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Thursday 17th October 2002

The weather has turned quite cold. Have a few photographs to put in here, but have spent time on my html evening classes so haven't caught up on this diary.

Autumn Pictures

Did I show you this joke about the "Sign Painter"? ---

Sunday 13th October 2002

My movie for this week was "Virginia's Run". Was impressed with the beautiful setting and photography. Stayed to see where it was taken: all on location in Nova Scotia. Nice place to visit, but wouldn't want to live there. They have snow already. The story was enjoyable and took me back to when I was a child and fortunate enough to have my own horse, scooter, car etc. The many days wandering around Hardye's Monument, Dorchester, Pony Club meetings, gymnkhanas, then dancing in the evening. Oh to be young and so energetic again. "Too soon old, too late smart!" I did appreciate my good fortune at the time though. Here are a couple of pictures:

Click here for full screen image.

Click here for full screen image

Tuesday 8th October 2002

Haven't done anything much for weeks. Actually haven't felt well for weeks. As some of you may be interested in my experience, I will tell you about it.

Last year I was diagnosed with mild osteopenia in the spine and fairly severe osteopenia in the hip. (Osteopenia is a pre-osteoporosis condition, which puts a patient in the high risk category for fractures).

Following this diagnosis, my doctor and I decided I should take Fosamax 5mg, starting 19th December 2001 (Fosamax is Alendronate Sodium). One tablet is taken each morning with a glass of water (not any other kind of drink). Must be on an empty stomach and must wait for at least half an hour before eating. Must remain upright.

I understood all this. I also understood that Fosamax can be corrosive to the upper digestive system if these instructions are not followed. However, I did follow the instructions and when I began to have disturbances of the lower digestive system, thought I must have food poisoning. (On one occasion I even called the local Health Inspector to complain). The pain, severity and frequency of these disturbances have gradually increased. Now I cannot eat anything without it passes straight through my system. After each meal I am having to lay myself down and try to get through the pain. I stay at home because of the frequent diarrhoea. Since last Saturday I have lost three pounds in weight. Normally I'd be very pleased about that. However, I'm nearing my perfect weight for my height and cannot afford to lose any more through dehydration.

On 16th August 2002 I saw the doctor again, was sent for blood tests and was diagnosed lactose intolerant. I have since avoided lactose/dairy - or taken Lacteeze tablets. This has not helped.

I have called the Ontario Health Line: 1-866-797-0000. They have taken notes and cannot help. They advised me to see the doctor.

I have called Merck Frosst, who make Fosamax: 1-800-567-2594. They have taken notes and cannot help. They advised me to see the doctor. They thought that the lactose intolerance problem may be resolved when the other digestive disturbances are stopped. Fosamax does contain a small amount of anhydrous lactose, but they did not think this would be causing my digestive disturbances.

I have called McNeil Consumer Healthcare, who make Lactaid: 1-800-522-8243. They have taken notes and cannot help. They advised me to see the doctor.

If any of you out there have any comments about Fosamax or osteoporosis that you think may be of interest, please email us and we will post onto this page.

Later in November this year I had an annual check-up. While discussing the Fosamax problem I mentioned to the doctor that I usually had half a grapefruit with breakfast. It was then that he informed me that grapefruit or grapefruit juice could be damaging or even fatal when combined with many kinds of drugs. I asked him if I could have grapefruit later in the day and he emphasized that grapefruit could not be taken at any time. Grapefruit has been found to act upon the liver. Recently an antihistimine drug (I think it was called Seldane - you'll have to check on this) was discovered to combine with grapefruit or grapefruit juice in such a way that the drug built up and could eventually stop the heart. Also, grapefruit accentuates the effect of insulin many times over. So, be warned and go check up on it if you are taking any medication. I was very pleased, at the same annual inspection, to find that my bone density had increased from 9 to 11%. I had not thought this possible. But even at my age, if one takes the situation seriously, making time for regular exercise, walking, weight-lifting etc., can pay off.

Finally much cooler here. Quite pleasant. Very high winds yesterday, took down tree branches etc.

Return to other months of Diary from Canada at http://www.sentex.net~oficserv/Canlet.html

Return to home-page of OFICSERV Computer Office Services & Drafting at http://www.sentex.net/~oficserv

Link to the Movies Pages at "movies.yahoo.com"

Visit a site for many photographs of North American Birds and animals.

Rhona Raskin Home Page at http://www.rhona.com.