Well, what to say - and how to say it?
On the Positive Side (and not wishing to gloat since I know how many of You Lot are still struggling on the PMR / GCA Journey): I’m delighted to be celebrating a month of almost complete remission from the PMR symptoms that have dogged me for the last 3-ish years.
You’ll probably be familiar with this kind of thing. Any or all of: Perpetual Pain, Stiffness and Deathly Fatigue (often despite the best efforts to get the Pred dosage ‘right’?), Brain Fog, Pred Tapering Dilemmas, Unexplainable Flares which defy all Logic, Run-ins with ill-informed Medics, Skirmishes with The Aunties when Messing about here (ok, only me perhaps), Pred Head, Bouts of PMR associated Bursitis and Costochondritis, Acne, Gastritis, BPPV, Co-Morbidities, Anxiety, Depression, Heightened Intolerance of usually tolerable Stress, Social Withdrawal, Tensions with N&D or others who don’t understand, Uncertainty, Fear, Existential Loneliness, Loss of Sense of ‘old’ Self, Mood swings, strained muscles, a sad heart and much more besides. I’ve known most, if not all of them. Ohh, the Pain…
That said, my personal PMR Journey hasn’t been entirely wasted. During it, I have at least had the good fortune to be able to get out and about: albeit often in a hunched, shuffling, cranky fashion and defiantly impersonating John Wayne, to explore the exciting world of ‘Collectables’. By that, I mean snaffling things like the occasional priceless Original Rembrandt oil painting and a few Roman artefacts from the local charity shops for a few good-old -fashioned English Quid. ‘Job’s a Good Un’.
But the main ‘Prize’ on my various Charity Shop Assaults has been to amass the world’s largest collection of assorted Faux Leather storage tubs. Yes, 243 of the little Blighters which, like Russian Dolls, nestle inside one another with immaculate precision and would fit neatly into the tiny boot of a Renault Clio. How’s that for a bit of efficient Design and Ergonomic elegance?!
But back to the Plot (if you’re still awake - which I doubt..):
Here’s my Psychological Dilemma. The Precious (243) FL Tubs have become symbolic of my PMR ‘Life’. I have treasured the experience of searching for, collecting and owning them, despite the ultimate futility of the exercise and their taking-up too much space at Benjamin Mansions. But, in an effort to validate their (and my often PMR / Pred addled) existence, I’ve tried valiantly to give them a Purpose in Life equal to mine. I have attempted to fill those silly little FL tubs with all manner of things from useless bits of old string to 20-year old TV Scart cables, mis-fitting plastic food containers and lids and all manner of, let’s face it, JUNK! Oh well, it all seemed to have a purpose at the time...
But my instincts now tell me that it’s now time to Let-go, symbolically at least. I must try to say Goodbye to the Faux Leather tubs as I move on and, hopefully forwards from this awful illness too (as I’m sure You Lot do too).
All of this reminds me of the psychological conundrum of what's known as 'The Stockholm Syndrome’, but I’ll leave it to you to do some homework and draw your own conclusions around this very loose psychological analogy in terms of its relevance to our types of illness. For me? I keep an open mind...
So, it’ll be an advert in the local newspaper / on FB tomorrow to offer my prized FL collection to The World at Large for a mere Fifty Quid. A Bargain for whoever takes-on my PMR Legacy, and I’ll deal with the emotional fallout later… ;-D
But please don’t think for a minute that I’m also saying Good-bye to, or letting-go of You Lot, PMRGCAuk and this precious Community as PMR (hopefully) lets-go of me. I’m here for the duration and, even if 100% ‘better’, I’ll still be around to terrorise you with my silly humour, updates, insights and whatever else - for better or worse. Ohh, Noo!, I hear you say
In case you don’t realise: You Lot have been and continue to be one of the main reasons why I’ve survived my PMR Journey without going (seriously..) Bonkers in the process. Your generous spirit, humour and thoughtfulness have, too, boosted my often equally flagging morale and Sense of Hope despite the brave and humorous façade for which I have become known here. For this, I am and will always be truly grateful to you too.
As always, try to keep smiling on the PMR / GCA Journey. And try to remember: things can, and often do get better. Just be patient, take good advice, and let Time do its valuable work?
With best thoughts, wishes and thanks