I was diagnosed with GCA in November, 2010 having experienced chest pain, fatigue, neck and jaw pain. My ESR was 115 and CRP elevated. After angiogram and scans, which were normal I was commenced on 60 mg. Prednisolone. I never felt I looked ill, others would disagree, but generally I felt I looked ok. I had no improvement for at least two weeks, but then when blood results improved I was put on a gradual reduction in Prednisolone.
I felt generally weak in my limbs, but no signs of PMR. I continued to live a normal life despite at times feeling very fatigued, even when sitting.
I had Osler's nodules on several of my fingers with vascular splinters in my nails. I thought the nodules were warts and filed them and treated them with wart treatment until I was informed that they are related to inflammatory conditions particularly vasculitis.
As my Prednisolone was reduced I asked my Consultant Rhematologist if I could be put on steroid sparing drugs. He agreed and prescribed Azathiaprine, but within two weeks I had to stop as it was causing liver damage. I continued on the Prednisolone at 7mgs. daily. I was then prescribed Methotrexate 15mgs. weekly but continued on the same dose Prednisolone gradually reducing this by 1mg. per month.
When I got down to 3mgs. Prednisolone per day and 15mgs. Methotrexate 15mgs. weekly I began to feel less weak and more my normal self. This was two years after diagnosis.
I am now on 1mg Prednisolone daily and 15mgs. Methotrexate 15mgs. weekly. My blood results are normal and are monitored monthly. I feel much improved so there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Good wishes to all.