the sound of banging. Very professional! And a great way to instill confidence in your patients!

I lay there for about half an hour during which time the anesthetist came and had a quick chat with me, while other doctors rushed around in their scrubs. Between all the banging there was the sound of heart monitors and nurses asking people to open their eyes. On the odd occasion a recovering patient would be dragged past, completely drugged up, and not looking all too pleased. They could’ve let me wait in my room and avoided this fun.

Eventually I was taken into the theater and I lay there watching them unwrap the “tools” they’d be using. The anesthetist put in a drip, told me to have a good sleep, and I was gone.

I don’t remember being rolled back into my room, where Sharon was waiting, but apparently I was awake. I had the odd conversation which I don’t remember, but generally I slept. My mom came to visit which I think was more entertaining for Sharon than it was for me, as I pretty much slept through the whole thing. The pain wasn’t too bad at this stage, but it did kick in later.

At one stage a nurse came in, gave me a bottle, and told me I had to pee to check everything was functioning correctly. After trying unsuccessfully several times to pee lying down, I caved, got Sharon to help me up, and stood precariously on one leg while she held the bottle in place. Love is!

Dinner arrived at around 4:30, just an hour after they’d served me lunch. Both meals were good. For lunch I was served a chicken pie with veg, and for dinner chicken something with chips, and pudding.

My First Cast To Allow For Swelling

Eventually, at around 7pm, my mom and Sharon (who’d now been there for over 12 hours) left. My doctor still hadn’t come to see me, even though he’d said there was a chance I’d get out the same day.

At 8pm the nurses arrived to give me my second bottle of pain killers (via my drip), and I then tried to go to sleep. Sleeping in a hospital is surprisingly difficult once the sedation has worn off. For the first few hours I had nurses coming in and out of my room, checking on me and changing my drip. At around 10pm this came to and end, but the pain had finally kicked in. I knew I’d just had my pain medication, so I didn’t bother calling a nurse. Instead I lay there, half asleep, until 2am when I finally gave in and called for a nurse. I was hoping it had been long enough to get more pain killers, but it hadn’t. However there was light at the end of the tunnel, and she returned shortly after that with a shot of morphine in hand. Woohoo!!

When she offered me the Morphine she told me I needed to roll over to give me the shot in my ass. Being in pain I asked if it was possible to be given it anywhere else, since rolling over seemed like a huge effort, with a lot of potential pain. She told me that all she needed was an area with some meat, and that I could have it in the arm. After rolling up my sleeve and looking strangely at my arm, she proceeded to inform me that it would have to be in the ass. Guess that’s a sign I need to start working the guns. Bwahaahaaaaaa!

After the morphine I slept like a baby (albeit it with some very strange dreams) until they woke me at 5am to start the day.

Overnight I’d become a champion at peeing lying down and, thanks to my drip, had filled several bottles. Okay, maybe that’s too much information. Moving on…

By 10am I still hadn’t seen my doctor, and they’d taken my breakfast order for the following day. I was starting to get sick of this. Eventually, at around 11am, Dr Bremer showed up. He walked in, asked me if I was in pain, and proceeded to tell me I could leave. Thanks for the update doc. I dragged him back and managed to get in a few questions, although probably not as many as I needed to.

It then took 2 hours, another movie, and lunch, before the physio showed up with my crutches and gave me my exercises. After she’d seen my skill on the walking sticks she gave me the nod, and I was finally allowed to leave. We then waited another 30 minutes for the porter to arrive. And that was it, I was finally out of the hospital and on my way home.

Saturday morning was all it took to get me sick and tired of being stuck indoors. In the morning my mom arrived to cut a whole through my hedge so I wouldn’t need to use the stairs. Other than that I did some reading and watched a movie. By that stage I needed to get out of the house, so we decided to do the usual Saturday trip to the squash club. But before that I needed a shower. Fun! Of course, being in a cast, I wasn’t allowed to shower, so Sharon helped me into the bath with my injured leg left hanging over the edge. We then had a good chuckle while I tried to work out how to clean myself without getting the leg wet.

After a successful, but pain in the ass bath, we headed down to the club where I got to sit and watch everyone else play. Grrrr (I’m not a good spectator). Then it was off to the Twisted Lemon for the Sharks rugby, and then home. By this stage the pain in my leg was mostly gone, unless of course I bumped it.

We grabbed McDonalds for dinner and then lay in bed and tried to watch a movie. I lasted about 20 minutes before passing out.