I have been tall since the sixth grade. I remember looking down at boys and liking that feeling of being able to make them feel awkward. But a tall girl was like the plague – avoid coming into contact at all costs. But I liked being tall. Now I am not as tall as my grandmother, who towered over everyone at 6 feet, but my dream height was always one inch shy of six feet. But alas, my mother married a man of the arts and not of the heights. Made it to 5’ 8 1 /2” by sixth grade. Spent the rest of school in the last row of any and every picture of any group from then on. Esme and me – the Amazon Girls. Once we drew pictures during chorus and I got kicked out. Esme left with me because she felt it wasn’t fair. She was drawing also, but she was better behaved. Tall girls stick together.

I loved to wear heels that made my calves ache – for more attention. My height gave me the added attention and I liked the air up there. My posture was great and I could hear my godmother say: “Bosoms out to the world.” It is just so much fun being tall.

In 1993 I was in a nasty car accident. Lost my nose, cheek bone and my eye orbit was crushed. Not the look of a cover girl, but I had wonderful doctors who put Humpty Dumpty Cassidy back together again. I had a long thin nose. I liked to think of it as a beautiful mix of English and Italian craftsmanship at its best. In its place was the carbon copy of a perky and cute sweet sixteen year old’s nose. To know me is to know that I shun being perky and cute. I miss my nose. When I am in pictures with my siblings, my nose comes up short. I remember pulling at it as if that would work. My nose was my favorite facial feature. say that 3 times fast.

Last year I went in for my yearly check up. At my gynecologist’s office this nasty, bitchy whatever tells me to get on the scale so she can weigh me and take my height. Honestly, I know both. Not good enough for Satan’s child and when she takes my height I asked what it is. She walked away. You don’t do that to me. I can throw a life threatening look in front of you or behind your back. Pick one. I asked again and she said, “65 and ¾ inches.” This is when being awake during math class could have helped.

65  and ¾ inches. I am stunned and I don’t believe it for one minute. I started to tell her that something is wrong. I am 5’ 8 1/2” but she ignored me. This is when I regret being a strong supporter of gun control. I gave up on her and prayed to the karma goddess to kick her to the curb later on. So I can run over her. Several times.

My doctor came in and she said she can measure me again. Not a problem. I stand up like the proud tall woman I am and she says, “You’re 5’6.” I am saying “WTF” about 300 times under my breath. I am shocked and slightly horrified.

Back in her office she checked my bone density results and I have a little loss in my hips. 2 bloody inches of bone lost I asked.  it’s called Osteopenia and I hate the name and what it is doing to my body. Her recommendations to slow it down – calcium and vitamin D3- yes, it’s D3.

Being tall and having my long thin nose are becoming just a memory. I told my family so that they can take more calcium with the D3 and so that they can make their daughters aware of this problem that took my grandmother from a 6 foot tall woman (like I said – we grow them tall) to looking like a circle because her body caved in.

I don’t think that is going to happen to me. In fact, I will not let it happen to me.  I am not going to walk around with my knuckles scarping on the wood floor. I might have evolved from the ape, but it’s not a look I plan on adopting. Banana, anyone?

I got to make a joke because I am freaked out. So take it from me- take calcium and vitamin D3. Check with your doctor to see how much.

I’m shrinking.

An update: I recently went back to my doctor for my annual checkup. I was terrified about getting my height taken again. But, I am happy to say that I am 5’8”. I did lose a half of an inch to the bone loss gods, but I think stretching, walking, determination and calcium with vitamin D3 helped. Let’s put it this way – I am not complaining. Well, I am about my weight but that is a whole different blog.

Another Update: Went back to my doctor and I am now 5’ 6”. Next year, I plan on being 6’9”.

Stay tuned.


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