There was no karate class for the last two weeks of the year, but I haven't been back since. It's nice to be home in the evening and not rush out the door to get to the class. The class is also two hours and finishes between 2030 and 2045. I'm usually ready to get to bed and read by 2100, since I wake up at 0500 on work days. Even after a quick shower after class, I'm still a bit strung up from class and not ready to sleep.
During the off period I also had some lab tests done and found that it is double-very unlikely that I have an iron disorder (hemochromatosis), but do have elevated cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone. I don't need the extra stress of squeezing the two-class karate into my schedule, so I don't know what I'm going to do about that. I have been continuing to punch and kick the bag in the garage a few days week. That at least gives me the impact exercise without the risk of injury and doesn't take nearly as long.
I haven't talked with the doc about the cortisol issue yet. Don't have an appt scheduled. Elevated cortisol is a cause of calcium leaching from bones, etc., so I've read that supplementing Ca and vit D is not effective until the underlying issue is resolved. Elevated cortisol is usually associated with Cushing's disease/syndrome, which I apparently don't have because I don't have the symptoms. Dolly says it's time to see an endocrinologist.
The clock is ticking. In June or so I'm supposed to go back for a repeat DEXA (bone scan). If there is no improvement, then the doc would like to put me on an osteo med, but there are potential side effects that could cause issues later, i.e., I'm too young to start that stuff.
Over the weekend I was reading some about exercise and bone density. Apparently it can be improved through exercise that stresses the bones. In young people, exercise contributes to their maximum bone density and it sticks with them. In older people, exercise increases their current bone density BUT the effect goes away once the exercise program is terminated. I requested more information from the National Osteoporosis Foundation, but their materials have been not all that informative since they are so non-committal about everything.