Well, there’s no question that PMR changes our lives. And, the powerful drugs that treat it can also affect our Mood and Behaviour in strange, sometimes dramatic ways. However, PMR can also bring a wonderful opportunity for Self-realisation and Development - as I’ve discovered for better or worse.
After looking back through my diaries during 2 years of 'surviving' PMR, here’s a collection of a few ‘Mind and Body’ experiences on the journey.
Warning: the following article contains references to events and scenarios which some readers here may find disturbing. If you are reading this in the first place (what, after all the others?), you are probably already slightly unhinged. If you find yourself either in convulsions of giggling or begging for mercy / reaching for the bottle in despair, you are probably quite normal. If you get to the end of this nonsense and are bonkers enough to ask for more, there is a confidential Helpline number buried somewhere on the forum. Be warned..
On Symptoms and Doctors...
When I was first wheeled into my doctor’s surgery and crippled with PMR symptoms, the best way I could describe them was that I felt like a battered, crumpled and broken old piece of luggage. He took a long, worried look at me and then admitted that I was the worst 'case' he’d ever seen.
It’s true that, with PMR and steroids, you can have very vivid and surreal dreams. One night I dreamt that I was a pair of black velvet curtains and woke up feeling very confused. When I described the dream to my doctor he just said to me “Lighten up and pull yourself together!”
I told my therapist that, with PMR, I get angry a lot and feel like a pressure cooker - she said I just need to let-off steam.
On the Mind, Dreams, Symptoms and Therapies..
With PMR and Brain Fog, I’ve become very forgetful and developed a strange obsession with always closing doors behind me. My psychiatrist says it’s an open-and-shut case of OCD.
Due to Brain Fog, I often also keep finding myself repeating the same, random cluster of words endlessly without ever using a subject or verb. But my psychiatrist thinks it’s just a phrase I’m going through.
Since I’ve had PMR, I’ve also had recurring feelings of Déjà vu. I asked my therapist about it. She told me to let-go of the future and look forward to the past.
With PMR I keep having irrational fears that Life is slipping through my fingers. My therapist simply told me to ‘Get a grip’.
I also keep dreaming that I’m tripping-over a giant piece of cutlery at a motorway intersection. My therapist says I’ve reached a fork in the road.
I keep imagining that the wheels on my car are slightly out of shape. I don't put it down to PMR - I think it's just mild eccentricity.
I asked my GP: ‘with PMR, which self-help treatment is most effective for insomnia?’ His recommendation:
‘Sleep on it and the answer will come to you’.
Due to my disturbed mind as a result of taking the steroids, I’ve been spending too much time lately stalking my bullying boss with malicious intent, at the same time as ignoring my lovely spouse. My therapist says that I need to get my lurk-wife balance sorted.
On Healing, Reading and Research..
One day, in an effort to find the new ‘Me’ with PMR, I noticed a stack of discarded Personal Development books at the local charity shop. No prices, just a notice saying 'Help Yourself'. So, I scooped them all up and left the shop promptly. After a visit from the local Police and my arrest, my case was heard in Court the following week. In my defence, I pleaded ‘Brain Fog due to PMR’. The jury were kind and, fortunately, I got off with a Caution - it works every time!
Another day, on the floor in a corner of the charity shop, there was another Self-Development book, 'Reach Your Personal Heights Despite PMR!'. Trouble was, due to the PMR I couldn't bend down far enough to grab it. Life can be cruel..
Another 'bargain' book was entitled 'HOW TO FIND YOUR INERT SELF!'. Was this a typo - or maybe just written by a lazy Spiritualist?
Eventually, I settled on an intriguing-looking but un-priced book entitled 'The Beginner's Guide to English Pantomime Catchphrases'. I took it to the check-out and asked the assistant what the price was. She replied cheerily: 'It's only two Pounds, Sir'. Immediately, six people in the queue behind me shouted in unison: 'OH NO IT ISN'T..!'
I also tried to buy an audio-book about PMR - but was told that it was already spoken for..
So, instead, I bought a book about Demonology. What possessed me to do that?!!
The following week I bought a fascinating book about Parallel Worlds. After I read it I was beside myself with excitement.
Finally, there was a 'companion set' of 2 books entitled ‘The Joy of Texts’ and ‘All you need to Know about Sects’. There was a lot of interest in that one...!
I keep imagining that I’m stuck on Nov 13 1976 in my diary. Is it time to turn the page?
On Food and Diet..
Since I've had PMR I’ve developed an obsession with gravy - is it time to take stock?
I read somewhere that Charcoal biscuits are effective in the treatment of all sorts of ailments in humans and animals. So I started eating a couple every day. They must have worked - at my next check-up with the doctor he just looked at my shiny nose and then patted me on the head, gave me a bowl of water and told me to ‘SIT!’ in the corner of his office. I know my place…
Being an avid reader, and knowing that eating healthily is important with PMR, I was excited to discover that my favourite author, Sir William Shakespeare, was secretly a healthy-food fanatic too.
I looked through my collection of his works and was delighted to find the following titles:
Julius Caeser Salad
Much Ado about Nut Roast
A Man for all Seasoning
Anthony and Ciabatta
A Midsummer Night’s Bream
Pilchard the Third
Romeo and Julie eat
.. and not forgetting Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peas..’
Then, I found some scribblings from the alleged Father of 20th century Psychology, including a copy of a Chinese restaurant takeaway order where he ordered: ‘Freud Rice please’!
There was also an account of a meeting with some psychoanalyst friends at a breakfast diner / restaurant where they all ordered a Freud Breakfast.
Now, Confession time: I got into some trouble a few years ago when I started to impersonate my hero, Sigmund, in a series of articles I wrote on Psychoanalysis in his name - and from which I earned substantial publishing royalties. The Police eventually caught up with me and I was charged with Attempted Freud
Well folks, that's my best shot at giving you (and me) some temporary distraction from the roller-coaster of PMR - and all that goes with it. As the old saying goes, 'Laughter is a great medicine'.
Have a good weekend and keep smiling on the Journey..