Friday, June 16, 2006

The Hits Just Keep On A-Comin'

Well, my test results are in and, frankly, I was a bit surprised. Not by the fact that my lungs have yet to clear according to test #1. I didn't need an x-ray to know that. A Sheep just knows these things.

Test #2 was, in my opinion, a joke. So much so that I almost cancelled it. My doctor was in something of a "mood" when she scheduled it and I suspected that it was a punishment for my lack of good health habits in years past. Even the technician running the big zappy machine couldn't fathom why someone of my age might be scheduled for this particular test. In fact we had quite a chuckle over it. We had to stifle our giggles in order that she could run a clear bone density test.

Got the results today...guess what?

I have Osteopenia. At forty-one. Sorry Doc. The jokes seemed funny at the time but you clearly know what you are doing.

Now, The Sheep is generally not one to do PSAs for the blogging community-at-large. You are all responsible folk who are perfectly capable of managing your lives, families, health and assorted vices without any input from me. But this diagnosis was somewhat startling and, while not life threatening in any way, seemed worth a wee bit of internets space. Especially if you, like me, thought that only our Grammies got the crackly bones. I am not linking to any websites as I think that this is information best discussed with your doctor and not some random blogger. I'll just share what I have learned.

There is no one real definition of osteopenia but it is generally regarded as low bone density and a precursor to osteoporosis. In some cases it is considered a form of osteoporosis. There are no symptoms and it is unlikely to show up on a standard x-ray. I am on the young side for diagnosis as I am not in the menopausal set, but it is not unheard of. I fit several of the risk criteria: small to slight frame, history of smoking, past alcohol abuse and some family history. Oh yeah...and I don't drink milk.

The bone density test itself is as simple as lying there. I am very good at that. In fact, I have elevated it to a fine art. You just can't giggle or they have to do it over. I've had several people in my "real" life ask me about the test as they had put it off fearing that it was one of those exams that involves poking and/or prodding. None of that. You just lie there while a machine passes over you. That's it. Well, then you get a phone call saying you have the bones of a 70 year old woman, but there is therapy for that so it all works out.

Treatment, in my case, is as simple as upping my calcium and vitamin D intake via supplements and periodic checks. I already do weight bearing and resistance training as part of my exercise routine so that part can be checked off the old "to do" list. Easy-peasy.

That's it. No more of the Lifetime Movie of The Week for my 10 loyal readers. We're all going back to knitting, spinning and the killing of bugs. I promise not to hop aboard the old soapbox anytime soon. If this was remotely useful to anyone out there, yay for me. If not, then this will be:

I'm using this as an excuse to eat large amounts of ice's all about the calcium.

Feel free to do the same!



Anonymous said...

Oh I like that advice. Any reason to eat ice cream.

Debbie said...

Out of lurkdom to say "Yay!" for prevention. My Grammy had crackly bones, and everyone says I have her build, so I should definitely up my ice cream intake.

Teri S. said...

Yep, osteopenia...I've got it, too. I think it was diagnosed at about age...41 or so. 1000mg of calcium, with vit. D, daily. The kicker for me was that I was running a lot, like training for a marathon. You can't get much more weight bearing than that. I felt a little better when the doc said that women in their 20s have been diagnosed with it. But still...

Julie said...

After a motorcycle accident involving multiple fractures (long, long story), I did a lot of research and found that carbonated beverages can reduce how your body absorbs minerals and cause a lot of problems with bone density. You might want to cut those out of your diet - even if it doesn't work, it won't hurt you.

And yes. Lots of ice cream. The high-quality kind with real cream, you know, for even more calcium. And piles sour cream on your baked potatos... and cream cheese on your bagels. Lots.