July 03, 2017

Unsettled

photo:  x-ray delta one
By Crabby McSlacker 

So life has taken a few possibly ominous turns lately.

And while I've been googling the heck out of various health-related issues for my own edification, I'm not really feeling up for taking that research and trying to write anything useful about it.

Oh, and the whole upcoming Fourth of July holiday... not something I'm really itching to blog about. For obvious reasons, I'm not feeling all that patriotic this year. Instead, I hope it's ok if I go a little more stream-of-consciousness with this post.

Maybe I'm a little depressed? Very weird for me. Anxiety is usually more my thing. And sure, there's plenty of that too. But this other feeling, this heaviness, this sense of "not-rightness" ... I gotta say, I don't much care for it. Maybe I'm just not using the right skincare products?

photo swiped from a random ebay ad


So many people struggle with depression, the chronic kind, and are able to develop heroic coping skills. But I'm an amateur. I don't seem to have the natural biochemistry for depression, and it takes life handing me something pretty crappy before it affects my mood for more than an hour or two. And life has been pretty gentle with me thus far, thank goodness. But it does leave me with a bit of an entitled "WTF, bad things just aren't supposed to happen!" attitude.

And yes, I know there are tons of things I could do to try to feel better, and I'm doing most of them, plus I have the most awesome wife in the world who couldn't be more comforting. But partly it's that I don't want to just feel better, I want life to change its damn mind and make the bad things go away!

I won't bore you with the more minor setbacks or irritants that've got me a little down (even though "little" things can be strangely powerful emotional triggers). But there are two more major things I can't really keep my mind off.

The first Crappy Thing: a few days ago I got a totally unexpected result on a medical test. I have osteopenia, and it's not all that mild either, it's already bordering on osteoporosis.

I'm 57, not even 60 yet, and have none of the risk factors other than being white and postmenopausal and not overweight. In fact, I have spent MY ENTIRE FUCKING LIFE doing everything that's supposed to prevent osteoporosis from happening.  I was very physically active as a kid, drank a lot of milk, got a lot of Vitamin D, and continued doing high impact physical exercise and eating pretty damn healthy my whole life.  I thought my bone density test would blow away the doctor with how amazingly youthful and kick-ass my numbers were.

OK, it's true that when research started saying calcium supplements increase risks of heart attack and stoke I stopped taking them. And I probably don't eat as much dairy as I should in the last few years because of irritable bowel issues. But I eat at least some, plus tons of the leafy green vegetables that are supposed to help, lots of salmon, get plenty of other minerals like selenium and magnesium, and I've even been taking Vitamin K2 the last few years because I read that could slow bone loss. Given how high I fantasized that my peak bone mass must have been, I really thought I was in excellent shape.

I'm hoping the answer going forward is as simple as beefing up my calcium a little more... but I'm honestly a little worried. Because unfortunately, the prescription bone-building drugs out there, despite all their cheerful advertisements implying otherwise, seem to be more dangerous than helpful.  Yay, Grandma's DEXA scores are up and she's out biking around the neighborhood again! But wait, she's more likely to get fractures now than she was before? And excuse me, what was that about bone cancer?

This is actually a good reminder of why this blog was called Cranky Fitness in the first place. Following the advice you get for healthy living, as much of a pain in the ass as it is, is no guarantee of actual good health. It's all about probabilities and correlations, not guarantees.


But now to the biggest Crappy Thing:

My mom has cancer. She's a very private person, and I wouldn't even  mention it on the interwebs if anyone in her world (other than my sister) knew about my blog. But I feel pretty safe in assuming that no one she knows has a chance in hell of stumbling across the info here, let alone putting it together that my mom and "Crabby McSlacker's" mom are one and the same.

I'll skip details about types and stages, and just say that the cancer wasn't caught particularly early, and it involves chemo and a couple kinds of radiation. I'm flying out tomorrow, my sister's been bearing the brunt of the long drives for treatment five days a week. I'll take over for a while, but I live on the wrong coast and can only be there so long, and I feel a little helpless.

