Susannah - Interview 04

Age at interview: 76
Age at diagnosis: 47

Brief outline: Susannah was diagnosed in 1978. Over the years she has had many fractures; to her spine, wrists, toe, ribs, etc. She describes her condition as 'extreme osteoporosis'. Susannah does not take any medication. She is concerned about the side effects of drugs.

Background: Susannah is a retired teacher; does voluntary work with homeless people and continues doing further studies. She practices Pilates and Chi Kung exercises regularly.

Audio & video

Susannah was diagnosed in 1978 but before that, in her late twenties, she fractured her spine. Over the years she has had many fractures; to her wrist three times, toe, ribs, etc. She describes her condition as “extreme osteoporosis”. She was put on alendronate (Fosamax) once daily and later on ibandronate (Bonviva) and later she declined taking risedronate (Actonel) and Strontium ralenate. She is very concern about side effects of drugs and has stopped taking medication for osteoporosis altogether.
Her consultant and her GP have warned her that she is at risk of a hip fracture. Her consultant has prescribed Cacit D3 and she also takes a number of vitamins supplements. The one thing that will persuade Susannah to take osteoporosis medication again is the certainty that they will work and that they won’t have harmful side effects. Besides she does not have a high opinion of pharmaceutical companies and sees them as a ‘money-making thing’.

Susannah has read widely about her condition, its drug treatment, adequate diet and exercise. She has also attended talks organised by the National Osteoporosis Society. She exercises regularly doing Pilates and Chi Kung and would like to have more expert information about the potential benefits of power plates machines available in some health clubs. Little is known in the UK about it and she says that it would be a good idea to research into it.


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