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Them Bones, Them Bones, Them Old Bones

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

I went in for my routine dexascan today. I have to say that I am very confused and frustrated about the whole bone density issue.

I spent most of my adult life making certain that I got enough calcium, ran, lifted weights, stayed active. When I had my first dexascan about 4 years ago, it showed pretty severe osteopenia in my hip and lower spine. The doctor I was seeing then, started me on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

By the next year's dexa, she had moved to a different town, and I had a new doctor and got my dexa at a different lab. The results this time were slightly worse than the first one.

My doctor was upset about the HRT because I am at high risk for breast cancer, and strongly recommended I get off of the HTR, which I did. She was also concerned about the results of the dexa because I was quite fit, and sent me to an endocrinologist. He ran tests and, from the results of the tests, decided I had a parathyroid tumor. After nuclear medicine tests, a parathyroid tumor was neither discovered, not ruled out. He recommended Fosamax.

I was not happy about taking it because I don't think that those drugs are necessarily safe. Sometimes I feel like a guinea pig. Take HRT - don't take it, it raises your risk of breast cancer. Take fosamax - don't take it, you can develop osteonecrosis. Exercise to keep you bones strong - humph! Now I exercise because I like it and for other health benefits, but it sure didn't protect my bones the way I hoped it would.

Fast forward to this year. My dear endocrinologist, a very sweet and thoughtful man, has had to leave medicine because he has a fatal disease. I am very sad about that. We don't get to pick who gets sick, but I can't help feeling like it isn't fair - I hate it when good people get sick.

So, new specialist - a skeletal specialist this time. She agrees with me that fosamax might not be the best thing for me. She was also very concerned about the dexas but for a different reason. They were done at different labs, on different machines, and in different positions. She felt the data was very unreliable. So, this dexa was on the same machine, same lab, same position.

So back to the guinea pig theme - many years ago, I had a skin condition that the dermatologist said was precancerous, and I should never go out without at least a 50 sun screen. As a result, guess what? My vitamin D levels were very low. At this point, I have been treating the bone density issue with vitamin D supplements at the recommendation of the skeletal specialist. I am more comfortable with this approach than with the fosamax.




Now I am waiting for the results of today's dexa to see what my bones are doing.

Women's health is a very confusing issue, especially at this juncture in life.

My personal bone strategy, in conjunction with the doctor's recommendation (short of fosamax, which I am NOT taking):

*visualize strong, healthy, supple bones
*keep walking - in spite of my frustration
*get calcium from diet
*get a little sun each day without the stinkin' sun screen
*do yoga
*take my recommended dose of vitamin D
*try to live each day with joy and a positive attitude - life is too short to pout about disappointments for longer than an hour or so.

Is there anyone else out here in SP world trying to figure this one out?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARLASUE 4/7/2010 7:34AM

    It isn't just this issue. Many of our medical issues are the same way. The moral of your story is KNOW YOUR OWN BODY. If a doctor recommends something that really feels off the mark, trust that instinct. Do your research - get a 2nd, 3rd or 4th opinion until you get some concurrence.

My sister has had 4 wrong diagnoses for 20 years on a chronic skin problem that is causing bleeding, infection, and other nasty things. She finally had me come to her newest doctor with her so that I could talk to him about our concerns and needs. She is only now finding her 'voice'. After listening he began to try to find a doctor who can help. She has a new one she is seeing next week. For 20 years they have thrown pills and lotions and who knows what at this and she suffered on doing just what they said even though it didn't seem right to her and or caused other problems. ARRRGH This Little Sis finally started pushing her to stand up for finding a solution.

We are our own best advocates for our health issues. A good doctor will appreciate a thoughtful, well informed patient who can help draw up a treatment plan. I am not saying to go against sound medical advice, just be smart and be able to help design what is best for your being. I am a big advocate of treating the whole person not just a symptom. Everything in this wonderful machine called body is interconnected to everything else including mind and spirit.

Oh dear - that sound you hear is me jumping off my soapbox! THUMP lol

Pudlecrazy, I think you have a wise treatment plan laid out for yourself. Way to go.



Comment edited on: 4/7/2010 7:40:20 AM

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KATIEGLEN012 4/7/2010 7:25AM

    Heredity is something that cannot be medicated or exercised away. I have avoided drugs, do take a vitamin D supplement. Do get some real sun! Walk. Walk. Walk. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Do stay positive.

My plan is similar to yours. We are doing what we can. We do not control everything, we just do the best we can to maintain health.

