New osteoporosis diagnosis

Posted by fieryrn @fieryrn, Sep 24 7:18am

Did anyone get a PT or dietary consult when first diagnosed? I am unsure whether this is necessary. Am I over reacting?? My t score is -4.1. And I am just completed surgery and radiation for a breast cancer diagnosis. To say I’m a bit overwhelmed is putting it mildly.

Hi @fieryrn, oh golly, you’re one heck of a trouper. I was just reading your other posting about extreme exhaustion after cancer/radiation and now possibly returning to work with 12 hour shifts. One of the most difficult lessons I had to learn as a cancer patient was drilled into me daily by my nurses… Listen to your body!! That means when you’re tired, you need to rest. Even if it’s a cat nap. Your body has been pushed to the max, assaulted on all sides to eradicate the cancer. It’s one formidable foe and unfortunately can’t be brushed away with a feather duster. The brutal chemo and radiation are required in order to accomplish this goal. Some meds can also cause calcium to be lost or not being able to be absorbed by our bones.

Unfortualtely there is collateral damage, one of them being severe bone loss. Of course it’s not just all the meds, chemicals and radiation treatments at fault. Some of the depletion is also from the impact of nausea and not eating well for a year. You may be finding the same thing with your treatments. When we’re that nauseated, the last thing we worry about is how to get enough calcium in our bodies.

When I entered my chemo for AML and subsequent analogous stem cell transplant, a recent DEXA just prior to my diagnosis showed a healthy bone density. A year later, my exit testing required a DEXA scan and I was shocked to find out I had osteoporosis! My doctor wanted me to take medication to reverse this but because I was on a gum ball dispenser full of delightful meds already, I begged for a year to get this under control myself. He gave me one year!

I was referred to a PT. She was amazing in providing me with targeted exercises to strengthen and increase hip, leg and spine bone density and core muscles. Along with calcium supplements, magnesium, Vit D3 (I wanted to add strontium but that interfered with one of my meds) and finally being able to eat healthy meals and add milk back to my diet, we were all rejoicing at my last DEXA which showed I reversed osteoporosis to mild osteopenia. My doctor was ecstatic.

So I heartily suggest a couple of sessions with a PT. I know there are a lot of instructional exercises for osteoporosis online. But there are also some detrimental exercises which can do more harm that good. The value of a PT is to minimize any damage to your spine while learning how to build up the bone.

Most of the exercises are done in bed before I get up in the morning or right before I sleep at night. They’re very calming and the rhythmic counting of seconds as I’m holding a position quiets me down before sleep. So this won’t be adding any more stress to your day. We’re not talking heavy aerobics. You already have a huge burden of just getting through each day as you heal mentally and physically. Along with the Reclast you’ve been given I think adding PT and talking with a dietician will give you another level of protection. I know it sounds like a lot to take on, but honestly, it will come to be a daily part of your life and will actually enrich your feeling of strength and vitality.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoporosis/in-depth/osteoporosis/art-20044989
I don’t believe you’re over reacting at all. You are tired and can’t fathom adding more to your plate with taking on a PT and diet consult. But your bone health is vital to keeping the rest of you going. Does this make a little more sense now?

REPLY

@fieryrn I agree with everything @loribmt has said. Now, from the point of view of someone who still hasn’t fully recovered from her disease, ill tell you what i do. Unfortunately, the prednisone I’ve been on for 3 1/2 years really hit me hard and i felt like i got osteoporosis overnight. I just started going to a personal trainer at the recreation center. I wanted specific instructions on strength and resistance exercises and safe ways to move my body. He was very good! I think one more meeting and then I’m on my own.
You’ve said that you’re a nurse in L n D. (I was an oncology nurse) That in itself can be exhausting and hard on your body. You need to learn how to twist, turn, bend and move heavy patients .
Can someone in the PT department do a safety assessment while you are working?

REPLY
@loribmt

Hi @fieryrn, oh golly, you’re one heck of a trouper. I was just reading your other posting about extreme exhaustion after cancer/radiation and now possibly returning to work with 12 hour shifts. One of the most difficult lessons I had to learn as a cancer patient was drilled into me daily by my nurses… Listen to your body!! That means when you’re tired, you need to rest. Even if it’s a cat nap. Your body has been pushed to the max, assaulted on all sides to eradicate the cancer. It’s one formidable foe and unfortunately can’t be brushed away with a feather duster. The brutal chemo and radiation are required in order to accomplish this goal. Some meds can also cause calcium to be lost or not being able to be absorbed by our bones.

