Let's hear it for the boys!

It must be really awful to get PMR or GCA if you are a man. To begin with, we often find that male sufferers take (even) longer to be diagnosed than women. That's probably because PMR and GCA fit into the category of 'things older women get', so GPs don't consider PMR or GCA early enough for a man. But I've been reading about autoimmune illnesses and it looks as though PMR and GCA aren't 'women's illnesses' at all - it's just that across the whole spectrum, women are statistically more likely to get autoimmune illnesses than men. Being suddenly struck with immobility is horrible. I'm not being sexist here - women have similar issues - but masculinity is about being strong, active, mobile, isn't it, and keeping a stiff upper lip? Not long ago I answered a helpline call from a gentleman who sounded very perky and cheerful. I was a bit taken aback and didn't reply immediately. He asked me why and I said 'I expected you to tell me how awful you were feeling'. At which he started to cry.

We know that one in six of our members of PMRGCAuk are men. This forum doesn't ask people to specify their gender. At that rate, though, for this forum we could expect about 25 of you to be male.....

So let's here from you! Steve, Tone, 'T' - we know you are out there! You are our heroes. Please don't be shy about blogging. Come out here and support one another.

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  • Well done Kate.I did feel on my own until I phoned you Guys up there in Brum and sent me your imformation pack on PMR . Keep up the good work ,your work really does make a difference for the people with this horrible PMR

  • I'm not even pension age yet and today was the first day I felt I needed to go out with a stick as I was feeling so bad, dizzy, rubber-kneed, totally exhausted before I even started walking.

    It didn't feel good walking out with a stick, is this a macho thing?

  • I would say not. I was 54 and hated the stick with a vengeance. It makes us feel decrepit and we're not. Just look forward to the day when you can break it over your knee, or chuck it on the bonfire. It will come.

  • I am only 49 but had to resort to a stick for my break away that we have just had. Mainly cos of the jelly legs so it made me feel safe. I saw an old friend a couple of weeks ago and he has been diagnosed with PMR. I thought it was just as many men as women but was under the assumption that it affected "the older" person more.

  • Hi Sue,

    Welcome back. Hope all was well and you all had a great time. I too know a man who has PMR, but he is very reluctant to talk about it. So we don't. I'm almost certain my poor dad had this nasty illness, but he just took the steroids and kept quiet. He always put on a brave face.

    I think Kate's right about "the stiff upper lip".

    I thought the ratio of sufferers was about 1 to 3 in favour of men, but, who knows, it could be wrong.

    On the higher doses, not only did I have jelly legs, I had a jelly body! It gets better as the doses drop, but I still have lots of wobbley times, during the days after I do a drop.

    Pats

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