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KRITTERKEEPERS 4/7/2010 12:07AM

    I agree with not taking Fosomax and similar medications. Since you are also higher risk for breast cancer, you might want to discuss Evista with your physician.
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MARY1313 4/6/2010 9:41PM

    you are smart not to take fosamax! there are all kinds of lawsuits now about it. I would go to the health food store and see what they say.

Mary

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HEALTHYDIANAMB 4/6/2010 8:43PM

    Hi Chris! Sometimes it's dammed if you do and d.... if you don't. It's like being between a rock and a hard spot. So many decisions and so litte help with making those decisions.As I have been told moderation is best.You could try a natural pathic kind of doctor,natural healing,only problem the products you buy aren't regulated by the FDA,not that is much comfort.I always think about what did they do back in the late 1800's or 1900's about ailments? I am actually very scared about taking Hrt for menapause,something about taking a pill from a mares urine,really bothers me.Well what to do? Live your life to the fullest and take time to enjoy simple things in life. emoticon Diana emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DOR2BFIT 4/6/2010 8:04PM

    I can't speak about bone density scans, but substitute the words "high cholesterol" for osteopenia. No matter that I eat right and get plenty of exercise the cholesterol numbers just don't get better, only worse. I guess I will just be among the multitudes taking statin drugs for the rest of my life, or until some other solution comes along. In the meantime, I'm with you-keep exercising, eating right, and having a positive attitude! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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40 Year Old Easter Eggs

Monday, April 05, 2010

When I was a child, we had a tradition in our family of hand-painting Easter eggs. My mother started it with very intricately painted and personalized eggs for each of us, which she would place in our baskets with chocolate bunnies, peeps, and a little gift. The baskets were hidden and we would go looking for the baskets that Easter Bunny left.

As we got a little older, we would join her in egg painting, and made eggs for each other and for our parents, each one individualized with something representing the recipient of the egg. We also learned to batik the eggs Ukrainian style, although I believe the decorated Ukrainian eggs are a Christmas tradition.

New neighbors moved in with a girl the age of my younger sister, and 3 young boys. They spent a good deal of time at our house, and came to be part of the family. Mom made eggs for all of these children, as well as us.

One of the boys, Tommy - now a father of some pretty darling boys of his own, saved some of the eggs over all of these years. He just posted photos of them on his Facebook page. I was so surprised and pleased that he still has the eggs, and that he loved them enough to post them on his FB page! My sister and I thought that we were probably the only ones who had Mom's Easter eggs left after all of these years. What a pleasant surprise to discover that more are still loved and treasured!

















  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIRIRADHA 4/9/2010 5:19PM

    These are beautiful, but the part that I like the best is that he saved them and that you got to see them again!

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LIBBYFITZ 4/6/2010 4:15PM

    Wow what surprise! Thanks for sharing. Beautiful craftmenship.

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PENNYAN45 4/6/2010 1:33PM

    Your mom was obviously a talented woman. Those eggs are real treasures! I can understand your excitement of having them turn up again unexpectedly! Thanks for showing them to us.

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HOCKEYCREW 4/6/2010 11:06AM

    That's really very cool. Thanks for sharing!

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KATIEGLEN012 4/6/2010 12:48AM

    Aren't such surprises delightful?

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AQUAJANE 4/5/2010 11:48PM

    Wow! Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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SILVERWITCH59 4/5/2010 10:13PM

    very cool :) When I was a kid there was a lady in the neighborhood that would decorate her yard she made a special egg for every kid in the hood we would have such fun searching her dogwoods looking for our egg. Wish there were still people like that :)

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LN7777 4/5/2010 8:14PM

    That is so cool that he still saved them. What memories.

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LN7777 4/5/2010 8:13PM

    That is so cool that he still saved them. What memories.

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0309COOKIE 4/5/2010 6:59PM

    What a nice surprise and trip down memory lane!

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LMB-ESQ 4/5/2010 5:01PM

    That's wonderful! What a treasure! They can last forever if you take care of them! I love the Ukrainian eggs, they are so beautiful!

My mother has an eggshell that she kept from her first date with my father, in 1941. They had been paired up together for a community scavenger hunt and one of the items they had to find was an egg and have it signed. She blew it out, packed it in cotton and kept it for all those years. You can barely read the signature anymore, but the shell is still in one piece, amazingly.

Happy Easter!

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MARYMAC45 4/5/2010 4:59PM

    What a great memory. Awesome that the neighbor child saved his & showed them off so many years later. GREAT! Thanks for posting!

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ROCKLAND2010 4/5/2010 4:54PM

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful memory. What a great family tradition.

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Report on the Day

Friday, April 02, 2010

Sorry if this is a boring blog. I actually have some more philosophical things I want to talk about, but I haven't wrapped my head around them enough to be articulate about them. So this evening, I am just checking in with a progress report.

