Bone Density Wake-up Call

Bone density tests kind of sneaked up on me. I remember getting my first one about 10 years ago when I was in my early 50’s. It was just another one of the tests I took as menopause approached.  I wasn’t concerned … it was just a “baseline”, my GYN said. The test wasn’t even very memorable.  Quick. Painless. Everything was fine. Nice strong bones. No problem-o.  Bone density as an “issue” didn’t make it onto my list of top one hundred life concerns.

At the advice of my GYN, I had tests every two years. The most recent was last week. It’s a simple test. You lie down on a table, an x-ray machine makes a lot of funny noises, you don’t even take off any clothes (although my fabulous gold chain belt had to go) and in about 10 minutes you’re in and out. It’s such an easy test that my technician was a 12-year-old male. (Well, maybe not 12, but definitely not much over 20.)

This time, however, I had a little different appreciation for the test.

That morning, after having a nice leisurely breakfast, I got up from the table with iPad in hand – I think I was reading an article about the election, although it could have been a story about George Clooney, and suddenly … irreversibly … I tripped over the dog.  Somehow, rather than falling face first, I managed to twist my body, fall backward and hit the hard wood floor with my left hip. This was followed closely by my left shoulder.  My head avoided the wooden stairs by inches as the iPad went flying. I lay on the floor for quite some time assessing the damage. Although my neck and back muscles were wrenched and I would be sporting a bruised butt in a day or two …there were no broken bones.  Thank God!

I had conducted my own bone density test the morning of my official bone density test. I couldn’t make that one up. I know I could have tripped over the dog if I was 40 instead of 60+ (couldn’t I?).  I know that falling isn’t necessarily something that only old people do (isn’t that right?).  But, I have to admit that I read all of the posters in the radiology office that day about calcium, Vitamin D and weight training with a lot more concern than ever before.

Bone density, it seems, is moving up on my list of life concerns. Damn!