And there's no use going to worst case scenarios on either bit of bad news. My mom is a really strong person, and there's an excellent chance she'll be just fine after treatment. And as to my brittle bones, it's not like they hurt or anything, I'm only dealing with hypothetical future breaks at this point, and who knows what medical advances may be on the horizon? I still have an awesome life with the most amazing life companion in the world. It may just take my brain a little while longer to really feel the awesome again and not get too caught up in the crappy.

I'm actually feeling a bit better just writing this stuff out, feeling heard by imaginary readers, and maybe even some real ones.

Anyone else dealing with bad news of any sort?

35 comments:

  1. I have no coping skills to offer, being pretty much stuck on the Cheerful side of the dial, and not knowing what to do when it swings the other way from time to time.
    I feel for you, dealing with your mother's illness long distance. Hang in there.
    As far as osteoporosis, I'm with you on the body's betrayal. Why is biology so complicated? Why does input not equal output? Both my parents were diagnosed with (very) mild osteoporosis even though my father must have averaged drinking half a gallon of milk a day all his life, and my mother drank none. I'm just waiting, even though I started taking 1000mg of Ca per day in 1980, and only stopped two years ago when I counted up how much cheese I get through in a week (roughly a pound of hard cheeses. Yay, cheese!)

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. crabby mcslackerJuly 3, 2017 at 4:32 PM

      Yay cheese indeed Mary Anne, and I find I'm eating more of it these days! And thanks for the encouragement, really appreciate it!

      Delete
  2. Crabby, sorry about your mom. I hope all goes well. As for the possible osteoporosis, well, it ain't here yet. My attitude tends toward the whole be positive, check out all the alternatives, keep yourself and your mom otherwise healthy etc., but I know how annoying that can be to hear. Instead I suggest a hearty "Fuck you, osteopenia/osteoporosis!" and an even heartier "Fuck you, cancer!"
    And ice cream has calcium, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Leah! And yeah, a hearty "Fuck You" to both cancer and osteopenia and hell, to all conditions that plague the people I care for. (and me!) And yes ice cream!

      Delete
  3. As someone whose life hasn’t been particularly gentle—a decent amount of hardships and loss, I can offer that you: do what you can (more cheese and ice cream, support your mom), acknowledge you’re doing what you can--and recognize that whatever comes your way, you’ll deal.

    I sincerely wish your mom a full recovery and that you don’t get to the osteoporosis stage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey thanks so much Mare, and I think that's excellent advice. And sorry life hasn't been so gentle with you, hope most of the hardship and loss is well behind you and its smoother sailing ahead.

      Delete
  4. Crabby, I'm really sorry about what you are going through, your mom and your osteopenia. I hope that all goes well with you and your mom. Please know that you are not alone. I'm 53 and am having issues with menopausal weight gain and elevated cholesterol even when I eat 10 times better than I did in my younger days and I still exercise pretty regularly. I won't go into details either but it seems unfair that I can only fight how my body changes just so much and when I decide not to try so hard it still doesn't make it any better. My mom also has a multitude of health issues and while I don't live with her, being there for her drains my energy. I try to keep a positive attitude but sometimes I find myself feeling down and I miss the positive upbeat young woman I used to be. In the end all any of us can do is get back up, brush ourselves off and keep moving forward until we get through whatever it is we are going through. Anyway, hang in there and keep on sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carolyn, really appreciate you stopping by and thanks so much for the encouraging words!

      And yes, the post menopausal stuff is challenging isn't it? You keep doing more and more and the payoff isn't necessarily there! Sorry about your health challenges and your mom's too, but sure sounds like you have the right approach. You hang in there too!

      Delete
  5. Imaginary? What do you mean, imaginary??? (OUCH) Nope, I am not imaginary, I just felt that pinch.
    Growing older sucks and is not for the faint of heart. I remember going from the days that I thought it was wonderful to wake up and not be in pain to going to days that always start with some ache or pain. You get used to some of it. You swear at others. You adjust. You go on. You swear some more.
    You have a LOT on your plate these days. Having a bout of extra depression isn't surprising. BTW, I am on my fifth or sixth try at finding the right meds to handle my anxiety and depression. I don't like thinking I might have to take meds to have a more normal life. I don't like the idea of the super highs and super lows even more. If I had cancer, would I turn down the cancer meds? Heck no!
    So, all this rambling aside.....we loves you Crabby! Hang in there and unload on your blog any time. I too, find it therapeutic. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. crabby mcslackerJuly 5, 2017 at 7:50 AM

      No Sherri, you are NOT imaginary, nor are the other wonderful folks who stop by here! But I do have this tendency at times to write as though I were addressing legions of followers instead of a few good friends.

