Margaret's Story

Margaret has suffered from back pain for several years and had no idea that she was suffering with Osteopenia. A bone density scan after a visit to the doctors helped make the right lifestyle choices.

Name: Margaret Livesey

Lives in: Cheadle

Subject: Experience of the NHS - Osteopenia of the spine and hips

Stockport Together Programme: Prevention and Empowerment

I'd had back pain for several years and just thought it was wear and tear but as it was beginning to get uncomfortable I went to the doctors. I was sent for a bone density scan, and was told I had osteopenia of the spine and hips.

On the advice of the doctor I had two options: tablets or alter my life style. As I don't like taking tablets I decided to alter my lifestyle and that involved plenty of walking and diet.

My husband and I are members of the National Trust, and two or three times a week we go to a National Trust property. We do a two or three mile walk around the grounds when we first get there and then take a picnic into the gardens and have a walk around them.

In addition to that, twice a week we'll go out from home and walk a block, which is a couple of miles. There's only one day a week we don't walk a few short bursts or longer as we really enjoy it.

I have cut down on the quantity of everything food-wise. We eat a lot of fish, pulses, wholemeal breads, wholegrain rice and a lot of fruit. We have cut out fats and the stodge and now have a healthy diet with lots of fruit and veg. Some weeks we don't have red meats and when we do, it'd only be once or twice a week.

Unexpectedly, I got a recall for another bone density scan which I attended around 12 months ago. The first thing the radiographer did was measure me and I had lost no height, so she was pleased with that! Then I had the scan and she said to me 'have you been doing a lot of walking?' and I said 'yes, a lot!' She said that there was no sign of osteopenia whatsoever in my spine - and even though there was still a little bit in the hips I was gobsmacked.

I couldn't believe it! I don't have to go back. I just have to continue with the walking and the diet and as I've lost a lot of weight because of it, I feel great!