Snakes and Ladders in

There is an incurable illness (as yet) known as PMR – Polymyalgia Rheumatica. It is not fatal and the symptoms can be relieved to a certain extent by taking cortico-steroids, which although they make the pain less severe, have their own side effects. It lasts on average 2 to 6 years, or sometimes longer, before going into remission. Interesting subject but unfortunately I am now a sufferer and it has totally changed my life, although after 4 months I am coping very well (and so incidentally is Jean ). Besides the pain and limited movement and sleep, the main problem is the mood swings and unpredictability. Just like a game of Snakes and Ladders it’s the chance of a dice throw – you never know whether you  are going to go down on the dreaded snake or be lifted by a welcome ladder – yo-yo-ing between ultra happiness and bloody misery.


That’s the bad news. Plenty of good as well. I’m gradually lowering the dose of steroids and so far without any problem. Sunshine and swimming here in France have helped tremendously and I can now sleep as well. Alcohol is not forbidden – it can only get better.

To illustrate the unpredictability, 2 days ago I could not get out of bed and could not even lift a cup of coffee. 8 hours later  was playing the flight of the bumble bee on my flute. Oh ………….my wife will certainly go to heaven. She’s a saint – thank you my wonderful Jean.

UPDATE 21/1/19

Now nearly 2 years on and I have finally come off the steroids after gradually tapering down. Still have minor aches and stiffness but nothing I can’t cope with. Compared with others in an online forum I belong to, I am one of the lucky ones, but relapses are very common, so fingers firmly crossed.


Still searching for the end……nearly there…….not for lack of trying or crying.


%d bloggers like this: