ForeWord Reviews

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Living Day to Day With Severe Osteoporosis

What Every Person Should Know Regardless of Age

Clarion Review (3 Stars)

Imagine going through life not knowing if the next step you take will be one that puts you in a wheelchair or hospital bed.

Alice V. Roberts is forced to live with this harsh reality every day as a result of her Osteoporosis. In her first book she details her dramatic medical history beginning with her very first menstrual cycle at the early age of eleven. The pain pressure and migraines they produced were so excruciating that by the time she entered high school Roberts was bedridden for the duration of each cycle. Little did she know that this was merely the beginning.

A low tolerance for medication forced her to investigate every possible avenue of treatment leading her to be diagnosed with endometriosis a key factor in her future health problems. Roberts experienced excruciating lower back pelvic and abdomen pains all of which were furthered by pregnancy. After her first child was born Roberts was strongly advised against having another child despite the fact that she was only in her twenties. Determined to have another child before it was too late Roberts skipped a planned Hysterectomy surgery with the belief that she was pregnant again. A pregnancy test led to harassment from annoyed doctors and medical staff who condemned her for skipping the surgery.

Persevering Roberts successfully delivered her second daughter and planned the surgery for the months following. However after dozens of broken ribs wrists and legs the result of repetitive falls due to poor bone structure Roberts ventured to the Mayo clinic in Arizona to hear the diagnosis she had previously feared. She had Osteoporosis at thirty-five and the future was very bleak.

Throughout the book Roberts describes in painstaking detail the ordeals that surrounded her life after that diagnosis and the various exercises and physical therapy techniques that help her everyday.

Simple tasks such as putting on bed sheets buying groceries and taking a bath hold deadly consequences should she make a wrong move. In a heartbreaking conversation with her young daughters Roberts explains her situation: “We explained the hairline cracks in my spine and how easily I could break my neck I if I was not careful. They would have to help me more since I had a limit of lifting no more than ten pounds (that was equal to a sack of potatoes).”

The book suffers from occurrences of awkward phrasing and grammatical errors throughout including an unfinished diagram that is slightly confusing. These facts aside the book’s major downside is the needless repetition of uninformative illustrations that abound throughout. For instance Roberts includes the same photos of her wearing a neck brace and lying on a stretcher four times in the book along with several others that seem entirely out of place as filler material. Nonetheless the story itself is a fascinating one that will engage readers and make them far more aware of the perils of Osteoporosis and what can be done to prevent it in the future.

Liam Brennan