Hope, misery, crutches and oomph

As usual, I’m joining Kim and Deborah for the Weekly Rundown link-up where people share their week of fitness activities.

My week was… interesting, and quite tough. Of course it’s all related to the stress surrounding the foot injury. But the week ended well in many ways, so let’s dig into it.

Monday – all about medical stuff

I went to see my GP Monday morning for a non-foot related issue. But of course had to bring up the foot since I had had so much pain over the weekend. He gave me a referral to go to the nearest A&E for a regular x-ray.

At the A&E I was told I only have inflamed metatarsals and that I’m too young to have a stress fracture. Hmm, I don’t think so based on what I’ve read. And the problem is that stress fractures normally don’t show up only a regular x-ray until it’s in a certain healing stage, so I still know nothing, and still need to treat this as a stress fracture until I know. At least now I know it isn’t a full fracture, and the compression sleeve they gave me had a dramatic pain relieving effect.

When we came home there wonderful spring weather and not much wind either. You other people would have gone for a nice run or walk! I was almost pain free and decided to embrace the moment so I hobbled out in the garden and picked some weeds. It was wonderful to do something normal!

I’m so impressed that this honeysuckle has been thriving through all the frost this winter, and is already budding!

Tuesday – gym day

This was a quite good day and I still had low pain levels. My strength session in the gym was great as usual. I did some good barbell chest presses, flyes, and bent over reverse flyes, to name a few. I also did a good hamstring curl, lying face down on a mat, and using a resistance band. I felt so good doing something for my legs!

Wednesday – a huge setback

The pain was back with a vengeance, and I had to realise that trying to be careful and avoiding what causes pain isn’t working, I still do too much and the foot can’t heal.

They finally contacted me about the MRI and it won’t happen until the 18th of May. I was NOT impressed. This is a private hospital, WTF?? I had a good cry and then contacted my GP by e-mail. The recommendation was crutches full time (I had already got them from a pharmacy online) to avoid weight bearing.

At the end of the day with some kind of plan, I was in a much better mood. I think the most exhausting with this whole foot issue has been not knowing what to do or expect, different ideas, no clear information, no plan.

However – nothing has changed. I’m not any worse than I was before knowing I can’t have an MRI for another month. And if it is a stress fracture, many doctors don’t even order MRIs for it, they diagnose it by examination only. And even if I would prefer having a verified diagnosis, for now I just have to deal with it, move on, use the functional body parts, focus on what I can do and enjoy that. But it’s hard.

Thursday – mobility

I started the day with some shoulder and hip mobility work, and back extensions. Everything felt awkward but I went for the slow tune session in the evening for my mental health.

Friday – gym day

Until this week’s setback, I’ve continued doing some standing exercises in the gym, such as shoulder raises and the likes. We’re stopping that now and I’ll only do seated and other bench or mat exercises. My trainer has to hand me the weights. It feels shit but at least I can train. If I was on my own in a regular gym I doubt I would be able to do it.

I did dumbbell chest press, flyes, tricep pullovers, seated shoulder press, bent-over reverse flyes, and some work on ankle mobility and hips. Overall it was a good session but I got to failure earlier than usual with chest press and pullovers. I was terrified my muscles were strained from using crutches.

Overall it was a good session, but I didn’t feel good on Friday night. It was like the gym session made it so evident how much I can’t do and won’t be able to do for a long time. I was sad and upset over all the strength I’ve built up that will potentially be lost. Is there even a point with trying to stay fit? Do I have to start from scratch with my strength training after this? But later I managed to pick myself up. I have to keep going and not lose more muscle than necessary. And I have to keep reminding myself that this is only temporary.


Saturday morning started like Friday evening. I was upset and teary. Then I talked to my better half and he is so sensible. He gave me some good reminders how much I can do, that I should use this time to train more and get stronger than I otherwise would have been, except the legs and feet obviously.

Then I got into training clothes and did some work for hips and glutes – donkey kicks, fire hydrants with resistance band, my favourite side plank with twists and hip dips, hip circles and more.

While having dinner we watched a documentary on YouTube about some young wall climbers and their journeys in life. One of them suffered a knee injury and had to have two surgeries. She was away from climbing for a long time but got back to the 2021 Olympics and won a gold medal. Sadly she had to retire after this but that was because of a back problem.

The message was that injuries can make you stronger. It was very inspiring and empowering and gave me some oomph back.