Unfortualtely there is collateral damage, one of them being severe bone loss. Of course it’s not just all the meds, chemicals and radiation treatments at fault. Some of the depletion is also from the impact of nausea and not eating well for a year. You may be finding the same thing with your treatments. When we’re that nauseated, the last thing we worry about is how to get enough calcium in our bodies.

When I entered my chemo for AML and subsequent analogous stem cell transplant, a recent DEXA just prior to my diagnosis showed a healthy bone density. A year later, my exit testing required a DEXA scan and I was shocked to find out I had osteoporosis! My doctor wanted me to take medication to reverse this but because I was on a gum ball dispenser full of delightful meds already, I begged for a year to get this under control myself. He gave me one year!

I was referred to a PT. She was amazing in providing me with targeted exercises to strengthen and increase hip, leg and spine bone density and core muscles. Along with calcium supplements, magnesium, Vit D3 (I wanted to add strontium but that interfered with one of my meds) and finally being able to eat healthy meals and add milk back to my diet, we were all rejoicing at my last DEXA which showed I reversed osteoporosis to mild osteopenia. My doctor was ecstatic.

So I heartily suggest a couple of sessions with a PT. I know there are a lot of instructional exercises for osteoporosis online. But there are also some detrimental exercises which can do more harm that good. The value of a PT is to minimize any damage to your spine while learning how to build up the bone.

Most of the exercises are done in bed before I get up in the morning or right before I sleep at night. They’re very calming and the rhythmic counting of seconds as I’m holding a position quiets me down before sleep. So this won’t be adding any more stress to your day. We’re not talking heavy aerobics. You already have a huge burden of just getting through each day as you heal mentally and physically. Along with the Reclast you’ve been given I think adding PT and talking with a dietician will give you another level of protection. I know it sounds like a lot to take on, but honestly, it will come to be a daily part of your life and will actually enrich your feeling of strength and vitality.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoporosis/in-depth/osteoporosis/art-20044989
I don’t believe you’re over reacting at all. You are tired and can’t fathom adding more to your plate with taking on a PT and diet consult. But your bone health is vital to keeping the rest of you going. Does this make a little more sense now?

Jump to this post

I guess since I didn’t have chemo and all that brings, it feels like I should be recovered fully. But, everything you said makes me feel less like I’m crazy 😜. I appreciate your words enormously! Thank you!

REPLY
@becsbuddy

@fieryrn I agree with everything @loribmt has said. Now, from the point of view of someone who still hasn’t fully recovered from her disease, ill tell you what i do. Unfortunately, the prednisone I’ve been on for 3 1/2 years really hit me hard and i felt like i got osteoporosis overnight. I just started going to a personal trainer at the recreation center. I wanted specific instructions on strength and resistance exercises and safe ways to move my body. He was very good! I think one more meeting and then I’m on my own.
You’ve said that you’re a nurse in L n D. (I was an oncology nurse) That in itself can be exhausting and hard on your body. You need to learn how to twist, turn, bend and move heavy patients .
Can someone in the PT department do a safety assessment while you are working?

Jump to this post

I am sure someone can advise me and do a work assessment. That’s a good idea!

REPLY
@fieryrn

I guess since I didn’t have chemo and all that brings, it feels like I should be recovered fully. But, everything you said makes me feel less like I’m crazy 😜. I appreciate your words enormously! Thank you!

Jump to this post

Oh, don't kid yourself that you get off easier for not having chemo! You definitely are not crazy! Radiation has it's own set of side effects from which you'll have to recover and heal; Exhaustion being one of them. Any treatment for cancer takes its toll and requires time, patience, mental and physical strength to overcome. So give yourself some credit for making such great progress already. Slow and steady wins this race!

REPLY
@fieryrn

I am sure someone can advise me and do a work assessment. That’s a good idea!

Jump to this post

I’m glad you’ll get an assessment! Good start. maybe also talk with HR to see if any special considerations can be given while on the long shifts. If you are short-staffed, just think how it will be if YOU have to leave! Try everything!

REPLY
@loribmt

Hi @fieryrn, oh golly, you’re one heck of a trouper. I was just reading your other posting about extreme exhaustion after cancer/radiation and now possibly returning to work with 12 hour shifts. One of the most difficult lessons I had to learn as a cancer patient was drilled into me daily by my nurses… Listen to your body!! That means when you’re tired, you need to rest. Even if it’s a cat nap. Your body has been pushed to the max, assaulted on all sides to eradicate the cancer. It’s one formidable foe and unfortunately can’t be brushed away with a feather duster. The brutal chemo and radiation are required in order to accomplish this goal. Some meds can also cause calcium to be lost or not being able to be absorbed by our bones.

