A Third of a Year

Friends, I’m back! I know it has been an eternity in blog years since I last posted anything. It would not surprise me if none of my loyal three readers check for updates anymore. The last month has been a very long and rather arduous one away at trial. In all honesty though, it was one of the least awful trial experiences I have had. Fortune and circumstances conspired to allow most of us to work only 12-13 hour days most days which meant I got a good night’s sleep and a 30-40 minute workout every day. There was zero time for anything else but it was a truly leisurely experience by normal trial standards. Generally adequate sleep also resulted in everyone being able to behave like professional human beings most of the time. All in all, I’m feeling surprisingly unscathed from my month away.

I’m happy to report that on the heel front things have continued to steadily improve. I’m now walking almost normally over short distances. I still limp ever so slightly and by the end of the day my heel is usually a little swollen but the next morning it is always fine. I can walk at the speed of the average person but still not as fast as I would naturally if I were walking briskly. Going to the supermarket no longer has to be planned out to minimize the distance I have to cover. Going for a walk for the sake of walking however is still not in my wheelhouse. That’s actually the thing that I miss the most these days. I never really gave much thought to how much I randomly walked around but it was a lot. Now that it is light in the evening, I really miss walking down to the pier and along the bay.

Last week I had my 14 week follow up with the doctor. He seemed very pleased with my progress. My diligence in doing my PT exercises while I have been away has paid off as he said I was a little ahead of where I was supposed to be strengthwise. PT has felt a little aggressive at times but I’ve regained significant strength in my calf and my one legged stability on my surgery leg is probably around 85-90% of my good leg. For around two weeks now I have been able to eek out a few single leg calf raises at a time on my surgery leg. Single leg calf raises are one of the benchmarks (if not the benchmark) against which recovery is measured. From the other blogs I have read, I am really quite far along for the type of procedure I had. Others who had a tendon splitting procedure sometimes do not reach this level for many more weeks to months. The doctor also made the happiness-inducing pronouncement that getting back to running could start happening in 6-8 weeks. I was actually very surprised to hear this since I am still not walking 100 percent, but then a lot can happen in 6-8 weeks. I’m certainly not going to rush this process though. If I could be running even a little by my birthday in August, that would be truly wonderful. The doctor reminded me again that the whole process would likely be a year and that as I do more and more, I’ll continue to get a little swelling.

I have twice weekly PT sessions for the indefinite future and I don’t go back for another follow up with the doctor for six more weeks. For now, the novelty of being back to normal life has still not worn off. Today being May 1st made me realize that a third of the year has already passed and that most of it has been dominated by my surgery. At some point in the last few weeks though, the status of my heel and how I would get around stopped being the focus of my day. I’m solidly in Phase II of this recovery game.

So what else is on the horizon now that I am able to navigate grocery stores and airports along with the general population? Definitely more cycling and swimming for now. The true blessing of Achilles surgery is that even before you can walk you can bike an absolute ton without hurting your tendon. If anything, it seems to help things heal faster. Thanks to Zwift and my smart trainer, I may just be in the best bike shape of my life right now. The hotel I stayed at last month had a very good gym with proper spin bikes. Although I couldn’t use Zwift, I did a number of short high intensity interval bike workouts which seem to have kept me really fit. Swimming on the other hand has fallen off more than I would like. I only managed to swim a couple of times in the last month and haven’t done a proper swim workout since the day before my surgery. I lose swimming fitness very quickly so I’m a long way off where I was in early January. I am however signed up for several open water swim races in the coming months and will be doing the Alligator Lighthouse Swim again in September so I need to get back into the pool for a few sessions then join a masters group again.

On the non-sports front, I am of course intending to get back to regularly updating this blog. I have rather missed it. So many things that happened at trial made me wish I had time to blog about them. Not so much about the trial itself but about what it is like working in that environment and working in Big Law in general, particularly when you are a “girl lawyer” as one of my colleagues likes to say. That topic probably deserves its own dedicated blog actually. In any case, friends, stayed tuned for more.

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