Writing what YOU know…

I’m asking for help again! Last time I requested memories of piano lessons, which were fun and have already been incorporated into the first chapter of The Cure for Anger. Now I’m looking for stories about what it’s like to have a vertebra collapse due to osteoporosis. That experience is not as common as it once was — we’re much more aware of the dangers of osteoporosis and we have drugs to treat it.

In the past, many women developed what was called a dowager’s hump, which was a curvature of the spine that developed when the body of a vertebra became so flimsy, it simply collapsed — usually on the interior side so the bowing was outward.  I’d like some insight into what that feels like. Is the collapse sudden or gradual? Is the pain gnawing or sharp? Lingering or temporary?

If you yourself have had a vertebra crumble or if you remember this happening to an elderly parent, please get in touch. My email is mary@marydoriarussell.net and I could use a tame optician if there’s one out there who’d be willing to answer some questions as well! Thanks, all!


2 thoughts on “Writing what YOU know…”

  1. I remember a patient in the hospital whose bones were so brittle from osteoporosis that we nurses were ordered not to touch any part of her body, lest we break something. she was in hospital for hyperalimentation to correct her severe malnourishment. apparently she ate but did not absorb. the subclavian line broke the vein into which it was inserted and her pleural cavity filled up with hyperal solution. this was a scary episode but not fatal and the poor lady had to then get a chest tube inserted to drain the fluid out of her. she was in respiratory distress for a while but the doc who inserted the subclavian line was one of the best in the hospital and he also inserted the chest tube.

  2. I remember the dramatic bone fracture of the friend of a mother of mine. I couldn’t say exactly how it felt, but she was standing at the stove over a pot of boiling water when it happened. She broke a cob of corn in two so that it would fit into her little pot. She herself was a tiny thing, and we all know the effort it takes to get a fresh corncob to snap. I cannot remember whether this effort caused her to fracture a vertebra or a rib.

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