Selected Essay: Osteoporosis. Part 2

What she does learn however is quite valuable.

She now knows the importance of that initial hormone therapy and that she should have been taking at least a calcium supplement throughout those years. She knows that her three daughters are susceptible to the disease even though none of us fit the description of the typical sufferer.

She recently moved into her dream home, but one month prior to moving day she experienced two more fractures while getting a shoebox down from the closet shelf. Watching her endure this pain and deal with the frustration of being disabled is heart-wrenching. We both cried while they X-rayed her back.

She is healing now, but we are all too familiar with how temporary this healing state can be. She takes Fosamax (a compound that alters the cycle of bone formation and breakdown in the body; it also increases new bone formation) and a calcium supplement.

My youngest sister is suffering with beginning stages of bone loss, as is my older sister. They are 35 and 49 years old, respectively. At age 38, my bone density test showed no loss whatsoever. I contribute that to the fact that I work on my feet 10 hours a day and do a lot of heavy lifting.

We are all very aware of the tragic consequences of bone loss and take as many precautions as we can. There have been changes in diet and increases in exercise. My mother walks about a mile a day. Every ache and pain is suspect, though, of being a new fracture. We keep up to date on new treatments as they become available and advise everyone to do the same.

My mother was a 5’10″ women; she is now 5’8″. She still manages to lead a very active lifestyle, but must be cautious.

I advise every woman to eat a calcium-rich diet or take a supplement and to get plenty of weight-bearing exercise. Don’t wait until it is too late to find out your bone density. The test is totally painless, and mine took less than an hour.

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