It all started with an innocent visit to the doctors. I had scheduled a bone density scan because after 5 years of no menstrual cycle due to my past of restrictive eating I was curious to see how my bones were doing, but when I heard the words “Em, you have osteoporosis”, my heart sank. She told me a 90 year old woman came in earlier that day and that her bones were stronger than mine.
I cannot even explain what I was feeling because all I could think about was my future. “What could this possibly mean for me now”, “Will I ever truly be able to have kids”, “What if I won’t be able to lift anymore”, “Am I going to be in a wheelchair by age 40”? All of these thoughts rushed to my mind and I felt numb.
Osteoporosis is incurable. While I am only 19 years old, I have some years left to reverse some of it, however, a lot of damage is already done and that is something I can never go back and fix. Bones stop forming when you are 30 years of age. I want to say I’m sorry, sorry for letting you all down, but I shouldn’t have to apologize to anyone. I am actually sorry to myself for not taking my recovery more seriously and not taking action sooner. I had no idea this was going to catch up to me in the short period I had with my eating disorder, but THAT’S ALL IT TAKES.
Disclaimer: I have been nourishing my body well for over 2 years now, but if your body is not at it’s “happy weight”- health problems can most definitely arise even if you do not known about it.
If you are without a period for whatever reason, take this as your warning sign. A wake up call. FIX IT. Don’t wait until next year when you see the doctor to find this out. You NEED your period. Women need that estrogen to build healthy bones, just eating more calcium will not work because not all of that is actually absorbed by the body.
So what am I going to do?
I will gain the weight that should have been gained a long, long time ago(10-15 more lbs at least). At this point I don’t even care if I gain fat or muscle, because you need that fat to get a healthy period anyways. I will no longer be that small, shredded girl I have allowed myself to be and to be completely honest that does scare me a little- but not nearly as much as living with brittle bones my whole life. My body does NOT define who I am as a person. I will continue to weight lift because the doctor recommended that for healthy bones but with some modifications. I am taking this calcium supplement (500mg 2X DAY) plus I am going to go on birth control for a little while to give my body some estrogen until I gain a few more pounds. Note: I am not suggesting to go on the pill to cure your problems, this is temporary until my body is ready to start making its own hormones. If given circumstances weren’t as severe I would not go on birth control. I will be eating a TON more than I already have been.
I plan to distance myself from certain people via social media as it can be very unmotivating to see someone eating like a 5 year old while I am eating a whole pizza myself. I understand some will feel the need to unfollow me, but ask yourself this… what if I’m not the only one? What if that so called “healthy living” blogger you adore has it too but they fail to share. This is not something that is easy to be open about but I see no reason to hide it away.
I am sick & tired of how many people let this be silent and go about their lives like it’s “no big deal”- it’s a HUGE deal. Did you know that not having your period doesn’t just affect your bones? Amenorrhea can increase your risk of endometrial cancer as well as heart disease.
I am taking this as another obstacle that God has thrown my way because He knows I can do it. I CAN overcome this and I will be okay. I am surrendering to Him and trusting this process. You can get anything you want in life if you are willing to make difficult sacrifices and go against the mainstream. I am remaining faithful and I do believe I can fix this the best way I can.
If you read through all of this, thank you. I hope this message gets across to anyone dealing with amenorrhea and that you start getting help now. I am always here to talk as well, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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