Success Story

Virginia Horns Marsh
Age: in her seventies
Years Diagnosed with Osteoporosis: 8

Tone Your Bones (TYB): What was it like being diagnosed with osteoporosis? How did it make you feel?

Virginia Horns Marsh: It was traumatic! It marked the first time I realized I had entered a new stage of life that would influence my physical and mental well-being.

TYB: What treatments were suggested to you? Were they effective?

Virginia: I was immediately given a DEXA scan to measure bone density, which confirmed the diagnosis. I was advised to improve my diet with more calcium and Vitamin D and to start a weekly exercise regimen. Initially, medications were very effective until allergies forced me to stop them. In London, medication infusions for osteoporosis are common, so Dr. Sarah Morgan looked into that option. The research was promising, so now I receive an infusion every three months.

TYB: Were you knowledgeable about osteoporosis? How did you learn more?

Virginia: I knew very little at first, so I attended classes on diet and exercise, lectures, local and state meetings, and workshops. Reading about the disease and its advancements expanded my knowledge. Now, I also volunteer at osteoporosis screening events.

TYB: How did your doctor assist you?

Virginia: My doctor answered all my questions and suggested tests, medications, dietary changes, and weight-bearing exercise classes. Her recommendations were tailored to my overall health, medical history, other medications I take, and my lifestyle.

TYB: What other advice was beneficial to you?

Virginia: Wear supportive, comfortable shoes. Make your home fall-proof. Ensure every room has good lighting with brighter bulbs. Secure or remove rugs that could slip. Make stairways safe with handrails and non-slip surfaces. Equip the bathtub with grab bars and non-slip mats. Avoid clutter.

TYB: What lifestyle changes did you make? Were they difficult?

Virginia: I altered my clothing to make stooped shoulders less noticeable, using colorful scarves and full dresses or skirts. My balance and response to positional changes slowed, so I bought comfortable chairs. I provided my doctor with a list of questions, kept my medical records up-to-date, and discussed my concerns and expectations with her.

TYB: How do you feel about your progress since being diagnosed with osteoporosis?

Virginia: I feel stronger now than I have in years, so I know the treatment is effective. The support and personal attention from everyone at the UAB Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Clinic have made living with osteoporosis much easier.