Is it any wonder I had to stop and ask two Royal Jubilee Hospital staff directions to Nuclear Medicine after trying to follow the Worst Instructions Ever, handed to me at the front desk? —
- Walk past the Telus telephones to the end of the hallway.
- Turn right and continue walking.
- Walk down the hallway.
- Pass the LAB on the left.
- NUC MED is on your right.
- PLEASE CHECK IN.
In fact, you have to walk quite a bit past the pay phones, past a couple of laboratories and such (none of which are marked “LAB”), take a couple of turns and jogs (but essentially staying in the same long hallway), and pass at least two sets of elevators before finding a sign marked – not “NUC MED” as advertised – but “Nuclear Medicine.”
I received the directions two weeks ago when I showed up for my bone scan. They injected me with some inert isotope stuff (to provide contrast for the pictures), sent me away to let it seep into my bones, and I returned two hours later so they could scan the pesky, painful big toe joint on my left foot.
My doctor revealed the results yesterday. The good news – not a stress fracture, as she had feared. I am fine to run the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon and start training for the Royal Victoria Marathon.
The not-so-good news: it’s arthritis, probably caused by mechanical imbalances in my physiology, combined with wear and tear from years of running, hiking, climbing and my love of high heels. I thought about this for a day and got kinda depressed.
Fractured bones heal. Joint damage is permanent, as far as I can tell. I’m going to have to manage this pain for the rest of my life.
So far my Google search has turned up next to nothing. Runner’s World Online has a couple of articles about how running does not cause arthritis (well, all things being equal, and on the whole, probably not – runners are on the whole healthier. But biomechanical imbalances are another ball-o-wax). There are a whole bunch of web sites just itching to take my money for some supplement or other. Um – no thanks. I’m sticking to science-based medicine thank you very much.
I’m breaking in new orthotics as I write. I’m on another course of anti-inflammatories. That’s all I got – for now. I see Sue the Physiotherapist on Tuesday, who has already cleared me to run the race on May 3. After that – well – it’s not going to stop me from running. Not yet.