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We spent the weekend with my husband's mom. I came home with a sober resolve to up my calcium intake and not to slack off on exercise. I have seen up close how osteoporosis can rob a woman of her style of life.
Two years ago she was at our house for our son's graduation. She was driving her car, shopping for her grand children, cooking, traveling to conferences - the picture of health in her mid 80s.
She knew she had osteoporosis - she had shrunk a few inches, and had fractured her foot and ankle. But it wasn't something she couldn't live with.
Now she has a compression fracture in her spine. She is in chronic pain. She knows she will never drive again. She uses a walker to get from the front of the house to the back. After a lifetime of serving others, most of her day is spent on the sofa propped up with pillows. It is hard for her to accept that others now must serve her.
She has arthritis in her hip and knee. She needs replacement surgery, but her doctor refuses to attempt it. The osteoporosis is so severe that he doesn't think he could find enough strong bone to anchor the replacements.
I've read a little about osteoporosis. I know I need calcium - which can be a challenge to Os because milk is avoid for us. I take calcium citrate twice a day, but I wasn't taking the maximum dose until now. I eat almonds and almond butter several times a week. I have spinach or some other type of greens almost every day. Those are also good calcium sources.
I know that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bone. It also builds stronger muscles around bones. If exercising to stay trim and fend off stress wasn't motivation enough, I am now triply committed to exercise.
I plan to search the BTD archives and to do some Google searches to see what long term studies have been the most successful. I won't know for 30 years whether I did the right thing, and by then it will be too late for a second chance.
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