Brain Vomit: MRIs, Overdoing it and Failing at Moderation.

I had an MRI done on my foot last week. What a strange experience that was. Those machines are enormous. Why does all medical equipment and hospital furniture have to look so similar? The equipment, the chairs, the wall color—even the blankets are the same. Is it because they’re all designed by the same people and then shipped out to every medical establishment? Is there a single monopoly on the design of everything medical? Wouldn’t it be nice to get some creativity in there somehow? I know designing hospital equipment and hospital furniture doesn’t seem very appealing to a designer, but IT COULD BE. Because right now, it’s so damn depressing and much of the time you’re going in and you’re already not there for fun, so why add to that with incredibly drab medical equipment?

But I digress. I’m good at tangents.

The building where I had my imaging done is devoted specifically to imaging machines. There are two floors and rooms line those floors with many of these drab looking, but colossal machines. I was just having my foot done, but the machine that did the work was the size of a NYC apartment. (Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit here. They are large, but if you put someone in an apartment that size, they’d freak out within minutes. Granted, I’m sure people have done it—after all, those Tiny House shows are wildly popular. Hey! Wouldn’t it be weird if someone turned an MRI machine into one of those tiny houses? There’s a design challenge I could get behind. I’d watch that.)

So, yeah. MRIs. Weird. And of course the information came back as I’d expected: I have a stress fracture on the third metatarsal, which is the middle toe, so it’s kind of like my foot is telling me to fuck off every single day.

I can’t run. I haven’t run for 26 days.

Running clears my head of all the leftover bits that I can’t do away with by sleeping or contemplating. When I run, I empty the trash, so to speak. I clear my head of all the clutter.

I can’t run the D.C. Half on March 11th, so we’re canceling our annual trip to Washington and that thoroughly bums me out. Even if we did still take advantage of the hotel room, I can’t really walk around to see the monuments and museums with the kids, so, I guess we’ll have to wait until next year.

The Star Wars half is on April 21 and I’m crossing every unbroken toe I have left (7 of them) in hopes of being healed by then.

I was doing so well for a while. I was running every day. I was eating healthy enough (minus the ice cream every night), I wasn’t drinking, and I was getting a ton of sleep. I felt good. So good, I overdid the good and then the good turned bad really fast and I got injured. I hit a wall. I couldn’t walk and when I tried to walk, I walked differently to accommodate and so my lower back started to hurt as well. I am not sure why I have trouble approaching things with some moderation. I moderate nothing. When I approach something, it’s all or nothing. Why can’t I run sometimes and cross train on other days? Or take the day off? Why can’t I have ONE bowl of ice cream instead of two? Why am I not satisfied with ONE bowl of Raisin Bran and instead I have three? Why do I have to finish the entire bag of BBQ potato chips? Why do I have to finish the whole bottle of wine? Why do I need to fill all the flower vases every week? Why do I need to overfeed the birds outback? Why do I need ALL the cats? Why does my brain not stop at enough?

I know all my faults. I wear them every day.

Anyway, I finally called a psychiatrist and I hope to discuss all these things with someone who knows stuff about things. Medication has helped me a great deal, but I need some talk therapy. I need to get to the root of it all.

I’m not sure why I’m sharing this. It seems that lately whenever I share something personal, it backfires somehow. A family member may use it against me. Someone may look at me differently. But here I am, likely making yet another mistake with my writing out too much personal information, blogging like it’s 2003 all over again.

Did I mention that I have trouble with moderation? ;]

I’m so far from perfect. I have all these insecurities and every day is a challenge for me to some degree. I am a work in progress. And I have a tendency to overshare my progress—like I’m keeping a public timesheet of all my insecurities, failures and emotions.

Something makes me think people aren’t supposed to do that.

But, again. Moderation isn’t my strong suit. But I’m trying.

I’m trying to fail forward.


  1. Remember the line “Sometimes you gotta say ‘what the f'” from Risky Business? I swear to you, the older I get, that line is more and more true. You want to share something a tad personal? What the f. Go ahead. That line can truly give you a lovely feeling of freedom and peace of mind, never mind that it came from an 80s movie with Tom Cruise. :) Strive to be a better person, eat better, take better care of yourself, all of those things, but sometimes… what the f. The anxiety that comes from trying to be near-perfect is sometimes worse than not being near-perfect at all, you know?

    That said, I am sorry about your foot and your DC trip. I hope you get that toe back in shape for April!


  2. I like people who “over share”. I am one of those too. Yoga declutters my brain as running does for you. Maybe try something else. Coloring does it for me, hiking, biking, writing mindlessly under a tree. I have a similar story with being in a really fit place and then being injured. It took a long time to heal and I still have to baby that hip!


  3. I’m a writer. And I’m a notorious over-sharer. I vent and then I am in anxiety worrying about what someone is going to think. I have no advice. I am constantly working on it. I think deep down, at least for me, worrying about it is a sign of feeling weak; of being afraid that we might need these people who maybe now don’t like us because we told about having irritable bladder or voting a certain way. I notice that when I am strong, when work is going well and we are making money, when our health is good and I am feeling secure, I worry less about venting.

    What kind of music did you listen to in the MRI? I always pick the Motown. Take glucosamine/condroiton religiously twice a day. Chinese doctor told me about it. Studies show great results. I broke my back a few years ago and there is osteoporosis in my family. The fractures healed beautifully. I am sure it was from the supplement because my hair and nails were growing like crazy. I didn’t miss a day taking it and it showed. First time I actually SAW results with a supplement.


  4. Motown! Great idea. I chose classical.

    And I just purchased that supplement from Amazon. Thanks!

    And thanks for making me feel less like a freak for over sharing. :]


  5. It’s interesting that you focus on your flaws; I hope it’s not too often. Overdoing, lack of moderation…it’s just…interesting. I imagine those who truly love YOU, like your husband, just love YOU. All of YOU. Do you focus even 5% as much on the flaws of the person closest to you, the one(s) you love the Most-Most?

    I hope you know that your “flaws” are your uniqueness and the ones that one day might change the world forever.

    *Tenacity.* Not overdoing.

    Lastly, have you tried biking? Like, getting on a hundred dollar bike from Academy Sports and riding around your neighborhood each evening? I lost 60 pounds doing only that.



    1. You are too kind. And you are right. And I go up and down and am feeling so much better today than when I wrote that. And therefore I’m focusing on the good stuff. I do have a lot of good stuff and you are right to point that out and I so needed to read it.

      I have not tried biking in over a decade, but Toby and I are in the process of getting one together for me. I need something and I think that’s going to be it given my age, my legs and my feet seem to need a break.


  6. I love your oversharing. My husband is a lifelong runner and needs the mental clearing you describe or he becomes a real jerk. He has trouble with hip bursitis and has found that biking has saved his mental health. I hope it works for you as well.


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