Boobs and Bones

 Several weeks ago I went for my annual physical. (It had been more than a year; thanks Covid-19.)  If you missed the experience: here's what I had to say about it.

I just got my results back about my boobs and bones.   The boobs were successfully squished and all is good.  Of course, they'll have to be squished again next year. That's the drill.

The bones...well they show osteopenia.  I'd never heard that term before, but according to WebMD:  "Think of it as a midpoint between having healthy bones and having osteoporosis. Osteopenia is when your bones are weaker than normal but not so far gone that they break easily, which is the hallmark of osteoporosis."  Not awful, but not great.  Also not unexpected.  Osteoporosis does run in my family so...

The doctor's office told me to do 2 things.  The first was to start taking vitamin D.  (I was surprised they didn't say calcium, but...)  Since when they called I was in my car, I made sure to stop at my local CVS to pick some up, along with some (chewable) vitamins formulated for "older" adults.  (It's painful to admit, but I AM older.) I am making sure that I get my daily dose.

The second recommendation was to walk more.   I guess no one read the form I filled out (or the questions that they asked prior to my consult with the physician).  I average between 3-5 miles a day.  (More weekdays and a little less on the weekends.)  There is rarely a day that goes by where I don't walk or do some sort of walking exercise.  (If you've been following me you know that during the colder months I follow Leslie Sansone's Walk at Home program which I have been following since the early 90s!).  I don't know how much more walking I COULD do.  Although I can try to do some more diverse exercises (in moderation) like stair climbing, pedaling (I don't have a stationary bike, but I do have free standing pedals), as well as working on my balance.  (Because I've know I'm not as steady as I once was, so it's probably a smart idea to start working on that.)  I already use hand weights when I walk, perhaps it's time I use them not just when I walk.

Then there are some things that I plan on doing because they make sense.  Like cutting down on my alcohol and carbonated beverages.  (Not eliminating; because that would not happen.)  Increase my intake of calcium rich foods.  (Sadly I realize that does not mean that I get to consume an entire pint of ice cream.)

In a nutshell, I need to be more mindful of what I eat, drink and how I live my life. This is something I often TRY to do, but don't necessarily follow through on.  (This is especially apparent when it comes to body weight.)  This diagnosis of osteopenia SHOULD be a wakeup call for me. All of the items above are not very difficult to do, but they DO require me being present and aware of my own health.  I haven't always been very good with that.  It's time to step it up; even though I am aware that as I take positive steps, there may be some backslides.  (I'm human...I screw up a lot.)

Despite my best efforts, I may develop osteoporosis.  As I said, it does run in my family.  However, by taking these steps, I am providing myself with better health.  And no matter what conditions come by way, being better equipped to face the challenge is a good thing.


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