Osteoporosis

Marylin - Interview 12

Female
Age at interview: 59
Age at diagnosis: 56

Brief outline: Diagnosed in 2005 and currently on alendronic acid 70 mgs once weekly, Calcichew D3 Forte and for her back pain she takes Co-Dytramol one a day. Marilyn's mother has rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. After her diagnosis she took the decision to retire at sixty and 'enjoy life'.

Background: Divorced; works as a legal secretary. She has always been very sporty but now her exercise routine is aimed at enabling her to maintain mobility and flexibility in old age.

Audio & video

Marilyn was under the care of a rheumatology consultant, due to knee problems, when she started having back pain. Early in 2005 she had an x-ray and later a DXA scan and was diagnosed with osteoporosis. Marilyn’s mother has had rheumatoid arthritis for many years and in her eighties was diagnosed with osteoporosis.
 
After her diagnosis she was put on Fosamax and later change to alendronic acid once weekly. She thinks her medication was changed because the later drug is generic and therefore cheaper. She began to experience hip pain which she put down to too much cycling until she was told by a friend that it could also be a side effect of the alendronic acid. She also takes Calcichew D3 Forte and Co-Dydramol one tablet daily to help her control her back pain.
 
Marilyn is unconvinced that the alendronic acid is an effective treatment for osteoporosis. Also she wonders how effective the treatment can be when it is just one tablet a week.
 
Marilyn is a keen sport person and ten years ago she used to run on a regular basis and after joining a running club, she went on to do five London marathons. After developing knee problems she stopped the marathon training but kept running short distances. Nowadays Marilyn does either yoga, Pilates or some weights everyday. She believes it helps her improve muscle strength, maintain flexibility and assist with pain management.
 
Marilyn thinks herself lucky to have been under the care of a consultant and diagnosed in her fifties because she feels there is much more she can do to help herself like having earlier treatment and an exercise routine. Her aim is to keep mobile and independent in older age. She admits, however, that her diet is poor.
 
Marilyn attributes her knee problems and osteoporosis to hereditary factors and “too much running”. She thinks that people with a family history of genetic illnesses ought to be given appropriate advice and information about the types of exercises they can do in safety.

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