What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?
I was having extreme back pain after having a fainting incident caused by extremely low blood pressure. I was taken to emergency to see if I had anything serious going on and they discovered I crushed a vertebrae, which was causing the severe back pain. I was sent for many tests including a bone density test and received my results yesterday diagnosing me with osteoporosis.
I had breast cancer five years ago and had surgery, chemo and radiation. The chemo treatments put me into early menopause, age 46, and this is one of the causes of my osteoporosis. My doctor gave me a prescription for Fosamax and said I must start taking it now, and don't even research the side effects. I haven't taken any medications since my breast cancer treatments, and will not just put anything into my body without doing the research. I am looking at all the alternatives and seeing which is the best option for me. If you have any information that can help me with this decision, I would be so thankful.
What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?I was just diagnosed yesterday with osteoporosis, and will make the necessary changes I need to again in my lifestyle, but have already made many lifestyle changes since my breast cancer diagnosis five years ago. I have increased my fruit and vegetable intake immensely, reduced stress in my life and I exercise often. I juice fresh vegetables regularly, drink no alcohol, coffee or pop and eat no processed foods. I get lots of rest, drink lots of water and spend time in the sun. I take vitamin D3 daily.
Who has been there for you? How?
My husband, family, friends, and medical doctors have been there for me to support me, but I know I must take control of my own health responsibilities – I am the person who knows my body best. I am looking for other women that are going through the same thing and hope to connect with them so we can support each other.
What accomplishment are you proud of?
It has been only one day since my diagnosis of osteoporosis, but I am excited to heal this vertebra and move on in life and not let fear and anxiety take hold of me, like it has before. I will do whatever I have to do to build my bones up and take responsibility for my health with lots of support.
I am excited to move on in life and not let fear and anxiety take hold of me.
I must take control of my own health responsibilities – I am the person who knows my body best.
What's your advice to someone else living with Osteoporosis?I really don't have any advice as of yet for someone living with osteoporosis as I was just recently diagnosed, but I would love to connect with other 51-year-old women who have also been recently diagnosed.
Is there anything else we should know?I love living a healthy lifestyle, and will do anything I have to do to live a healthy fulfilling life. I have a great supportive husband, four beautiful adult children and four beautiful grandchildren, and I want to be able to enjoy them to the fullest. I love my life!
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Marlene is a retired nurse who has a family history of osteoporosis. She has been on her osteoporosis journey for over 15 years.
Osteoporosis won’t affect everyone, but if you're at risk it’s important to use all the resources around you to improve bone density as you age.