It has been a glorious day, more summer-like than spring-ish. I enjoyed 3 long walks with Stella, enjoying the beauty of emerging blooms,



moss,



and even thistles.



I also got in a walk with my dear friend who underwent a double knee replacement almost a year ago. It was nice to be out walking with her again - she had had such a difficult time getting around before her surgery, then she needed to recover from the surgery before she could even begin being mobile. So it was wonderful for us to be able to take walks together again. Plus, I got in my 10,000 steps with my combined walks.

After a month of each of us being too busy to get together for practice sessions, my singing group got together for a jam session. It was so much fun! We played and sang and laughed for several hours.

Yesterday was my big strength training day, so today was my yoga day. I have also been enjoying my foam roller for adding balance challenges to my pilates routines, and for use as myofascial release - especially in my middle back.

The chicks have been keeping me busy. I am sad to report that one probably won't make it. It is one that the kindergarten teacher ordered as a day old chick. It had problems with pasting, and I have been keeping its little bottom clean with warm moist cotton balls, several time a day. But something has been amiss with him - he never grew like the other chicks, and today he is quite weak. I have given him more warmth, and his own food and water so the others can't push him away, but I think there has always been something that has impeded his development.

The other chicks seem lively and healthy. They are growing their wing and tail feathers now, and getting taller, while still looking like baby chicks. They are absolutely adorable!

I have been able to get some yard work done, as well as some household chores out of the way. I also got my yearly mammogram done. Oh, joy!

Next I need to pull together everything I need to do the taxes. Darn those taxes!

Well, THAT was an eclectic blog - my goodness!

Have a pleasant night and a good sleep my friends.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 4/5/2010 12:35PM

    A productive and pleasing day...well, most of it. Isn't it exciting to watch nature unfold and renew right before your eyes? I love Spring. I lived in Arizona for 8 years and mourned the loss of seasons changing. Stella is a great motivator as well as the world's most photogenic doggie!
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CALLANCA 4/2/2010 8:55PM

    Thanks for sharing!

Callanca emoticon

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Breakfast Drama

Thursday, April 01, 2010



Tex already ate his food, why he gotta eat mine???




Mo-o-o-m! Tex is eating my food!




What's in here? My favorite kibble, lamb and rice canned food...oh, man, that looks good!




Come on, Tex, can I have some too?




Mmmm, life is good! I emoticon my brother!

Have a happy April morning sharing what you love most with those closest to you.

~ Stella

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 4/5/2010 12:25PM

    Just adorable! I used to watch the alleycats in my old neighborhood...they'd wait for the guard dogs, usually pit bulls, to fall asleep, then slink down the fence and gobble up their food. No scroungy strays in South Philly on that block! My 2 oldest cats were part of that pack and they are BIG kitties!

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PENNYAN45 4/4/2010 9:34PM

    This was SOOOO cute! Thanks for sharing it with us! A very enjoyable photo essay.



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KATIEGLEN012 4/2/2010 6:19AM

    I heard that...Mooooooom...do something! Don't you love that you had the time to SEE that??????

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HEALTHYDIANAMB 4/1/2010 11:44PM

    Too cute,loving,patient and kind hearted. Mr.Curly saw these pics. and said Stella, that is your food,I would have growled and told that putty tat to get out of my food. We have cats and we get along great,but nobody messes with my food! Well, he has spoken.LOL Stella is such a sweet heart. emoticon Diana emoticon emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 4/1/2010 8:28PM

    Stella, You are so lucky to have such a cool brother and such an awesome mom. Hope you all have a great Easter weekend and the whole rest of the family.
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Jayne

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SILVERWITCH59 4/1/2010 4:52PM

    LOL Our goofy cat does that too. Gotta love critters :)

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PINETREEGIRL 4/1/2010 2:21PM

    How fun--I especially love the second photo! Your poor poodle looked stumped!


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KBUCKMASH 4/1/2010 2:10PM

    Wouldn't it be nice if the world could take a lesson from these two and our other 4 legged family and friends?

Have a cat that we have had since a newborn and a dog that we have had now for about a year. They are both allowed to go outdoor when they want too and it is so cute when one is out and the one in, is telling us the other is ready to come in. However, have not gotten to the point of sharing the same food dish!
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0309COOKIE 4/1/2010 12:51PM

    This blog was so cute!

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KRITTERKEEPERS 4/1/2010 12:01PM

    emoticon I love how your critters resolved the situation and shared without conflict. Great photos!

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STARLASUE 4/1/2010 10:57AM

    Adorable!

