A hard lesson to learn
A 65-year-old had a bad fracture five years ago and looking back, she wished she could have done things differently.
Five years ago, Cheong Wai Fun (below) had a hip fracture as there was clutter in her home and a chair was in her way. It took not one, but two surgeries to replace her hip. She recalled: “The first operation was very painful and I had to have a second operation to align the bones.”
Before her fracture, she never did any clinical risk assessment tests for osteoporosis and she now encourages others to do so – “Go for a risk assessment test and have an early diagnosis to prevent fractures.”
Today, 65-year-old Cheong who is single and living with her 78-year-old sister (who serves as her caregiver) counts her blessings from that fateful day. She was selected to be in the patient support group of the Osteoporosis Society of Singapore (OSS) about three years ago. Firstly, OSS helped educate Cheong on how to make her home fall-proof. “I have shifted to a smaller unit flat. I am more aware of clutter and move furniture out of walking space,” she said.
OSS also referred her to its orthopaedic specialist who immediately put her on treatment for osteoporosis. She has been taking the prescribed medication for three years now. Despite having her medication and using a cane as well as a wheelchair, she sadly finds it tough to go out often as she would like as she fears she might fall again. “Had my osteoporosis been treated earlier, I could have avoided my first fracture,” said Cheong.
Just last year, Cheong had another fall, this time in her bathroom. Luckily for her, she did not have a fracture. She attributed this to her medicines – “The medicines must be working because I survived this fall. Thank goodness!”