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Ne'mat Kabbani, 86, lives in Amman, Jordan. A widow, she enjoys the loving care and attention of a large close family, which includes her daughters, sons and many boisterous grandchildren. Her daughters and a household helper attend to all her needs, with all the children helping by cooking or inviting her to their homes for meals every day.

Although never alone or isolated, Ne'mat strongly regrets her inability to care for herself or do many of the activities that she used to enjoy in the past. Her physical impairment is largely due to various osteoporotic fractures sustained over the past three decades. In addition to two vertebral fractures, she has endured a hip fracture and a serious arm and shoulder fracture, which has left her in constant pain and unable to make full use of her right hand. Dressing and bathing independently, cooking, and even simple household chores are no longer possible.

Ne'mat was diagnosed with osteoporosis in 1998. Fortunate to have the expert care of a family physician with knowledge of osteoporosis, she has received therapy including drug treatment and calcium and vitamin D supplementation. She also practices regular exercises as directed by her physiotherapist. Although a smoker until several years ago (heightening osteoporosis risk), Ne'mat now realizes that her osteoporosis is likely due to a family history of the disease. Her mother, whose back had been very stooped, had also been quite immobile in her old age.

She vividly recalls the dreadful accident that resulted in her arm fracture. "I was concerned that there might not be enough water left in the roof-top reservoir to finish the washing, so I went up to check and see. As I was coming down the stairs, I tripped over a cable that was lying in the way. I fell and crashed - arm first - into the wall. I felt my arm snap immediately, as if into two pieces. The pain was excruciating."

"I had many hobbies and used to sew, knit and embroider, but I cannot do anything any more," she says sadly. Ne'mat also used to play the oud, and she loved playing cards and barjis, a Syrian game resembling Ludo. Formerly a passionate gardener, Ne'mat is now unable to lift, bend, or even grasp gardening tools. She must simply be content to sit on the apartment balcony among the beautiful potted plants and flowers arranged by her daughter. Although no longer able to kneel in prayer, she still gains comfort from her daily ritual in a sitting position.

When asked how the fractures have affected her life, Ne'mat responds, "I no longer wake up early as I have very little to do. I ask myself, 'what do I have to get up for?'. I cannot do any work. I get up for a while, then I lie down. I used to be very active. I would wake up, cook, and then go out for a walk, do the gardening... I used to play cards and be active. Now I cannot even play solitaire."

3 May 1924

Amman Jordan



©2013 International Osteoporosis Foundation