Sunday – more at-home strength workouts

My mood is in a much better place, especially after doing push-ups and mobility exercises. My body feels quite good, and the foot is much better than it was earlier in the week.

This isn’t the happiest weekly rundown post from me, but that’s it. At least the mental part of it is getting better. Now I need to stay focused, move on, make a good at-home strength program with more variation, do things that make me happy, and so on. Hopefully I’ll have a better week next week!


38 responses to “Hope, misery, crutches and oomph”

  1. Lindsay avatar

    Oh, what a hard week, but I’m so glad you ended it in a better place. I, too, have an other half that helps me see what I can do when all I can see is what I can’t. Lots of good thoughts your way!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Isn’t it wonderful to have them! Thanks for your good thoughts.

  2. Deborah Brooks avatar

    Wow waiting a whole month for an MRI?! I would be pretty upset and defeated as well. Even if you did have a stress fracture, it could be almost totally healed by then. I would check to see if they have a cancelation list and or call them all the time to see. I did that with one of my Dr’s and it worked! Hang in there!!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Exactly my thought, it will be almost healed by then! I asked to be on the cancellation list. We’ll see what happens.

  3. Wendy avatar

    Ok, medical provider here: you said it yourself, if you have a stress fracture, it will show on an xray–so can you get one in a week or so to see? At least you’d know. The MRI will show tendon inflammation, which based on how long this has been bothering you is probably what you have. Just MHO. Feel free to PM me if you have questions. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this!

    1. Susanne avatar

      When this first started I was certain I had tendonitis because it seemed so unlikely to get a stress fracture with so little running. But my GP did a test and said it’s not tendonitis. The x-ray last week didn’t show anything so it’s unlikely it will show something after another week. One article said it can take up to 6 weeks for a stress fracture to show on a regular x-ray! I’m seeing my GP again in the beginning of May so I’ll continue what I’m doing until then and see what he thinks.
      Even if I’m pain free in time for the MRI it will be useful to do one because if it was a stress fracture it will decide how to proceed with rehab. But nobody will be happier than me if it turns out to be something with softer tissues only.

  4. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    Oh Susanne, I’m so sorry for your distress and frustration. I can’ imagine how difficult your situation is for you at the moment. A thought…since you’re not supposed to stand for your strength work, would it be possible to do some (most?) of those moves while kneeling? One of my workouts last week, the instructor had us standing on our knees. He said it forced us to use our core more (for balance), and it made the moves more challenging because we couldn’t rely on our legs for “pushing power” or stability.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks so much, Kim. Your suggestion of doing kneeled exercises is wonderful! It should definitely work for shoulder raises and such. And if it engages the core it’s something I need! Many of the usual core exercises are hard or impossible to do, even my side planks because it’s hard to know how to place the left foot safely.

  5. Jenny avatar

    This is so frustrating! And the person who told you you’re too young to have a stress fracture is shockingly ignorant- I had two stress fractures (one in my foot) when I was in my 20s. I think you would feel better about all of this if you could just get a clear diagnosis.
    Yes, there are a lot of stories out there about people overcoming terrible injuries, to eventually triumph. Keep doing what you’re doing- you’re still getting stronger with your training. Eventually your foot will heal (i promise!) and you’ll be able to do everything you want. Hang in there.

    1. Susanne avatar

      A big YES to what you said about being ignorant – I read that stress fractures are more common in females under 20 or over 40 (I’m 49). And I tick all the boxes for most risk factors. Yes, a clear diagnosis would help so much. My trainer would be able to help more as well if we knew.
      Thanks for your encouragement Jenny! I’ll keep up my strength training and Kim’s idea of kneeling exercises was excellent.

  6. Debbie avatar

    Oh Suzanne, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re still having such a tough time with your foot and don’t have a true diagnosis. I know it’s got to be so frustrating, but keeping up your strength training will make you feel so much better overall. I like what Kim just suggested about kneeling for some of your upper body strength training moves. What do you think about trying that when you’re not with your trainer? Hang in there and good luck. We’re here for you!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Oh thanks Debbie especially for your last statement!
      I totally agree about Kim’s suggestion and I’ll try some kneeled exercises this week! The strength training definitely keeps me going (despite how I felt on Friday night) and helps both physically and mentally. Honestly I don’t know how I’d manage walking on crutches if I hadn’t been training my shoulder area!

  7. Coco avatar

    Ugh, I feel your pain and frustration. WTF on being too “young” for a stress fracture. I’m pretty sure teenagers can get them. Anyway, that doesn’t mean you have one but still!

