In the middle of this February, my Smart Phone made a funny sound, alerting me to check on a new voice message. I listened to the message. It was from the nurse of my Primary Care Physician (PCP), the doctor whose mission is to find everything medical that is wrong with me. I thought, Now what? Our next consult is scheduled in March. What does he want from me this early?
I found out soon enough. The Orthopedic Surgeon (OS) who is attending to my broken left shoulder that resulted from the recent car/pedestrian collision accident, had given his report to PCP. OS wanted PCP to get me a bone density test. The bone density test result would be a factor in determining the speed of my recovery from the accident in case the attorneys specialized in compensation for pain and suffering ask him.
I told PCP, At your insistence I subjected my bones to a density test very recently. Why not give OS those results? He answered, That’s different. The bone density test needed by OS is one taken after your traffic accident. And I also need a new one to see how the medicine I prescribed to you has affected your osteoporosis. What medicine? I asked, beady brown eyes widened. My reaction took him by surprise. You didn’t get the pills? I want to prescribe the latest good drug for your osteoporosis after I prove to your insurance company that the pills I prescribed to you did not work. Instead of arguing, I declared the snafu was his fault and we agreed his prescription for osteoporosis fell in the cracks because of all his referrals to the podiatrist, ophthalmologist, gastroenterologist, etc, plus orders for flu shot, pneumonia shot, shingles shot etc. He gave me a prescription again.
I visited my colleague Dr Google and asked him about osteoporosis. He said it is a medical condition in which the bones become brittle from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D.
I wondered what kind of osteoporosis I have, if in fact the diagnosis is correct. I remember the Grand Marquis car in the December 26th vehicle-pedestrian collision accident smacked my left shoulder from the back, tossed me, and drove my face down on another paved lane. I thought the impact of the moving car followed by the impact of the rigid pavement were enough to reduce my poor decrepit little body to a small heap of broken bones. But no. I shimmied out of the accident scene with a hairline fracture on the slightly dislocated left shoulder requiring no surgery. What about the brittle bones? My son thinks years of yoga practice have made me pliable. I think the fish heads and rice in my diet get the credit.
Okay, whatev. I’ll add Osteoporosis to the long list of maladies and medical terms that I have researched since turning 65. It joins the ranks of adenocarcinoma, bunions, cancer, cataracts, colonoscopy, pneumonia, Varicella-Zoster, etc. Love that last one in the series. It sounds impressive but it means shingles. Having experienced all of them and then some, I can proudly crow: Getting old is not for amateurs!
My left shoulder has loosened up and physical therapy continues until my left arm regains its full range of motion. Then I’ll be able to tie the strings of my bikini swimsuits by myself again. Meanwhile, I have the retirement resort’s limo pick me up and take me to a scenic area where I walk uphill then downhill then to my favorite sushi place. This brings back memories of my days in Albuquerque city hall when I was an employed young woman engineer shunned by the exclusive world of male engineers, long before it dawned on them how awesome I was. The draftsmen and I would eat our sack lunches in the drafting room. For dessert, we’d have Fig Newtons. At the end of the main course, usually a home-made sandwich, I’d raise my hand with the dessert and exult: “High standard of living!” and we’d all crack up. My happiness has always come from within.
I’d love to hear what you think.