A Man’s Thing: Achilles

Here is the story of a man who lost one of his most important tendons in an instant. Manly Thing.

A Man's Thing: Achilles

What’s it like to have and suddenly not have an Achilles tendon anymore? Quite specifically. Completely different. Surprisingly different.

2 seconds earlier

I’m standing in the middle of the field, not being attacked by anyone, devising a clever plan to knock the ball as far as possible towards the goal – not my own, of course.

Suddenly the vertical world disappears and I am lying down. The sound effect accompanying this magical change in position is the sound of nylon fishing line snapping.

The feeling that my leg receives, however, is comparable (purely theoretically, of course) to being hit in the heel with a baseball bat equipped with a large scalpel. The impact of the bat hurts, and the scalpel cuts the tendon completely. That’s it in a nutshell.

And in fact, lying on the pitch, one is not even faintly aware of what has happened and the consequences of the event.

Suddenly the Subconscious speaks up: “Hey man, but that tendon is something not right. “. Still keeping her cool, Hope replies calmly: “E there, just because you have a hole instead of that thing on the back of your heel. It doesn’t necessarily mean that something serious has happened to you. All right, you won’t play today, some ointment, bandage, a week and you’ll be fine. Cool. Pour yourself some water, because you’re getting pale”.

I poured myself. With water. It did not help at all.

5 minutes later

Subconscious: “Oi man, but it’s a tendon, I don’t think it’s there. “. Hope: “Well, okay, maybe two weeks in a cast – DEFINITELY. Actually the hole is there, the tendon is gone, but oh here, here on the side there’s some, small, not all torn off. I don’t think I’ll be playing football next week, but it’s cool, it’s cool, nothing happened.

The initial shock had passed, so full of energy and reassurances from Hope, I tried to pick myself up and be optimistic. Pain does not exist and the surrounding universe is like a calm sea.

Ok, I’m standing. Step forward, slowly, slowly. Just to sit behind the wheel. I will get there somehow, after all I do not have to stand in the car.

And we were lying down. Me and her – the damaged leg. I let myself be fooled again. There is a vacuum where the ground should be.

So I finally abandon the thought of driving, concentrating on walking another metre, getting to the doctor and strangling the Subconscious – it must have been predicting.

“Youngster come see, completely ruptured Achilles,” shouted the admitting doctor to an intern. I thought to myself in horror that it was THAT funny. “Well then sir,” the doctor continued, “OPERATION.

Me, Subconscious, Hope: “Oh k. “.

But how, why and what for? I was stunned. An operation? I know it’s a joke, I know, it’s how you get patients to relax, de-stress, etc. Through laughter and jokes – to health.

I asked (in hindsight) a stupid question – is it possible to NOT OPERATE?

Doctor: “Well, you have to stitch this tendon, it’s broken – you have to stitch it. That’s the rule, it breaks off – we stitch it. If it breaks, you stitch it. And then only 6 weeks, such a nice cast, from now on (Jesus showed his whole leg, unless he wanted to scratch his thigh?); then a little shorter for 3 weeks, a two-month rehabilitation, and then only 6-9 months and full fitness. And you can basically go back to sport. Well, unless it breaks again.”

Sure. The guy wasn’t kidding after all.

– By the way,” he continued, “it’s not that easy to fix the Achilles, because it’s a damn strong tendon and the biggest one. It can withstand 300 kg of load, and without it you can’t walk, run or jump. How old are you?
– 32.
– Well, just your age.
– What do you mean at “my” age – almost crying I tried to defend my youth, my masculinity, my dignity.
– Well, yes, after thirty, we age, the blood supply to the tendon decreases, which results in faster wear and tear. Sedentary work, sports played sporadically and preferably without a good warm-up. Boom. Like with moisture, drop to drop and it will overflow. Eventually. Generally it will heal by the wedding.
– But I’m already married.
– Well, so much the better.

I thought then that this would be a good time to wake up from this rather unpleasant nightmare already. If it were a dream, of course.

– Let me comfort you that there are worse things than a severed Achilles tendon.
– Worse? What?
– Ruptured both.

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