Monday, August 31, 2009

In Withdrawal

After about a week away from the ranch, my body goes through withdrawal. It really needs the air and water that we have up there. In the beginning, it wasn't too bad. We could come and go and while I got a bit depressed at the idea of "going," I'm such an "out of sight, out of mind" person that the farther I got, the less I thought about the place.

Now in our fourth year, that's no longer the case. Each time I leave, it gets worse, and it doesn't help that I go to places with terrible water.

On top of it all, I took my first pharmaceutical yesterday.

Earlier this year, a bone density scan showed that I have exceedingly LOW bone density. As in the dreaded osteoporosis. Not just osteopenia (I am getting all too familiar with these terms now. Ugh.) Five years ago, my bone density was off the charts, it was so dense. What happened? (They measure it differently now, so perhaps my bones were never as dense as the former numbers indicated...)

"Since you're still so young," said Dr. M "we should get you on bisphosphonates. They've had very good results..."

I detest the idea of pumping pharmaceuticals into my body, but I decided to try it for a while and see, since taking calcium, vitamin D and living a very active lifestyle weren't doing anything. The Doc also assured me that this particular drug did not damage the liver. (Ha! EVERYTHING damages the liver!) But most of all, I didn't want to shrink as I age. I'm small enough as it is. My grandmother was a tiny, tiny woman by the time she passed away in her late-90's. The last time I was in Japan, I was shocked to see how mother who had always been a larger woman than me was now a teeny little thing. My grandmother never had a single fracture and my mother has only had one broken bone in her whole life. I realize that Vanity is at the core of my decision to go with the drug and I don't like that, either. Nature has probably designed me to shrink as I age. (I am picturing myself literally disappearing as I grow old.) Is it good to go against nature? Should I become a tiny old woman or a dead not-so-old-but-normal-sized woman?

Plus now, I am feeling the pain of millions of uninsured Americans. These drugs are expensive!! You'd think I was buying street drugs! No, I bet street drugs are cheaper.

Some (most?) people are so casual about pharmaceuticals but for someone who's avoided them all her life, taking that little (and oh-so-expensive) pill yesterday was a very major step for me. I held it in my hand, wandering around the condo like a goofy Hamlet, wondering "to take, or not to take." In the end, economics won out.

"Well, you've already paid for it. You might as well."

Would I use the same argument if I had gotten a cyanide tablet during a moment of intense depression? I scare myself sometimes.

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Blogger world of sekimachihato said...

thanks for your comment.
ummm, i don't have a clue about bone mass so i won't go there.

i do know that the water did taste odd when i went to LA.
i have this image of your ranch with a gushing waterfall near by. hang on, it's looking a bit too much like niagara falls...

good luck with the pill popping.

2:40 AM  
Blogger bad-dog said...

Ooo, thanks for dropping in. You made me so homesick with your posts on Japan. I see you are back in HK now...

5:30 PM  

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