Saturday, October 03, 2009

Frail: One Year Later

Sometimes it's hard to blog about life. I don't always know where to draw the line. Or when it's too soon. That's why I talk about guys hypothetically and tell fun life tales as memoir chapters rather than tell them as they're happening. Sometimes I need to know the ending before I start typing the beginning.

So when I was posting silly YouTube videos here, I was writing about ultrasounds and blood tests in my journal.

And when I told awkward tales of trying to become a jogger, I excluded the part about my new-found obsession with weight-bearing activity. That I think about my spine when I run.

It's time to talk about my skeleton.

I'm not ashamed of my bones. I marvel at the intricacies of human design. Doctors don't understand my situation. I'm one of those medical mysteries, I suppose. No rhyme or reason. Or when they do find an almost-reason, that reason doesn't have a reason. And while I'm not ecstatic about the diagnosis, I'm at peace. I'm a broken human in a broken world. I don't deserve special treatment. Some children are born with cancer. I cannot complain.

This past week, I visited my endocrinologist to review my bone-density-scan results from earlier in the summer. It was scary. It was that moment of truth: Was I getting worse? Were my bones thinning at a terrifying rate? Would I need to take drugs intended for postmenopausal women? Was I going to become Samuel L. Jackson in Unbreakable?

She looked at the chart and made a few notes. She frowned. But that's what she does. She even frowns while humming happy tunes.


It was a happy "oh." I leaned over her desk to see what she was looking at.

"You have osteopenia."

This is bad news if you thought you had healthy bones. This is incredibly good news if you thought you had osteoporosis just seconds earlier. Osteopenia indicates that you're at risk for developing osteoporosis. For me, it means that my adventures in calcium, vitamin D, greens+ supplements, birth-control pills and weight-bearing exercise have paid off considerably. My bones are stronger. Denser. I'm moving backwards. A very good direction.

As my brother Nathan encouraged me, I can finally start pursuing my lifelong dream of playing professional football.

So there. I will be conscious of my bone health for the rest of my life. But so should everyone.

I look forward to my future with this body. I think it suits me.

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