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Living With Osteoporosis: A Patient's Perspective

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:49pm
CECILIA JOHNSON: I'm Cecilia Johnson. I've had osteoporosis approximately 15 years. I came to discover I had osteoporosis almost by accident. I just felt old — perhaps an overstatement somewhat, but it was almost like the beginning of the end.

Watch. Be careful. Don't fall.

Something that is not referred to often enough in regard to this disease, and that is the problem of self-image. Wearing clothes has become very difficult for me, in the sense that the dowager's hump on your back pushes your abdomen out, also. So while I'm not particularly overweight, it's deformed my body. I see a woman who has a deformity. That's what I see. It could have been prevented if I had known. I think that's the salient characteristic of this disease of osteoporosis, is that it can be prevented. This doesn't have to happen to other women. It can be avoided.

I think I've adjusted quite well to it, but it's still very frustrating, and my life is even more carefully regulated, as far as activities go. Right now, what I do to stay active is what, really, most women, particularly those with osteoporosis, engage in, and that is a lot of walking.

I think the best advice or suggestion that I might make for all women, those who ultimately will be diagnosed with osteoporosis and those who are free of it, is to get a screening. Be tested.

I'm very positive about life in general, and I'm very hopeful about life in general, and there are moments of great agony, but the truth, the reality that I know that I've been through is that it's just for that particular moment, that particular difficulty, and you get beyond it, so tomorrow will be better, and usually is.

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