Greetings to all PMR survivors and friends here.
After reading your many posts and queries about the confusing myriad of physical and emotional effects of PMR, and also those of the Steroids that manage the symptoms, I have devised the enclosed simple, user-friendly Questionnaire to help you to identify your Personal Score on the ‘MB Normal to Bonkers’ scale - with some suggestions about how to interpret your personal score in your own context.
Disclaimer (as usual): this Self-Assessment tool has absolutely no scientific or empirical basis to support its methodology and results, nor is it designed to give you any reliable indication whatsoever about the true state of your physical or mental health. If you want a feeling of certainty, don’t attempt it. If you want a bit of fun, get stuck-in with an open Heart and Mind. There is no time limit - and no right / wrong answers.
For each Section, score yourself from 1 to 5 (low to high) for each statement in terms of your personal experiences and symptoms with PMR / Steroids. Try to be honest with yourself and not answer the statements in terms of how you would like to be, or to be perceived by others. If unsure about how to score yourself, just close your eyes and think of the first number that comes to mind (it’s probably as reliable as any other method). Better still, make a cup of tea and watch the telly instead?
If you're daft enough to have read this far, here goes:
SECTION 1.Physical Symptoms..
a.I am ok really - just a bit of wear and tear.
b.I feel like I’ve been hit by an express train.
c.I feel like I’ve been hit by a train and then pushed from the top of a skyscraper.
d.Only by shouting a series of obscene expletives can I explain exactly how I feel.
e.Any volunteers for a Full Body transplant?
SECTION 2.Emotional Symptoms..
a.I experience a full and normal range of emotions - anything outside of that is just about my unique personality.
b.I often feel muchly frazzelode, jangleful and sadly.
c.I am too kna***red to feel anything except sorry for myself.
d.I am not moody or depressed - it’s everyone else.
e.JUST DON’T ASK - OK?!!!
SECTION 3.Relationships (Doctors / Health Professionals)..
a.I love and trust my Doctor / Rheumy, and send them Christmas cards.
b.They’re ok but use a lot of big words like 'tapering' that I can’t understand.
c.We are a health education partnership - the trouble is, I have to educate THEM.
d.My Doctor is about as useful as a dog with a bicycle.
e.I am planning to assassinate my Doctor and bury him / her in the back garden.
SECTION 4. Relationships (Personal / Family / Work)..
a.My family / friends / colleagues are understanding and supportive.
b.I'm finding that they leave me alone more than usual.
c.WHAT family and friends..?!
d.I only have one ‘special’ friend - and that’s OUR secret...
e.I have an overwhelming urge to axe-murder ANYONE who crosses me.
SECTION 5.Practical Challenges..
a.I function normally, considering what a Special Person I am.
b.'Surfing' on a supermarket trolley is an exciting and fun means of personal mobility.
c.Cleaning the house was never my forte. Dust is only God’s Dandruff after all.
d.Trying to open my car door on a hill is as good-a-way as any to get 20 minutes of aerobic exercise.
e.Ok, so I’m not a practical person. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
SECTION 6. Cognitive Challenges..
a.My cognitive abilities are 100%, considering who I am.
b.I occasionally forget things like taking my tablets and, er, some other things (
I'll come back to you later on this).
c.I regularly forget who I am - let alone WHY I am.
d.The Brain Frog has got me - there’s no hope.
e.I AM a FROG! A big, beautiful frog with a sparkly Tiara and x-ray vision. Yay!
SECTION 7. Coping Strategies..
a.I cope perfectly well without assistance from others, thank you.
b.There’s nothing wrong with an afternoon 'nap' - especially in the mornings.
c.Transcendental Meditation classes are good, AND you get to wear nice sandals.
d.Pacing works - it’s a good way to get across the road faster.
e.I AM COPING! I DON’T NEED ANY B****Y SPOONS. JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!!!
(End of Questionnaire)
Congratulations, you have completed your questionnaire! Here are some guidelines on how to interpret your scores:
Higher scores (4+) for ‘a’ statements suggest that either you don’t have PMR, are very fortunate to have escaped the symptoms of it / the steroids, or are in complete denial about the effects of both. That said, a state of denial can sometimes be useful in life (it works for me..).
Higher scores for ‘b’ and ‘c’ statements indicate that you are in a normal range of Human experience with PMR and on steroids (any surprise?). The only question is: what is ‘Normal’ for you in the first place? You might want to consult with others about this...
Higher scores for ‘d’ (and especially ‘e’) statements again indicate that you are experiencing a relatively normal reaction to PMR and the Steroids - if a little more intensely than some. Either that, or you have overdone it on the alcohol, been smoking something ‘exotic’, lost your marbles completely or are messing around with some other mood-altering substance as well as the preds (so I’m told by a friend..).
IMPORTANT NOTE! If you have high ‘e’ scores in Sections 3 & 4, it is not recommended to enact these fantasies since axe-murdering people is a notoriously time-consuming and messy business, and assassinating people will get you into big trouble with Interpol. Be warned, I know about these things.. ;-/
So, dear PMR friends, do you score as 'Normal', 'Slightly Bonkers', or the 'Full Monty'? And, does it really matter in the big scheme of things? All I can say is that, if you have found yourself giggling your way through this nonsense, my money’s on you being pretty ‘Normal’.
Ironically, even I am struggling to work out my own scores, but my Doctor is very supportive in the process. She should be - I pay her well. Her name is Samantha, and I hear that she’s very good at 'scoring' too. Just ask 'Janet and John' - well, maybe John..
Happy Days, wishing you a peaceful Easter Holiday - and keep smiling wherever you are in the world.