Polymyalgia Rheumatica . . . As of today I hit the one year mark. Not that I knew what it was a year ago, but that’s when the pain started.
During January, I thought I had it managed. I even imagined perhaps it had gone into a sort of remission (PMR does that!). But after the last three days, I’m pretty sure it’s still hanging on.
But, in case you’re wondering, let me tell you what I think helped the pain.
I accidentally stumbled on to this solution of sorts. Right around the first of December I got till I couldn’t sleep. And it just kept getting worse. I’m up till 3 AM every day and then I only sleep about 4 or 5 restless hours. I thought perhaps the prednisone was finally catching up with me. They’ve asked since I started taking it if it was causing sleep problems.
So, I decided to cut out the caffeine. I never drink caffeine at home anyway, but I needed something to drink when I’m out. I’m not really a water drinker.
Several years ago I’d discovered this Ayurvedic tea while watching Hallmark Home and Family (something like that). It was supposed to be good for migraines with a side effect of weight loss. Well, I’d love to see the weight loss, so I started drinking it. I didn’t drop a pound, but the tea wasn’t bad . . . it reminds me of a chicken broth . . . and it did seem to clear my brain fog.
I drank it everyday for a good while, but then tapered off when Summer came round. So, when I was looking for a substitute for the caffeinated drinks, I decided to start drinking it again.
A side effect I didn’t expect was the way it helped with the pain. After a week of drinking it I was practically pain free. I’m guessing the effect it has on migraines is to decrease inflammation, and since this disease is primarily inflamed blood vessels, it helps!
But, now . . . are you wondering why I’ve been in pain these past three days. . .
If you have PMR and you take Vitamin C, I recommend making sure the Vitamin C isn’t fighting against the Prednisone. They told me it wouldn’t, but every time I increase my Vitamin C to 2000 MG per day instead of 1000 MG per day, I have pain, and it’s not just mild . . . it hurts!
I first noticed it in October because every year in the fall I up my Vitamin C to boost my immune system in the colder weather. That’s when I asked the pharmacist who told me he’d never heard of Vitamin C having any affect on Prednisone. He did tell me to back off and see if I noticed a difference.
I did . . . and I did. So I told my doc, who also told me it shouldn’t matter how much I take, but everyone is different. I tried upping the Vitamin C again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, and again I had pain.
My rheumatologist had the same advice. But every time my throat starts to burn, I up the Vitamin C a bit to try to keep it from becoming laryngitis, and then I have to decide which is worse, the pain in my legs, arms, neck and head or the pain in my throat, ears, nose and sinus cavities.
I assume the problem lies in the fact that Vitamin C is an immune booster and Prednisone is an immune suppressor. Although all the medical studies say they shouldn’t fight one another, they do in my body. So, if you struggle with PMR, it’s probably something you might want to be aware of.
OH . . . the tea . . .
1/2 t. cumin seeds
1/2 t. coriander seeds
1/2 t. fennel seeds
Boil in about 20-24 oz. of water for a few minutes.
Sip warm tea all day
I keep mine in a nice Contigo mug with the tea ball in it.