    I’m glad you are focusing on what you can do, and there’s no sense wallowing in what you can’t do, but it is OK to be mad/sad about it. I find I have to have a pity party before I can get over it.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Coco. I couldn’t agree more about the WTF! Right now I’m trying to balance the being sad with the moving on and focusing on what I can do. Yes, the pity party is definitely needed!

  8. Melissa avatar

    Too young for a stress fracture? I’ve never heard of that!! I had my first ones – in my tibia and metatarsals in my 20s. They did an MRI and found them. No fun, but then I could heal! I did go to a special sports medicine Dr who was used to runners, etc. so maybe that helped with my diagnosis?
    Sorry you’re not feeling good still. Here’s to hoping you figure out what’s wrong and/or feel better soon!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Melissa, I definitely think it helped you to see a sports medicine dr, I wish I had one! But both my GPs (I saw one early on who isn’t my regular GP) have suspected a stress fracture, so at least they’re taking it seriously. That odd dr who said I’m too young was at the A&E where I was referred for an x-ray. If I hadn’t had the referral from my GP he certainly hadn’t even let me have an x-ray!
      How did your metatarsal stress fracture feel and how long did it take for you to be pain free?

      1. Melissa avatar

        It took a few weeks of no running. I had a boot and was only allowed to bike or use the elliptical for several weeks! Good luck!

        1. Susanne avatar

          Thanks Melissa! In a way I wish I had a boot because then I would possibly be able to ride a bike. We would actually get organised for a spin bike just for that one purpose!

  9. Chocolaterunsjudy avatar

    I’m so sorry to be reading about your trials. I know it seems so unfair (and it is). Glad your better half helped you to get into a better place mentally — that’s what will take you far!

    Americans always envy the medical systems elsewhere but I swear from what I read it just seems broken everywhere. Of course you also have to think about how hard medical professionals have had it.

    My best advice is just focus on what you can do. There’s always something! And allow yourself all the feels, too. I’m sorry!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks so much, Judy. Yes, I’m trying to not be upset about the health system because I know how hard it is to work there. And even worse for all those working through Covid. And yes, European health systems are so much better than the US (from what I know) in the sense that we don’t have to sell our houses to get care. My MRI will cost from €300 (but is covered by my insurance) and I’ve heard horrific numbers in the US. But there is NO country that is interested in investing in healthcare and that shows (and that’s why I left the nursing profession). Here in Ireland there’s a mix of public and private care and apparently the private clinics are overwhelmed too.

      But yes my husband is wonderful and I have many other wonderful people around me too. My Thursday music group gives some lovely distraction!

  10. Renée avatar

    Hi Susanne, I’m just (re)joining the WRD so I know we don’t “know” each other yet… I just want to say I’m sorry you had a tough week. I am no stranger to foot issues and after 2 ops on my left foot (first one left me with nerve damage) and arthritis in my toes, I know just how much foot pain sucks. and I’ve been there too, wondering what it will be like when I am finally mobile again. In my case other things cropped up too (like menopause) and I’m really at the beginning again it seems. But that won’t be your fate, I’m certain of it!

    can you get a private clinic to do the MRI? we have to wait ages here in NL as well but I always sucked it up and went to a clinic. but it’s costly… of course if you get more than one in a year it works out financially (sadly enough).

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Renée, nice to meet you! I think I left a comment on your blog but perhaps it’s in moderation queue. Believe it or not but my planned MRI IS in a private clinic. Apparently they are flooded just like any clinics. It really sucks.
      I’m sorry to hear about your foot pain! How does it work to run with nerve damage and other foot issues?
      Honestly I don’t know if I will run again after this. My feet are precious to be because I love long walks and hiking and getting around without trouble and I don’t want to risk anything like this ever again if I can avoid it. I guess potentially after recovering and a lot more strength training I could run again, but I don’t know if I’ll enjoy it again, or if I’d only worry about injuries. I’ll see in a year or two.

      1. Renée avatar

        strange I didn’t see anything, but I’ll check spam again! I take medicine to ease the “electricity” feeling in my foot on top of that a lot of ibuprofen to ease inflammation which is not ideal but I don’t want to stop walking or running! I’m just not ready for that! Maybe once you are fully healed you can slowly build up to avoid injury? It’s tough.

