Saturday, May 28, 2016

Done At Last... Done At Last

We are pretty much all aware by now that there are things we can do––and the things we should not do––to help keep us healthy. Unfortunately, sometimes the genes we inherit from our ancestors stack the deck against us, and all of our efforts to stave off what looks like the inevitable don’t have quite the result we hoped for.

I had known for a long time that I was at high risk for osteoporisis, so I did everything I knew to do to keep my bones as strong as I could. As “Not a Dr Bob” pointed out when he told me the news that I had compression fractures in my upper back and my DEXA scan results were grim – “If you hadn’t done all of that stuff, you might be in even worse shape…”

So he sent me off to see an interventional radiologist about a procedure where they inject plastic cement into fractured vertebrae to prop them up, but he decided I was not in bad enough shape for that procedure at the time so he prescribed a year of a very expensive osteoporisis drug that I had to inject every morning.

There was a great deal of stress associated with this drug, but it didn’t have to do with the injections. It had to do with fighting with the insurance company to pay for even part of the cost, and the requirement that the drug had to be kept cold in the refrigerator. It had to do with increasingly inept UPS delivery practices that had the insulated overnight packages with 3 months of the drug in cold packs being delivered to our neighbor’s house on a day when they were not home and sitting there for an hour or two in the hot sun before we realized the driver had made mistake… or riding around in the hot truck all day long instead of being delivered first in the morning… Had to have backup plans in place in case we had a power failure that lasted more than a couple of hours—and indeed, some friends in town were kind enough to keep the drug for me overnight once when the power went out.

The injections were not a problem: getting the drug out every morning while my coffee was heating, attaching the needle to the pen,

grabbing a pinch of belly fat (of which there was plenty), and pushing the plunger to deliver the dose came to be part of the daily routine.

And then suddenly there was only one pen left in the refrigerator, and before too long I had injected myself for the last time.

The interventional radiologist’s very capable assistant has been in touch, and as soon as the repair on my foot has healed, I’ll be heading back for another osteoporisis drug that has shown good results when used after the one I just finished.

But in the meantime, I’m done at last… done at last.


Henny Penny said...

Oh my goodness. Isn't it always something! I have an appointment with an osteoporosis specialist in June. Back problems are awful. Hope your medications work wonders for you.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I understand about refrigerators, we get medication every four weeks that was filling up our fridge, so we bought one just for meds. I hope your injections have helped:)