      So my depression, if it's even that, seems to be very situational and in fact is already lifting a bit! I'm really lucky to have such great support at home and with good friends and the rather amazing group of people I've met on the web, many of whom have reached out.

      Hope you find the right combo of meds, I know (from another family member) how trick that can be! But you have a great attitude and always push forward, that goes a long way.

      Thanks again!

      Delete
  6. Man, I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I bet you are feeling helpless. It is ironic you should mention the bone stuff, I was just wondering about my bones the other day. I think when you are strong, healthy and active you just assume that your body should continue on just fine. I would be frustrated by that result as well. Good luck with your mom! Sam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. crabby mcslackerJuly 5, 2017 at 7:55 AM

      Hey Sam, really appreciate it. I know everyone goes through this sort of stuff eventually, with parents ailing and body failing, (or threatening too, but that didn't rhyme as well). I just was hoping it wasn't quite my turn yet! I hate seeing my mom bravely suffering through chemo and radiation, I wish I could swap places and feel crappy in her place, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to work like that.

      Delete
  7. Talk about several gut punches all at once - I'm sorry, Crabby. First, it's such a shock when your body betrays you like a bad girl/boy friend..."I treated you so well and look what you did to me!" and in your case, I KNOW you've led a healthy and fit lifestyle for a long long time, so your diagnosis seems particularly unfair.

    Second, your mom. I can relate to probably more than you're letting on right now; cancer sucks but it doesn't always mean the end, just a rough go for a while (my mom is living proof of that, six years post-dx). Sending all positive thought to your mom for a full recovery.

    Third, someone close to me finally went on a mild antidepressant and cannot stop raving about how good it feels to be level again, and I quote "the inside of my head is so much calmer now" - so hey, if you feel like you need some pharmaceutical, get you some (sorry, the Texan in me comes out occasionally). Take care of yourself, oxygen mask first and all that jazz. Love you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. crabby mcslackerJuly 5, 2017 at 8:01 AM

      Shelley, thanks so much, and it's great to hear your mom is doing so well 6 years later! And I love the bad boyfriend analogy... only problem is I don't know how to break up with my own genes and find more suitable ones!

      I mentioned above in a previous comment that I'm actually already doing better, though still sad, frustrated, fearful etc... but the "cloud" part is starting to lift. No meds needed! Um, yet...

      Delete
  8. You have me in the osteopenia club, and i agree it's not fun but it's not the end of the world, either. When i think about it, if i hadn't exercised and eaten right and all that, it could have been worse.

    That doesn't help the sadness go away, i hope if you need to talk to someone about that, you will do so.

    Your mother will be in my prayers for a full recovery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. crabby mcslackerJuly 5, 2017 at 8:03 AM

      You too with the osteopenia thing messymimi? Sorry! And thank you so much for your prayers, I really really appreciate that.

      Delete
  9. I'm sorry Crabby for you and your mom. I can relate to your feeling like you have lucked out with a pretty healthy life thus far and what a shocker it is when that turns on a dime and things are different. I had great health, I thought, until diagnosed with lung cancer a month ago. They moved quickly, did the surgery to remove much of one side of my lung and hopefully that it is it. But the uncertainty is still feeling pretty fresh and raw.

    Cut yourself some slack in figuring out this new world. I think it takes a little while to accept it and then a little time to come up with a plan to fight back. I'm using meditation and guided imagery along with really looking at my diet and alcohol consumption..big changes ahead. But I have one life and I want to hang around and live it. The changes pale in comparison to that.

    Sending calming, peaceful thoughts to your mom. She can do this, especially with the help of you kids. Best to all of you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. crabby mcslackerJuly 5, 2017 at 8:06 AM

      Hi Rochgirl,

      Oh my goodness, I am so sorry about your diagnosis! That must have been so scary, and it's very inspiring to see the way you are handling it with positive changes. I'm trying too on the meditation and guided imagery thing--my brain is pretty stubborn but I keep working at it.

      Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and I'm sending 'em back at you, stay well and happy and may it be smoother sailing going forward!

      Delete
  10. That blows, Crabby. I feel for you, and your sister, and your mom, and your wife. Bad news x1 is hard enough...bad news x2 is more than double drag.

    I hope you all have vigorously supportive communities around you. I've found it really makes all the difference. Since late last year my mother (who lives "only" a two-hour flight away) has been cratering and plateauing with dementia, and if I didn't have a kick-ass village of her friends and caregivers of various stripes up there, not to mention a supportive spouse and forgiving employer, I'd have lost my shit a long time ago.

    You're allowed to be sad. And mad. And all the other things.

    You'll probably take everything about your moms issues personally - I do, anyway. Every day it's what if...if only...why didn't i....might this have.... Just remember, that's BS. Take the time you need to blow off the steam.

    Good luck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. crabby mcslackerJuly 5, 2017 at 8:13 AM

      Essbee--
      Great to hear from you!! And so sorry about your mom, that must be so painful and all-consuming. So glad about your support network!

      The tricky thing in this case is that while I have a wonderful support network, my family is a little more isolated, so all the amazing resources I could draw on are thousands of miles away. Hopefully once we can get through the treatment regimen, which is fairly hellish, the situation will get a little more manageable...

      Thank you SO much for the encouragement and the excellent advice!

      Delete
  11. Ugh. Sometimes life just sucks. There are days I want to be my 7 year old, stomping my foot, hands on hip, and declaring anything I don't agree with "NOT FAIR!"

    I'm sending my best vibes down the line - here's to an easy answer on the osteo, strength, love, and a smooth process for your mama*, and lots of funny animal videos to bring you out of the funk. (*Because cancer sucks and is never quick or easy. It's going to be horrible, but at the same time I hope you can enjoy the bonus chance to hang out with your mom.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Britt, and yes, the bonus of hang out time with my mom is indeed a silver lining it the crappy cloudy skies!

      Delete
  12. At such times, I like to amuse myself by saying things like, "Well isn't that just the shit frosting on the crap cake?" It always makes me laugh a little, even if it's angry and dark, and then I feel slightly less awful, even if just for a minute.

    Count me in the osteopenia club, also having done absolutely everything that should have prevented it. "What do you mean, I'm NOT actually a bone density rock star and need to be rescanned in two years????"

    Your mom could hardly ask for a better support than you, regardless of where you actually are on a given day. As for you, you remind me of a line I hold close to my heart: "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down." You're a weeble if ever I met one.

    ReplyDelete
  13. How much do I love your shit frosting on crap cake? That does indeed help!

    So you too on the osteopenia? What the heck? And yes, wobbly here but definintely not falling down! Thanks so much Lindy!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey Crabby-- I'm so sorry to hear that you have these Life Issues to deal with. Best wishes for your mom as she enters her treatment. My daughters are in love with the show Jane The Virgin, and I think one of the themes I appreciate in it is the idea that you can do everything right and still have an undesired outcome. Also, I would not beat yourself up, if you are inclined to do so, about Not Enough Dairy. You are a master Googler and I am sure you have come across the idea that there is some ? whether lots of dairy really is the answer for osteoporosis-- I would not be shocked if we eventually find we are barking up the wrong tree there. Of course it is your fault for not being overweight so boo hiss on that (Kidding! You know I'm kidding, right?) Best wishes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crabby McSlackerJuly 8, 2017 at 4:01 PM

      Thanks so much Larkspur! And Jane the Virgin is a great example, and there are plenty of real life examples of good behavior not being rewarded, and "bad" behavior not being punished. And yes, the Google's take on dairy is not all that straightforward... But I have to hold out hope that since that's one of the few things I can do that I'm not already doing in spades, that there might be some sort of hope there. But maybe I'm just looking for an excuse for more cheese. :) Great to hear from you Larkspur and really appreciate you stopping by!

