The Maybe Stress Fracture
I have run only once since The Baltimore Marathon. After the race, my left foot hurt so badly that I heard an imaginary crunch every time I tried to take a step. Walking felt difficult, and running out of the question. Eventually, I went to the doctor and got a diagnosis: “likely metatarsal stress fracture.”
The radiologist did not see the fracture on the x-ray, and made the conclusion based on symptoms. He explained that fractures don’t always show on x-rays and an MRI would be necessary for a definitive diagnosis. Either way, he assured me, the prescription would be the same: don’t run.
I did not want to go through the hassle of an additional medical exam, so I said “OK.” There are different kinds of OK. Sometimes, I mean OK, with enthusiastic approval that I follow up with action. Sometimes, I just mean OK, like an acknowledgement. Although I had intentions of picking up swimming and biking instead of running, the OK at the doctor represented more of the latter.
After avoiding running and taking the elevator instead of stairs for a week, the “crunch” and pain went away. I went on a slow and short test run, and my foot did not feel worse. Plus, my spirit felt better, so I made plans to join the Pacemakers for a Saturday run.
Then on Friday afternoon, one of my honeybees stung me on my foot. I am a beekeeper and allergic in denial. I went to bed that night intending to run in the morning. At 6am, I awoke with a foot burning red and hot and much larger than my own. It would not fit into any of my shoes. Instead of running, I found myself strapped to a chair with my foot iced and elevated.
During that immobile weekend, once I finished feeling sorry for myself, I decided to be productive. I caught up on work stuff, re-discovered sewing, and reflected on it all, remembering God’s signs:
And never say of anything, “Indeed, I will do that tomorrow,” Except [when adding], “If Allah wills.” And remember your Lord when you forget [it] and say, “Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct” Holy Qur’an, 18:23-24.
I still don’t know if I have or had a stress fracture; either way, next time, I will say and think, inshaAllah.