The Lighter Side: Product / Consumer Review - POL... - PMRGCAuk


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The Lighter Side: Product / Consumer Review - POLYMYALGIA RHEUMATICA (Product Code PMR 001). My Scores out of ‘5’. But You Decide…? :-)


Greetings All

As if you haven’t got better things to do, you might find the enclosed PMR Consumer Review useful. But if you HAVE got better things to do, get out there and DO THEM!

To Set the Scene: if you’re an Internet ‘Consumer’, you’ll know what it’s like. You order one thing and before you know it you’ve clicked-on a couple of enticing ‘Add-ons’! The same thing happened when I ordered a frying pan for twenty quid on Amazon and ended up taking delivery of it PLUS an Onyx 8-seater Dining Table and Chair set, 112-piece canteen of Stainless Steel Cutlery (boxed, of course) and 3 Italian Candelabras. Total Cost: about 3 Grand. Trouble is, it’s only me and Tedski here at Benjamin Mansions. Oh well, maybe invite the neighbours around for dinner next week?

But back to The Plot.

Here are my Consumer Scores for PMR:

Ordering: 5/5

It couldn’t have been easier! My PMR more-or-less ordered itself! Well, when I say that, I admit to having been over-doing it Stress-wise and inadvertently ordered some Bacterial Pneumonia at around the same time - both of which probably auto-triggered my PMR ‘Purchase’?

Shipment / Ease of Delivery: 5/5

Again, I was amazed at how quickly my PMR arrived - almost as if by Magic!! Within 24 Hours it was on my Doorstep. Or.. to be more precise, on my Shoulders, Neck, Torso and Hips. It arrived so quickly that I literally COULDN’T GET OUT OF BED fast enough to start ‘enjoying’ it!!!

Packaging: 4/5

Simple and Unfussy! My PMR arrived in discreet, plain packaging and even my GP didn’t recognise what was inside! It was only my Rheumatologist who saw-through the wrapping (he has X-Ray Vision). But it was too late. I had already un-packed and used the Product, so my 3 month ‘No Quibble’ Return Guarantee was Void. Hey Ho!

Features: 4/5

PMR comes with Lots of things to get your head around!! Persistent Crippling Pain and Stiffness, Deathly Fatigue, Brain Fog, Flare-ups, Existential Angst, Feelings of Lost-Self, Frequent Irritability and / or Depression, Kubler-Ross Change Curve-style experiences, Terminal Bonkers-ness and Much More besides! I had never realised how many Hidden Extras come with PMR! What a (deleted expletive) Surprise!!

Durability: 3/5

To be fair, my PMR has stood the Test of Time overall. In 3 and-a-half years of heavy use it’s been pretty dependable. That said, my model does show increasingly frequent signs of long-term Unreliability. For example: a few times recently it has failed to automatically start-up in the mornings. And I couldn’t use it at all this week - however hard I tried to kick-start it into Action. Oh well, I suppose everything wears-out eventually? But I’m getting used to doing without my previously reliable PMR Symptoms, with all of their twists and turns. It’s strange: I’d got to know my PMR’s little quirks - a bit like trying to coax an old and unreliable car into action. When PMR suddenly settles down without any ‘coaxing’, it doesn’t seem quite the same!

Product Maintenance: 1/5

The PMR Product Instructions are pretty vague. Also, I’m famous for NOT reading or following Instructions of any kind. So, I have sometimes made-up my own Maintenance Schedule during my period of PMR ownership. Yes, with liberal (at first) and judicious use of Steroid Tapering to try to keep the PMR Machine working smoothly and ‘under control’ I have to admit that, at times, the Preds made no difference to its operational efficiency. So, once or twice, I‘ve varied the standard Instructions and let the PMR Machine self-regulate (Disclaimer: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME). Just be careful not to maintain your PMR with Stress - it will make the Product behave even more erratically and possibly overload it. They don’t tell you about this on the packaging. In fact, they don’t tell you about lots of things on the packaging….

Product Issues & Recalls: 0/5

Unfortunately, and having shared my PMR Product / Consumer Experience with other Users, there seem to be (q.) ‘Shed-loads’!! No Consumer Protection, Variable Quality of Aftersales back-up (e.g. from GPs and other PMR Product Specialists), often Garbled and Confusing (or incorrect) Technical Information on ‘Tinternet’: and not forgetting a Host of possible ‘Fixes’ ranging from Tai-Chi and Reflexology to Dog Walking, Flower Picking, Infusing the Distilled Roots of some obscure Venesualan Artichoke Plant: and all manner of other Herbal, Medicinal, Experiential, Dietary, Holistic and Spiritual things in between. As the old saying goes: ‘You pays your money and takes your pick’.

If it helps: my Money’s on a glass-or two of The Red Stuff (or similar) and a good-old Grin. But that’s just my Maintenance Package… :-D

Guarantee: 1/5

The standard PMR Guarantee is 2 years: and, unlike most Consumer Products, often self-extends without you having to do anything. PMR can give ‘good’ (ha ha!) service ranging from a couple of years to Life, depending on the Consumer’s circumstances and context. Sorry…

Overall PMR Experience and VFM (Value for Money)?:

You Decide…

Well, it depends how you view PMR from a Consumer’s POV (Point of View)?

