Welcome to my site! My name is Leslie,
I am 37 years old and I have osteoporosis. I was
initially diagnosed with it ten years ago after
suffering multiple compression fractures, and my life
has never been the same since because of it. Before
kidney problems and osteoporosis forced me to stop
working, I worked as a pediatric nurse at Children's
I hope to turn my negative experience
into a positive one by launching this website and
sharing my story with the public.
I know firsthand how devastating this
disease can be so I would like to create awareness about
the importance of early detection because the tendency
is to think of osteoporosis as an old person's disease.
People don't realize it's an epidemic that reaches both
men and women of all ages.
focused on making public appeals to deliver a message
that "the only cure for osteoporosis is prevention."
I sincerely hope that my website and support group will
help to build bridges of communication that will
eliminate the isolation of osteoporosis; and to provide
a crucial source of information and emotional assistance
for those struggling with this debilitating disease.
I am concerned about the possibility of
experiencing more fractures in the future; as I am well
aware of how easy it is for an osteoporosis patient to
fracture, but I do not want to live the rest of my life
in fear. I do not want to stop living my life and
discontinue doing things I did before I had
osteoporosis, because if I did it would mean that I
relinquished control of my life to this debilitating
Osteoporosis is a
silent, debilitating disease that affects 28 million
Americans, 80 percent of whom are women. It causes bones
to become thin and fragile without warning, robbing
individuals of their independence, mobility, and
self-esteem. Contrary to popular belief,
osteoporosis is not just a disease of old people,
and if preventable steps are not taken, bone loss occurs
earlier in life, long before symptoms of the disease.
Twenty-eightmillion people are affected by
osteoporosis, and left unchecked, that number is
predicted to increase to 41 million by the year 2015.
bones are thin and weak. There are usually no
symptoms. That's why osteoporosis is often called a "silent
disease." Without treatment, bones become so weak
that just bending over or coughing can cause pain or
even a broken bone. Breaking the first bone makes it
much more likely that you'll break more bones later on.
different from most other diseases or common illnesses
in that there is no one single cause. The overall health
of a person's bones is a function of many things ranging
from how well the bones were formed as a youth, to the
level of exercise the bones have seen over the years.
During the first 20 years of life, the formation of bone
is the most important factor, but after that point it is
the prevention of bone loss which becomes most
important. Anything which leads to decreased formation
of bone early in life, or loss of bone structure later
in life will lead to osteoporosis and fragile bones
which are subject to fracture.
often, patients believe once they have osteoporosis or a
fracture, there is nothing they can do to protect their
bones," said Judith Cranford, NOF's Executive Director.
"There are steps that can be taken at any age to
prevent and treat osteoporosis." A healthy diet,
weight-bearing exercise, not smoking or drinking
excessively, and bone mineral density testing and
medications for osteoporosis can prevent or slow
osteoporosis, and help bones to stay strong."
Many people believe
that a diagnosis of osteoporosis is the end of their
life as they know it, but it is not. In the beginning
an individual is sure to feel overwhelmed by the disease
but with time and patience we adapt to the changes that
the disease makes in our lives. Living with a
debilitating disease like osteoporosis may be difficult
at times but I am doing it as are many other
osteoporosis sufferers. Osteoporosis has taught me many
valuable life lessons, the most important one being to
never take the simple things for granted like having the
ability to walk freely on your own.
Living with a Disability--
written by a fellow osteoporosis sufferer
In regards to you
living a satisfactory and normal life with a disability,
I would like you to know and be assured that it is
accomplished every day. I have had a lifelong
disability, and have been in a wheelchair for my life,
and I'm very happy. Living with a disability is not only
about accomplishing the things you used to do, but
learning to accomplish them in different ways. It is
also a frame of mind, a mindset that accepts your
disability as a part of who you are. You cannot mourn
who you thought you would be for the rest of your life.
If you do, you will never overcome the challenges you
are presented with living with a disability.
Often times people think in terms of what other people
project upon us. But I was never taught to be concerned
about what other people think of me when what they are
thinking is of a negative nature. Instead I was always
taught to make the best of my situation, whether that
situation is disability related or not. I only want to
instill in other people the belief that they matter and
are of importance. We, who are disabled, have a very
special gift and responsibility. That gift is the
ability to see beyond ourselves and that responsibility
is to educate others in who we are as people despite our
disabilities. Life is certainly worth living and
National Osteoporosis Society
Offers support and
advice to people with the condition, their families and
caregivers. They operate a national telephone helpline
between 10am-5pm, Monday and 9.30am-5pm Tuesday-Friday,