Osteoporosis

Carol - Interview 15

Female
Age at interview: 71
Age at diagnosis: 70

Brief outline: Following a wrist fracture Carol's GP sent her for a DXA scan and put her on medication for osteoporosis as a precautionary measure. She is on Bonviva (ibandronic acid) 150 mgs, once a month plus Adcal D3 twice a day. She fasts for six hours before taking Bonviva.

Background: Carol is married, works part-time and has two sons. Initially she felt devastated by her diagnosis but now she feels lucky because she can take control of her osteoporosis.

Audio & video

Following a wrist fracture Carol’s GP contacted her because she felt Carol needed a DXA scan to find out whether or not she had osteoporosis. As a precautionary measure her GP prescribed Bonviva. After her diagnosis she has continued taking Bonviva (ibandronic acid) 150 mgs, once a month plus Adcal D3 twice a day. Carol follows the instructions which apply to Bonviva and takes one on the same date every month. After overnight fast of at least six hours and at least one hour before first food, drink, oral medication or supplements (including calcium) of the day. She swallows Bonviva whole with a plain glass of water whilst standing or sitting and does not lie down for an hour after taking it. She hasn’t noticed any adverse affects after taking this medication.
 
Carol appreciated the fact that her GP took that much interest following her wrist fracture, but at the time, she felt confident that she didn’t have osteoporosis. She was very active and as she put it ‘fit as a fiddle’. In March 2007 her diagnosis was confirmed and Carol felt devastated and saw herself in a wheelchair within months. In retrospect, she put her fears for the future down to ignorance about her condition. Carol says that it took her a good three months to get over her initial shock.
 
Her GP and her niece who is a specialist osteoporosis nurse provided her with lots of support, advice and information about diet, exercise and where to go to find out more about the condition.
 
Carol has made significant lifestyle changes. She makes sure that she has a balance diet full of the necessary nutrients she needs to keep healthy. Also she attends three exercise classes per week of Thai Chi and Chi Kung which she says are good for the body and mind. She also practices her exercises at home everyday for thirty minutes. In addition, she no longer drives but walks to and from the city centre. On average she walks about eight miles per week.
 
Carol feels lucky to have been diagnosed when she was because she is able to take control of her condition and make sure that she does all the necessary things she needs to do, to keep herself healthy and active. Carol also feels fortunate to have a GP whom she describes as ‘brilliant’.
 

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