Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Colour of Bone Density

Ever notice that, when things are going well, you don't notice them?

Probably not.

It's ok. Most people don't.

Notice them I mean.

Like I don't notice when my iron levels are fine. Or when my skin isn't dry and itchy. Or when I'm not feeling nauseous.

But I sure as heck notice when my iron is low, when my skin is cracking or when my stomach is turning. And I do everything I can to bring things back to their happy place as quickly as possible...and then I don't notice them again.

Until they're no longer in a happy place.

The other night, I got to thinking about my bone density. And all the calcium and vitamin D that I've been mainlining for the past few months. And I wondered if I would ever really know if all these white pills were making a difference.

See, I didn't notice my bone density before I found out it was low(er). Everything felt fine, I ate my yogurt, and my body did what I asked it to do.

Then my shin fractured and my foot broke (well, it cracked really) and I began to pay attention to my bone density. Actually that's not really accurate. I got other people to pay attention to my bone density - namely my doctors. One bone density scan later confirmed that I was a little less dense than I should be.

(Shut up. Don't say a word. I know what you're thinking.) 

Ever since I've been taking calcium and vitamin D twice a day. Every day.

Is it making a difference? How the heck would I know. My bones felt fine before. They feel fine now. Sometimes I think they feel a little stronger. More dense perhaps. And then I think that is more in my head than in my bones. There is no way I would feel the difference. Plus will there ever really be a difference?

Let's face it. I'm already past the age when my body builds my bones. I'm now at the age when I have to fight not to lose calcium. So, as far as I understand, all this calcium won't add a thing to my bones. It will just stop them from becoming less dense. Does it mean I will still be prone to stress fractures? I'm betting that answer is a yes. Does it mean that I am as dense today as I will ever be in the future? Again, probably yes.

You know what I wish? I wish that our bodies gave us really clear signs when things were 'off' instead of sitting quietly while our bones turn to swiss cheese. Wouldn't it be nice if we turned blue when we weren't getting enough calcium. Or our hair turned pink when our iron is low. No more of this being completely oblivious while our body systems are off kilter nonsense.

"And another thing" she says as she wags her finger. "I want my body to tell me why I feel a certain way". "Don't just feel nauseated and expect me to guess why. Tell me. Make my eyes turn yellow if I'm getting the stomach flu, my finger nails be covered in polka-dots when I have food poisoning or my stomach to flash red when I've had a too much goat cheese"

It would make things much easier don't you think?

Plus there would be no more faking. If someone was feeling off, the world would know because they would be flashing all sorts of colours. We could even match our outfits to our illnesses.

We could pull out that special top we were saving because it matches beautifully with our orange and green "I have a migraine" complexion.  

See if you can figure out what's up with her.

Looks like low iron to me. And perhaps a wee case of the reaping. Maybe a low grade district 12 fever. 


  1. Just as long as we don't turn one colour for the rest of our lives because we have diabetes!
    "my you are quite the shade of blue.... with polka dot fingernails and tie-dye cheeks..."
    what a world that would be...