Osteoporosis

Neville - Interview 26

Male
Age at interview: 74
Age at diagnosis: 69

Brief outline: Medication; Didronel and later Fosimax but he did not stick to his treatment. In 2005; diagnosed with rectal cancer, had surgery and now uses an ileostomi bag. Neville wants to find out about non-oral medication for osteoporosis. Takes painkillers every day because he suffers from severe back pain.

Background: Neville is married, has two sons and he is a retired Head porter. He is grateful for all the support his wife, sons and grandchildren give him.

Audio & video

Neville’s health problems started in 1999 when he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. He was very ill and in hospital they started him on prednisolone, intravenously. For the next two years he continued taking large doses of prednisolone. One day when he went for a check up at the hospital the consultant sent him to have a bone density scan. On his next check up appointment, some three months later, the consultant told him he has osteoporosis and that he would write to his GP. 
 
He was told that most probably the high doses of prednisolone had caused his osteoporosis. There is no maternal history of the condition but Neville used to be a heavy smoker until eleven years ago.
 
Neville’s GP prescribed what he thinks was Didronel but he kept forgetting to take it. He said that his diagnosis didn’t worry him and for the next three years he continued stopping and taking his medication for osteoporosis. He remembers that Didronel made him feel sick and his GP prescribed another drug; Fosamax but this later one also gave him painful indigestion and Neville stopped taking medication for osteoporosis altogether.
 
Neville indicated that there is no one else to blame but himself, for not adhering to his osteoporosis medication. He went on to explain that at the time of his diagnosis he was given a leaflet that provided some, but certainly not enough information for him to understand the importance of medication.
 
In 2005 he was diagnosed with rectal cancer, had surgery and started treatment for that. He has an ileostomy bag. Neville is unable to take oral medication for his osteoporosis. Neville has several other medical conditions' occasional angina, emphysema and skin cancer.
 
Neville explains that everyday he takes - apart from many other medications – painkillers for his back pain. He is allowed to take up to eight tablets but he prefers to limit its intake to four a day. Until recently he took Co-proximol and now takes Co-codamol. Apart from painkillers he has found that resting on memory foam cushions and mattress helps him to cope a bit better with his pain and make him more comfortable.
 
Neville has reduced mobility and while he is able to walk very short distances he is unable to stand for long. He loves his garden and used to dedicate lots of time to it. Now, his sons and grandchildren help him by doing the heavy, more physically demanding garden work. He still manages to work on it but his wife makes sure he doesn’t overdo it! 
 
Neville is grateful for all the support he has received from his wife, sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren. Neville says that his wife has been his rock and that he ‘would be lost without her’. At the time of the interview he was due to go and see his GP and make enquiries about non-oral medication for osteoporosis.

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