      Delete
    2. Cheese needs no excuse! Cheese is its own validation.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

      Delete
  15. I've been there, so I'll just say it. Cancer sucks. Treatment isn't any fun, but - it isn't completely horrible, either. It's totally doable, and there are more days of feeling okay than there are of feeling awful. Tell Mom to hang in there, take it one day at a time and to do EVERYTHING her oncologist and the amazing oncology nurses recommend, including taking nausea meds even when you don't think you need them.

    Also - be sure that you and your sister take care of yourselves as well. Get away when you can, talk about things other than cancer, stay rested and keep living YOUR lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crabby McSlackerJuly 8, 2017 at 4:04 PM

      You're an inspiration Angela, thank you for sharing your experience! Seems like your advice is excellent too. Because yeah, my mom's having good days and bad, and just when I start to panic about a bad day she's good again. Fortunately she's totally compliant with anything asked of her. Really appreciate your comment and hope all is well with your health now. Cancer does indeed SUCK.

      Delete
  16. So sorry to hear both sets of news Crabby. I hope you've had a better week and I'm sending positive thoughts your way.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yep, shit frosting on the crap cake, as pooped out by the Devil himself. Sigh. Right there with you. There is no part of this that does not suck, speaking from experience. I've got ovarian cancer, been through the initial surgery, chemo, etc., but then it came back in less than a year, so I went on "palliative" care. More chemo, better pain killers. Then, on New Year's Day, my husband died suddenly of a heart attack. Sometimes it's an almighty river of shit, like the old Fugs song, and nothing makes it any better. One simply keeps on-- what can't be cured must be endured.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crabby McSlackerJuly 11, 2017 at 8:17 AM

      Oh Scone, I am so so sorry. That is... the mind boggles, it seems so horrible and overwhelming to deal with it all. I hope the universe sends some really amazing blessings of some sort or other, you certainly have it coming to you. Love and peace and warm fuzzy healing thoughts are being sent your way from my end, not that I seem to have any particular sway in these matters. Sheesh. Hang in there.

      Delete
  18. Here are some of my health info watering holes:

    naturalnews.com (Mike Adams, The Health Ranger)
    mercola.com
    earthclinic.com
    vitamincfoundation.org

    Vitamin C: When you take Vitamin C you need to take a therapeutic dosage to get the effect. This is based on Dr. Linus Pauling’s research. To learn what that is for you, take it to bowel tolerance. Dr. Pauling did 9,000 units morning and evening.
    vitamincfoundation.org

    Ozone therapy: Ozone is created by giving oxygen an electric charge which gives your body more oxygen. After WWII, the hospitals were destroyed in Germany so the doctors needed something that would work. Over 9,000 doctors used ozone therapy with a better than 90% success rate. I recommend that you buy your own unit. If you go visit a doctor you could see how he does it, but if you have it at home you could do 3-6 sessions a day.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIzy5vy_hRk
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gLyDsmndrk


    Apple cider vinegar
    https://www.worldhealth.net/news/apple-cider-vinegar-benefits-validations/
    Cancer prevention - laboratory studies found that apple cider vinegar may be able to slow the growth of cancer cells or even kill them.
    Some nutritionists believe that maintaining the proper alkaline/acid balance can prevent cancer, and vinegar can be used to restore this balance

    Cannabis Oil, CBD is taken from the cannabis plant, it has the THC removed (the THC gets you high), I would order that thru Mike Adams, The Health Ranger,
    http://NativeHempSolutions.com
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLmMVdju3BA&t=314s

    These are all geared to healing cancer.

    ReplyDelete
  19. These people are anti dairy products.
    https://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/

    I have heard over the years that the calcium in dairy is not well absorbed. I don't know and I can't imagine living my life without cheese and yogurt. (Brown Cow maple yogurt with the cream on top, ohhhh....)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey Crabby, since I lost my Google Reader I lost track of you for a while. But here I am in the nick of time to tell you that I had the same crappy osteoporosis thing but my Very Smart Osteoporosis doc told me to quit gluten as well as beefing up on D3, and I REVERSED my osteoporosis in the 3 years since my last scan. FWIW. i did weep hugely 3 years ago thinking of myself turning into s bag of soup.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting, Cranky Fitness readers are the BEST!

Subscribe to comments via RSS

(Note: Older Comment Threads Are Moderated)