Polymyalgia Rheumatica

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Ever heard of it? Me neither. Until a few months ago when my muscles, especially in my shoulders and thighs, got stiff, then sore, then flat out painful. Putting on a jacket became an insurmountable task.

Finally, I bit the bullet, and made an appointment to see my Internist. Blood tests, she reported in a follow up phone call, were all “normal.” Great! My presumptive diagnosis was “You are getting old, game over, forget about it, go home and read your Kindle.”

Not so fast. Scroll forward through a couple more days of increasing discomfort, and I am again sitting in the treatment room telling my Doc I need Plan B. Not the contraceptive, just a different way of dealing with my complaining body, other than doing nothing at all.

Whoops! She called up my blood test results on her computer screen for a second look, and realized and immediately admitted “I made a mistake.” Seems that on the phone call, she had not scrolled down far enough to see that my C-Reactive Protein was way high, a sure sign of significant inflammation. With my symptoms, this was a definitive for PMR. I’m not going to describe the condition here. Go to Mayo and learn about it if you are interested. There are 200,000 new cases of PMR in the U.S. every year, so maybe you should be interested.

Funny. The good news is that since the lab findings were no longer normal, I now had something to treat. $8 worth of generic prednisone pills are doing a wonderful jobJ.

Bottom Line. The learnings of all of this? Lots. Most importantly, no matter how good our physician, we need to be stewards of our own healthcare. We all need to get the best physicians we can find and afford, and then work with them, closely and proactively, to ensure a good outcome. Had I not done so in this situation, I would still be sitting here in silence, and in pain!

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

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