Osteoporosis

Gloria - Interview 06

Female
Age at interview: 66
Age at diagnosis: 58

Brief outline: In 1999 and following a wrist fracture, the doctor at the hospital advice her to ask her GP for a bone density scan to test for osteoporosis. No maternal history of osteoporosis, but surgery to both her kidneys. On alendronic acid once a week and on Adcal D3 once daily.

Background: Married; worked as a shop manager but retired last year. She wrote to the Health Minister explaining that she had been waiting almost a year to have a DXA scan.

Audio & video

In 1999 following a wrist fracture, the doctor at the hospital advised her to ask her GP for a bone density scan to test for osteoporosis. Gloria has no maternal history of osteoporosis, but in the past she had surgery to both her kidneys. Her current medication is alendronic acid taken once a week and calcium, vitamin D, Adcal D3 once daily. She hasn’t experience any side effects from her medication.
 
Gloria asked her GP for a DXA scan but was convinced that it was all a ‘waste of time’ because she didn’t believe she had osteoporosis. Her diagnosis came as a shock and didn’t have much information about the condition. Gloria has made the point to inform herself about her condition and its treatments.
 
Gloria feels lucky because her condition does not really affect her life style. She has no problem carrying her shopping or lifting and is able to walk long distances. At weekends she and her husband usually go for an outing that involves a good long walk. Nonetheless, Gloria is aware of the need to avoid unnecessary risks that might result in her having a fracture. Gloria said that the only thing that has changed is that now she is more aware of the importance to include more calcium rich food on her diet. For many years she had an almost dairy-free diet because of her kidney stones problem.
 
Gloria waited around three months to have her first DXA scan and thinks that it is a reasonable waiting time. But for her second scan she had to wait nearly a year. She used to phone the hospital to find out how her application for a scan was proceeding. One day she listened to the Minister of Health saying that no one should wait more than three months to have a test done. Gloria wrote a letter to the Minister explaining her situation and got a reply back saying they were looking into her case. She got letters from the Minister of Health, the local health authorities and the hospital all apologising and got her appointment for her scan within a week. Gloria said that waiting time for a DXA scan had been reduced in her local hospital and so for her third DXA scan she had to wait only a couple of weeks.

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