About a month ago I had my annual coeliac check up at my local hospital, after recently turning 18 it was only my 2nd check up with a regular gastroenterologist (as opposed to a paediatric one). Last year when I had my first check up with the regular gastroenterologist everything was fine he asked me all the usual questions and wanted to know more about what I am doing, how coeliac affects me etc..
This time around however it wasn't with the actual gastroenterologist it was with 'a member of his team', and I was greeted with the question 'so is it gluten your not aloud to eat'? Not exactly filling me with confidence anyway, the rest of the check up was the usual until she started asking me questions about my ankle (which does still cause me a bit of pain) which I fractured over a year ago now playing rugby, and she told me she wanted to get me a 'full bone body scan' (by the way that is NOT a DEXA scan) to make sure I was absorbing calcium properly. Anyway it was only later on I discovered a full body bone scan is a type of nuclear imaging method, seems a little extreme for a young man of good health.
Nearly a month on and I receive a letter from the actual gastroenterologist that says:
I understand that Dr ....... had suggested that you had a bone density scan (which IS a DEXA scan!). Unfortunately the equipment we have is not calibrated for people as young as you, thus if we did the test we would not be able to interpret it. I understand that you broke a bone playing rugby, this is by no means an unusual event and I doubt your bones are fragile.
So first of all, I was definitely told I was going to have a 'full body bone scan', and this letter says a DEXA scan which i've been told is common for coeliacs although i've never had one myself. Also, how can a machine not be calibrated for someone 'as young as me', does this mean no one my age can have brittle bones? Well obviously thats not the case so why have I not been referred to a hospital with one that IS calibrated for someone as young as me? What if someone as young as me does actually have brittle bones but cannot test for it because the machine can't calibrate to them? I really don't understand any of it to be honest and it's just left me quite confused, I don't think I have brittle bones, when I fractured my ankle I also tore 2 ankle ligaments so it wasn't exactly a soft tackle, and I had played rugby for 7 years before the break and it was the first fracture i've ever had!