Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Under a cloud...................

I'm having a health issue. I detest having to explain my absence here due to illness. Sometimes life throws you a curve and you wake up one day knowing something is wrong with your body. This apparently happens more often as we age............and no matter how hard we try to do the right things to protect our good health, sometimes we still get slammed.

A couple days prior to flying off to Australia last month, the sudden onset of severe pains in both arms from shoulders to wrists and hands, with a loss of use especially in my right hand, and pain and stiffness in both thighs, especially at night and on trying to get out of bed in the mornings, had me dash to the pharmacy for pain medicine. Two days prior I'd had my annual physical, top to toe, with great results for all tests, scans etc. So off I went to the other side of the planet armed with Tylenol, Aleve, and later Panadol which I had to purchase in OZ when I ran out. My thoughts were I'd worked too hard in the garden or was just a bit stressed from all the travel preparations. Taking the pain relievers helped somewhat. I was able to enjoy the trip despite the exertion required to hop in and out of the Zodiac boats, but passed on some walking and climbing. The last couple of days I just couldn't join in the climbs to view Aboriginal rock paintings in 106 degrees, I was feeling pretty awful by then. I was so thankful that the almost 30 hours flying to get back to SFO was in Business Class - thanks Paula - and I could sleep lying flat for several hours, only problem being I could hardly get back up on my feet until I popped those darned pain pills!  

I dislike taking any medicines however it now looks like I will have to for some time. The only treatment is Prednisone - yes, that nasty steroid which often has side effects. Along with that I'm on other new meds to help with sleep, gastric distress, and to lower blood pressure. Long story short, after two doctor appointments in the last three days, I've been diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR)- click to read more. Thankfully not life threatening, not curable, usually manageable, but sometimes a year or more on meds to hit remission. This illness has no known definite cause and often arrives without notice overnight, as did mine. It targets mostly women over 50, and more often closer to 70......I qualified!

I plan to get on with life......travel awaits and I leave again in three weeks time to visit a place long at the top of my wish list, beautiful Venice - more on this trip later. Then I fly home to England for Christmas. My fingers, although painful, are crossed and I hope for better days soon. Sleep disruption is slowing me down but I hope to get back here soon with more lovely pics from the Australian expedition. Be patient with me please, forgive me if I can't always comment but know I'm reading your posts. I do not want to shut down my blog! My posts may be sporadic for a while as I adjust to the meds and my pain is managed. 

Old bottles on the sill of the Durack Homestead, Kununurra, Western Australia.


  1. I'm so sorry to read this Mary - you need to take as much time as you need - blog when you have the energy and the desire. There's no 'must' about it. We'll all be watching our sidebars for when you've posted - no one is going anywhere. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!....and I'm emailing.

  2. Oh, Mary I am so sorry to hear this. All my love to you. xxxxxxxxxxxxx Sft x

  3. Oh dear Mary
    I can hardly believe this - you of all people have always seemed 'bullet proof' travelling into the 'wild blue yonder' without so much as a backward glance.
    But we just never know what is around the corner for any of us.

    Take care dear Mary, don't worry about your blog or followers - if there is anything at all that I can do - please just ask.
    Thinking of you and wishing I lived closer and could help you in some way...

    Sending you love and warm healing hugs from New Zealand
    PS I've read two wonderful books about the Durack family, written by Mary Durack.
    "Kings in Grass Castles" and "Sons in the Saddle" wonderful stories about life in outback Australia - I loved them both.

  4. Dearest Mary, I'm so sorry to read how you've been suffering, thank goodness you've been diagnosed and you know exactly what you're up against.
    Goodness, please don't concern yourself about lack of posting - your health is FAR more important! We'll still be here for when you feel up to posting, in the meantime concentrate on getting better :o)
    Sending a very gentle {{hug}}
    Rose H

  5. Hi Mary,

    I am so sorry to hear that you are not feeling up to your usual active self - thank goodness you found out early in the game the cause and are now treating. Time for you to rest and relax and not worry about anything - especially blog posting. We will be here when you feel better and in the meantime - you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Hugs, Prayers and Blessings
    Erin - Bentley sends a big tail wag

  6. My thoughts are with you Mary. I hope all goes well with your treatment. We will all be here for you. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you personally. I get your way occasionally.
    Hugs, Penny

  7. Mary, I am so sorry to read that you are a little more than 1 degree under and hope that the medication allows you some relief.

    Do not worry about blogging it will be all the more special when you do.

    Take care,

    Hugs, Anne.

  8. Dear Mary, I am so sorry to hear about your illness! I am wishing you a speedy recovery and remission! Take care of yourself and know that we will be hear when you are able to post. Rest, relax.
    p.s. you will love Venice!

  9. My husband was diagnosed with PMR a few years ago & is now doing fine. It hit him all at once too...wiped him out & he was in bed for a week before being diagnosed. Treatment for him was pretty high dosages of Prednizone for several months & then slowly weaning him down. He still takes 1 mil a day. Yes, it is usually found in women but men also get it. Hubby was still doing lots of construction then & as long as he took his meds & rested properly, he did fine. It takes a while but I am sure you will do fine. Just don't over do it!

