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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

I was diagnosed as post-menopausal at the age of 37, and from there osteopenia was diagnosed. I was prescribed Tibolone the HRT treatment specifically aimed to assist bones and continued with a pretty healthy lifestyle including regular exercise and things slowly began to improve.

In 2012, I had a cancer scare due to breakthrough bleeding and was recommended to have a full hysterectomy due to being such a high-risk candidate, which was consequently carried out. Due to already having gone through the menopause and being on HRT, luckily, I had no adverse effects from the hysterectomy and life carried on with no change and if anything an improvement.

Two and a half years ago, I started my own business which meant a chronic lack of time and increased stress which ultimately lead to not being able to take quite as good care of myself as I had been and my exercise regime disappeared completely.

Following my regular bone density scan a few weeks ago, the results came back showing a drastic deterioration. Now at the age of 50, I have been diagnosed with full-on osteoporosis with a T Score of -2.7. A massive shock to the system, as I am sure you can imagine.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

I am continuing with the HRT hormone therapy and have now been prescribed a weekly tablet alendronic acid 70mg.

I have re-evaluated my life and decided to take better care of myself by reducing the number of clients I have and concentrating on the things I love the most. Everything I've done so far has helped with alleviating a tremendous amount of stress, but more importantly, allowing more time for myself to get back into my exercise regime – as I believe this was probably the catalyst for the drastic deterioration over the last year or so.

Who has been there for you? How?

My husband and family have been amazing as have my doctors. The understanding from work colleagues and clients has been amazing and very humbling knowing how much I mean to them. Also, the understanding and willingness to accommodate my decision to slow down has been incredible.

For example, one of my clients has kept me on at the same remuneration but with less input from me and knowing that my hours will be reduced quite drastically.

I became complacent with my condition thinking it would just keep getting better no matter what I did, but now I have been given a huge wake-up call.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

Well I don't have any just yet as I have only just decided to slow down after the new diagnosis. Making this decision was very hard for me as my business was thriving and the very substantial earnings have now been limited. However, I have come to realize that health and a stress-free life are what matters the most.

My husband and I love to travel the world and the thought of not being able to do so in five to ten years scares me no end, and this has been a contributing factor behind my decision as there is no point making tons of money if you cannot pursue your loves in life.

I also have two grown sons who will be starting families soon, and I want to enjoy my grandchildren by playing with them not just looking at them. I have always hated milk too but now have two milkshakes a day, so I am getting around that one also.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

Well I don't have any just yet as I have only just decided to slow down after the new diagnosis. Making this decision was very hard for me as my business was thriving and the very substantial earnings have now been limited. However, I have come to realize that health and a stress-free life are what matters the most.

My husband and I love to travel the world and the thought of not being able to do so in five to ten years scares me no end, and this has been a contributing factor behind my decision as there is no point making tons of money if you cannot pursue your loves in life.

I also have two grown sons who will be starting families soon, and I want to enjoy my grandchildren by playing with them not just looking at them. I have always hated milk too but now have two milkshakes a day, so I am getting around that one also.

What's your advice to someone else living with osteoporosis?

Having had osteopenia for a while and seeing an improvement over the years, I became complacent with my condition thinking it would just keep getting better no matter what I did, but now I have been given a huge wake-up call. I do not believe it is too late to try to get back to where I was, but it will take determination and tenacity and a completely new lifestyle change.

So, my advice to anyone else is that if you are diagnosed with this disease to be constantly mindful as it doesn't go away and needs your attention to stay healthy and happy.

If you're diagnosed with osteoporosis, be constantly mindful as it needs your attention to stay healthy.

About Helen

My Story: Helen

I am 50 years old, married with two incredible sons aged 27 and 25. I am British, but grew up in South Africa and have spent approximately 22 years of my life there on and off.

I dance professionally and my doctors say that this has been a saving grace in relation to my osteoporosis, as I have a very tiny frame too. I have a fine arts degree and am a Marketing Director Consultant running my own business. I love traveling the world with my husband and family, and thoroughly enjoy the theatre, dance and a little gardening.

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