On one hand: although PMR is cheap, easy to order and usually delivered with lightning-like efficiency, it’s also a technically very complex product with a poor reputation for Reliability. PMR is designed for Older Consumers and tends to be more popular with Female Users.

And PMR is often difficult to fix. The Network of PMR Service Engineers and Specialists also seem to be currently at odds in terms of reaching any reliable Conclusions as to how to fix it. (If the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Apple and a few other ‘Globals’ can’t get it right, what chance do Us Lot have?).

On the other hand: PMR can give you a surprisingly (and paradoxically?) ‘Positive’ Consumer Experience. PMR, like similar products, might just make some of Us Lot of it think about our Relationship with Ourselves in terms of how we use it?

Sometimes, a ‘Bad’ Consumer Experience holds the proverbial Mirror up to us - and might nudge us into re-assessing What Matters Most in our precious Lives. To quote an old saying: ‘DIS-Satisfaction is a great Driver of Change..’.

Now THAT might just be the Hidden Bonus in, let’s face it, the often Miserable PMR (or GCA) ‘Consumer Experience’, that we hadn’t ordered or expected? To quote another old saying: ‘There are Two Sides to every Coin’.

As I write this, Robert Persig’s acclaimed philosophical 1960s novel ‘Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ about such Paradoxes comes to Mind. Food for thought when dealing with our health conditions - or Life in General?

Either way, try to keep smiling on the PMR (and GCA) Consumer Experience. Of course, Fun and Laughter will never cure some illnesses or fix the Adversity and Pain that we all face in Life at some time or another. But a few Giggles might at least help us to cope along the way?

That’s it from me, for better or worse. NOW GET OUT THERE and do something useful rather than reading Consumer Surveys all day.. ;-)

‘Uncle’ MB

(p.s. No jokes about cardigans, slippers, dribbling and Werthers Originals please Aunties). :-D

37 Replies

Good reading as usual Mark. I’m no longer considered a PMR patient. But I do keep reading, hardly ever comment, so aren’t you the lucky one? Jan x

markbenjamin57 in reply to Janll

Hi Jan, thanks! :-) What a co-incidence - I was wondering about you the other day. Hope all's ok and you're surviving on the Journey..

MB x

Janll in reply to markbenjamin57

As awful as PMR is I do wish that’s was my diagnosis .... but I am doing pretty well. Still taking the dreaded steroids but they make my platelets smile so I’ll stick with them. Not on any other drugs. Yay! Weston isn’t that large but I have yet to bump into you. You frequent any particular wine bar?

markbenjamin57 in reply to Janll

That's good to know. I do get out and about but am spending quite a bit of time at my Sister's in Poole doing 'projects' for her at the mo. It would be good to meet up sometime - let's stay in touch :-)

Very good value as usual Mark. How do you think this ‘nonsense’ up? Very glad you do though!

Thanks Mary. Confession time: I read a very funny spoof review (about Cat Ownership!) on FB and it gave me the idea.. ;-)

One aspect not yet written about, you are not deeply in debt by ordering pmr , the big brother or the add ons. Have fun with the neighbours and thank you for an other uplifting story.

Oh Mark, I should have waited to read this before buying my own clunky version from a dodgy old bloke in a shell suit down the market . I am unable to review my own version as it is a bootleg, I think, and probably a rip off from someone in a Communist country. It simply does not follow any of the rules or guidelines I have found on line. Your writing is sublime. I am guessing you are a famous writer in disguise. Are you Jeffrey Archer? Do tell!

Ha, lovely! :-D Well, maybe one day re. fame and fortune from writing (as if..!). Jeffrey Archer also originates from Weston super Mare - but I'd rather not follow his other 'career' path! :-D

Aha!!!! So you are our secret superstar mystery writer! Love it!!! Yes, Mr Archer has some interesting facets as we all do, but I do love his writing. xx as I do yours.

Well, Linda, the silly book wot I wrote hasn't sold as many as Jeffrey's various novels yet - but there's always time to catch up.. :-D

Ha Mark, I think you've been overcharged " In 3 and-a-half years of heavy use " That's nothing, this month is the anniversary of my delivery, 4 years to the month and it's something I never ordered.

Non the less Mark, it shows that your delivery never affected your fertile mind, or is that just plain insanity.

Keep smiling on the journey :-)

Pete :-)

No discounts with PMR Pete - I did try asking. As for Insanity? - a close neighbour of Genius? (ha ha) :-D

I agree with your last statement 😉😀 l thought your skript was an act of Genius. 😉

Oh Pete, YAABILY :-D


Thanks for this Mark.

I’ve been trying to return my PMR since symptoms presented themselves 9 months ago. I too find humour, my hot tub, and a good glass of red helps me navigate these new waters.

Keep pen to paper, you are gifted!