        1. Susanne avatar

          Yes, I’ve been thinking of that… just that it would take a long time to build strength and how would I know when it would be safe to run? For now I don’t feel it’s worth it anymore and just want to enjoy lifting weights and building strength and muscle and the challenge and achievement I get in that… but who knows, I might change my mind.

  11. Shathiso avatar

    So sorry to hear about your foot issue but so happy you have your husband (and also us!) to share your emotions and feelings with. That sometimes takes the load off. Just to add to the positive stories you have already heard – my friend was training for Comrades which is an ultra-marathon in South Africa when she got injured. She was devastated as she had already invested so much time, energy and money in the process. But she focused on the things she could do like cycling and strength training, and when she got back to running, she was even stronger than before. So, it is possible. But it takes patience which is not always easy.

    Best of luck and continue to share with us. You’ll get through this xx

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Shathiso, thanks so much for your lovely support. I’m sorry to hear about your friend! Even worse if you’ve invested time and everything else for an ultra. Being able to ride a bike must help a lot with keeping leg strength. And that’s a very inspiring story about her comeback! I’m going to work hard with my strength training and later my rehab and we’ll see how I feel about running again after I feel strong enough. It’s possible I’ll just walk, hike, row, lift weights etc going forward.

  12. Marcia avatar

    Oh Susanne I’m so sorry about your leg, the pain, the crutches and long wait for an MRI. All of it is so frustrating. I know you will determine the types of exercises you CAN do to keep from going crazy, until then hang in there. I hope you get some answers and a good treatment plan soon! Hugs!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Marcia. I had a good moment looking for some more strength training ideas last night!

  13. Cari avatar

    So frustrating.
    And I’d say you’re definitely not “too young” for a stress fracture, not because you’re old, but because my doc had me checked for one when I was in my 20s.
    Hope there is a a cancellation and your MRI can be moved sooner. Meanwhile I love the rest of your bod y plan

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yep, definitely not too young. Honestly where did he get that from!

  14. Darlene S Cardillo avatar

    I hate hearing about your stress and pain.

    The Dr is correct, a stress won’t show up in an xray.

    After I broke my ankle, I overused the good foot and had a stress fracture. Of course the dr told I didn’t and the xray showed that I didn’t. I knew I did from Dr Google.

    I limped around around and even ran two 5ks, got another xray which showed that I was correct, my stress fracture was healing… it shows up once it is almost healed. (callus forms on the bone) So I only had to wear the boot for 3 weeks.

    Young runners in HS can get stress fractures… You need a new dr.

    As you say “It’s only temporary.” It will heal. It will eventually be in your rear view mirror.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Darlene, fortunately the dr who said I can’t have a stress fracture was at the injury unit at the hospital, he’s not my regular doctor. My regular dr wanted me to have the x-ray but I don’t know what he expected from it to be honest. When my foot deteriorated, he told me to use crutches and await the MRI. I’ll see him again next week.
      So sorry you got a stress fracture in your good foot! What an awful bummer.
      I’m in a much better place mentally now and the foot seems to slowly get better. Thanks so much for your support.

  15. Jenn avatar

    Hugs, hugs, hugs. I’m glad you’re in a better place, but I know how frustrated you have to be. I hope you can get to the bottom of this and get back to healing soon.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you so much, Jenn!!

  16. Michelle avatar

    Oh Susanne I’m so sorry. What a frustrating week. I’m really sorry you’ve been dealing with so much pain. I really hope you are able to get some answers soon. Sending you hugs!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you so much, Michelle! The good news for now is that at least the pain has settled down a lot.

  17. Anne avatar

    No two ways about it. This sucks. Hard.
    How absolutely awful, Susanne. The uncertainty, the up-and-down nature of the pain, the lack of information (or, really, knowledge) from the A&E doc (I mean, seriously, what the hell, dude? Age has nothing – NOTHING – to do with stress fracture risk. Good grief.), the delay in getting the MRI…
    I would be frustrated as anything, and I think you are showing amazing strength and resilience as you navigate all of these frustrating turns and twists.
    Thinking of you. <3

    1. Susanne avatar

      It all sucks bad, Anne. And I can’t believe how that dr said that and took it so lightly. If I hadn’t had a referral, he wouldn’t even had x-rayed it. When I get the MRI, 7 weeks will have passed.
      This is certainly teaching me patience, resilience, and finding ways to make life as good as possible in a difficult situation. All good things but I really wish I didn’t have to go through this. But I have no choice than to find ways to get through it with my sanity intact. Thanks for your support!

Leave a comment and make my day

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *