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
*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?
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!
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,
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.
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.
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