Life on hold for Fermanagh patient in pain ‘24/7’

A FERMANAGH woman who has been suffering in constant pain without treatment for almost two years has spoken of how she has been left unable to live her life.

Caroline Diver from Enniskillen is one of many local patients left in the lurch by the reduction in local osteoporosis services.

More than a year-and-a-half after first being diagnosed with the condition – which results in weakened, fragile bones – she has not yet started any treatment, and has not been given any indication as to when she will be seen.


As a result Caroline, who has already suffered broken ribs as a result of her osteoporosis, has been left relying on morphine as she is “in pain 24 hours a day, seven days a week” and is unable to live her life due to the fear of breaking more bones.

As revealed in last week’s ‘Herald, the osteoporosis clinic at the SWAH has been temporarily “stood down” at the SWAH due to what the Western Trust has said is a “temporary staffing challenge.”

Many local patients were unaware of this closure, while those who were informed have not been told when or where they will receive their treatment in future. For many, this involves receiving injections twice a year, which must be administered in hospital by a medic.

The situation is even worse for Caroline, who has yet to even get speaking with a consultant on what her best course of treatment should be.

“I went almost two years ago for a DEXA scan at the SWAH, and the nurse told me it was osteoporosis,” said Caroline.

“She said there was a treatment they could put me on before it gets worse, and the professor would give me a call within two months.”

Caroline, who cares for her adult son with disabilities, explained she was told this would be a remote consultation so she would not have to travel to Altnagelvin.


Caroline added if it was determined the injections would be the best course of treatment for her, then she would willing to travel to Derry if she had to. She noted that as she doesn’t drive, though, so she would have to pay for a taxi or get multiple buses, and said she would also have to factor in care for her son if she had to travel.

However, unfortunately, over a year-and-a-half later, she still has not had this consultation, and her pain has been getting much worse in the meantime.

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