Dear fellow GCA pals,
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone on this forum who has helped me since my diagnosis on 13th August. My world spun 360 degrees but its slowly coming upright again.
On 1st Sept I managed to get away on holiday! As a solo traveller I usually go on a yoga break as you meet nice folks, eat nice food and do a bit of bending and stretching whilst watching and listening to the sea - then you fall asleep! After GCA i couldnt imagine going to the garage never mind the airport! I am so so lucky to have a great rheumy and he cleared me for flying. I got myself a nice medi bracelet with cats paws on it and my Pred engraved underneath it in case I keeled over . I have my steroid card in my purse on an emergency card and a nervous but determined smile. Armed with enough Pred to sink the plane and diazepan (dont like flying) a walking stick to help easy access through the airport, just a small hold all on four wheels (extra support to lean on) I made it to a tiny village on the Greek island of Paros. As I had been there before and loved it - it is so so so quiet and peaceful - it was easy to slip into the routine - albeit it at a much slower rate because everything seems to have slowed down a bit now. I had the whole first day to myself. The man who owns the apartment got me some food (i had told him about GCA). Now all i had to do was to get to the beautiful little white yoga studio. No worries the teacher picked me up. For the first session I just sat on a cushion and breathed. Watching 6 other lovely ladies - breathing and doing gentle moves. By day two I could walk up to the yoga studio along the beach (9 mins), and do a couple of stretches but nothing with head down. By day 6 I managed some familiar moves I I've been doing for 30 years! A triumph. The main difference was that (and I dont want this to sound daft) bu my ego had gone. In the past as an x dancer I always wanted to look good. Now as I sat there with my moon face appearing daily (despite low carb no sugar) i embraced my chipmunk cheeks, little belly and enjoyed feeling like a little buddha. Day 3 I swam in the sea; not caring what I looked like in my old fashioned 8 yr old bikini - there were only about 6 families on the beach most of them Greek mamas and papas.... It wasn't all plain sailing. With the side effects of Pred I went through some serious mood swings, anxiety and panic feelings, my head over thinking, buzzing, burning, eye jumping so much that two Greek Adonis guys thought I was winking at them in a distracted manner, insomnia at 3 am had me sitting on the beach listening to the waves and stroking the local cats! (thank god for the gorgeous Paros cats)... it was like I was shedding layers of rubbish that I didnt need anymore as my blooomin temple artery stood proud on my head (which I have nick named Tina).
All too soon it was time to come home. All I kept writing in my journal that it was a good day despite GCA. I kept to a good diet - kept a hat on (22 degrees) all the time (a cheeky English lady type ) and made my way home. Okay Athens airport wasn't a breeze when the steward wanted to take my hand luggage and put it in the hold - but as I meditated on the plane counted my blessings. I am self employed so every day I cant work is a bit of a disaster and I worry about how on earth I am going to get back to anything like the output that I was doing - which was far too much. I have a diary full of commitments and projects that I have worked 20 years for coming up in the next 18 months..... I love what I do with a passion and cant give it up. Though not wanting to be self indulgent or take up too much of anyone's time reading this I am looking on the bright side and finding that the change it has made in me is surprising me and I like this different version of me.
Yesterday the consultant said I could drop my Pred down again in 2 weeks from 50 to 40....
Its day 32 now and its a good day. Thank you to everyone for helping me to get this far. Without encouragement from everyone on this forum I would have been too nervous to travel and I would not have been writing this.
Much love and healing vibes to everyone. x