Following my disastrous hospital appointment yesterday when my biopsy didn't go ahead, I telephoned the rheumatologist's secretary as suggested but she was on answer phone - again! - so I left a message. Then, later on I had a call from another rheumatologist - I think she was a junior member of the consultant's team. First of all she said that the biopsy should still go ahead but when I questioned her about the usefulness of it, she eventually admitted that it wouldn't change the treatment, it would just help them in future should the condition return. She also confirmed the more serious of the risks - bleeding from the tied artery and nerve damage to the eye - and said that some other patients have also prefered not to have the biopsy. Unfortunately, it appears that, unsatisfactory though this test is, it's the only test they can use!! The diagnostic scan is very new and our hospital has no facilities to do this anyway. So, I just continue with the 40mg dose - thank goodness the headaches have gone and my vision is now clear so I'm allowed to drive again - until I have another blood test two days before I see her again on 3 August. She'll then be able to see the level of inflammatory markers and will decide how to proceed with the steroid dosage.
To say the last 36 hours have been stressful is a very big understatement - and again I want to thank this forum, not only for the moral support yesterday evening but also for all the advice I've received from members which helped me to make a decision about my treatment. I still don't know for sure whether I've done the right thing but I really can't see the point in going through a procedure which won't change my treatment.
So there you are folks, this is the most recent episode in my saga - I'm sure there will be many more!!