Monday, March 23, 2009

More Breaking News

Hi all,
I'm really worn out and not much in the mood for writing or reading or sitting or standing or talking or... actually, walking does help a bit. And I do want to keep this site up to date. Besides which, I am actually finding it therapeutic to write about these events as they occur. It seems to help my memory stay awake.

So here's a quick update on my condition:
For the second time in two weeks, I suffered a fracture (this time one of my lower vertebrae) while doing not much more than bending. I was taken to Fairview hospital late last Monday night and stayed until the pain was "under control" Wednesday evening.

The specialists say that I am at risk for more "stress fractures" like this to occur. The main culprit is lack of bone mass. Muscle weakness may also play a factor. After all, I was in hospital beds for most of the past several months. So exercise is important, but also dangerous. How's that for a conundrum?

I have been fitted for a special brace, which I am wearing now. It's made from rigid plastic from a plaster cast of my torso. Comfy! This is meant to prevent certain kinds of movement that might compromise my other vertebrae and ribs. I'm also taking Calcitonin now in addition to Fosamex. Other people have had great results with Fosamex improving their bone density, but that's really all I know about it at this point. In a few weeks I'll have another scan to see if the fractures are healing. Then they'll consider doing a "plasty" procedure: the fractures are injected with a type of cement to strengthen the bones. Unfortunately there is a risk (there usually is!) of making the upper vertebrae weaken and become more susceptible to fracture as well. 

By the way, the hospital staff remembered me and were great, as they usually are. But I still never want to see them again. EVER!



dany said...

Hang in there Laura! And next time you think you want to get those bedroom slippers, don't! Just slowly back away. Seriously though, I have an elderly relative who is taking that bone-building drug. It's working for her and she has not complained of any side effects. So if it can work for a 96 year old, it should work even better for you.

NYCDreamin said...

Hi Laura...
Sorry to hear about you recent setbacks. Just know you are still in the thoughts and prayers of so many. I just wanted to pop in here and say thank you so much for the note I received from you in the mail earlier today, it was a nice surprise.

Hang in there...

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Laura Kennedy said...

No more slippers? You don't understand, Minneapolis is pretty freakin' cold, and March kicks your ass. I've heard that the osteoporosis drugs are getting better all the time - and this week I see the neurosurgeon.

And as much as I appreciate the inter-web, there's nothing like good ole-fashioned letter writing, eh?

dany said...

Thank you for your card! I've sent a card back. Now for the important questions: Does your apartment have a sunken living room like Mary Tyler Moore's? Do you have a big "L"on the wall?

youcad said...

hey there girl,
i had to wear a body brace when I broke my back and got a spinal fusion and I'll never forget bawling my eyes out because i almost had my underwear on all my myself (with the hep of my handy dandy grabber) and then they fell to the ground, miles away from my immobile reach. i had to call a friend, blocks away and see if she could come over and help me dress myself, she said no sweat and was over in minutes only to wonder at why I was such a mess over underwear, big deal right? But it is often hard to ask for the littlest help when it really is little and she was only too glad to oblige. She said, "I always thought I might help you get your underwear off not on!" and we had a good laugh! Just take it slow, ask for all the help you need, and know that bones can and do heal and grow stronger...and no one really needs to wear underwear! I miss you and am rooting for you!
lots of love and no bear hugs!

Laura Kennedy said...

Aww, gosh I miss all you groovy NYC girls. Winter is over, y'all are invited to visit the mini apple, see the IDS Center where Mary threw her hat in the air, and do whatever you like with my jockey's.
And damn, I think I need a bill "L" for my wall.

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