One thing I have figured out is that this injury really messes with your head and your confidence to do things. Most of us never thought that a slip or a misstep would do this much damage and now we fear everything. At least knowing I had a previous partial tear takes away some of that fear for me that it will happen to the other leg.
I don't know how I would deal with a bi-lateral. You "guys" are inspiring!
Tugboat - If it wasn't for this site I would have followed the Dr's orders without question. And I did follow them for the first 4-6 weeks (each time LOL). Getting more information about the healing process has let me be a little more aggressive. If the tendon is 80% at 6 weeks than I feel like I should be stretching it based on it's reaction, not a set 15 degrees per week. I went from 30 - 90 in a week and I didn't push it any harder that week than I did before or since. I wasn't about to just stop at 45 because the Dr's schedule said so.
However PLEASE everyone make sure you are careful. I think it would be better to go slowly and not re-injure than to take too much of a risk and have to go for a 2nd surgery. Losing a month SUCKED!
As far as the meds, I did a little research on the withdrawal effects before I came off them. Most of what I saw said to not quit cold turkey. When I decided to come off them I dropped down to 1/2 pills for a week or so and then started spacing them out a bit more. The first few days with nothing suck because you get "flu like symptoms" so you're stuffy and your whole body is sore. Plus random chills throughout your body. And a headache that lasted a few days. But after 4 or 5 days most of it is gone and it decreases. Now that my body is detoxed I could probably take a pill here and there if needed but I've been fine with some advil here and there.
I think overall it's better to get off the pills as soon as you can. I just know myself and if I hadn't been a zombie I might have pushed to hard too soon. Now I'm at the point where unless something crazy happens (again) I don't think I can damage the tendon by being aggressive but careful.
One thing that I think is really helping with everything is rubbing the knee (after the first month). I rub it for hours each day and can feel some sharp pains here and there which seems to be scar tissue . I was moving the skin around the other day and felt a sharp pain and then the skin started moving MUCH better. I guess I popped some scar tissue!
If your PT isn't expensive then I would suggest going. I know there are other exercises that I should probably be doing but I walk a few miles a day at work and climb a lot of stairs. The walking really helps keep the leg loose and I'm slowly taking the stairs again to build up the leg. Add in the stationary bike and that's what made my legs strong in the first place so I figure they will rebuild with it. If I start to get tracking issues or muscle imbalances then I'll target specific muscles. One thing I said before and will say again. Being full weight bearing the whole time allowed the rest of my body to stay in reasonable shape so I don't think I lost any balance and my core is still solid. If anything I lost weight from the lack of appetite from the pills.
Good luck and keep working at it. It seems to take forever but it's also very satisfying when you start to see the results of all your work.