Giant Cell Arteritis

marpil
marpil Member Posts: 3
edited 15. Mar 2017, 09:36 in Say Hello Archive
Hello
I have recently been diagnosed as having Giant Cell Arteritis and have begun a course of large doses of steroids. I would like to hear about the experiences of any other sufferers and in particular I am worried about a biopsy the doctors wish to carry out later this week.

Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, my late Ma's neighbour had giant cell arteritis in her forehead, it was sorted after some time on oral steroids and now she is doing very well indeed. How are you being affected? Arteritis is not the same as arthritis (so maybe we are not the best source of help) but I know they sound similar. I wish you well. DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello marpil and welcome from me too.

    Like DD, I'm wondering if you think that arteritis is connected with arthritis. We have had the occasional person on here with arteritis but very few.

    As for biopsies - I had one many years ago when I had breast cancer and my husband has had one to check out a patch of skin on his forehead but, obviously, neither were for arteritis. I'll be glad to help if I can, though. What, exactly, worries you about it?
  • marpil
    marpil Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello,
    I had my biopsy yesterday, not a pleasant experience. I was in the operating theatre for nearly an hour. I was warned it would be painful today but actually it isn’t so bad. I have an appointment next week to see the consultant to get the results. My problem started over two months ago when I fell ill with headache, sore cheeks and a painful neck. The doctor diagnosed a virus infection and said antibiotics would be no good, take paracetamol and it would clear up in a few days. As there was no improvement, a week later I went back to the doctors and saw a practice nurse who again said just take paracetamol. A few days later with the pain much worse I saw a different doctor who then prescribed antibiotics. This had no effect so again at the doctors a third doctor sent me for blood tests and told me to come back in a week. A week later I saw the doctor who I had seen at first and he prescribed 5x5mg Prednisolone tablets a day and come back to see him in a few days. By now the pain in my head was so bad I could not even comb my hair. My jaw was so painful I couldn’t eat properly or move my head. I saw the doctor again in a few days and he said he thought I was suffering from Polymyalgia Rheumatica and I should carry on with the steroids and come back in a few days. When I saw him four day later he decided I might also be suffering from Giant Cell Arteritis and he increased the steroids to 12x 5mg a day, all to taken at the same time. Whilst in his room he rang a specialist at our local hospital who agreed this action. He then referred me to a consultant at the hospital whom I saw three days later. The consultant did an ultrasound scan of my temple and agreed I had GCA. I was told to continue with the steroids taking 12 x 5mg tablets a day for 2 weeks, then to reduce by 2 tablets every two weeks. He then referred me to an eye Consultant whom I saw a week later. This Consultant arranged the biopsy operation which I had yesterday. A small section of artery in my temple was cut out for analysis under a microscope. This apparently is the only way of positively confirming GCA. The steroids do seem to be working. My jaws are much better and I can now comb my hair without pain. I will inform you of what the Consultant reports when I see him next week.
    Marpil
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello again and thank you for the update, I was wondering how you were getting on.

    It's good that the steroids are helping, they have their role and for some conditions they are the answer as my Ma's neighbour discovered. To this day said neighbour doesn't understand the difference between arteritis and arthritis but no matter. DD

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