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

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Maidstone Support Group

Maidstone Meeting notes - October 2019

October 2019 Meeting notes

Old wives tales were discussed. Does wet and cold weather affect us more than sunshine and warmth or is this indeed an old wives tale? Do we really feel better when the sun shines? A recent report has suggested that weather does indeed affect us, both in feeling better mood-wise and aches and pains largely seem to disappear. 
I know from experience that when I was on playground duty and it was windy the children all seemed to be affected. They seemed to rush around like beings possessed. We used to say "they've got the wind up their tails." 
Talk turned to "chronic pain." The meeting was asked what chronic pain really is. The definition is persistent pain that carries on longer than twelve weeks despite medication or treatment. Painkillers can help some pains but not every pain is treatable by a paracetamol.
One group member told the meeting that he has experienced his first "flare." He'd not really grasped the concept until this month. His GP told him to up his dose of steroids and then when that didn't work he was told to increase the steroids yet again. That new level did work but we were asked how long we thought it would take to work down to his previous level again. We told him how each of us deals with this problem and advised him to go on the Health Unlocked forum.
The question then arose if we thought that stress could cause flares. I think everyone believes that it does to some extent.
People present were asked whether they had had their flu jabs this year. Roughly two thirds put up their hand and the others said they will have the jab soon. It is a good idea to have the jab as we are more vulnerable.

Maidstone Group Meeting - September 2019

August's meeting notes (& September meeting details):
We welcomed a new lady to the Support Group this month, so a whole variety of subjects came out for an airing, some old chestnuts but also some new subjects arose.
Whether or not steroids are to blame, those who take them do not seem able to get a good night's sleep.... the hot weather doesn't help of course. However, once again the benefits of power napping were extolled by those who can and do! Even half an hour seems to work wonders.
A question recently asked by a group member was raised by another who had not been at the previous meeting when this was discussed..... the question was "How do I recognise a "flare" as opposed to muscle tiredness after too much gardening etc."
It seems that most people up the steroid dose for a few days: if the pain goes away, then it's a "flare, " if not then the gardening is to blame and we rapidly lower the steroid dose to what it was before.
Again, questions were asked about the benefits of coated versus uncoated steroids and whether certain "stomach protectors" are better than others. It would seem that it's a case of horses for courses, some people seem to find that by taking coated tablets (which don't work until in the gut, as opposed to the stomach with uncoated tablets) they don't really need anything extra, although the efficacy of yoghurt was mentioned by several people.
The importance of "bone builders" was stressed and the need for regular DEXA scans (on the same machine each time) was emphasised.
It would appear that the difficulty of diagnosing PMR from blood tests is still a major problem for GPs. I found from personal experience that my blood tests were often inconclusive.
The Group's next meeting will take place on:
Monday 23rd September
at 11am
 at the Early Bird Pub, Minor Cenre, Grovewood Drive,
Maidstone, Kent, ME14 5JT

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