New year… new me. Hasn’t that become a bit of a mantra in 2022? We set intentions: eat healthier, drink less, exercise more. Guess what… I do all those things already-have for years. So no, it’s not going to be new year/new me. It’s going to be new year/same old me but with a new and improved attitude of self-acceptance and self-kindness.
‘Pending message from MyHealth Online’. These types of notifications arrive more frequently as I’ve reached my mid-60’s. I clicked on this latest one curious to see my test results from the bone density scan I’d had a few days earlier. I’d delayed the test for a year or so but my new rheumatologist was insistent that I not wait any longer.
“You’re a long-time arthritic. You’re tiny and small-boned”, she’d said. (true, true and true).
My height of 5’2” was 5’1” at my last PCP appointment (Medicare Wellness Check.. if you’re over 65 you know what I’m referring to) and my slim wrists and fingers ached more profoundly due to living with arthritis for forty years.
“You need this test done as soon as possible.”
These scan numbers were troubling – more troubling than I was prepared for however. They showed that I am at a much higher risk for bone fracture over the next ten years. My back and my wrists are especially vulnerable. Oh and the hips.. the hips that I rub Voltaren on each morning and night after I take my prescription meds as well as two Tylenol Arthritis Strength tablets.
As I’ve aged, my priorities have shifted. Wanting to weigh less and look better in jeans seem pretty inconsequential at this point. Gone are the days when I wished and prayed and worked so hard to be slimmer. Instead of googling how to lose five pounds in two weeks I am researching ways to improve my bone strength.
So in addition to my hyaluronic acid serum and Restore and Renew Day Cream I’m also saying “Alexa. Order Osteo MD for Comprehensive Bone Support with Calcium,” supplements I hope may give me some fortification against this latest indignity of aging.
One last recommendation before I leave the rheumatologist’s office: “And I want you to make an appointment with an endocrinologist to see if there are any other measures we should take to preserve your bones. I’ve put in a referral.”
I’d heard the word ‘endocrinologist’ before but I wasn’t quite sure what they did. A quick Google search tells me they are a next step in treating auto-immune diseases and may come up with a new or additional treatment for osteoporosis. I’m not able to get an appointment until late February… the boomers are all clamoring to see specialists and I’m just one of many in line.
So…this is my new reality. I will accept it as much as I will arm myself against it. I am not angry and that brings me peace. I realize something has shifted in me over these past ten years. Becoming a cancer survivor, a GG, moving a hundred miles away from a thirty-five year beloved home and neighborhood to a completely new environment have made me appreciate and embrace the here-and-now more consciously. I guess I’ve become more mindful without being mindful about it. As long as I can drive myself to my barre class five days a week, to my monthly deep hydration facial appointments and still wear cute shoes, I’m good.