Sheila, 78

From Cheam

Two years ago I had severe pain in my hip and found I was barely able to walk. I went to my local A&E department to find out what the problem could be, and was told I had groin strain and was sent home with pain killers. I really couldn’t walk, so the staff nurse gave me a walking frame and sent me home in a taxi.

Twelve days later I was still in a lot of pain so went back to my GP, who sent me to hospital for an X-ray.

I found then that I had a hip fracture and was sent for an operation the next day. Unfortunately, this was cancelled twice. Eventually I had my operation, after two weeks of walking around on a broken hip.

It was terrible and to make matters worse, I was given no information about osteoporosis and fragile bones after the operation. I found out about the condition on the Internet.

I remember literally pinning a doctor to the wall and asking him if I had osteoporosis. He told me that, as a woman in her seventies, I would have osteoporosis anyway and prescribed me with some bisphosphonates. Some time later, I was given a spinal X-ray because of back pain and this showed compression and wedging of the vertebra.

My first reaction was shock, then anger that the hospital had not diagnosed this before. This was followed by grieving for my loss of mobility and knowing that my ability to do many activities was now curtailed.

I currently take strontium ranelate (Protelos) and calcium tablets along with vitamins B, C and D and magnesium. My main exercise is walking. I regard a daily walk as essential as eating because I am so fearful of losing my mobility and my independence.”