    By the way, I enjoy lurking around & reading about your travel adventures!

    Best wishes to you & take care!

  10. Sick or well you get right to the point of things and glad you know what you have and how to take care of it! Sorry you weren't able to enjoy your trip as planned and have gotten side tracked but take care so you can get back on the trail again.

  11. Dear Mary, I am so very sorry to hear of your illness with PMR. Having suffered with FMS (fibromyalgia) for the past 20 years I know about the pain and tiredness that accompany these illnesses. Your pain sounds so severe though. I can't imagine how you tromped all over Oz feeling that way. Rest and avoiding stress are the two key ingredients to getting well so I hope you will be able to do so in between trips. Venice sounds like it would be a beautiful trip and of course going 'home' for Christmas will be wonderful. Take care my friend and may God bless you with strength and healing in the weeks ahead. Your blog friends will be here when you return. Love and Hugs, Pamela

  12. Hi...I am so sorry to read about your illness...I know what you mean...we work so long for retirement and then something happens. My brother-in-law had similar symptoms..once he stopped taking statins, the pain went away. I hope you find words of encouragement in comments left on your blog. I reached the retirement age a few years ago and it's in the back of my mind..what is going to happen.
    Take care and I hope this goes in remission soon.

  13. Hi, Mary,

    So sorry to read your news. You are usually so active - I hope this doesn't slow you down. I went to the link and quickly read it. I hope you respond well and quickly to the meds. Keep us posted!

    Hugs, Julie

  14. So very sorry to hear that Mary. I do hope the pain will ease.

  15. Dear Mary,
    If ever there lived a woman capable of knocking this disease on its rear end ~~~ it is YOU! Thinking of you, sending tons of positive energy your way.

  16. Slight clarification!!! Jennifer actually diagnosed you before you even got to the doctors Mar. But the doctor at least was right on, and got it right. Yeah for google.

  17. I am so sorry to read this news, Mary. But I admire your can-do attitude towards coping with PMR. I hope that rest and the meds will do their trick and soon have you on your feet in good form. We'll be here, eager to read your blog whenever you have time.

  18. Dear Mary, you are one strong and courageous woman and I'm glad you received a sound diagnosis and are taking treatment...thank goodness for a drug that helps your condition. Shiela's comment sounded very encouraging and I pray your experience will be similar. Venice will be something special and I know you are looking forward to visiting home at Christmas too. We will see you here whenever you post, don't put pressure on yourself, and get all the rest you need. Lots of love to you.....

  19. Mary, I am so sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Thankfully it is something that be controlled. Take care of yourself. I can't wait to hear about the upcoming Venice trip. Bonnie


  21. My heart goes out to you as you deal with this annoying condition. Your latest trip must have been a real test of courage at times. It sounds as if you have a terrific doctor and some very smart and supportive friends to assist. You are one heck of a gal and an inspiration to many of us, so your journey in dealing with this health problem will be quite interesting to read. I would like to suggest some self-hypnosis CDs. They bring you into a very relaxed state and help you deal with pain, rather than making you think it has gone away. Just one idea to keep you cheerful. Another positive is that you have a wonderful excuse not to pull weeds in the garden for ages!!!

  22. My dearest, I'm so very sorry to hear about this. I've been thinking of you, and I'll keep praying for you. I will call you soon. Love you, Vanessa

  23. Oh dear, dear Mary! I am very sorry also. Please take care of yourself and do whatever you need to do to feel as good as possible. Sending hugs! Marilyn (PS- come by and visit tomorrow for something special)

  24. Miss Mary, I am so sorry you are going through this!! Let us know if there is anything we can do to help!! Love you!!

  25. Dear, sweet Mary, I feel so bady for you and hope with all my heart that your pain is managed quickly and effectively. Please take good care of yourself, and know that your readers - even infrequent commenters like myself- love you and are concerned. We will have good thoughts and be cheering you on! Gentle hugs, Cathy

  26. Mary, glad to hear you arrived home safely but sorry to hear you are not feeling well. You must look after yourself and get plenty of rest, hopefully you will start to feel better with the medication. Perhaps you have been doing too much and you need to slow down and recharge your batteries too.
    Venice is something to look forward to, hope by then you are feeling more like yourself. Please take care, sending you love,

  27. I am so sorry to hear that you are dealing with a health issue, Mary. This is one I have not heard of, so I clicked on the link to learn more about it.
    I will be thinking of you and hope that it won't be long until you are feeling well once again.
    Take care.

  28. Mary, You are in my thoughts and prayers. Please take care of yourself. Thank you for your wonderful blog. Mary in Wisconsin

  29. I'm so sorry, Mary. I know things like this can really get you down. I hope you are back to normal very soon. I like your attitude.


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