Unfortualtely there is collateral damage, one of them being severe bone loss. Of course it’s not just all the meds, chemicals and radiation treatments at fault. Some of the depletion is also from the impact of nausea and not eating well for a year. You may be finding the same thing with your treatments. When we’re that nauseated, the last thing we worry about is how to get enough calcium in our bodies.

When I entered my chemo for AML and subsequent analogous stem cell transplant, a recent DEXA just prior to my diagnosis showed a healthy bone density. A year later, my exit testing required a DEXA scan and I was shocked to find out I had osteoporosis! My doctor wanted me to take medication to reverse this but because I was on a gum ball dispenser full of delightful meds already, I begged for a year to get this under control myself. He gave me one year!

I was referred to a PT. She was amazing in providing me with targeted exercises to strengthen and increase hip, leg and spine bone density and core muscles. Along with calcium supplements, magnesium, Vit D3 (I wanted to add strontium but that interfered with one of my meds) and finally being able to eat healthy meals and add milk back to my diet, we were all rejoicing at my last DEXA which showed I reversed osteoporosis to mild osteopenia. My doctor was ecstatic.

So I heartily suggest a couple of sessions with a PT. I know there are a lot of instructional exercises for osteoporosis online. But there are also some detrimental exercises which can do more harm that good. The value of a PT is to minimize any damage to your spine while learning how to build up the bone.

Most of the exercises are done in bed before I get up in the morning or right before I sleep at night. They’re very calming and the rhythmic counting of seconds as I’m holding a position quiets me down before sleep. So this won’t be adding any more stress to your day. We’re not talking heavy aerobics. You already have a huge burden of just getting through each day as you heal mentally and physically. Along with the Reclast you’ve been given I think adding PT and talking with a dietician will give you another level of protection. I know it sounds like a lot to take on, but honestly, it will come to be a daily part of your life and will actually enrich your feeling of strength and vitality.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoporosis/in-depth/osteoporosis/art-20044989
I don’t believe you’re over reacting at all. You are tired and can’t fathom adding more to your plate with taking on a PT and diet consult. But your bone health is vital to keeping the rest of you going. Does this make a little more sense now?

Jump to this post

Hi @loribmt 🙂 Thank you so much for joining this discussion! Can you tell me in detail about one or two of your favorite osteoporosis exercises that you do In bed? I think I would benefit too!

REPLY
@hello1234

Hi @loribmt 🙂 Thank you so much for joining this discussion! Can you tell me in detail about one or two of your favorite osteoporosis exercises that you do In bed? I think I would benefit too!

Jump to this post

😂 By popular request, here is my daily, sometimes twice daily hip/spine workout. Most of these are done in bed before getting up or going to sleep. They’re quiet and repetitive so they have a really nice calming effect before bed.
Also, they are not strenuous but require strength so work up to them. They look easy but are deceiving if you’re doing them correctly.

HA! For disclaimer, the super fit, young woman in the photos is not actually me but image of me in my head!! They’re stock photos from the internet. More accurately, picture a matronly grey haired lady, with saggy body parts trying to retain her dignity while going through these exercises. (The photo of the exercises is at the bottom, under the videos)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I begin by lying on my right side for side leg lifts. Bend the lower leg, with top leg extended straight. Flex the thigh muscle tightly and jut the heel down tilting toes more upward. Now hold that position. You’ll feel it in your hip, thigh and glutes. Slowly count to 10 while holding. Then rest. Repeat 10 more times.

Then switch to Clams. Again, lying on your side, both legs bent with ankles touching. Keeping it bent, raise the top leg as far as you can while keeping the feet touching! Think of the feet touching as a hinge. Hold the upper leg raised for a slow count to 10, then rest and repeat 10 times.

Roll on back and do the pelvic tilt and bridge exercises. Same thing. Slow counts to 10, rest and repeat 10 times. There are more of these exercises with raising legs, alternating them, etc. look online.

At that point, I switch to the left side to do the leg lifts and clams.

Then I hop out of bed and hit the floor! Not from exhaustion…but to get the planks completed. They are my favorites!! They can be done in bed but it’s more difficult with the ‘give’ in the mattress. A firm floor is better. The planks strengthen everything, improving core strength, your spine, arms, butt, legs…

Also, here are some links to Silver Sneakers. They have a ton of videos on youtube for seniors which take into account people with osteoporosis who should not be doing any exercises which can be detrimental to their spine. No sit-ups or crunches.

