Osteoporosis

Cressida - Interview 01

Female
Age at interview: 81
Age at diagnosis: 62

Brief outline: Diagnosed in 1989; on alendronic acid 70 mg once weekly. In 2007, admitted into hospital for rehabilitation and pain control. She had physiotherapy and hydrotherapy and also commenced on a buprenorphine patch (for pain control). On oral glucocorticoid for asthma for about 26 years.

Background: Cressida lives by herself but her daughter who lives nearby visits her regularly. She describes herself as 'fiercely independent'. She needs help with cleaning the house and with washing her hair.

Audio & video

Cressida was diagnosed in 1989 with osteoporosis following a vertebral fracture and over the years she has had around five or four more fractures of the spine. Her diagnosis read' Vertebral collapse-osteoporosis. In 2007 she was told that she has lost an inch and half in height. She was originally five foot four and half and now she is five foot. She is not happy about it but she doesn’t dwell on it.
 
At the time of her diagnosis she was looking after her late husband who was suffering with Alzheimer’s disease. Despite the strain on her own health, Cressida was determined to look after him herself and only once and at the insistence of her GP she agreed for her husband to go into respite care but just for a few weeks.
 
Apart from osteoporosis, Cressida has several other medical conditions' osteoarthrittis, Sjorens Syndrome, Polymyalgia Rheumatica, aortic valve replacement and a right shoulder operation in 1999. She said ‘osteoporosis is the least of my problems’. 
 
In September 2007 she was admitted to hospital for rehabilitation and pain control. She complained of generalised pain, especially in pelvis and hip joints, thoracic and lumbar spine. She underwent physiotherapy and hydrotherapy and was also started on a buprenorphine patch. She says that the patches have significantly helped to control pain and her quality of life has improved significantly.

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