The Australian Women's Weekly

NOW I’M IN CHARGE

After breaking her wrist while out running, Victoria Godwin discovered the injury was just the start of something far bigger than she expected

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“I felt like I was too healthy and active to get this disease”

When I was in my 40s, I had an accident and hurt my back. My doctor advised me to get a bone density scan but I didn’t.

She also told me to stop running and take care of my bones. Of course, I didn’t stop running. I loved it!

The pain was a sign, but I ignored it.

Many days my coccyx was on fire. Some days it was okay but others not. The pain was constantly there, saying “Hello, I’m here.” On really bad days I couldn’t even walk properly. I couldn’t get out of bed. Unfortunat­ely I convinced myself this pain was not going to beat me and kept running even if it hurt.

Once I got to my early 50s I fell while running and badly broke my wrist. It took a very long time to recover from that. To help my bones, I took bucketload­s of calcium. Finally, because of my ongoing back pain, I did get a bone density scan at my doctor’s insistence. Did I get a shock when I was diagnosed with osteoporos­is. I felt like I was too healthy and active to get this disease.

After the diagnosis I really isolated myself from friends. While they were out bushwalkin­g I’d be quiet at home reading books. I was depressed. Finally, I asked my doctor if I should go on antidepres­sants and she said no, go for a walk and go swimming in salt water. So I did!

What I realised is that osteoporos­is is a bit of a taboo subject but it shouldn’t be. When you know you have osteoporos­is, you can be in charge of it. You can’t get rid of it, but it can be treated.1 You have to manage it.

It’s far better than not knowing because you can then monitor your own health and know what you can and can’t do.

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