I have What???

I found out I do not have fibromyalgia, like I’ve been told for 3 years now. I have Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR), an autoimmune disease similar to rheumatoid arthritis. Polymyalgia is a muscle inflammation disorder that causes muscle pain and stiffness in your neck, shoulders, and hips. It is most common in women and usually occurs in people over 60. The main symptom is stiffness after resting. The cause of Polymyalgia Rheumatica is not known. But it is associated with immune system problems, genetic factors, and an event, such as an infection, that triggers symptoms.

I was able to back track 12 years to when I first showed symptoms of Polymyalgia. That would make me 40 years old! (too young for this disease). The fact is that PMR is rare in people under the age of 50. My symptoms started out as flu-like, weakness and fatigue, that would come and go. I also had unexplained pain in my wrists and right hip. By unexplained, I mean, I wasn’t physically working hard to aggravate it, it just hurt. The last 3-4 years have been the worst with chronic pain in my lower back, hips, shoulders and neck. Getting out of bed in the morning was difficult some days as the achiness didn’t leave my body until hours later only to return after sitting at my work desk mid-afternoon. I felt I was never at a point of being ache/pain free. I slowed down in all my daily activities, withholding enough energy to make it to work, with lots for resting on the weekends.

I went to many, many doctors, specialists, chiropractors, physical therapists, exercise programs, medications for this and that and pain …… But, one thing was missed…. for the past 3 years my SED rate has been high (a blood test that shows inflammation in the red blood cells). After a second blood test, last Fall, showed an elevation in my SED rate, my general doctor sent me to a Rheumatologist, Friday, Jan. 31, 2013 was my appointment. It took this specialist a few minutes to diagnose my problem.

My muscle system was totally inflamed! He started me on a dosing of Prednisone (to take down the swelling in my body….already lost 3 lbs in one week of water weight) and PLAQUENIL to treat the symptoms. I awoke at 12:21am Wednesday morning Feb. 5, and turned over in bed, this is usually when the pain meds wear off, and I did not feel the normal ache. So, I turned to the other side, just to check, and no ache there. I woke up Frank to tell him the great news….I could roll over in bed without the gnawing ache! I cried a few tears, and thanked God many times…finally fell back, to a great sleep, two hours later. When I got out of bed I could walk to the bathroom without my body, popping and cracking and shooting with pain. The new medication was giving me relief in 5 days!

The Rheumatologist says i “should be dancing in the streets next week”. …I am already feeling so much better and can’t wait to take a video for him of me out in the street dancing …pain free.

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