She Can Really DISH It Out!

Whoopee!  Sales for the book are rising!  Thank you so much!  I’m eager to donate even more books to those who need them but can’t afford them now.Book signing

And more good news: SlowItDown will be presenting at The Men’s And Women’s Gathering of The Salt River Pima – Maricopa Indian Community at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, this Thursday.  We’ll be there during the third breakout session from 3:15 to 5 in Quail Room E.  We’d love to see you there (hint, hint).Kidney Book Cover

I write about all these ailments I have, but I need to re-focus you here.  They’re all small or just beginning for me so I’m not in any dire straits.  Even the Chronic Kidney Disease is holding steady at Stage 3. I didn’t want you to think I was falling apart at the seams…which is kind of an opposite analogy for how I am very slowly falling apart internally, anyway.

I promised to write about D.I.S.H. today, so I’ll start at the beginning.  Soon after our wedding, we took an overnight trip to Biosphere 2 in Tucson, Arizona.  It was every bit as interesting as I’d hoped it would be, but I came home really ill.  The diagnoses were flying all over the medical map, but a CAT scan at John C. Lincoln Health Network discovered something entirely unrelated that I hadn’t known about:

“BONY THORAX: Large hypertrophic spurs throughout the lower dorsal spine suggest the possibility of DISH.”

What?  The what? Oh, the thorax. That’s “The part of the human body between the neck and the diaphragm, partially encased by the ribs and containing the heart and lungs; the chest,” according to The Free Dictionary at http://www.thefreedictionary.com/thorax.  That made sense since that’s what hurt, but I couldn’t help thinking of a fish’s dorsal fin when I read “lower dorsal spine.”

dishSo, as usual, I looked it up. Biology online at http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Dorsal_spine told me it is, “One of the three distinct portions along the spine or the vertebral column (the other two are the cervical spine and the lumbar spine), and is the longest section comprised of twelve thoracic vertebrae that house the spinal cord along the rachidian channel.  “Great.  I was lost.  What did I know about rachidian channels?  And where on the spine was it?

I found discussions of rachidian channels on the internet, but I couldn’t follow them. Maybe it would help to further break down the definition. At http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dorsal, I found that, among other definitions, dorsal means “situated on or toward the upper side of the body, equivalent to the back, or posterior, in humans. “ Wait a minute, so there was something on the lower back of my spine.  Got it.

I know from last week’s blog (and so do you) what bone spurs are, so now I just need to define hypertrophic.   Back to my college Greek and Latin roots: hyper means over, above, excessive.  Trophic sounded familiar, but I just wasn’t sure.  I decided it would make more sense to research the word as a whole and discovered this definition at Dictionary Reference (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hypertrophic?&o=100074&s=t), “abnormal enlargement of a part or organ; excessive growth.”scholar

I should have figured.  There were bone spurs on the back of my lower spine.  Ugh! Another indication of my advanced (Can I get away with writing advancing instead?) age.

But, there’s more folks!  Don’t touch that dial!  This suggested D.I.S.H.  I went right to my old friend The Mayo Clinic for clarification.  You can find the same thing and more at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diffuse-idiopathic-skeletal-

“Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) is calcification or a bony hardening of ligaments in areas where they attach to your spine.

Also known as Forestier’s disease, diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis may cause no symptoms and require no treatment. The most common symptoms are mild to moderate pain and stiffness in your upper back. DISH may also affect your neck and lower back. Some people experience DISH in other areas, such as shoulders, elbows, knees and heels.bad back

DISH can be progressive. As it worsens, DISH can cause serious complications. “

Oh, my G-d! I’m ossifying!!!!  To be honest, I’m just not worried.  There’s a little wrong here and a little wrong there in my body… and probably yours too as you, no other way to say it, age.

Being thorough, I looked up Forestier’s disease, too. This is what MedTerms at http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3509  had to say about it:

“A form of degenerative arthritis characteristically associated with flowing calcification along the sides of the vertebrae of the spine and commonly with inflammation (tendinitis) and calcification of the tendons at their attachments points to bone.nsaids

Because areas of the spine and tendons can become inflamed, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can be helpful in relieving both pain and inflammation.”

Makes sense.  I have arthritis (in my case, degenerative inflammation of the joints) everywhere else in my body, why not my spine too?  But the jokes on me.  Notice that NSAIDS can be helpful.  Yep, Chronic Kidney Disease sufferers cannot take NSAIDS.  I’m lucky that I had a high pain tolerance before the CKD and, it seems to me, that it’s been rising ever since my diagnose five years ago. If you can’t take anything for the pain, you learn to live with as much pain as you can.

I’m uncomfortable sometimes, I can no longer exercise the way I want to for as long as and hard as I want to, but I can dance!  I’m thankful because that’s what makes me happy anyway.  Now, if I could only find a way to dance 24/7….

Until next week,

blues dancersKeep living your life!

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