PMRGCAuk
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Possible Temporal Arteritis Diagnosis

Just turned 60 this year and admitted to hospital early September with really bad headache following 4 days of flu like systems which I could not throw off. Still awaiting a firm diagnosis but impression was Temporal Arteritis. Started on 40mg of prednisolone which was reduced to 30mg after two weeks and 20mg after another two weeks. Supposed to be reviewed as outpatient after 4 -5 weeks but still waiting for appointment 6 weeks on despite several phone calls. Have had MRI and CT scans to consider other causes but no feedback on results of these either. Feel OK but not myself.

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Did you have other symptoms that pointed to GCA like visual symptoms or pain when chewing?

You do seem to have been left dangling somewhat.

You won't feel like yourself on these doses of Pred and in my view, quite a rapid decrease in dose. Are you in the UK. ?

We would get our primary healthcare doctor ( GP) to chase up the results of your tests and the appointment. It's not really good enough, even if the news is good.

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Yes am in the UK, Chelmsford, Essex. Thinking back I have had some other symptons but don't really recall jaw pain, I had had neck pain and also a rash and quite painful pins and needles in both hands in the month or so leading up to this issue - all these symptoms have subsided since I have been on the pred. However I did have spiking temperature and was also treated with antibiotics for unknown infection. I still am having hot periods but not sure in this is to do with menopause. (What fun getting older is!)

I went to see my GP because I was worried about side effects of steroids and she prescribed calcium supplement and alendronic acid (only took one of these though as having looked at the possible side effects thought I would wait until results of bone scan - booked for 30/11 to see if really necessary.) This was a couple of weeks ago now so maybe I should book another GP appointment but that will take a few weeks.

I did get a call back from the hospital today to say they are sending out an appointment

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For goodness sake - for anyone who lives in Essex with query GCA I'm sure there is a fast-track GCA clinic at Southend. So much for the GP education part of the service!!!! Though apparently the hospital doctors in other hospitals are a bit oblivious too!

Patients with ?GCA need quick assessment, within a couple of days, and the service was originally trialled in Southend Rheumatology department under Prof Baskhar Dasgupta.

Did the 40mg dose deal with your symptoms? Have any come back with the reductions? That reduction really doesn't match any I've seen recommended!

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Hi Chmar,

As S/Jane says if it is GCA then your reductions of Pred have been quite rapid. If diagnosis not sure, then think you need to speak to GP, can you get a telephone consultation if face to face is difficult to get some feedback from your MRI, CT scans, and also to query raising your Pred whilst you’re waiting for out-patients appt.

if you have any problems getting an appointment you might like to remind the receptionist that GCA is a serious illness that can have implications for your sight, and you need to see doctor soonest.

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Hospital have called and I have an appointment with Tuesday.

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Good, please let us know the outcome.

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Did you have a biopsy of a temporal artery?

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