Bone Density Scan Helps with Osteoporosis Prevention

Video Transcript

My name is Jan van der Zalm. I'm from Volga, South Dakota originally, now I now reside in Brookings. I was gone for 30 years in the Foreign Service overseas. And after I retired, I came back to Brookings, and I've been here about five years.

Why did your doctor recommend a bone density scan?

Well, I just turned 70. I have never had a bone density scan. And my mother had terrible osteoporosis, and broke bones almost, you know, several a year. So I was a little worried about it, and when she suggested I do it, I said, "Absolutely."

How did family history influence your decision?

My mother, well, she just passed, but she was 96. And for the last 20 years, she just was falling and breaking things. And she'd been on medication for it for at least 20 years when she passed. And it was... I didn't want that to happen to me. So when Dr. Kruse suggested the bone density, I jumped at it and said, "Absolutely."

Can you describe the bone density scan?

I went into the hospital here, to the southeast entrance. The lady came and got me. She took my height because you have to adjust the machine. And then she had me lay on a bench, and then they did the scan. It took five minutes at the most. It was just a piece of cake. I mean, don't have to change your clothes. You lay on a table for five minutes, and you're done, and you're gone. So, no reason not to do it.

How was your experience with the staff?

She was wonderful. She explained every part of the procedure, why she took my height, why I didn't have to change my clothes, what was gonna happen, how long it would be before I got the results. She was really, really nice.

What were the results of your bone density scan?

Well, actually, they were really good, I think. I had a little thinning, bone thinning, in the hips. But there was only 4.8% chance of me breaking a hip, which I think is fabulous. The rest of my bones, there was an 18% chance. But, you know, I'd rather break an arm than a hip. So I was happy with that too.

What did your doctor recommend after reviewing your results?

She recommended I take...I start a calcium regime and vitamin D. And that's all I had to do, and walk, get as much exercise as I can.

What advice would you give someone considering a bone density scan?

I would say do it as soon as possible because the sooner you know whether you need medicine or preventative treatment, the better. Because, like with my mother, it was too late, and she kept breaking things and breaking things. And if she would have had the test a lot earlier, they could have probably prevented a lot of her breaking bones.

Why was it important to have health care facilities close to home?

Well, it's just so convenient. I mean, if I had to drive to Sioux Falls for every doctor's appointment, or Madison, I'd think twice about doing it. I have no compunction about coming in here because it's so convenient. I do not wanna drive an hour for five minutes.

What did you appreciate most about your care?

They have been friendly, they've been informative, efficient. I couldn't be happier with my healthcare in Brookings, because I've had nothing but good experiences with Brookings health care, nothing, no complaints at all.

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