If I can’t be a role model then let me be the bad example.

Now what? After back pain that would not go away, I finally visited a chiropractor, especially since my doctor said he couldn’t do anything and it might be my best bet. After 3 visits of manipulation and hammering and some sort of electrotherapy and whatnot, I felt no better than the moment I walked in the first time.

He recommended that I get x-rays through my health insurance and come back so he could take a closer look. I felt he had given up on me.

Next time I ended up with my doctor, I asked for those x-rays and he complied. Results? Lumbar compression fracture of the L3. Next? Bone density scan.

Results? Osteoporosis.

What if – ok, there are many what ifs –but what if my 3 chiropractor visits caused some more harm? Why did my doctor not come up with the idea to check out my back but kept sending me home with ‘getting old causes all kinds of ailments’ and he was sorry I’m going through such a hard time? What if I’d lived my life in x, y, or z different ways?

Osteoporosis is more common than I ever thought. More than half the population here in the U.S. is affected  by either osteoporosis or low bone mass. It does not correlate in any way with the awareness about the issue. Have I heard about osteoporosis before? Of course. But was I worried? Nope. Even though after menopause the risk increases astronomically and of the people affected, 80% are women.

Part of the problem might be that there is no cure for osteoporosis. No going back. And it’s a new area in research. The solution now is dubious. Fosamax is recommended, and I won’t go into detail here, but there are too many side effects and doubts about this medicine, so I won’t take it. There is hormone treatment, but that’s out for me too, due to medical issues I carry around.

Vitamin D and calcium are very important factors in not developing osteoporosis. But as it turns out, I have enough of that stuff in my body. So no need to increase these amounts in my daily diet, though I will try to. Weight bearing exercises are recommended, but let’s be honest, every step I take hurts from the compression fracture. I do try to walk as fast as I can, but believe me, it’s not the 15-minute mile.

This is the beginning of my osteoporosis journey. I’m still very much confused and frightened and devastated.