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MRE1956 4/1/2010 10:34AM

    Awwwww...they're SO cute!

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GRNISHADE 4/1/2010 9:41AM

    How cute! My DH is always amazed when the 'indoor/outdoor' cat, who thinks he is a dog, is drinking side by side with one of the dogs! Critters are special, aren't they?

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FREELADY 4/1/2010 9:33AM

    Love those photos!

So fun to have a snapshot of that priceless moment. Your captions are perfect!

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Lessons From a Poodle

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One thing about having a very high energy dog is that it requires more than just letting the dog out. This is, of course, assuming that a poodle is a dog, and I am not quite so certain that that is the case. At any rate, my diva will go outside and stand there glaring at me until I am ready to go for an energetic walk through the field and woods with her, throw sticks, and play hide-and-seek. The drawback is that I don't always want to go for a frisky walk, and sometimes the weather is crumby. The benefit is that I don't always want to go for a frisky walk, and sometimes the weather is crumby, and I have to get out there in spite of myself.

It is a gorgeous day today (not even a little bit crumby), and there is a lot of yard work that has been beckoning me over the weeks when the weather was not conducive to tackling those tasks. I spent yesterday curled up with a book and sudoku, feeling bad about the people who are no longer sharing this life with me. I still felt sluggish today, but of course, Miss Stella needed her morning walk, so I grabbed my boots and my camera and off we went.

The sky is a bright blue today, the grass is positively verdant, a gentle but warm breeze is in the air, and spring flowers are blooming in the woods. With a poodle grinning ear to ear running circles around me, and the beauty of spring, it is hard to wallow too long in self pity.



Stella even reminded me that no matter what, it is important to stop and enjoy the beauty of nature, to look, to listen, and smell.

My walk set the tone and energy for the day. Yes, I am still sad, but there are so many things to be grateful for.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARLASUE 4/1/2010 11:01AM

    Ahh - Stella is your fitness angel. Nudging you to keep on track. Maggie loves to smell flowers too. She is always so gentle with them.

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MEOWMAMA3 4/1/2010 3:57AM

    Stella, the world's most photogenic doggie, to the rescue! Stella knew her mama needed some energizing! Glad you're feeling better and that you got out and enjoyed a springtime spin! Go Stella! emoticon

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ANNEYANDHANNAH 4/1/2010 1:42AM

    Nothing like the love of your pet! I have 3 of my own and have had dogs my entire life. I can't imagine my life without them. Really enjoyed reading your blog. Have a great day. Here is some sunshine for your next walk together.. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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0309COOKIE 4/1/2010 1:23AM

    You know, I've always had and loved my poodles growing up and seeing your blogs about Stella brings back such good memories. I loved today's blog.

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HOPERISING 4/1/2010 12:16AM

    what an adorable picture! I don't know what I would do with out my animals... my kitties and my sister's dog which has adopted me since I moved in... glad you got out inspite of yourself.

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PENNYAN45 3/31/2010 11:12PM

    Good for Stella! She was your good friend today. She took you out of yourself and brought you to see the springtime beauty blossoming in your yard. Isn't she terrific?

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SUZBERRY 3/31/2010 8:47PM

    Ms. Stella is beautiful. I was dragging this morning myself and then realized that we were having an amazingly gorgeous day here in Central Ohio and so like you, out I went to enjoy the spring. The weather definitely dictates my mood. I love a baby blue sky and a perfect day.

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CLEVAGAL 3/31/2010 8:28PM

    truly beautiful blog today Chris and a lovely attitude to have. Cleva xxx emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 3/31/2010 6:02PM

    Love the blog and love the pic. Stella looks like she stopped to smell the daffodils! Glad you are feeling better. How is it our fur babies are so silly and yet, when we need it most, are soooo wise......
Be well.
Jayne

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LMB-ESQ 3/31/2010 4:06PM

    She is so sweet. You know, I never liked poodles much. But Stella and your stories about her are changing my mind. Glad you're feeling better today!

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PINETREEGIRL 3/31/2010 3:48PM

    Nothing beats a companion animal - I love their unwavering need for affection, play, and the great outdoors. I find that animals have a great way of drawing us out, because they provide an inviting place to be.
Glad you had a good morning walk.
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Comment edited on: 3/31/2010 3:50:21 PM

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IDAHOTRAILRIDER 3/31/2010 1:55PM

    They are so smart only if they could get us to listen better. I just want to be half as smart as my Harry emoticon It is great how they can keep us grounded! Great post my friend! emoticon Beautiful picture

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PSMITH3841 3/31/2010 1:33PM

    Our furry babies teach us a lot, don't they! emoticon

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