It was on the Sunday after Achilles surgery when I started to feel pain in my calf. Initially, it didn’t bother me that much as I attributed to the re-engaging of my calf after the repair of my Achilles. However, the pain increased to the point where it bothered me when I rested and when I was on my crutches. I was also using my iWalk during this time to get around the house so I wasn’t sure if that had some contribution to it.
On Tuesday day 5 post operation, the pain became so immense that I decided to call the doctor the following day. I thought it was due to the cast being too tight around my calf. I called the doctor’s office on Wed. day 6 post operations. The nurse asked me how long has the pain been ongoing and I said 3-4 days. She expressed her displeasure that I didn’t call sooner. She relayed the info to the doctor and he wanted me to go see him right away! Normally, I wouldn’t mind going to see him but he was in his other office way out in Anaheim which was about 45 min away! I indicated that I wasn’t sure if I could get a ride that far out. He said he needed to ensure I didn’t have a blood clot and that I had to go to the ER right away.
This was totally unexpected. I didn’t want to incur another ER visit so I found a way and got a ride to Anaheim from a good friend. With just 15 min notice, I was on my way.
I arrived at the office and waited for about 20 min. While I was waiting, I had a conversation with another patient of Dr. J who had bone spur removed from his foot. That’s one interesting thing about orthopedic patients. You tend to feel this sort of camaraderie with others as the physical disability is so visible. I’ll share a bit more about this when physical therapy starts.
When it was decided I had to see a doctor for the pain, I knew the calf had to come off. Prior to this, I had penciled in the first doctor visit, which was another week away, to get the cast removed. I was a bit looking forward to this to see how the scar was and maybe get the cast removed early. I first answered a few questions with the same nurse who took my call then a cast technician came in to remove my cast using this Dremel like tool. There was so much padding that it kept coming out. The color of my foot was actually pretty good. Also surprisingly, no bad smell 🙂
The doctor came in and gingerly removed my foot from the cast. I wasn’t sure what to expect from my scar as this is the first time I had such an incision in any part of my body. At first glance, it looked like how I expected to look. The doctor said it looked really good. There were some slight dis-figuration along the actual suture but it was very straight and no discoloration or swelling.
He pressed on my calf in various areas and inspected it. He asked if I had any pain right behind my knee along my calf. I said no. The pain was more deep down in the main calf muscle. He was relieved and pretty sure it was not a blood clot but wanted me to get a Doppler ultrasound. We had trouble finding a place that could offer this with such short notice but I managed to find a friend whose neighboring radiology center had a unit and was able to fit me in. I never had a Doppler ultrasound but they basically use the sound of blood whooshing through my veins and blood vessels to see if there are any abnormality. The result was negative. What a relief! Another good news is that the doctor cleared me to wear my walking boot and didn’t have me go back in to get another cast.