Late October: the perfect time of year to explore bones!

Halloween approaches! With ghosts and goblins and particularly skeletons on the horizon, what better time to think about bones?


That seems like a limited topic.


Last week I would have agreed with you, Lily, but this week I received the results of my bone density scan. I’ve long known I’m at risk for bone density loss, ever since I had a scan waaaay back when I was 46. At that time I learned that being female, over 5’ 6”, weighing less than I did at age 26, being of northern European heritage and family medical history were all contributing factors.  I think the only risk factor I missed was smoking.


Smoking stinks!


Right on, 9! I’m sure being a nonsmoker has saved me from many unfortunate health conditions, but not this time. This time, the results came out just over the wrong edge of the line. This time, I am at the beginnings of osteoporosis.


What does that mean, exactly?


As far as day-to-day life, I’m in the midst of figuring that out, Lily. In simple terms, it means that my bones have lost density, which means they are more likely to fracture than if they had greater density.


So it’s a relative concept?


It seems to be. I’m trying to keep that in the forefront of my mind instead falling prey to a runaway inner monologue of “OMG, I’m going to die! Right now!!!”


So are you? Going to die, I mean?


Sure, 9, eventually. But probably not from osteoporosis. There are lifestyle choices I can make that should help slow or even push back a little on bone loss. Something I started a few months ago is strength training which is directly beneficial, and I avidly exercise in general. Also, I’m starting a plant-based calcium supplement that’s bundled with other nutrients that make it highly effective in bone density preservation.


The hard part for me in the short term is separating my regular personae from this new diagnosis. No matter the disease or medical condition, it’s important not to be defined by it! Treat it, yes, but I’m a person, not a poster child!


Actually, you’re not any kind of child.


I can always count on you for snark, Lily!


No bones about it (pun intended) I’m a little freaked out by this turn of events, but when I calm down and think about it rationally, I’m the same person I was at noon on Monday, before I heard the results. As I said to my doc, it’s not like I’m dying. But, still. . .


It’s just a newly identified part of me, that’s all. And it’s also a reminder: to live my best life every day.


Time to get these bones moving toward the best possible future.

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