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Author Topic: Supplements, calcification, maintaining overall health... and emotions  (Read 1824 times)

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What would do we do without this website? I'm so grateful. Today is one of those emotional days. I'm 18 days post-op, RBHR, and getting around quite well (one crutch or cane), but sometimes the whole thing -- the whole blow to one's health, youth, etc. -- feels overwhelming.

I'm still having quite a bit of pain, and taking Percocet though about to run out; I suppose the pain is an underlying drain on energy. Then today I got a call from my general practitioner that she'd received my labs from immediately before the surgery and the hospital stay, and that I'm severely anemic. No one had told me that before, though I did end up needing a blood transfusion the day AFTER surgery because the hematocrit (?) count and blood pressure dropped so much. Also, the bone density scan I had before surgery showed that while my hip bones were strong, I had early osteopenosis (sp?) in my lower back. The surgeon was surprised when I said that I didn't take calcium or vitamin D supplements, though I'm a 47 year old woman.

I've hardly ever taken supplements of any kind, only fish oil occasionally, because I've been so active and eat very healthily. I live in the SF Bay Area, what has to be one of the food capitals of the world for healthy food. I starting taking iron two weeks before surgery, but I've been nervous about starting calcium and Vitamin D3 because of the risk of calcification around my new BHR. (I wasn't given Indocin post-op.)

Is this something to be worried about? I have an appointment this week with my general practitioner, and I suspect she'll give me an Rx for combatting the anemia. Do any of you take Fosamax or any of the prescription bone-health meds? How do you know if you start to have calcification? What does that mean?

I suppose what's really going on here, emotionally, is feeling out of control of my health, and overwhelmed at having to add a variety of supplements to a regimen of already taking various meds daily to prevent and sometimes treat regular migraines. Life already is complicated; I have a really demanding job, plus relationships, plus writing a book, plus just the stuff of life that we all have, like finances and paperwork. I'm really tired, and I know that when I'm feeling stronger I'll be able to see meds and supplements to build up my blood and bones etc. as simple and positive things, which of course they are. At this moment I just feeling like crying and lying down... I'll do the lying down part....

Thx for your support and insights,
Berkeley Girl

RBHR Gilbert 12/10/10


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Re: Supplements, calcification, maintaining overall health... and emotions
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2010, 10:59:21 PM »
Hi BG,

I will be 7 weeks post op LBHR on Thursday. I am 49 years old (was 48 on surgery day). I was just prescribed Calcium Plus Vitamin D supplements last March. I think they have come to realize the importance of it...I too had never been told to take calcium and being an athlete I figured my bones are strong (which luckily I found out they were after surgery). I was able to continue those up to surgery and am still taking them and was told nothing negative about them. At the time they prescribed it at my annual checkup, I too was very surprised. It is very important to get it with the Vitamin D so have your physician write a prescription. Luckily we are military and it is covered.

I was anemic after surgery as well. I had donated a pint of blood a few weeks prior to surgery which they gave back to me after surgery, but was still anemic. I had taken Iron, but I don't think it was the best kind. After surgery they would have done a second transfusion but I was up and walking around. They told me to take Vitron C, which is Iron with Vitamin C. Best way it is absorbed. I took that for 4 weeks and never felt the overwhelming tiredness I have read about post surgery. My husband picked it up at the grocery store or drugstore for me. With that said, if you take it, get some Colace!!!!

Ask your doctor for a different painkiller if the percocet isn't working. Is it hip pain you have or leg pain from the bruising, swelling, and sleeping on your back?

Hang in there!

Pat Walter

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Re: Supplements, calcification, maintaining overall health... and emotions
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2010, 11:54:31 PM »
You are still early in your recovery.  Many people are exhausted at times after even a little activity.  Each person reacts differently.  Most are tired for months up to 6 months.  It takes that long to mostly heal and a full year for full healing.  You will be emotional at times because you are no longer a kid and have to deal with keepiing your body in shape so you can enjoy a great life.  A lot of people are much worse off than you are.  In a few months you will feel much better.  It takes a lot of time for the body and mind to heal after major surgery.

If you are still having pain, ask your family doctor or surgeon for more pain meds.  Normally they will give you something less potent than Percoset.  You  might get Tramodol, Vicodin or even try 2 or 3 advil.  I only took advil after my surgery.  As long as you are not still on blood thinners, you can take the nsaids like advil or asprin.  When I get back problems, they had me taking Vicodin, muscle relaxers and 4 ibupropen at the same time.  Still did not knock out all the pain.  So sometimes bad pain takes tough medicines.    Ask for something if you are still in pain.  You don't heal well with nagging pain.

Ask your family doctor what they recommend for your bone density.  I choose not to take the fosomax, etc since I did not like the many side effects.  I take calcium and vitamin D.  Nothing much special and I am much older than you.  Walking will help build bone density since it is a weight bearing activity according to many doctors.  So you can help by being active when you get better.

Take it easy - get out of pain, cry a bit and then laugh a bit.  You will eventually have plenty to laugh at when you are active this summer.

Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet


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Re: Supplements, calcification, maintaining overall health... and emotions
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2010, 02:02:36 AM »

When I had my bone scan prior to HR the doctor found my back and arm scores were perfect but my hips went into the osteopenia area. He said that could be from lower activity due to the hip problems or calcium/vit D issues. He ran further tests and found that my vit D was extremely low. That was when I was put on vit D only.  Before you go on supplements make sure there is a test that backs it up. There is a lot of debate lately on these 2 supplements.

Good luck with the pain. It will get better.
Dr. Su


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Re: Supplements, calcification, maintaining overall health... and emotions
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2010, 03:55:45 AM »
Thanks, everyone. The strong emotions today were also run-up to a migraine, which came on this afternoon and is in the background now. I keep feeling smacked from different angles! I realize how I need to step back from everything and look at my health holistically... and create a full, disciplined gameplan with supplements, regular healthy meals, moderate exercise, a consistent sleep pattern... so I can get off so many meds (I also take some for sleep). I get so tired from my job and other demands that I slack off.

Somewhere I read about the Dalai Lama talking about discipline. An interviewer asked if it was difficult to keep up his strict discipline, and he was surprised at the question. He said that discipline was easy because it's about what's best for you; it makes you feel better, and why wouldn't we want to do that?

I want to take these remaining two weeks of recovery before I have to return to work to think about a gameplan.

And I am visiting my general practitioner this Thursday. Thanks for all your shared experience about supplements. I'll be able to ask her about all of it.



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