Osteoporosis

Christine - Interview 18

Female
Age at interview: 68
Age at diagnosis: 61

Brief outline: Diagnosed in 2004 with what she described as a 'mild form' of osteoporosis. Medication since diagnosis' alendronic acid and calcium tablets. A second bone density scan revealed that her condition has improved after two years of treatment. Her mother has osteoporosis.

Background: Christine is a retired financial journalist. She loves music and attends concerts regularly. Christine has hemiplegia, a chronic condition that has much reduced her mobility and dexterity

Audio & video

Christine was diagnosed in 2004 and describes her condition as ‘mild osteoporosis’. She has been prescribed alendronic acid 70 mg once a week and Calcichew D3 Forte two tablets a day. She hasn’t noticed any side effect but wondered whether the gum problems she was experiencing at the time of the interview, were related to her medication for osteoporosis.
 
For the last twenty-three years Christine’s mobility has been much reduced due to hemiplegia following cerebral aneurysm. Due to her hemiplegia Christine cannot use left eye, arm and leg so both mobility and dexterity are much affected. She also has some visual deficiencies.
 
Until recently, Christine didn’t know that lack of or reduced mobility can cause osteoporosis. It was suggested to her by a nurse when she was admitted to a hospital because she had fractured her wrist. She also has a maternal history of osteoporosis.
 
When she fractured her wrist on the right side of her body; the side that has movement, it meant that Christine temporarily lost her ability to take care of herself, and therefore, had to go into hospital for two months until her left wrist healed. She found the experience of not to be able to do anything for herself frustrating and humiliating but said that the staff at the hospital was simply wonderful.
 
Christine can walk very short distances at a time but knows that weight bearing exercises are particularly important for someone with osteoporosis. She has read and sought advice as to what she can do given her lack of physical mobility. She says that weight bearing exercises can be as little as doing a routine of sitting down and standing up or going up and down the stairs. Her outreach physiotherapist has also suggested she starts swimming and has organised a weekly session for her at a private pool near Christine’s house. 
 
Christine’s reduced mobility impinges on her ability to travel in the UK and abroad, but she loves music and the city where she lives offers plenty of it, particularly during the summer months. Christine lives near the city centre and has an electric scooter so she is able to attend musical events regularly.

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