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  • What to Do with LOW Dexa Scores - Asking for Advice

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    Old 01-28-2008, 10:42 PM   #1
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    What to Do with LOW Dexa Scores - Asking for Advice

    Confused, scared, frustrated, but I am not giving up! I must admit I know very little about osteoporosis & would appreciate advice.

    One week ago, I found out my dexa scan scores & have taken the news poorly! My scores: back T-score is -4.5 with Z-score is -3.4; Hips a bit better at -2.4 & -1.8; X-Ray shows no current lumbar fractures & I'm 54.

    My history is involved, let me share… I used to teach skiing, ski extremes, climb mountains, windsurf, tennis & so much more. While bike racing 25 years ago, I rode off the road with major bodily damage. Lots of surgeries needed– shoulder x3, TMJ x3, back fusion x2. Back fusion at L4-5 & L5-S1 did not take & was done a second time with hardware & lots of cadaver bone. (Divorced about this time.) My pain remained out of control for years. Doctors gave up on me, leaving me in rehab hospitals, nursing homes for too much time. I made it home with the help of the women in my church. In a wheelchair & on oxygen at my lowest point, I spent most all my time in bed, very medicated. An intrathecal pump was implanted a few years ago & delivers meds to my back. This allowed me to slowly get off all oral meds & actually think again.

    I began to improve, joined a gym & worked very hard to regain life. The last three years I have hiked, biked, taken tai chi, yoga & Pilates classes at the gym, traveled to Alaska & Guatemala, downhill skied (once) & loved kayaking all around Lake Tahoe last summer. I even climbed a volcano while in Guatemala, walking down in the dark. What fun I’ve had, smiles, God is good!

    My mother has osteoporosis, found after compression fractures in her back. Her scores were not as bad as mine & she’s been on Forteo almost 2 years. She probably got the fractures picking up a sack of groceries, yet I have been lifting my kayak (55 lbs.) to my car all summer with a friend. I do not understand how osteoporosis works.

    What do I do now? With such low scores my doctor said Forteo & scared I started the next day. I have started drinking milk, taking calcium & walking at gym for 20-30 min. I will see an internist soon.

    Any help is appreciated! Thanks!

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    Old 01-31-2008, 11:54 AM   #2
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    Re: What to Do with LOW Dexa Scores - Asking for Advice

    SierraWalker-I just wanted to respond to this post of yours and welcome you to this board. What to do is such a big topic. Like you I am on forteo and really trying to pursue an exercise program. I walk about 8 mi. a day for 5 days a week ,lift weights and do tai chi. WOW , is what I said when I read your list of activities you have been engaged in and places you have been. Totally cool! Like you, my hips are better than my spine. As I indicated to you on a post on the NTX thread, I think it was menopause and estrogen deficiency that really hurt my spine.
    Also what you have said about all that you have been through really touched me. It was wonderful to read about the support that you received from the women at your church! And, it sounds like you have done a phenomenal amount of work to get yourself up from that low point and move on to some amazing adventures. What you did was truly heroic!!!!!
    You said you will be going to an internist soon- and I suppose he will be ruling out other causes of bone loss- like celiac sprue, etc. That is good .One thing I am wondering is whether they have taken into account the surgeries and work you have done on your back. I have read that the hardware can alter the dexa results. DesertBloom on the board is very knowledgeable regarding this and she may have more input for you. Maybe that stuff is pulling down your dexa results.
    How are you doing with the forteo shots? Were you on anything prior to the forteo for your osteoporosis? Have you gone through meno yet? If so did you do hrt?
    Again, WELCOME to the board! The sharing , informative attitude at this board has helped me alot. I hope you will find the experience helpful as well.

    Last edited by osteoblast; 01-31-2008 at 12:13 PM.

    Old 01-31-2008, 02:37 PM   #3
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    Re: What to Do with LOW Dexa Scores - Asking for Advice

    Thanks Osetoblast for your kind response! I realized later that my question was far too broad with my history. I only found out last week & went through a tidal wave emotions, esp. fear. Silly how numbers on a paper could effect me so deeply. I was honestly afraid my back would crack every time I moved.

    Thanks to you and others on this board I don't feel so overwhelmed & fearful now. I have been reading as much as I can - there is so much good information here. My doctor was not overly helpful & will see an internist tomorrow. I hope she will do some blood work, rule out any other causes & answer questions.

    Yes, I have gone through menopause within the last few years. My back pain is alway present but my pump keeps the pain controlled very well. I was never put on anything else but Forteo. A week of injections, I pray it works for me like it has for others here. The post on the med seeping out was helpful to me. I am trying to do everything I can to reverse this now, while keeping a postive outlook, smiles.

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