When Metatarsals Imitate Life

Stress. It seems to be an unavoidable part of life at times, and we all have different ways of showing and dealing with it. When I’m stressed and/or overtired (the two seem to go hand-in-hand for me), my left eye starts twitching, and I feel like I look like this:

Since coming back to reality after my awesome trip abroad, my eye has been going to town with the twitches. This makes serious meetings at work particularly fun, because my eye seems to give one emphatic twitch whenever I’m speaking directly with someone, making me feel like I’m winking at them. I get embarrassed by this, then my face turns red, and I’m sure I come across wicked professional. It’s good times.

Anyway, remember the “dodgy foot” part of my last post? I saw orthopedics about it yesterday, and – still awaiting x-ray results – the diagnosis is a stress reaction in my third metatarsal:

Offending metatarsal circled angrily in red (source)

Offending metatarsal circled angrily in red (source)

The good thing about this diagnosis is that it’s not a stress fracture, just a stress reaction, so it’s not quite as scary. My interpretation of what the ortho told me is that the bone wasn’t quite stressed enough to crack, but was on its way. At least I was able to catch it in time before a fracture happened!

At this point this year another injury hardly even phases me. It’s like, “What did you say, old chap? No running for several weeks? Oh fiddlesticks. Carry on as usual, then.” Or something along those lines. While I wait for my x-ray results, my instructions are:

  • no running
  • no ellipticals
  • no biking with high resistance
  • no “5-mile walks for fun” and try to minimize the amount of steps I take each day
  • take elevators as much as possible
  • wear shoes with good support every day (aka not my current favorite Chucks that I wore to my appointment)

I have a follow-up in a week, and the ortho said he’d decide then if he wants me in a boot or not. I think the universe is telling me that 2015 is just not my year for running. And at this point, I’m past being upset about it… either that or I’m just still in the first stage of grief and am in denial about it all. Either way, I’m okay about resting and then approaching my return to running even more cautiously, and with way more cross-training and strengthening so that my body can actually handle being a body without breaking down every two weeks.

It’s just unfortunate that my stressed-out metatarsal is preventing me from running, which has become one of my favorite ways to handle a stressed-out brain. Maybe next week my diagnosis will look a little better…

Have you ever experienced a stress reaction in a bone?

Does your body show stress in any weird ways? Do your eyes twitch like mine?

When you can’t run, how do you de-stress?
Suggestions appreciated!

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8 thoughts on “When Metatarsals Imitate Life

  1. Ugh – I hope everything is ok! I am fortunate to not have any of those things … and have not yet (26.5 years and counting) had to deal with forced down-time from running … no clue what I would do!

    • Thanks, hopefully the X-ray will show it’s not as bad as first thought. I’m jealous of your injury-free running career! Whatever you’ve got you should bottle and sell… you’d make a fortune πŸ˜‰

  2. Stress is becoming a four letter word. I want to ban it from the language. Well that and life. Sorry to hear about your foot! That bites! My face can turn bright red in stressful situations but other than that I tend to eat a lot when stressed. This week was donuts. I need to find a better option.

    • Dude, for real. I second that ban. I’m sorry you’ve been so stressed lately, it’s such a drag! I learned today that my face turns red from stress too… it was red all day. It’s a good look πŸ˜‰

  3. oh no! that really sucks! Sorry to hear about your foot! They called mine a bruised bone,maybe same kind of thing. Very frustrating! I will be taking much time off after my race in November (which i may have to crawl through…)

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