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Domingo Di Lorenzo, Venezuela

Domingo Di Lorenzo, Venezuela  

"I did not ask or was not told about the risks of colon surgery for bones". Unique optimism and a big, warm smile characterize Domingo Di Lorenzo. He is a Venezuelan engineering and maintenance worker of Italian origin. Domingo is 77 years old, and he started having vertebral fractures due to osteoporosis at the age of 65.

"When I was 40 my colon was removed due to diverticulosis. Afterwards, I never had milk or cheese since I was afraid of suffering from diarrhea. I was not told that I had to take calcium pills either. My intestine was working well, and doctors and I were very happy. I kept working as hard as usual because I liked my job a lot. I even used to go hunting despite my colostomy."

"I had the first fracture at the age of 65. Since then, I have had several fractures but they did not cause too much pain. I noted a little humpback and realized that my height had decreased, but I did not care because there was no pain. I never thought I had osteoporosis. Indeed, I did not know anything about that disease, and doctors never mentioned it. It was not until 1997 that I was sent to a specialized center."

Domingo suffers from secondary osteoporosis caused by a digestive surgery and chronic calcium deficit. He illustrates the lack of information about osteoporosis among people as well as doctors. Furthermore, his example is classic evidence of the increased occurrence of new fractures once the first fracture has happened. Currently, Domingo has five vertebral fractures. His story also reflects a common masculine attitude, reluctance to find medical support when health changes occur. So often, men only look for medical support when the damage is already severe.

"Nowadays", explains Prof. Gregorio Riera Espinoza, "Domingo has many constraints due to his severe vertebral deformity. In addition, he had an aneurysm of the popliteal artery with vascular obstruction. Unfortunately this condition led to a below-the-knee amputation of the left leg 18 months ago. Nevertheless, this man still shows enthusiasm, and a kind and humble smile to life. A substantial part of his grief was caused by both society and us, as doctors. We owe it to Domingo Di Lorenzo."

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