Russian fairytale about osteoporosis


In Russia, a highly regarded orthopaedist who is a member of the Presidium of the Russian Association for Osteoporosis has authored a fairy-tale which features two sisters and a ‘strange little beast named Osteoporosis’. The author is Dr. Nurlygayanov Radik Zufarovich, traumatologist-orthopedist, head of the Ufa City Center for Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Osteoporosis, PhD in medical sciences and respected doctor in the Republic of Bashkortostan.

The fairy-tale has been presented in an effort to encourage awareness of bone healthy lifestyle in children and their families. 

View the Russian-language video:

English translation below:

A fairy-tale about two sisters
And a strange little beast named Osteoporosis

(translation of a fairytale by Dr Nurlygayanov Radik Zufarovich)

In an ordinary town, there lived an ordinary family. And the long-awaited twin girls, Masha and Olya, were born there. While they were small, the twins resembled each other like two peas in a pod. Their parents bought them identical clothes, their mother cooked them delicious dishes, their father read books and told them fairytales.

But as the girls grew older, their personalities began to differ. Masha took up gymnastics, went hiking with her parents in summer, swam in the river, and went skiing in winter. She sat down at the computer only to do her homework. She chose healthy foods, eating lots of dairy products, fish, and nuts.

In contrast, Olya became lazy: in the morning instead of exercising she preferred to wallow in bed, or spend a lot of time at the computer or on her smartphone. She rarely went out and had fewer and fewer friends, because when they were playing merrily in the yard or running to the river, Olya, curled up, sat over the phone or computer, eating hamburgers and drinking coffee or soda.

As the years went by, Masha got prettier and prettier; she enrolled in design school, successfully studied, and met a nice guy. They got married and lived happily ever after. Masha managed to keep up with sports, cook delicious food, and her husband rejoiced at his beautiful wife.

Olya, because of her laziness, somehow managed to finish school, but could not get a job. Sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet and lack of sunshine played a nasty trick on her: her skin became gray and flabby, and her figure began to deteriorate. One day someone accidentally bumped into Olya on the bus, and as she was pushed and landed on her arm she suddenly heard a crunch. By evening the arm hurt, but the girl was too lazy to go to the doctor, and she reassured herself it would pass. And indeed, with the help of pills, the pain gradually subsided. But then, looking at herself in the mirror, Olya was frightened: her bruised arm had become crooked! And when she felt that she had difficulty washing, dressing, and even just pouring a glass of her favorite Coke, she realized with horror: it was a broken bone!

Olya experienced even greater horror when she saw near herself an incomprehensible swamp-colored creature, bent and terrible, with a mysterious inscription on its back "Osteoporosis”. The creature moved with difficulty, and also loudly creaked its joints. Since then the creature began to appear regularly: whenever something in Olya's body crunched or her joints ached, there was the creature right there! Her visits became especially frequent when Olya was eating her favorite hamburger, habitually washing it down with coffee or soda. The creature happily rubbed its paws, squeaked and clicked its ugly calf.

And soon Olya began to worry about the other pains: it was difficult to walk, her back was bent in a letter "G", which made the young girl look like an old woman.

Olya cried in self-pity, wanted to pour tea, but dropped the cup. And then the strange little creature appeared again, giggled happily and, satisfied, disappeared. And the worse it got for Olya, the more the strange creature rejoiced. 

Such a life was becoming unbearable, but Olya felt embarrassed to complain to anyone. In the end she decided to ask her sister for help. But when Masha advised her to see a doctor, Olya refused - she was more accustomed to sitting at home and feeling sorry for herself. But the next day, seeing that her sister had left her the address of a doctor, Olga decided to take the first step.

As she sat on a bench outside the clinic waiting for an appointment, a little boy and his mother passed by. Suddenly the boy snuggled up to his mother and, pointing at Olya, cried out in fright: "Baba Yaga!" The girl cried: for her, so young, this comparison was very hurtful. She stood up and confidently headed straight to the right office.

The doctor listened attentively to the girl and uttered a familiar but mysterious word - Osteoporosis. And told her that everything could have been different if she had loved herself more.

Olya asked: "Why do people come out of your office so happy?" The doctor smiled: "Because they understand that they can change and make a difference: to fix their dietary habits, to exercise, to follow all the recommendations - and become healthy again." 
He led the girl to a colorful booth that had writing on it:

"Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become weak and brittle and can break easily.Osteoporosis is called a childhood disease because bone strength is established during childhood and adolescence. Maximum bone growth is reached by the age of 25. And for anyone who hasn't gained enough bone mass by that age, osteoporosis and fractures may lie ahead.

A healthy and balanced diet (rich in protein, calcium, vitamin D), physical activity, and spending time outdoors (to get vitamin D) have an influence on the development and strengthening of bones.

It is necessary to avoid bad habits such as smoking, alcohol, little physical activity, consumption of coffee more than 2 cups a day, fondness for carbonated drinks, fast food, spending a long time in front of TV, gadgets, smart phones, computers.

After the first osteoporotic fracture, the likelihood of a second fracture increases 3-fold, a third fracture 5-fold, a fourth fracture 8-fold!"
Following the doctor's advice, Olya went to the store, bought healthy and tasty foods - cottage cheese, fish, meat. At the drugstore she asked for a pack of vitamins with a large letter D and, as if on wings, flew home. She realized how wrong she had been, for not taking care of her health, for being lazy, for wasting precious time.

And at home, the strange beast awaited her again. Sitting on a chair, it creaked and grunted, but when it saw the food and vitamins in the hands of a girl, it suddenly shrank in size. From that day on Olya's life changed: she began exercising, spent less and less time at the phone and computer, and more and more time in the fresh air. After giving up sodas, her sleep and appetite recovered. And Olya herself did not notice how the strange creature stopped visiting her. After talking with a doctor she knew that quickly recovering may not be possible, but she now has a hope to live without fractures, to return to health, a beautiful posture, activity and former beauty.
And Masha, watching these changes, was glad that her sister would again become a healthy, pretty and cheerful girl. 

Dear young friend! It's only a fairy tale, but, as Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin said, "A tale is a lie, but a hint in it - a lesson for good men.”

A healthy lifestyle with an emphasis on a healthy diet rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin D, as well as regular exercise is the best prevention of osteoporosis and bone fractures in the future.