Following my diagnosis of osteoporosis back in October, I started taking oral Bisphosphonates immediately. This was a jolly good thing. For two reasons: good for my bones; good for secondary cancer prevention. Unfortunately it turned out to be a disaster for my gut. I could not tolerate it at all. First dose led to me crying ‘Huey’ and ‘Ralph’ into the giant white telephone for a fair part of the day. Subsequent doses were not quite so catastrophic but pretty nasty gut rot followed so this line of administration was declared A Failure. I had similar problems with the administration of Vitamin D and Calcium for I am indeed a Delicate Little Flower. However, there at least, my GP has come up with a combo that works. I take an effervescent calcium twice daily and some vitamin D once a month. Marvellous.
Back to the Bisphosphonates. I need them. So in a bid to find an alternative way of administration, I was referred to the Osteoporosis Clinic where I found myself today. It was actually a small miracle that I found myself there at all as the appointment letter failed to specify where the clinic was being held. Funnily enough, I did not consider the Maternity Block a likely venue so it was last on my search list. But we all know I am over efficient in the being early department, therefore I had time to scour the entire hospital and there it was. I liked my consultant. We shall call her Bones. She did not look much like her Star Trek counterpart but wearing that uniform might have made her feel a little silly.
Bones has decided I am to have annual transfusions of Zoledronic acid which is the IV version of bisphosphonates. It involves being hospital for a few hours and then the likelihood of a few days of flu like symptoms. But once a year. I can live with that. Before I left I had to have blood taken to check my vitamin D levels are high enough, if not, extra treatment will be given. When I waved my chemo burned veins at the child-phlebotomist (I swear she was not out of primary school), her eyes nearly filled with tears which did not make me feel hugely confident. However, there was extremely good news on that front. Whether it was a fluke, a one off, extreme skill or signs of recovery, blood was let at the first attempt with no difficulty whatsoever. I rather wished I had had a lollipop in my handbag or a gold star with which to reward my young friend, who was giddy with her triumph.
All that remains is to wait for a transfusion date to arrive through the post.