As a newbie, I'll relate my journey to date. I can't recall any stress or viruses, but I had worsening symptoms of runny eyes, jaw/ear ache, sore neck and headache. Over 3 weeks this was diagnosed as hay fever (pharmacist and GP) and sinusitis and possible Norovirus - reaction to antibiotic (GP). Still, with a crashing one-sided headache, on 1st April 2017 I called a locum. On questioning, he immediately diagnosed GCA, took a blood test, which later that day gave an ESR reading of 93 and put me on 40 gm Prenisolone. The symptoms diminished within a couple of hours. Mid April, I saw a rheumatologist, who gave me a GCA leaflet and said I was intelligent enough to manage reducing the steroid! Two days later, a had a biopsy which confirmed the diagnosis, although it did give me an infection. My GP said to raise the Pred to 60 mg, briefly.
After surfing the internet, I joined PMRGCA and visited my nearest local group - High Wycombe 45 miles away . They made me very welcome. It is comforting to know you are not alone. This site was suggested and I have been reading it daily ever since.
Last week, I had a blood test and saw my GP today with the results. She seemed generally pleased with my progress. My ESR is 8. I have gained half a stone, despite cutting out most carbs except for the odd 2-3 shared bottles of wine a week - well there must be some enjoyment in life! My BMA is around 30. I have porridge with cinnamon for breakfast and a small tin of sardines with salad for lunch. Supper is meat or fish with lots of veg, rarely a dessert My calcium levels, with the help of Alendronic Acid and AdCal are good, as are cholesterol levels. Aspirin makes me bruise very quickly, though. I have been taking Lansaprazole for some time. My present Pred dose is 12.5 and those results show I can now reduce to 10 mg. I see the rheumatologist again at the end of October, so I can discuss with him (if all is well) slowly reducing further, as recommended in this forum.
Occasionally, I feel lethargic. I have a mildly sore neck and don't sleep well (a problem before taking Pred). Reading this forum, I think I am fortunate so far. I will keep you updated and thank you all for the invaluable discussions.
Christine aged 72