This past Monday, Sept 17th, I finally returned to the office, after almost 11 weeks being out. I was on long weekend (July 4th) when the injury occurred, and worked from home the following week. I then had the repair surgery on July 16th, and spent about two weeks just sitting on the couch recovering – WFH wasn’t really an option for that, since I had to keep my leg elevated above my heart. Since then I’ve been working from my home office.
First of all, let me say how amazingly lucky I am to have a job and a manager that allow me to work from home. I am extremely grateful for that. However, while there are definitely advantages to working from home, it’s not ideal, so I got clearance from my doctor and went back in this past Monday.
I live on Long Island and my office is in Manhattan, which means commuting involves driving to the local train station, parking there, taking a train into Manhattan, and then taking the subway to get to my office. Competition at the LIRR parking lot is fierce, and if you’re not there by 7 AM you likely won’t get a parking spot. I left the house at my previously usual time of 6:25 and managed to get one of the last spots in the “good” parking lot. There are no handicapped spots in this lot so I ended up just taking a regular spot, which was about 1000 feet from the stairs. The stairs weren’t too much of a problem, though I am definitely slower climbing them, and double-timing was not an option. I got a seat and the train ride was unremarkable.
I got off at Penn Station and took the escalator up to the concourse. I took another escalator up, and then decided to take the stairs up to street level. Again, no problem, just slow. I walked over to 6th Avenue and entered the NRQ station at 6th & 32nd. This was the first time all day I had to go down stairs, and it was definitely more challenging than going up. The main problem was that the boot was too big for the steps. I took the subway to 5th Ave & 59th Street, just to take a peek at Central Park before work. One thing I noticed walking on the sidewalk was that the slight grade of the sidewalk is very noticeable when wearing the boot. The sidewalks are all slightly slanted downwards, from the building to the street, so rain will run into the street. Normally I don’t notice this, but having the massive flat-bottomed boot bolted on, unable to use my ankle, it was awkward and uncomfortable. I found walking on the right side of the street was easier than the left, so that the boot was lower than my good foot. Not sure if I’m explaining it well, but it was a noticeable issue.
When I got to the office I took the elevator to the 17th floor, where the coffee is, and then walked down stairs to 16, where my desk is. I managed to get special handicapped elevator privileges with a doctor’s note, so I can at least take the elevator to my floor in the future without having to walk down.
For lunch I walked to a burrito place about 5 blocks away and brought it back to the office to eat. That was also a relatively unremarkable experience.
At the end of the day, I left a bit early, since there’s no way I can run if I need to catch my train. Descending the stairs into the subway station near the office I started to feel sharp pains in my right ankle – my non-injured one. By the time I got off the LIRR and got back to my car the pain was becoming more frequent. My immediate guess was that all the walking down stairs had caused Achilles tendinitis in my right leg. I had a physical therapy session right after work and I told my therapist what happened and he massaged the right leg as well as the left, using his roller thing. He said the right calf was extremely tight, and I need to make sure to stretch the calf out before doing anything, to avoid future injury.
The pain in the ankle continued intermittently throughout the evening, and when I woke up Tuesday, laying in bed, I felt it continue. It felt like someone had slashed the very bottom of the back of my ankle with a razor. I decided to work from home rather than exacerbate whatever the issue was. By Tuesday afternoon it was fine, but I chose to work from home for the remainder of the week. There are just too many steps involved in getting to & from the office. I plan to go back in either tomorrow (Friday) or Monday, and see if I can take a different subway route that has escalators or elevators the entire way.