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    From the daily archives: Friday, May 17, 2013

    I broke my wrist nearly three weeks ago. It has been quite an education.

    About a year ago I became very concerned about the state of my bones. I have a friend who went through menopause at 35, and found out at 45 that she had osteoporosis. I went through menopause at 45, due to chemotherapy. Last year I asked my doctor for a bone scan, because I was concerned. I asked several times for a close look at my results, but was told that they were not significant.

    Fast-forward to April 27. I was racing up the stairs to the Canada College Main Stage theater, in a big hurry because I had to braid my daughter’s hair. She was playing Tiger Lily in Peter Pan. I knew she would be stressed because I was late.

    I tripped and fell forward landing on the stair. As I broke my fall time stopped, and I observed to my dismay that my wrist was bending in a way was never designed to bend. I knew I have broken it.

    The ER department at Kaiser did an excellent job with my wrist. I was in and out in three hours, with my wrist reset and in a splint. One good thing that came out of it was that I asked the ER doctor to look at my bone scan. My suspicions were confirmed. I have osteopenia. Very mild, true, but present all the same.

    What I think is cause for concern and what other people think is cause for concern often varies wildly. I love my oncologist. She’s wonderful. However, osteopenia is only relevant as it relates to osteoporosis. Even then, the question she asks is, is it time for Fosamax?

    That’s not my perspective!

    I decided at that time to take on my osteopenia. I also decided to use everything I know to heal this broken wrist in record time. So far my doctor has been startled by my progress. The cast comes off June 11, six weeks and three days after I broke it.

    So what have I learned? Nobody takes your health is seriously as you do. Today’s doctors are wonderful at what they do, but their vision is often limited. My bone doctor. who is excellent at what he does, could only offer “drink milk and don’t move it” as instructions to heal fast. I found many more options than that!

    And on the fun side? Using your non dominant hand creates new pathways in the brain. That’s been great for me. My ADD and chemo-affected brain seems to be far more organized, and my research shows that this is no accident. My left handed writing is legible and about as neat as that of a first grader!

    I also purchased the Dragon dictation system. That’s how I can write this post even though my right hand is basically useless! I never would have done that if I had broken my wrist. I am finally at work on my first e-book, which has been on the back burner for years. What else is there to do?

    When I broke my wrist, my massage therapy practice was in huge growth mode. This interruption was aggravating, but I am making the best of it.

    For anyone going through cancer treatment, it is important to know that chemotherapy is rough on your bones. Early menopause also puts you at risk for osteopenia and osteoporosis. When I went through treatment, neither of these was my concern. I just wanted to survive. Looking back, I believe that part of why the treatment my was successful was because I was thinking about the future I was determined to have. I do wish I had known about my bones!

    What have you done for your bones today?

     
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