Achilles rupture recovery update: Week 3

It’s been three weeks since my surgery on the 2nd. I don’t have a doctor’s appointment this week, but there’s still plenty of news!

First, I can feel that the healing process has continued. The day after getting my stitches removed, I definitely felt increased pain and swelling, but in the week since, both have improved considerably. These days, when I remove my walking boot for my range of motion (ROM) exercise each day, my leg hardly looks swollen at all, and I seldom feel any pain. The main times the pain acts up at all are right after I do my exercises, which seems normal, and in the middle of the night. Typically, I’ve had pain wake me up in the middle of the night around 3 or 4 AM. When that happens, I take some ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce the pain so I can sleep. But last night, that didn’t happen, and my leg felt pain free in the morning.

Last Friday, I also got to wash my right leg for the first time since surgery. Fortunately, I seem to be retaining most of my melanin, so it didn’t look like a pale, shrunken vampire leg. All the incisions have healed, and though it’s not a pretty sight, there are no signs of complications or infection. As you can imagine, a leg that hasn’t been washed in two weeks doesn’t smell very good, so it was quite a relief to get clean!

I’m still not putting much weight on my leg, not because I can’t, but because my boot/heel is simply too high to easily walk. I think the walking boot will only become a true walking boot after removing a few more heel wedges in the next month or so. I’m looking forward to no longer using crutches; it’s amazing how frustrating it is not to be able to carry anything!

Since my last post, I’ve continued to receive visitors, and even gone out to lunch a couple of times. We have to pick restaurants carefully, and make sure that they have plenty of room and extra chairs to prop up my leg, but with help, I’ve been able to manage. I’ve definitely enjoyed the visits.

Here I am with the one and only Tim Taylor. Photo credit goes to my mom.

I’m an extrovert who gets energy from seeing other people face to face, and I’ve missed my usual -schedule of get-togethers. I still tend to favor crutches and wheelchair over the knee scooter, but I did use the scooter once to help me get to the barbershop for a haircut.

As I mentioned in my last post, my wife and kids are in Japan for our long-planned Japanese vacation. We talk via Skype each day, when it’s the beginning of their day, and mid-afternoon for me. They’re having a great time, which I’m glad about, though I wish I were able to be there with them. That being said, it is both hot and rainy in Japan right now, and if I were there in my current condition, I’d be struggling, so it looks like the decision for me not to go was definitely the correct one. So far, they’ve seen Tokyo and Kyoto, and tomorrow they’ll be visiting the Studio Ghibli Museum. They also visited a mini-Shiba Inu cafe, where the patrons get to play with miniature Shiba Inu puppies. I can’t wait to see the family video! They’ll be getting back on Saturday night.

(It’s worth noting that miniature Shiba Inus are controversial; they are not an officially recognized breed, and purists consider them an unnecessary modification to a classic breed.)

My blitzscaling talk for StartSe in Sunnyvale went smoothly. The organizers arranged for a wheelchair-enabled Uber to transport me, and my friend Angelika Blendstrup accompanied me the whole time to make sure I got to and from the event safely. I’m glad I didn’t have to disappoint the 100 Brazilian entrepreneurs who traveled thousands of miles to visit Silicon Valley. Afterwards, I signed books and took photographs:

Here I am with Luciano Abe; I didn’t ask if he was related to Japan’s Prime Minister!

Once again, my amazing parents have come to my aid by watching over me while my family is away. They had previously planned to be here anyway, to watch our dog Misty while we were in Japan, and to see old friends in the area, but now they’ve had to add watching over an invalid to that task list! Fortunately, I’m much more self-sufficient than I was when I needed someone to disconnect my cryotheraphy machine just to visit the restroom, so they’ve been able to keep their appointments with friends.

My next doctor’s appointment is in about a week; hopefully I’ll have more good news to report then!

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