So yesterday , November 3, I saw Dr Kendle about my osteoporosis. Sobering! And the outlook for the next 15 years , 76 to 91, if I live that long isn’t the rosiest
The nuts and bolts are that we reviewed my history, basically around Dr McKenzies over letter to Michelle Cliffe my NZ GP, of 2016. After a bit of Q and A we decided to get and X Ray and some blood work done – i did the X Ray today and have the blood work scheduled for Monday. He seemed genuinely interested and hopeful to be helpful with ongoing management, possibly meds. YIPPEE as it’s been over 6 years since I have actually had a specialist “do” and discuss something with me.
But the takeaway for me was the height measurement of 157 cm. In itself, so what? I thought I was around 161 cm , at least that was the number I seemed to “remember” – but from what measurements, when? After the three vertebral collapses at L1, T12 and T9 ((?) around 1989 and 1992 that I “had”recall” that I had lost around 6 cm of height , down to 161 cm . My Canadian passport for 1976 records a height of 167 cm, which is about right – i think i used to be about 5 foot 6 inches in late teens and adult days.
That’s what I told myself, and others, and the math adds up. And of course my perception of the “cause” was the fractured vertebrae.
But somewhere along the line I lost another 4 cm? And maybe all of that other height loss wasn’t just those 3 collapsed vertebrae?
A one sentence remark by Dr McKenzie 6 years ago gives me a clue. The thoracic vertebrae generally were slowly with ageing but surely themselves getting shorter (I have no evidence for this) and putting pressure on the interface between spine and ribs. Make sense then, makes even more sense now!! So it is not just big traumatic events that collapse vertebrae all in one fell swoop – but gradual slow progressive reduction in density and height!!
Here is a bi of a review to help my memory – my future me – make sense of the shitty skeleton he is going to inherit!
At that time, 2016, I had spent the previous 3 years in a lot of pain and mobility in my thoracic spine – starting from extension movements in my spine when swimming (which I had to give up because of the pain) and simply lying prone on my tummy (eventually I gave up all of my morning exercise routine that I had learned from Brian – I couldn’t lie down comfortably and worse, was in great pain trying to get up from a prone position. Not sure when this all started but by the time we moved to Mapua I was a really mess – couldn’t roll over in bed and hardly even get out of bed. Thats when I met my acupuncturist Diana, then did the review-overview of recent scan (2015?) with McKenzie, (no structural changes from 2009 in the MRI of 2015), then to the stretchy band resistance work with Helen the Tasman physio – which was a life saver for what, 3 years? The next 3 years of right shoulder pain (rotator cuff area) and treatments put paid to my stretchy band workouts.