After a working life of 44 years with little time off work from illness. I continued the three years of early retirement in the same vein, avoiding going to the doctor. (I did not discover I had over 60 free prescription until the age of 64!)
On the 19 June I had googled a range of symptons which could be shingles if I took account of a rash or Giant Cell Arteritis if I majored on tenderness to my head. The next day I saw a GP and said I had experienced the following:
-tenderness to my head persists 3-4 weeks
-pain in jaw eating (lived on porridge and soup for weeks) now ok
-earlier headaches, left
-eye swollen over eyelid now ok
-left ear feels odd when nose blown
-past week some numbness on left hand & forarm and one instance on chin
-rash developed on left of chest
The GP thought it was GCA and immediately put me on 40mg of Prednislone sending me for four blood tests one of which was ESR. That evening a doctor rang to tell me that the ESR test result was 124 (saying over 10 was high!) The next day I was with the Rheumatologist who confirmed GCA organising further blood tests, chest x-ray and bone scan to follow.
A few days earlier I had never heard of GCA, now out of the blue my life has changed!