Tag Archives: foot injury

Smurfette Part 2: The Bone Scan

Ohhhh, the déjà vu.

2011: I was training for my second marathon, and struggling with a sore ankle every time I ran. I spent months in physiotherapy with no relief. Dear Physio was getting frustrated; I was beyond frustrated.

2016: I haven’t run in 9 months. I’ve suffered horrid pain that’s become more a dull ache in my left foot for 12 months. I’ve spent thousands (note the plural) on physio, chiro, acupuncture, essential oils, and more with no relief. Frustrated. Desperate. Moody. Sad and envious as bloody hell.

Both outcomes resulted in bone scans. In 2011, it turned out I had stress fractures in both ankles. In 2016, well, as I’m currently writing this post in the waiting area of nuclear medicine, I don’t yet know the results.

What I do know:

At 9 a.m. I was injected with a blue radioactive tracer containing phosphate and technetium. The phosphate is treated by the body as a building block; anything broken, stressed, out of alignment, not as it should be is a hot spot trigger for the phosphate and will glow brightly under the scanning camera. They took a few pictures right off the hop to see how the body reacted to the dye, if there were any blood irregularities, etc. These pics, which I could see forming on the screen, made my feet look like sparkly glass slippers.

Cinderella! Cinderella!

From 2011: Injecting the blue dye

Then I waited… and waited… and waited. Waiting, pretty much an apt description of getting bone scans done. Because you’re injected with such a small amount of the radioactive tracer, and because it’s got to travel all the way down to the feet, you’ve got to give it sufficient time. The injection was at 9 a.m. and the scans didn’t start until 2:40 p.m.. In between, there was a whole lot of water drinking (to flush out the kidneys) and tea drinking (because, well, I love tea) and studying (same thing for 2011, except this time it’s for college chemistry and last time it was high school chemistry).

The scan itself was only about 20 minutes!

From 2016: The masking tape chronicles

The fellow doing my scan was great. As soon as he saw my insulin pump, he started telling me about how all four of his sisters have type-2, and his brother-in-law in Finland has type-1 and takes daily pen injections. We talked about Canada’s medical system (which by no means is as free as many in our country and others believe it to be) vs. Finland’s. This came as a shocker to me given how great the country is with its educational system, but apparently in Finland, the cost of diabetes is based on a weigh scale; those overweight pay way more than those not. This man’s brother-in-law pays in the thousands (Canadian equivalent) every week!!!

“He likes his sweets,” the tech said.

Don’t we all!

He took three photos of both feet (to compare the two): one of the top of the foot, one of the bottom, and one of the side. The photos took five minutes each and you had to stay still for the full five minutes. I was good for the first two photos; I think because we were talking so much it took my mind off it (plus, for one of the photos, my feet were taped with masking tape). But the last photo, I don’t know. You know when you’re told to stay still, but try as you might, all your body wants to do is move. That’s how I was! The last two minutes of that last photo, I could feel my feet and knees starting to twitch, and I kept thinking no, no, no, be good, be perfect, follow the instructions, don’t you dare move, dammit, stop, stop, stop. I tried taking my mind off what was going on by looking at the skeleton feet forming on the screens and trying to figure out which ones belonged to which foot, and wondering if that glowing line was normal foot bones or Princess problems. When the musical ding finally rang, I nearly shouted Hallelujah!

Apparently my doc will have the results in a week’s time.

Hopefully there will be some answers, something that will get the recovery process on the right track. Because seriously, I just want to bloody fricken well run!

With fingers crossed

Dear PoP friends,

I must confess. I haven’t been entirely honest with you all. I haven’t been lying either, but I’ve also not been offering up full disclosure. And some of you have noticed.

I’ve fielded more than a few inquiries lately as to whether I’ve taken a running hiatus, whether I’m now leaning more towards cycling… it seems you guys notice when I write about running and when I don’t 😉

Well friends, I am now writing to assure you that I am not giving up on my running, not taking a break from it, not even thinking of such a thing. It was just a momentary rest is all.

A few weeks ago, on the last stretch of an hour long run (seriously, 5 minutes from home!) I was motoring down a hill, in the zone, had Lady Gaga telling me baby, I was born this way, when BAM! my right foot went down hard into a where-the-hell-did-that-come-from dip in the pavement! I kept running but was constantly doing a check: how is my heel, how is my arch, how are my ankles, etc., etc.? Everything seemed fine.

However, later that morning, Big Ring, Little Ring and I decided to spend the day at the Vancouver Aquarium which involves about 7 km of walking to and from the skytrain station, as well as a couple hours hanging out with the fishies. Instead of wearing sensible shoes, I wore flats. Big mistake.

On the walk back, I started to feel a stretch in my arch. I tried adjusting my foot, adjusting my walk, flexing my toes, but nothing would alleviate it. It felt as though the ligaments were being stretched out like a 25-cent sticky hand. Oh freaking crud.

I iced. I advilled. I elevated. I rested. For a week and a half I stayed out of my running sneakers. My first run back last week was 3 km. I didn’t concentrate on pace, didn’t fret about distance, I just wanted to make sure everything was okay. The arch seemed fine on the run, but I still questioned whether or not I was feeling a dull ache during other parts of the day. Two days later, I tried 4 km, again not worrying about pace, but more focusing on form. It felt good. Two days later, I upped the distance to 5 km. Still good. Two days later, 7 km. And today, 9 km. All good.

Let these feet fly…


  • 4:45 a.m. BG before: 7.0
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: 2 shot bloks (16g) with bolus
  • Distance: 9.02 km
  • Average pace: 5:37 min/km
  • Time: 50:34
  • 6 a.m. BG after: 9.1

I’m still not 100 per cent sure if it’s fully healed. I still question achy twangs throughout the day, I still fret if there’s something there or if it’s just in my head. For the most part, I think it’s okay, and when I’m running, I know it’s okay. It feels perfectly great in running form 😀

And so, with fingers crossed, I continue to massage and ice the hell out of it, and hope I’ve nipped the jerk face in the bud!

So there you go, we’re back to full-disclosure blogging.