BONES DENSITY TEST & DIAGNOSIS:-
I have been trying for the past 3 years to find somewhere in Melbourne that can cater for paraplegics to be able to have bone density tests, and have to say it's been impossible. The reason being that the piece of equipment they use goes all the way to the ground and the legs of a hoist (which lifts me out of my chair onto the table and is on wheels) are unable to go underneath hence making it impossible to transfer me onto the equipment. As well as the equipment I lay down on is to high for me to transfer across to on my board from my electric wheelchair. I need to lay flat on my back for this process which just has a bar up ahead in the shape of an up down square U which moves over the top of your body. It takes a scan of your left hip and lower spine and takes all of 2 minutes. They ask your weight and height, enter it into a computer and the computer combined with the imaging scan gives you a reading of what your results are. That was then sent to my doctor.
GREAT NEWS, after trying many hospitals as private imaging places (who don't have hoists therefore are unable to put you on the equipment), I finally found somewhere, CABRINI HOSPITAL imaging department in Melbourne does it. They have the same imaging piece of equipment, the difference is that the attitude of the staff was 100% better than any other place I went to.
I had a scan a couple of weeks ago and they were amazing. They hoisted me onto a bed with wheels then wheeled me to the room which by the way is so small the bed plus the imaging equipment and just a tiny desk, chair, computer and imaging person can fit into it. Once the bed was set up so it was parallel to the equipment, about 10 friendly people arrived from nowhere and filled all the other free gaps in the room. They put a board underneath my body and pulled and pushed ever so gently in order to pull me across onto the equipment. The scan took 2 minutes! They then all re-appeared and the same process occurred although in the reverse order and within 45 minutes of arriving I was finished and waiting for the cab. They were fabulous.
I made an appointment to see my doctor a few days later to discuss the results and plan of attack from there. The result is that I now have Osteoporosis! There are many reasons for that however the fact that I no longer walk nor stand means I am so much more susceptible to it as I don't weight bear which helps greatly to prevent it. You need to be able to stand for at least 1 hour per day which is impossible for me to do. At the moment I stand for about 15 minutes a day by means of using a transfer machine which I actually use to help me stand by means of a belt around my waist attached to the machine. It is battery operated and I am able to control the remote which then makes the machine pull me up into a standing position. I lower it slightly and try to stand by means of doing squats. Three sets with 12x reps each set. It's fabulous and feels great to stretch a whole bunch of muscles and of course my body which is scrunched so much of the day whilst in the chair. I also had chemotherapy when I was 39 (13 years ago) due to the disease I have and because I was so ill. Hence Menopause at 39 which doesn't help either.
My spine is pretty good as I use my upper body a lot and do weights every morning, however my hips are very bad and I certainly don't want any more problems. The aim is to try to lessen anything that may make things worse now and most certainly as I get older. This disease is a struggle every day and even more so as I get older. It is so important to maintain all the parts of your body that you would normally do if you were healthy :)
THE PLAN -
- After much discussion with my doctor and her consulting with a bone specialist as I take fairly unusual drugs we decided that I'll start off by trying a table called APO-RISEDRONATE 35mg once a month.
- I am also going to start to ramp up the length of time that I stand for a aim to do it twice a day therefore building it up to 30 minutes a day, and keep going from there. I'll have to be disciplined and strict with social outings and appointments as well a managing my fatigue with the disease as I already exercise for 1 1/2 hours per day!
- Lose some weight. I have bought a Jawbone UP3 wrist band which helps to calculate calories burnt, exercise routines, diet, calories, sleep patterns and so much more. It's excellent! As a paraplegic I had no idea of tracking much of that information. What I eat makes such a difference so it's time to start making some changes. Little ones but they'll make a huge difference (I hope). Watch this space.
I'll start to log my exercise routine on another page, as well as my daily routine. By the way I am not upset about the diagnosis as I expected it. It's just time now to do my best to treat it.
On a wonderful lighter note, we had a beautiful day in Melbourne yesterday. I was out to lunch and took my camera just in case a spotted something fabulous. I took a few pics, enjoy:)
In a wheelchair permanently since early 2010 due to a disease called NMO. I am loving getting out and about in my wheels. My blogs capture my journey.