Did I just get shot?

If I could explain what a burst Achilles tendon feels like, it would be this: A loud pop and a shot of pain on your heel. You fall to the ground and you look to see what stone or bullet just hit you. Nothing. No blood, no red mark, just an immediate swelling around the ankle. Oh, and you can’t walk. You’re down. It often happens at the first step, the first lunge off a start, and that’s what happened to me this past Saturday.

It was after Sophie’s science fair and I was feeling jubilant. We were going to celebrate her win. Instead we spent a few hours at the emergency room. Tomorrow, I’ll have surgery. Dr. Dave Matthews, who took care of Sophie’s fractured wrist last summer, will be seeing me. I’m grateful. He’s an awesome doctor with a great reputation. 

UPDATE: Surgery scheduled for Wednesday. I was too swollen today. Dr. Matthews said I am the first woman he’s encountered with a burst Achilles tendon. He said it was definitely from my childhood injury of my tendon being severed by a broken soda bottle when I was 7 or so. Please send healing vibes, love, prayers. Mahalo.

This was our third visit to the emergency room this past week. I work for a medical insurer, and wellness is a big issue. Lowering utilization is as well. But the Benders have blown it for our medical plan. We go long stretches not needing any attention. It all seemed to pour right on us this week.

I’m on crutches for the first time in my life. Getting around the house and taking care of myself is difficult. I’m waiting for my husband to come home from work so I can shower without fear of falling and cracking my skull open.

John says this is an awakening for the girls: They’re doing chores I’ve kept to myself for too long. They’re taking care of me, too. It’s nice but I’m not used to it. And he says that this is the beginning of a new journey for me. No more running/triathlete ambitions. I may never run again. I do hope to get on my bike and revive my competitive swimming career. I’d love to also get back into my yoga, but at the moment I’m terrified of stretching anything in my body.

Foot is in bandages, stabilized until tomorrow. It throbs a little bit. I can’t run out and retrieve the avocados that just hit the ground. I’m immobilized. I can’t stand it.

But maybe I need this retreat.

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. Paula, I’m so sorry to hear this! Please rest and relax as much as you can. My thoughts and prayers are with you for a successful surgery and quick recovery.

  2. Paula… hope surg goes well. I had a cast on my right foot for 6 weeks and learned quickly to drive with my left. was quite easy actually, just harder with backing up.
    as soon as you get your cast and toss your crutches, nothing will hold you back.

  3. Get well soon and enjoy the pampering that’s happening all around you! Trust me, it never lasts! Hope the surgery goes well tomorrow. Keeping you in my prayers!

  4. now would be a good time to catch up on about 10 years’ worth of lost sleep. breathe deep, and relax. find your chi and scratch it. pretty soon, break’s over, back on your head.

  5. Oh my…

    Paula I do hope you recover quickly.

    I will honestly tell you that I’ve had nightmares about blowing out an Achilles Tendon.

    Just reading your blog post reminded me of some of the things I thought back when I was playing sports.

    I remember getting a cramp one time in my lower leg and it was so painful at that moment that I thought I had blown out my tendon.

    Wishing you the best in your recovery and I know your a strong wahine that will do just fine.

  6. It IS amazing how a mother truly does hold a household together. No one sees it until mom is injured. A prime example of this in the simpsons.When Marge stops being a house wife, the house goes down hill because no one can look after themselves

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