As a follow-up to my post “Unknown Unknowns”, I’m now able to change a Known Unknown into a Known Known. The MRI to diagnose a suspected metatarsal stress reaction was negative. From “I know what I don’t know” to “I know what I know.” No stress reaction. Unfortunately, I add a Known Unknown…I know that I don’t know the root cause of the pain in my metatarsals. Neuroma? Something else?
Good news, yes! I am able to run with the confidence that I don’t have a stress reaction, and therefore no risk that continued running would worsen the injury to create an actual fracture. Orthopedic and Neurosurgery Specialists (Greenwich, CT) confirmed the negative MRI on Monday, April 15, and the next day I removed my Aircast boot and resumed running.
Although I eliminated one Known Unknown, and added another Known Unknown (not knowing the root cause of the pain), I still am processing the Unknown Unknowns that I identified in my earlier post.
What’s Behind the Unknown Unknowns
At this time, I believe there are two factors contributing to the Unknown Unknowns of why did I not learn and adapt from my 2012 confirmed (through MRI) stress reaction to the December 2018 suspected stress reaction (never confirmed). Only when the pain reoccured in March 2019 (which I now know is not a stress reaction because of the negative MRI), did I go back to my 2012 injury and take the same approach with a professional diagnosis of my March 2019 injury, including both an X-ray and an MRI. And good news I did!
Factor 1: If you’ve followed my journey, you are aware that I’ve re-integrated running as a lifestyle to help me heal from separation and divorce. I am running through emotional pain. It’s helping me manage depression, stress and anxiety. Running is my elixir. Therefore anything that adversely impacts my running endangers my journey and recovery.
Factor 2: Ego. As I’ve written in my post “Easy Days Easy”, ego can interfere with (even block) sound judgment based on analytical reasoning. Maybe I thought I didn’t need professional diagnosis. Maybe I thought taking a few weeks off from running would heal the injury. Maybe I didn’t want to learn the actual truth, and instead thought everything would be fine given time. Wrong.