I mentioned in an earlier post that I had been to Charlotte Radiology for a bone density test (DEXA--dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry). I hadn't had one in four years, and I think I was a little obsessed about knowing what my bone density was after I fell at the gym in August and broke my arm. Both Dr. Carr and Dr. Hines (my pain management specialist) assured me that my arm broke because of the existing plate from a long ago car accident, but to calm my fears Dr. Hines ordered the test.
If you have never had a DEXA scan, it's painless and quick. You lie down on an x-ray table and a machine makes several passes over you. The whole process takes about 15 minutes. Actually, the worst part about it for me was filling out the damn paperwork beforehand---seriously, if they want my social security number, then give me more than a half inch space to write it down.
Got my results back about two weeks ago............and drum roll, please......I have normal bone density! Here's the report:
And here is a link to an article about what the numbers on a DEXA scan mean. Here are a few things I want to point out:
- Dr. Hines and Dr. Carr said that it was likely that I had localized osteopenia in my right arm because of the plate that has been in there for 21 years. That does not, however, automatically mean I have systemic osteopenia/osteoporosis, and the DEXA scan bears that out. I was irritated when the surgeon who repaired my arm in August told me that I needed to start taking calcium. Dr. Carr has long said that calcium is not what builds healthy bones (testosterone, Vitamin D, and weight training exercise), and I feel like the surgeon just looked at my arm bones and made an assumption that all of my bones were weakened. In fairness, I need to add that other than that, I really do like the hand surgeon who is taking care of me----he has taken the time to explain what is going on with the arm, and has been honest to tell me why my thumb is still not moving very well (later post).
- Although my bone mineral density numbers (BMD-first column) are down just a little bit from my scan in 2009, I am still pleased that they are above 1.0. It's incentive to work harder in the gym. My T scores are down a little bit too, again, incentive to work it!
- Note that my "Z" scores are better now than they were in 2009, that's because I am four years older, and the "Z" scores compare my bones to others the same age as me.
How did it get to be the end of October already? I can't believe Halloween is Thursday (the scar on my arm is my costume, I'm going as a zombie). We've had our first freeze of the season here in NC, that doesn't usually happen until early November. Brace yourselves, as soon as Halloween is over, the Christmas holiday commercials begin----ugh. Have a great week!