Down for the count...

I've mentioned several times here that I've played soccer off and on for most of my life. I played outdoor soccer year-round as a kid in California, then checked out indoor soccer after we moved to Colorado and also started coaching youth soccer several years ago. Last weekend, my soccer-related activities came to a screeching halt as I ruptured the Achilles tendon in my right leg.

It happened during an indoor game with our company team last Sunday. About 30 seconds into the game, I received the ball, turned toward the goal, and suddenly felt like I'd been toe-kicked right above my right heel. I also felt a "pop" and stumbled forward. I limped/hopped my way off the field, not sure what had happened but it was clear that something was very wrong with my foot. I could mostly control it, but not well and it wouldn't hold weight. I learned later that a couple other guys on the team heard the "pop". Yikes.

I managed to drive myself home and then we went to the ER to have it looked at. They didn't even need to take any images of it to know what had happened... apparently, it's that obvious when it happens. I was splinted up, given pain meds and crutches, and referred to an orthopedic surgeon.

So this week has really sucked... As if the pain in my lower right leg weren't enough, I'm using crutches for the first time in my life. Short distances aren't too bad, but a few longer ventures this week have left my wrists and armpits very sore. And I really don't like being so dependent on others for simple things.

Anyway, I've got surgery scheduled for this Tuesday afternoon. It's an out-patient procedure that takes a couple of hours or so. After that, I have to stay off it for 10 days and will be in a cast for 6 weeks or so. Then comes the torture physical therapy... but, I'm told that I can be back on the field later this year (end of summer or fall). Assuming, of course, that I feel like I can trust it... maybe the trust will come back as it gets stretched and strengthened this spring. We'll see.

I learned that this is a very common sports-related injury for men as we get older, especially those who play sports with a lot of start-stop motion. I stretch pretty regularly and my calves are fairly strong, but it's "just one of those things". The more interesting fact is that it almost never happens with women. I'm told that the only time Achilles problems occur for women is when they frequently wear high-heels.

So... if this weblog gets some really wacky posts over the next couple of weeks, blame it on the meds.