Healing to wear heels

October 13th, 2011

When I was in high school I suffered a serious injury. I ruptured my achilles tendon while playing a soccer game at Cleveland State University.

It’s interesting that this happened to me when I was 16 years old. Usually this injury happens to middle-age men who try to play a pick up sports game on the weekends. It baffled doctors because I was not only young, I was in extremely good shape. At this time in my life I played for three soccer teams and practiced for hours each day.

Rupturing the achilles tendon is one of the most painful injuries. It felt like I got shot on the back of the leg and it was all downhill from there. There’s a reason film directors put this injury in horror movies.

My injury happened only a few days before New Year, so doctors had taken time off for the holiday. I had to wait until after New Year to even make an appointment with a doctor.

As it turns out, this long-awaited doctor appointment only served as a message of disappointment.

The doctor immediately made me an appointment for a surgical procedure the next morning. At first this seemed like a rushed process, but looking back on it now, it was probably best not to wait longer for surgery; I would have had more time to think about it and get nervous.

But really, I was in too much pain to be nervous. I just wanted my achilles repaired so I could get back to playing soccer as soon as possible.

Well, as soon as possible turned out to be a very long time.

After surgery they wrapped the lower part of my leg in a thick dressing that weighed seven pounds. As if using crutches during a Northeast Ohio winter while on Percocet wasn’t difficult enough.

When the podiatrist repaired my achilles, he put it back together with a material called Tephlon, which I later learned is what pots and pans are made of. Basically, my achilles tendon is just like an average, everyday kitchen utensil.

After surgery, my doctor advised me never to wear high-heeled shoes again. This is not an option for me.

I have spent way too much money on heels and have far too many pairs to give them up. I am actually a bit embarrassed about how many pairs I own.

After my leg was healed I most definitely wore heels again. I bought a few new pairs the second I could walk on my own again.

For the past few months, my other achilles has been aching. Everytime I exercise, walk to or around school and yes, even wear heels, it hurts.

I’ve been to another podiatrist who said I need to get an MRI. He thinks I have something called Tendonosis in my achilles which is a pre-cursor to a rupture.

This is a problem for a number of reasons. The most significant reason is that rupturing my achilles tendon is now my biggest fear. It was the worst pain I have ever been in and I never want to experience it again.

Another reason is that post-surgery was an extremely long process. I have much more going on in my life now than I did when I was in high school, so I don’t have time for a huge setback like that long recovery process.

A big reason is because I really like walking. I like wearing skinny jeans and cute shoes. If broke my achilles I would have to lug around a heavy cast while using crutches. This would mean wearing sweatpants and one tennis shoe for the next six to nine months.

Obviously if something happened and I absolutely had to go through that process again, I could endure it. But do I want to stop shopping for heels?

No, thank you.