I was a bit late starting to have my bones scanned. The first two times the scans were done in New York where they were quite passive. All I did was lie comfortably on a table as the arm of the equipment passed over me.
Time went by as I became more aware of aging. Old folks’ magazines harped on balance, among other things. A few weeks ago I added a short routine to the dressing schedule – standing first on one foot and then the other for several seconds. That was harder than it used to be, especially on the side that didn’t recover well from a total knee replacement. Little did I know that this was going to be beneficial for the upcoming bone density scan.
The friendly technician filled out a form as she asked me questions about smoking, drinking, exercise and such. Then she threw me a curve. I was to stand up and balance on one foot. Ah! I had unknowingly been prepping for this! I knew I could do it. She didn’t specify which leg to use, so I chose the better one. She said, “Cross your arms and put a hand on each shoulder.” How bad could that be? Well, it wasn’t bad, but it was almost impossible to do. If I couldn’t balance, would they send me to the emergency room at the hospital next door? “Sending over unbalanced woman for immediate observation!” Panic set in. “Do it, Anne. Just do it!” It didn’t help that the woman’s lips moved as she counted. How far did she need to go? A minute? An hour??? Each time my other foot touched the floor, she began again at one – one potato, two potato, three potato. I wanted to tell her to give me a break and start with five the next time. I swear her potatoes got bigger and bigger. I thought of demanding a stopwatch that didn’t get slower with each successive count. Finally, before I fell over and damaged something in the room, she pronounced herself satisfied. We could have been there all day!
Days later my doctor’s office called to give me the results. I have yet to see any number associated with the scans, but this time there was a name attached. It’s not good when you slowly slide into named diseases! The advice was to keep taking calcium and Vitamin D and to keep walking. Of course, I’ll keep walking! I probably started running about 72 years ago. I didn’t say that, knowing she meant walking as exercise. A morning walk of at least half an hour was my norm for the last 22 years. It was upped to an hour about six years ago.
Complacency might have been the correct label for my mental state. I was doing the right thing and would continue secretly working on balance. That was before I got blasted out of the water again. A smug article upped the ante. Can you guess what it suggested? It said to balance on one foot for a full minute, like when brushing your teeth!!! Golly Pete! If I can’t hold a pose with arms crossed, what is the likelihood I could do it while brushing my teeth as thoroughly as you are supposed to do? I challenge you to give it a try and let me know how well you do. Don’t fall. Knocking your teeth out while trying to balance is not recommended.