Audrey

Audrey, 72
When the doctor told me it might be good to walk more, I thought ''Well, maybe getting a dog will help me stay motivated and walk more''.
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How it started
It started with something silly. I was putting a heavy casserole pot on the stove and I suddenly felt a crushing pain in my back.
It turned out I had a compression fracture of one of my vertebrae. After looking at my x-ray, the radiologist recommended a bone density scan. It turned out that I had osteoporosis.
What I changed
Worrying about my diagnosis meant that I was originally pessimistic. I couldn’t see a healthy and independent future. I knew I had to get moving and become more active, but I didn’t know where to start.
When my doctor suggested walking more, I immediately thought about getting a dog. I’ve always wanted one, but my husband wasn’t keen. Happily, he agreed to adopt Max, an older dog from a local animal home. It’s almost impossible to feel down when Max is around – he’s such a ball of energy! Plus, he’s encouraging me to walk more.
My doctor also recommended taking calcium supplements and following a treatment plan to help strengthen my bones.
How it helped
Since receiving my diagnosis, I’ve been out walking with Max every day. While it was slow going at first, I’m slowly walking further and feeling better for it. I’ve also found the motivation to quit smoking!

How I feel now
As the expression goes, every cloud has a silver lining, and while my osteoporosis diagnosis was definitely a dark cloud to start with, I’m starting to see the silver lining.
First of all, it’s made me realise that I need to take better care of myself. Secondly, Max keeps me active. He gives me the motivation to go out for a walk even when the weather is unpleasant. And lastly, Max loves his new home.

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