REPLY
@loribmt

😂 By popular request, here is my daily, sometimes twice daily hip/spine workout. Most of these are done in bed before getting up or going to sleep. They’re quiet and repetitive so they have a really nice calming effect before bed.
Also, they are not strenuous but require strength so work up to them. They look easy but are deceiving if you’re doing them correctly.

HA! For disclaimer, the super fit, young woman in the photos is not actually me but image of me in my head!! They’re stock photos from the internet. More accurately, picture a matronly grey haired lady, with saggy body parts trying to retain her dignity while going through these exercises. (The photo of the exercises is at the bottom, under the videos)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I begin by lying on my right side for side leg lifts. Bend the lower leg, with top leg extended straight. Flex the thigh muscle tightly and jut the heel down tilting toes more upward. Now hold that position. You’ll feel it in your hip, thigh and glutes. Slowly count to 10 while holding. Then rest. Repeat 10 more times.

Then switch to Clams. Again, lying on your side, both legs bent with ankles touching. Keeping it bent, raise the top leg as far as you can while keeping the feet touching! Think of the feet touching as a hinge. Hold the upper leg raised for a slow count to 10, then rest and repeat 10 times.

Roll on back and do the pelvic tilt and bridge exercises. Same thing. Slow counts to 10, rest and repeat 10 times. There are more of these exercises with raising legs, alternating them, etc. look online.

At that point, I switch to the left side to do the leg lifts and clams.

Then I hop out of bed and hit the floor! Not from exhaustion…but to get the planks completed. They are my favorites!! They can be done in bed but it’s more difficult with the ‘give’ in the mattress. A firm floor is better. The planks strengthen everything, improving core strength, your spine, arms, butt, legs…

Also, here are some links to Silver Sneakers. They have a ton of videos on youtube for seniors which take into account people with osteoporosis who should not be doing any exercises which can be detrimental to their spine. No sit-ups or crunches.

Jump to this post

Thanks, Lori, that looks a lot like my morning routine, but then I have to add torso and next range of motion exercises. Like you said, 10 minutes, but it really gets the blood flowing.
By the way everyone, these work for fibromyalgia, post-illness reconditioning, chronic pain, and just about everything else that ails you. Modify if you need to, for your body. If it has been a long time since you did anything, you may have to start with less than 10 and work up.
Just do it! Your body will thank you.
Sue

REPLY
@sueinmn

Thanks, Lori, that looks a lot like my morning routine, but then I have to add torso and next range of motion exercises. Like you said, 10 minutes, but it really gets the blood flowing.
By the way everyone, these work for fibromyalgia, post-illness reconditioning, chronic pain, and just about everything else that ails you. Modify if you need to, for your body. If it has been a long time since you did anything, you may have to start with less than 10 and work up.
Just do it! Your body will thank you.
Sue

Jump to this post

Hi Sue. I also have quite a few more exercises with my daily routine to work the core muscles and bands and weights for my back and arms. It really makes a difference in the day though, doesn’t it? Getting that blood flowing and the muscles all warmed up and primed for the day.

Have to laugh, I cleaned out a closet at home and found a box of all these work out VHS tapes!! Sweatin’with the Oldies~Richard Simons, Jane Fonda, Buns of Steel… I probably watched them while drinking tea in the morning and thinking I should get off the couch! LOL.

REPLY
@loribmt

Hi Sue. I also have quite a few more exercises with my daily routine to work the core muscles and bands and weights for my back and arms. It really makes a difference in the day though, doesn’t it? Getting that blood flowing and the muscles all warmed up and primed for the day.

Have to laugh, I cleaned out a closet at home and found a box of all these work out VHS tapes!! Sweatin’with the Oldies~Richard Simons, Jane Fonda, Buns of Steel… I probably watched them while drinking tea in the morning and thinking I should get off the couch! LOL.

Jump to this post

Yeah, I have to dig out the weights – I was not allowed anything over 2 lb for the first year after hand surgery, and that was too boring, but the bigger ones should be OK now.
We had the tapes too – but I'm not a saver, so I'm sure they're long gone. They were great when my girls were little – didn't have to go to a gym, and they loved to "workout" with me – which meant running around in tights and tutus while I sweated in a t-shirt and shorts…fun memories.
Sue

REPLY
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