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The Price of Being a Macho Man

Before we traveled to Colorado for vacation in August, my wife encouraged me to go to the doctor because I was having trouble with my Achille’s tendon. I had been limping around since the middle of July, after I had walked a great distance in sandals without any support. I argued that I didn’t have the time or the need to see a doctor. I refused, arguing I could stretch and exercise my Achille’s. Besides, I am a macho man and I can power through pain.

A few days into the vacation in August, I was hiking. As I climbed over a rock, the Achille’s gave way with a sudden pain. That happened a couple more times during that hike. I powered on. Then we went rafting. As I got into the raft, I bent my ankle and a pain shot from my ankle up through my lower calf. It took my breath away for several moments, as I froze trying to enter the raft. That night, my ankle began swelling. I iced it down, which made it feel better, but the swelling stayed. Then there was bruising and it began to get dark and hot.

Somewhat alerted, I called an orthopedic doctor in Hays. I cut my vacation short a couple days so I could go meet with him. He ordered an MRI.

The results were not good. I had torn my Achille’s tendon, and as phrased by the radiologist, it was effectively ruptured.

I am now wearing an orthopedic boot for who knows how long. The doctor has told me that for the foreseeable future (until at least Spring) my hiking except on flat surfaces is over, as well as climbing ladders (missing deer hunting) and snow shoeing.

The frustrating part of this is that I should have listened to my body (and my wife). My body was giving me warning signs to do something.

I should have gone to the orthopedic specialist before it ruptured. If I had acted in July, some therapy with an expert would have avoided a year of restrictions.

I see this “macho man” syndrome with some of our potential clients: they believe they will never become disabled or need long-term care. They have time to plan: to protect their resources, wishes and family. They have time – but time runs out; options run out; stuff happens.

There are signs out there; signs we see. There are steps we can take to prevent bad results. Taking affirmative action can help avoid “crippling”, if not forever, consequences.

Let us help you avoid the “boot” of being a macho man.


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