Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a national champion runner with multiple records in distances ranging from marathons to 100 mile trail races. Follow Liza while she runs Marathon de Sables April 5 - 11.

May 2011
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Bone Scans R Us

LizaLiza

I got a three phase bone scan today.  It’s not as exciting as it sounds, but I did get to be injected with a radioactive substance, so there’s that.  The bad news is that I probably have a fractured metatarsal or two.  I say probably because the bone scan tech person wasn’t allowed to confirm anything — not being a radiologist and all.  She was nice enough to dance around the confirmation with me though.

Me: (Lying on my back with my feet in the imaging machine, staring up at a computer displaying a faint image of my feet and a blinding white spot over my injury site.)  “So that’s a fracture, right?”

Non-radiologist: “I can’t say.”

Me:  “So that’s not what a soft tissue injury would look like?”

Non-radiologist: “Oh, definitely not.”

Later she quizzed me on the how I’d hurt my foot.  When I mentioned trail running and rocks, her face became all-knowing and she asked if I’d considered running on “one of those soft tracks.” She was not an active looking person and I’m sure soft tracks were only attractive to her as advice for fractured runners.  I wanted to respond with something that would stick with her like the soft track advice had — something inspiring about the beauty of trail running, but nothing came to me before she repositioned my feet, started the next scan, and left the room.

The scan results were sent to my doctor’s office, but he didn’t call to officially confirm things — despite multiple promises from his receptionist.  So I’m heading into the Memorial Day weekend blind.  (Blind in an internet researched kind of way.) I’m hoping aqua jogging doesn’t exacerbate things.  I’m also hoping I won’t lose my mind aqua jogging for five hours.  We’re supposed to head up to the Kerrville Folk Festival tomorrow, and Eliot suggested I jog in the Motel 8 pool while he, Granddad, and Asa wandered around the festival.  Just repeating that suggestion back (“Five hours in the Motel 8 pool on Memorial Day weekend while you’re at a music festival.”) helped Eliot identify some flaws in that plan.  It’ll be a good day one way or another for us.

I’m sorely disappointed about all this and I don’t know what it means for running Western States yet.  I’d like to run regardless of what training I can get in.  I’ll have a better idea of my options Tuesday.  I got a heavy dose of perspective from a young boy and his father waiting outside the scanner room when I arrived.  While I was taking off my sneakers, the tech came up and told the boy they’d need to take just one picture of his head.  The dad said, “That means you found something.”

“I’m not allowed to say, sir.”

“But they said we’d only have to go in a second time if you found something.”

“A hot spot showed up.  But I can’t say what that means.”

“When will we know?”

She told him that it usually takes 24 to 48 hours, but that with the Memorial Day weekend, they probably wouldn’t hear anything until Wednesday.

The dad sat down and told his child that he was sorry.

So come on by my neighborhood pool if you’re in town (it’s right behind the biker bar).  I’ll be there circling the deep end and counting my blessings.

Comments 16
  • mtnrunner2
    Posted on

    mtnrunner2 mtnrunner2

    Reply Author

    >she asked if I’d considered running on “one of those soft tracks.”

    It’s no fun running if wild carnivores aren’t stalking you. Be real, people.

    Well, I’m sorry to hear there’s a “real” problem with your foot, but you probably know you’re somewhat lucky it’s a fracture vs. a torn ligament. At least that’s my take on it. With a fracture, once it heals you’re probably good. With ligaments…?

    Nonetheless, frustrating for sure.

    Poor kid with the head x-ray; that’s truly sobering. Ever read Death Be Not Proud? Don’t. I hate that book. It’s the worst book ever to make kids read in school.


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      I’m sure I’ve read Death Be Not Proud, but I can’t remember it right now. I’m steeling myself for Where the Red Fern Grows and Bridge to Terabithia. Good point about the ligament. And you have wild carnivores stalking you on runs? We don’t get those so much down here. Big spiders and wild boar — and snakes. I think we’re too sweaty for the carnivores.


  • Richard
    Posted on

    Richard Richard

    Reply Author

    Noooooo Liza!!!!! :-( what a nightmare! I hope it isn’t as bad as it seems and it heals quickly. Richard


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      I feel like this is what I get for suggesting aqua jogging to you. Some sort of aqua jogging advocacy curse. Lesson learned. ;)


      • Pommers
        Posted on

        Pommers Pommers

        Reply Author

        Aquajogging karma? LOL Liza :-)


        • lizahoward
          Posted on

          lizahoward lizahoward

          Reply Author

          Just try to remember this years from now when you’re about to offer a well-intentioned aqua jogging recommendation to someone.


  • SteveQ
    Posted on

    SteveQ SteveQ

    Reply Author

    You remind me of one of my first marathons, where I heard a “snap!” in my foot and was pretty sure I had a stress fracture. I went to the hospital – the next day – and walked in, saying I thought I broke my foot. They insisted I use a wheel chair. They took an x-ray and the doc said, “Could you be more specific as to where you think you broke a bone?” He showed me the x-ray and there were at least 20 fractures in different degrees of healing. A spot doesn’t mean you can’t run!


    • Kelli
      Posted on

      Kelli Kelli

      Reply Author

      Why don’t you host next Thursdays, change of pace, “Pool Run!” I’d be there!!


      • John
        Posted on

        John John

        Reply Author

        Oh…I think that’s a great idea! Bring your own floaties.


        • lizahoward
          Posted on

          lizahoward lizahoward

          Reply Author

          I will post the invite and purchase the watermelon and beverages.


      • lizahoward
        Posted on

        lizahoward lizahoward

        Reply Author

        Deal! Maybe I can get some extra Aqua Jogging belts.


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      Good grief! I hope that’s the case for me. Will see a sports podiatrist Tuesday.


  • Lisa
    Posted on

    Lisa Lisa

    Reply Author

    I’m sorry to hear about your fractures!! Are you wearing any special support boot or no? From what I’ve heard from different orthopedic docs, injuries like yours aren’t truly debilitating. Anyway, it sound like you’ll really know what’s in store next Tuesday.

    Keep your spirits up and take care!


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      I’ll find out about the fashionable boot tomorrow. Sounds sweaty.


  • Greg L.
    Posted on

    Greg L. Greg L.

    Reply Author

    Sorry to hear about all this. I hate when they suggest soft track, stationary bike, yoga, etc. “Why don’t you just sit in your rocking chair all afternoon?” I’m sure you will recover quickly and be back on the trail soon. Speedy recovery.


  • lizahoward
    Posted on

    lizahoward lizahoward

    Reply Author

    “Why don’t you just sit in your rocking chair all afternoon — knitting and eating doughnuts” is what I hear when they make those recommendations anyway. Or Charlie Brown’s teacher. “Mwaa mwaah wah wah waah.”