Remember I told you about this condition I had called hyperparathyroidism, which was discovered after some routine bloodwork revealed decreased levels of vitamin D in my blood, along with elevated levels of calcium?
which I had, on October 8, and which went off without complication)?
As part of the tests that were done to confirm the diagnosis in the months leading up to the surgical procedure, I had to have my first-ever bone scan, and it was determined that I had developed "significant" osteoporosis because of my hyperactive parathyroid gland. At the time I found this out, I never thought to ask for a definition of the term "significant."
Well, yesterday I had a follow-up appointment with the endocrinologist who diagnosed the disease, and I asked him how bad my bones actually are. I was not really expecting the answer this doctor gave me: he said I have the bones of a 70-year-old. As I was trying to absorb this discouraging bit of information, he amended his statement: "Well, I'd say a 70 to a 75-year-old." Oh, thanks, doc. That's much better!
I am 56 years old, and my bones have aged way ahead of the rest of me. There is a slight chance that they could repair themselves a little, now that the offending gland has been removed. With vitamin D supplements and a calcium-rich diet, I might see a little improvement--and they should at least stop deteriorating at the rate they were before the cure. But they'll never be 56 again. Not in this lifetime.
I found out from the doctor yesterday that the current consensus among medical professionals is that calcium supplements may not be very good for you in fighting osteoporosis--they may, in fact, cause calcium deposits to form around your heart. A better way to make sure you're getting enough calcium is through your food intake, by drinking more milk, eating more cheese and yogurt. And therefore I've made a decision that's all about wanting to be as healthy as I can be: I'm going to incorporate as much ice cream into my daily diet as my waistline will allow. Yes, that's the ticket! It's medicine for me, people; that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
I worry about falling and breaking a hip--not two decades from now, but RIGHT NOW. However, I suppose everyone who lives long enough ends up with health issues of one kind or another. And compared to the crosses and suffering borne by many others, having brittle bones and stooped posture seems like getting off easy. So I won't complain...