Last spring I had a bone density test done. It showed that I had osteopenia which may or may not be the beginnings of osteoporosis. The nurse wanted me to come in and talk to the doctor because there was no need to be concerned, "There are drugs for that." I told her, "I don't do drugs, so let me do some research and I'll get back to you if I want to come in." I did my research and decided that I didn't need drugs and I didn't need to go back in.
Yesterday I had my annual physical with my internist. The first thing she said was, "You have osteoporosis and you never came in." I told her that the nurse told me it was osteopenia, and she said that there are a lot of different numbers to look at and some of mine are in the osteopenia range and some are in the osteoporosis range.
I know osteoporosis is a serious disease, so I was all ears. She explained that being a tall, thin, blond of Scandinavian descent put me at increased risk for the disease. She wanted to start me on Actonel immediately. I explained to her that I am really more of a natural health person and I'm not a big fan of medications. She explained that no matter what I do it is only going to get worse, that it will lead to fractures and I will end up hunched over in 20 years...guaranteed.
I told her that the side affects of drugs frightened me. Her response was that I should be frightened of the disease and not of the drugs. She rattled off all kinds of statistics about how great the drug is and mentioned a couple of people that had a serious problem with it and why they did. Millions of people take it and don't have any problems.
I left my last MD for having that kind of attitude and up until today I have really, really like this new doctor. I don't care if a doctor THINKS they are right, or even it they KNOW they are right. I expect them to listen to every word I have to say and never ever to brush me off. They can tell me why it is that they feel the way they do, but then they need to listen to me when I do the same. I plan to stick with her for now, but I did NOT like her attitude when discussing the medication.
I had my check up and she gave me my sample Actonel to take on February 1st. If I was "comfortable" with it she would give me a prescription for the once a month pill. My heart just sank. I take such pride in my good health. I figured I had great bones and I don't.
The drug thing is a very serious issue for me. I don't just pop a pill because a doctor says I should. I don't get tetanus boosters, or flu shots or take OTC drugs. I just feel sometimes it's okay to get sick and to let our bodies figure it out for themselves rather than pouring in chemicals our bodies don't want or need.
When it comes to prescription drugs....most of them scare the hell out of me. There are even ones out there now that can give you cancer. So, when I got home I went online. Now I didn't just go to the sites where all you find is the bad about the drug, I also went to WebMD and to the Mayo Clinic site. I spent forever online and I did find one site filled with comments from people that have taken Actonel with very, very serious consequences. Even the Mayo site talks about the side affects and the seriousness of them. I had Irv read some of it, and he couldn't believe it. Here is the comment site if you are interested in what has happened to some people taking Actonel.
Next I started researching natural ways to help my bones. I read about vitamins and minerals as well as some kind of "out there" suggestions. Today I will research some more.
My bones are not going to start breaking today and I won't be walking hunched over tomorrow. I do realize that if I don't do something, those things very well could happen years from now. My thought at this moment is that I will write down all of the natural suggestions I have found, I will pull the ones that I know I can do...the ones that sound safe and sensible...then I will put myself on my own healthy bone program. In 6 months to one year, I will go have another bone density test done and see where I am at. If it is worse, then I will have to reconsider the drug options. If it's the same, I will know that I am doing something that works.
Don't get me wrong. I am not anti prescription drugs. I just think as a society we are always looking for the quick fix and we put way too many drugs into our bodies. There is a time and a place for medications and I am so thankful that we have them for serious and life threatening illnesses. I just don't think every symptom requires a drug and most of the medical profession does.
How do you feel about prescription drugs? Do you do your own homework, or do you trust your doctor enough to just do what he/she tells you to do? Do you happen to have Osteoporosis? If so, what are you doing for it?