Celebrating wedding anniversary number 39 without fanfare

Posted By on June 5, 2021

Brenda and I are still a year away from a milestone wedding anniversary, but we aren’t taking our 39th for granted – Happy Anniversary Brenda!

RichBrendaMay2021This past year has been challenging … but an improving year on all counts.  Everyone has been dealing with the COVID19 pandemic, but thankfully for us, we are coming out of it vaccinated and stronger than the previous year.

Brenda has been dealing with osteoporosis related health issues and is at least now functioning without the back pain from compression fractures in her spine. We still suspect that there might have been some missed damage from falling off a ladder in 2015, but a DEXA scan also points to osteoporosis which has likely contributed to additional spinal fractures (MRI scan below).

Thankfully she has been able to function for the most part this past year as we wait for the daily bone-building shots (Tymlos) to increase her bone mineral TymolsGraphicdensity (BMD). This NEW drug has shown very positive results in lowering the risk the spinal fractures as well as other bones. She is closing in on one year of treatment (in September) but will need to keep the injections going for a full 18 months. At that time we’ll re-evaluation surgical repairs or see if the strengthened bones and healed fractures have reduced the inflammation around the spinal cord.

Hopefully someone else struggling with similar pain might read this and at least ask their doctors about different options to treat osteoporosis … or trigger the question: Should I get a DEXA (DXA) bone density scan?

Who gets a DEXA scan?

Healthcare providers consider many factors when deciding who may benefit from a DEXA scan and how often. Healthcare providers often recommend a DEXA scan to assess your bone health for osteoporosis and fracture risk if you are older than 50, have had a broken bone, or other illnesses that put your bone health at risk.

Research shows women start losing bone mass earlier and faster than men. So healthcare providers usually recommend women get a DEXA scan to screen for osteoporosis at younger ages compared to men.

Your provider may recommend a DEXA scan if you have one or more risk factors for osteoporosis or fractures:

  • Increased age: Many individuals lose bone mass as they get older. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends people at average risk get a DEXA scan starting at 65 (women) and 70 (men).
  • Family history: If one or more family members have had osteoporosis or more than one fracture, you could be at a higher risk for bone loss.
  • Previous fracture injuries: Breaking a bone, especially after age 50, may be a sign that you’re at greater risk. Porous (less dense) bones break more easily.
  • Medications: Some medications, such as the steroid prednisone, cancer drugs, and drugs used after an organ transplant can weaken your bones.
  • Your overall health: Many chronic medical disorders can make your bones more likely to break. Risky conditions include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes, liver disease and kidney disease.

MRI from 2020 with fractured vertebrae and spinal cord pinching


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