Maidstone Support Group

Contact: Margaret

Tel: 0300 999 5090

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Maidstone Support Group meetings are normally on the fourth Monday of each month at The Early Bird pub.  When the Monday is a bank holiday, the meetings will be held on the fourth Tuesday.  See below for upcoming meetings in Maidstone and surrounding area.

The Early Bird, Minor Centre, ME14 5TQ

11am - 1pm

RSVP: It helps us to prepare if we know you are coming - please email:

South East England What's On

Maidstone - November 2019

Mon 25 Nov 2019
Early Bird Pub, Minor Centre, Grovewood Drive, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 5JT

Surrey Support Group

Tue 3 Dec 2019
The Function Room, The River Bourne Club, Heriot Road, Chertsey, KT16 9DR

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Maidstone Support Group

Maidstone meeting report - January 2019

Monday 28 January 2019

Alendronic Acid, that good old chestnut, raised its head again at Monday's meeting. Some people seem to cope well with it but others struggle and it would appear that the ones who struggle most are those who are unfortunate enough to have hiatus hernia. This also seems to hold true with the stomach protector Omeprazole. Ranitidine, an older product, seems to suit hiatus hernia better.

The subject of coated and uncoated prednisolone tablets was also mentioned.  Certainly the coated version is kinder to the stomach lining since these tablets travel further through the gut before dissolving.

An interesting theory emerged during the meeting. We were talking about skin cancer, something which at least three people in the group have experienced at some point. A male member of the group believes that his three year stint of National Service in Egypt was the cause of him developing a cancerous growth on his face. No such thing as sun screen was provided for the troops in those days. I wonder how many other 70-year old ex-Army service men have developed skin cancer......

Talk turned to generic drugs versus brand name drugs. Are the former less effective than the latter? The active ingredients should be the same, otherwise they would not be in general circulation but the inactive ingredients may be different and possibly that could render them less effective.

Finally the importance of Lasting Power of Attorney for property and financial affairs and Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare was mentioned. Of equal importance, I feel, is a Living Will in which a DNR clause can be inserted expressing your wishes so your family will have guidance if you are no longer able to communicate with them.  

Our next meeting wil be on Monday 25th February at 11 am and the following one will be on 25 March at 11am when we will have a talk by Pal, a local pharmacist. His last talk proved very informative and those in the group who met him before are looking forward to seeing him again.  Furture meetings, please see What's On section

Maidstone Mtg report - December 2018

Monday 17th December 2018

A round-the-table discussion this week threw up a few surprising facts. One member of the group admitted that she has had a bad setback with her PMR. As usual no-one wants to admit that the aches and pains are a flare since that means more steroids but in this case, after increasing her dose thereby gaining relief from pain,  the sufferer had to admit that she was experiencing a bad flare.

The increase in weight he has suffered since taking steroids was worrying another new group member. "No nibbles" was the advice and certainly not a packet or two of crisps! Raw carrots were recommended and fresh fruit.

The question of when to take all the tablets we consume arose. (I think I will have to ask my pharmacist to come and give us another talk in the New Year. ) The colour of pills was also debated, sometimes it is difficult to distinguish one white tablet from another when they are all in the pill box together and we wondered if the pharmaceutical companies could add a little colour to their products.

One huge benefit our newest group member has discovered about taking prednisolone is that the psoriasis from which he has suffered from for years has completely disappeared. That is a silver lining worth having....

Power napping seems to be of great benefit to PMR GCA sufferers who often have difficulty sleeping at night and a number of the group members agreed with this. Even half an hour makes a great difference they say.

The final thing which came up for discussion was Cannabis Oil (or CBD oil). Several group members admitted that they use this product which is obtainable at some local chemists and health food shops.  "You don't get high" we were assured.

One or two drops night and morning would seem to provide several benefits and having looked up the product on-line it seems that it can provide pain relief, reduces the risk of diabetes, fights cancer, combats anxiety, deals with some sleep issues and has anti-seizure properties.

Ten members of the group stayed on at the Early Bird after the meeting for a "festive lunch" which was enjoyed by all. Many thanks to all the staff of the pub who make us so welcome every month.

Our next meeting will be Monday 28 January 2019 at the usual time of 11 o'clock.  Furture meetings, please see What's On section

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