Unfortunately, not the one that’s on everyone’s lips and in the upper arm of a few others. I had the jab for osteoporosis, aka The Big O. I say unfortunately because I never thought I’d eventually have osteoporosis when I was diagnosed with osteopenia. That’s a fancy name for low bone density. But what’s not so fancy is that it is often a precursor to osteoporosis. And sure enough, that’s what I’ve got now.
How did this happen?
To tell the truth I don’t really know. I’ve broken heaps of bones over the years. I always thought that this was solely due to my Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). And of course, it was. Having severe vision loss increases the risk of falls. But maybe I wouldn’t have broken my wrist when I walked off the top of a staircase into thin air or broken the other wrist when I was running and crashed into a slab of concrete that was on the footpath or broken my leg when I fell into a pothole or broken two ribs when I had an altercation with a huge pot plant. And that’s just for starters. Maybe I’ve always had low bone density and that’s why I’ve snapped so many bones.
I did my research
After my diagnosis of osteopenia, I started doing things to prevent further loss of bone density. Like adding, reducing, and taking away strange and delicious things to and from my diet. So, I started adding a little bit of tofu here and there, reducing my booze intake, drinking fake coffee, avoiding cakes, eating lots of green fodder such as dandelion leaves, kale and turnip leaves. Fodder you ask? I was brought up on a farm and that was what the farm animals ate. Now the in-crowd everywhere are champing at the bit to eat dandelion leaves and kale. As well as all that, most mornings I’d whizz up a green smoothie with spinach leaves and NOT milk such as soy, oat or a combination. But I drew the line at the Vitamin D pill.
And then the weight bearing exercises
As well as the unenthusiastic diet change, I started doing workouts online with Coach Kojak. For twenty minutes five times a week, I’d agonise my way through the workout for seniors. Then I advanced to the fast and furious workout along with adding some weights to my exercise routine. I loved my little pink dumbbells weighing in at 1.5 kgs that I’d flap up and down with my arms whilst running on the spot at the same time. I’ve now been shamed into 2 kgs dumbbells after one of my brothers ridiculed my 1.5 ones. ‘Those things won’t do anything’, he commented. Rude. But obviously he was right. None of my lifestyle changes did anything to prevent my bones being reduced to chalk.
Maybe it’s genetic
So I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s genetic because I’m sure my maternal grandmother had the Big ‘O’. She led a very healthy active lifestyle as you do if you have lived on a farm most of your life. However, as the years went by, she got shorter and more stooped over. She once said that if she lived a long life, she mightn’t be much taller than a garden gnome. She did live a long life but suffered a lot of pain in her later years. At the age of 96 she passed away but was still taller than your average garden gnome.
Where to from here?
It’s over twenty years since my grandmother’s final exit but I still think about her often. Especially since my Big O diagnosis. Am I destined to lose height and struggle with bone pain? Not if I can help it. After collecting my Prolia injection from the pharmacy I went next door to my doctor’s safe injecting room and had the jab. So far the Big O has only attacked my left hip. But my doctor informed me it will travel if I don’t have a Prolia injection every six months. And continue doing all the things I’ve been doing. So I’m going along with that but I’ve stepped things up a bit. Now I eat tofu by the slab, bags of chaff and do two sessions a day with Coach Kojak. I believe in no pain, no gain. I have also vowed to take a daily Vitamin D pill.
The following are some good websites for information about osteoporosis.