Responding to Kate Gilbert's request, whose book is very helpful.
Hi, I live in Iowa City and am 62. I was diagnosed in May after a month on not being able to figure out what was wrong, despite being a former professional ballet dancer and now, a Movement Therapist. Ha. I still work full time, which means moving a lot. In a way this is very good for me -- the movement helps, actually. My PC figured it out when I went it to try to get a muscle relaxant. First time in my life I haven't been able to move stiffness and pain out...I started on 20mg and am now down to 8mg. Except that I have started to have pain in my hands and that makes it hard to work. So, after 3 weeks of 8mg, today I tried 10 and it is working. So I may stay on 10 for a week and then taper to 9...and so on. I'm typical: 50% Norwegian, 45% English, 5% Russian. And I was under intense care taking stress for a whole year, and in hospitals a lot (virus?). I am a specialist in the role of emotions in chronic pain, so this is amusing and instructive when it is not frustrating and boring. Fatigue is my biggest bugaboo. Just a general lack of energy for much beyond my work day. I sleep well now that I don't take a little at night. At first my ESR was up to 120 and my platelet count also very high. While waiting for those labs I got a lot worse -- I couldn't walk at all in the am, or turn over. The funniest was when I had to use my nose to start my microwave. My son would help me get into and out of bed. I developed great hacks for sitting up using my yoga straps, and used my cane to grab the toilet paper. It was intense. So he started me at 20mg. I felt better in a day or two and went back to work. My ESR at next visit was 5, and my platelets were normal. Right now it's just my hands and hips. I was relieved to read that hands and wrists show up in PMR and are not RA. It does feel more like tendonitis than anything else. My hips feel like I gave a really great performance on a really big stage the night before. My PC said something that might be of interest to other dancers and athletes. When I told him that I didn't find the stiffness and pain too bad he reminded me that I have a tolerance for pain that came from dancing and that would go away with more dancing. That I shouldn't measure this pain, by that pain, because this pain is a marker of deep inflammation and that pain a simple slight bruising of the muscles. That was very helpful as I couldn't figure out how much pain was too much pain. Sometimes I still wonder, as pain is relative. Mostly I ignore it and get on with things. But I do rest more and do get more tired from mundane chores. So I give in and look at magazines and movies, and listen to podcasts instead of cleaning out closets or rearranging furniture. I have had to miss too many parties. But I am introverted so I manage that, too. It's hard to explain this to friends here as it is fairly rare. Or hidden. I know two women who have or had GCA but I haven't met anyone with straight on PMR. I am so glad I don't have GCA. I appreciate this forum and the advice on tapering. I have gone slowly and surely. Now I think I will try the dead slow method as I move past 8mg. I am out 10 months from the beginning.