I just had surgery to repair a completely ruptured Achilles tendon, and I thought I’d create some suggestions on how to get through post-op.

My surgeon wants my leg elevated over my heart 23hrs/day for the first two weeks, which is stricter than most, but his goal is to rapidly reduce swelling so I can begin rehab in just 2 weeks and avoid complications as well. So how to make those 2 weeks bearable?  Well I don’t know. This is only day 2. But here’s what I’ve got so far:

  1. AdapDeskadapdesk-ergoarc This thing is pretty slick. It’s the only device I found that could angle the laptop to the degree you see in the picture here. I’ve got it holding a macbook pro 15″. It works great for me, but be aware that the leg height is not adjustable (it’s all wood)  there is a metal tray that can screw on to the bottom of the device at 3 different heights, but critically you’ll want to make sure that you can type with your hands resting on the bed, or you’ll wind up exhausted. If it’s too high, you’ll probably want to get some kind of narrow prop for your elbows. Either that, or perhaps an external keyboard for your lap, if you’re a good enough touch typist to never look at it. I haven’t used the add-ons. Might try the cup holder for coffee tomorrow, but I just use the trackpad on my mac.
  2. camelbackSpill Proof Water Bottle w/ straw There are a lot of pills (antibiotics, pain meds, pro biotics etc), and I didn’t want to jeopardize all of my electronics with open glasses (especially with little kids around). This is large enough that it minimizes how much my wife has to dote on me as well. I already had a camelback.
  3. Contigo autoseal mugContigo AutoSeal Travel Coffee Mug Theoretically, you could put tea in here is well. Or something from one of those freeze-dried coffee-food makers. But if either of those is the case, just go away. You probably deserved your injury.
  4. iwalk 2.0iWalk2.0 For some reason, this doesn’t seem to have caught on. Even walking into the Rothman institute, it seemed that this was a novelty. But it’s a no-brainer purchase. Regular crutches, in addition to be bad for the nerves in your arm pit, and painful to use (because of the pinching, rather than any strength requirements), also don’t let you use your hands. You can go from Point A to Point B, but you can’t carry anything while you go, until you figure out how to use just 1 crutch. And even then, you’re basically hopping. With the iWalk, both of your hands are free, and there’s much basically no pain. There are a few negatives though.  a) it takes some work to set up initially (have help). b) Getting it on takes about 20 seconds. So it can be more trouble than its worth if you’re going a short distance. c) the strap behind your knee can dig in. d) if you have a partial cast, you’ll need to add some more padding to keep your knee level. e) You adjust it for height, but wearing a shoe on your good foot alters that height.  All that said, I could make breakfast, pick up my kids, walk for long distances (slowly) more easily go up stairs (down still stinks), and you’re an eye patch away from being a pirate.

Since it’s only day 2, I can’t give a meaningful recommendation about the elevation pillows I picked up. I’ll update those in a few days if they wind up being good purchases.  I’ve also got some adjustable dumb bells that I’m hoping I’ll be able to employ as well, but again, this is just day 2.