Osteoporosis

Linda - Interview 21

Female
Age at interview: 62
Age at diagnosis: 60

Brief outline: Diagnosed in 2005 and prescribed Fosamax 70 mg, once weekly and calcium tablets twice daily. A bone density scan in 2007 revealed that her bone density has improved and that she is osteopenic rather than osteoporotic. Linda continues taking her medication.

Background: Married; two grown up sons; works part-time. She is a keen gardener but since diagnosis she regularly does weight bearing exercises. Maternal history of osteoporosis.

Audio & video

Linda had her first bone density scan when she was about fifty-seven years old. At that time, she had been taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for about ten years but decided to come off it. Her GP sent her to have a bone density scan (DXA scan). The DXA scan indicated that her bone density was a bit below normal, but just a bit. She was given no medication.
 
In 2005 Linda’s mother was diagnosed with osteoporosis and the GP suggested she had another DXA scan because the condition tends to be hereditary. This second DXA scan indicated that she too, had osteoporosis. Her GP prescribed Fosamax 70 mg weekly and calcium tablets twice a day. She admits that isn’t always easy to remember to take the medication because of her dislike of taking pills but she persisted steadily.
 
After her diagnosis Linda became more conscious of the need to do weight bearing exercises and that's why she goes to the gym twice a week. She finds the gym experience a bit boring but knows that the exercise routine is good for her. Her favorite keep fit activity is gardening and she does lots of it. Her diet has also changed a bit, mostly regarding an increase of calcium rich food and of vegetable and fruit intake.
 
Her last DXA scan in 2007 indicated that her bone mass has increased since starting her drug therapy and she now has osteopenia rather than osteoporosis. She is obviously pleased with the news and to know that the medication is working. Her GP has told her to continue with the treatment.
 
Although her condition does not affect her daily life in any way, she admits to be cautious and no longer willing to do certain things. For instance, she has stopped skiing for fear of falling and breaking a bone. She is also more aware of posture when lifting moderately heavy things.
 
Even though her initial reaction to her diagnosis was one of shock and of anxiety about her future, now she feels lucky that her osteoporosis was found out when they did rather than in ten or twenty years time. Linda feels that she has been given a chance to take care of herself through medication, diet and exercise.
 

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