You're welcome PMRCanada :-). Trying to send back PMR is a bit like throwing a Boomerang maybe?! For our Friends Down Under (The Ossie Lot): Polymyalgia Boomeranga...? :-D

Entertaining.. Thanks!

Great post Mark. You tell em how it is differently.

DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer

Hi Mark,

Much as I like the idea (yawn!) it’s very difficult to complete a consumer review honestly when you haven’t actually knowingly signed up for it, nor actually put your hand in your wallet to buy it!

Does it have the same credence as it was a completely free and an unsolicited gift? Or may I be influenced to give it a good review?

I tried my version of putting it in an envelope (seeing the GP regularly) - but like the words in my fav’s song “ there was no such number, no such zone” so my misdiagnosis was returned to me....time and time and time again!

As an ex contracts officer (buying military equipment, not putting out a contract on someone [oh I wish]) I have to say it was not fit for purpose - or was that just me! Can’t say the negotiations (what negotiations) left everybody happy with a win/win situation 🤣😆😂. Luckily didn’t have a 3-way consultation - only me and the GP, no sub-contracting to a Rheumy.

Plus like most contracts, my GCA overran in time, the budget went out the window and certainly in caused an inordinate amount of stress for all concerned. Just like most government contracts then!

Having got to the end of the contract period (fingers crossed) has it left a positive lasting impression, would I recommend to a friend?

It’s left a lasting impression certainly, can’t honestly say it was positive, and as for recommendations - you must be *&#@£& joking! Oh sorry, that’s not one of the designated boxes.

But I survived!! Can I claim my free gift 🎁- and what is it?

No, on second thoughts don’t tell me.

Pastit in reply to DorsetLady

A free gift! watch out, it could be another story from MB, now that's really, really not worth having.! only kidding if he's looking :-)

You know me too well Pete.. ;-) :-D


DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer in reply to Pastit

Ohh gawd, not another story! Might have to resurrect the “contract” list!

Hi DL :-)

I get what you're saying and apologise if I sound a bit glib when I rattle on about 'Seeing the Lighter / Positive Side..' etc in my Ramblings here. PMR is bad enough to endure: but, of course, GCA is a very different and potentially far more serious medical animal at all levels. I can only imagine... but you've lived that particularly nasty Consumer 'Experience'.

But you, above all, are a Master (or Mistress?) of putting on a Positive Face - and sweeping others along with your philosophy and wit too - Credit to you.

As for Free Gifts / Prizes?

Ok, for the Winner of the Survey (i.e. most comprehensive and Funny Responses): how about a Night Out on The Town with Tedski?

Second Prize: TWO Nights Out with Tedski (bring own Vodka and combat gear..)

That should sort out the Men from the Boys, er, sorry, Girls.... :-D

MB x

DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer

Hi Markus,

“Don’t ever apologise!” I can remember a little old lady saying that to me one day in our local shop after I’d dropped a coin on the counter and apologised to the assistant.

She said, “once you reach 70, don’t apologise, just look bewildered if you do anything wrong!”.

You’ll be please to know I’m getting it down to a fine art! 🧐

P.S. put me down for second prize - I knew my time in the MoD would come in useful somewhen! How does Tedski like his Vodka Martinis? 🍸

Thanks DL. Ok - you're ON for a VIP night out with Tedski. Yep, he likes his VMs 'Shaken but not Stirred... (as per James Bond..). You should be good company for each other! :-D

I've written to the 'Returns support centre' and told them politely that "I would like to exercise my right of cancellation".They replied "it's too late you've had the pmr for over 2 1/2 years now ,so get on with it and enjoy life as much as you can! ".🤔

This is not the bargain I thought it would be,I need to order more powerful hair straighteners next, curly hair was not mentioned in the pmr small print.🙄

Hi Mark,

If you have run out of PMR, I have a

a partially used item, only used for five months still in fully working condition. My special offer is that is FREE, on the condition it is NOT passed on to another unsuspecting

consumers, it can be life changing and others may not be prepared for the dedication needed to keep it from taking precedence over other hobbies.

Plus free delivery.

No need to hurry to order as not expecting many eager consumers.

Lovely Mary! Thanks for the offer - I'll think about it... (not) ;-) :-D

Shame, just goes to show you can't even give it away these days.😕😉

My plan is to hide behind the sofa for every delivery person.

Another brilliant epistle Mark. Helped lift my spirits today………Thank you!!

I’m not able to go to the Members Day in September, but just wondering how you will top this? I guess the preparations are under wraps with Tedski employed in a full time guarding capacity. Do Hope the Members Day is available on video channel afterwards.


Thanks Linda, all part of the silly service ;-)

For the Members' Day I have a Cunning Plan (including turning up for it amongst other things). As for Tedski.. he's getting his combat jacket and crowd control gear ready just in case some of That Rowdy Lot in the audience turn Ugly. No names mentioned, but you know who you are.

And the Video? Well, I'm used to that as I've appeared on CCTV more times than I can remember :-D

Sorry Mark. .... too long to read. Might try tomorrow. Love to Tedski. Hope he is out of hiding now. 😊

Will do, he's out chasing seagulls at the moment... ;-)

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