Looking after yourself
Your diagnosis of PMR or GCA may be the first time you have ever had to face the prospect of a long-term illness. As well as coping with the shock of finding out you have something you had never heard of, you have to come to terms with going on medication for several months at least.
- Get informed. Send for our information pack and join PMRGCAuk as a member, to ensure that you receive our regular newsletter. Share the information with people close to you who can give you support on your journey with PMR or GCA. If you have PMR, make sure that you know the key symptoms of GCA, and report any unusual headache or jaw pain to your GP immediately.
- Find out whether there is a support group near you. These are developing around the country. It can be encouraging to meet another sufferer face-to-face.
- Join our web forum on HealthUnlocked. Here you will "meet" many other people with whom you can share your experiences and thoughts, and give support to each other.
- Accept your condition (this can be hard).
- Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be kind to yourself. In becoming ill with PMR or GCA you had some bad luck. Something caused your immune system to go out of balance. Whatever that something was, there was nothing you could have done to avoid it. Don’t beat yourself up about being unwell.
- Don't be a martyr to chronic pain. This will not help you to recover. Talk it over with your doctor.
- Believe that you have every prospect of making a full recovery, although it will take time.
- Keep a diary of your symptoms. This will help your doctor or consultant understand the progress of your condition and help with decisions about tapering medication, pain relief etc.
Meanwhile, there is a lot that you can do to help yourself by keeping physically active and having a good level of nutrition. Even when it is ill, your body is a miraculous creation that deserves looking after!