Fractured Wrist Chronicles: Day ten, doctor appointment

Look closely, to see the titanium plate, at the top of the large bone (the “radius”) right next to the joint.

Here’s my spiffy new removable splint. So much more comfortable than the first one. Plus, I can determine just how tight to make the straps.

Today start wrist exercises, four of them, 10 to 15 times each, three or four times daily.

So interesting, this business of interfacing with western medicine, what I usually hold at arm’s length. Of course, my young hotshot doc, though sweet-natured underneath, covered it with the usual subtle arrogant veneer that seems to be drilled into them in med school. He and I talked about whether or not I should take calcium supplements. Of course I haven’t been doing this, preferring to take my calcium in a natural state, like nettles and other herbal infusions, plus foods that supply it.

So he says, and I quote: “Let me give you my spiel on the subject. Take it for what you will. At your age (pushing 70), what we’re concerned with is that you end up breaking your hip. And statistically, 50% of all those who break hips end up dead within a year.”

REALLY? I thought he was kidding me. So I googled “hip fracture and mortality rates”
and found this, a study done in 2011.

Mortality High in Year after Hip Fracture

Here’s what it said in the first paragraph: “During the 12 months following the fracture, 16.9% of the women died, compared with 8.4% of controls.”

Then it talked about further controls on the study, and came up with a new study, and these results:

“To overcome these limitations, LeBlanc and colleagues analyzed data from the prospective Study of Osteoporotic Fractures that followed 9,700 women, ages 65 and older, for a mean of 14.4 years. Almost all were white.

“Among this cohort, 1,116 had a hip fracture, each of which was matched with four controls, for a sample size of 4,464.

“During the study period, 48.2% of the women died during the follow-up period.

“A total of 52.4% of the deaths occurred within three months and 72.5% within six months of the fracture, according to the researchers.”

Not sure what to make of any of this. Maybe he was looking at a different study? Did he misread this one? Or did I misread it? If so, I wouldn’t be surprised. The whole thing confused me, especially the technical statistical jargon. Plus, I think you might already know what I think of scientism. Oh yeah, and see this, too.

However, both the doc and the studies did say that women, especially white women, are more at risk. The article I read mentioned that the by far the most vulnerable age group were between 65 and 69! And the doc said especially small, thin, white women . . .

Ommigod. How seriously do I take all this statistical stuff? Not very.

Or do I?

I went and bought a calcium supplement that also includes magnesium and vitamins K and D-3. Figure I’ll take it for three months, since that’s when he said the break should be fully healed, most likely even to the extent of being able to do “downward dog” as a yogi again.

And I’ll continue the nettles, too.

He asked if I had ever had a bone scan, and I said yes, a few years ago (like 15 years ago), and it was borderline. He knew not to ask me to have another one, when I told him that bones get more porous as we get older, that it’s just natural. That’s what led into his spiel about calcium supplements.

I did not tell him that I’m not planning to drag out this life any longer than I feel I am still of service to others. Once that’s done, I’m gone. Not sure how yet. Still intending to learn how to do it the way some buddhist monks do, consciously, deliberately, while in sitting meditation. Or else, maybe slip away into the wilderness.

At any rate, we didn’t talk about this kind of thing, of course, since western medicine is in the (money-making) business of “saving lives,” no matter what the cost. Plus, anyone who contemplates actively moving into their own death is labeled “suicidal,” either mad, or depressed.

Did you know that 40% of Medicare costs occur within the last months of life?

I’m not making an economic argument here, but a philosophical one. Why are we so afraid of so-called “death”? Do we really think it’s “the end,” a great black hole that’s going to swallow us up? But then, who’s “us” but our tiny little scrappy egos, trying like hell to keep on keepin’ on no matter what the cost to our own quality of life much less to our loved ones, and to society as a whole.

I guess I should count myself lucky to have had out-of-body experiences when young, and to have been visited, on a number of occasions, by my late husband. But even prior to these, I knew, intuitively, that this is not all there is, that this glittering, chimerical 3D world is but an infinitesimal sliver of the immeasurable magnificence.

Okay, back to here and now: it will be interesting to see what the final bill for this fractured wrist comes to, and how much Medicare pays. In any case, no matter how expensive my “co-pay” turns out to be, most likely I’ll view it in the usual way, as “tuition” and in this case, for a particularly interesting extended experience while living in a female human body on Earth.

This entry was posted in 2012, waking up, zone zero zero. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Fractured Wrist Chronicles: Day ten, doctor appointment

  1. Pamela says:

    Love it. Feel the same.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *