Is it just me…

heart and monster

{Please note this rant is specifically intended for members of the HealthUnlocked PMR/GCAuk website/forum.  It most likely will not make any sense to those who did not see the original exchange that it references.} 

 …or has the atmosphere on the HealthUnlocked PMRGCAuk site changed (just the tiniest bit) in the last 4-5 days?

I can’t help but wonder, if a particular Post, raised by a new member might have subconsciously influenced us, in a way, that has caused us to lose a bit of our momentum and esprit de corps! 

I’m sure you remember it…  the post was rather lengthy and (even I must admit!) somewhat perplexing.  It was about…  well it was about…  Hmmm, I’m not exactly sure what it was about?

It contained an inordinate amount of seemingly unrelated information, that had to do with (among many other things) 12 different auto immune diseases, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Orbital Myositis, Prednisone, Polymyalgia Rheumatica, itchy blisters, Leflunomide, IVIG Gammaglobulin, GCA, CellCept, Oriental Medicine, being a Herbalist, acupuncture, hot stone massage, yoga, meditation, “on good days belly dancing,”  and much, much, more!

I read and re-read the Post several times and when the Comments started coming in, it became crystal clear that I was not the only one struggling to comprehend and grasp what the writer was either A.) trying to convey or B.) trying to ascertain.

It was a train wreck!

…however, human as I am; I could not look away!  I was mesmerised by the ever intensifying, repartee between the writer and reader/responders.

As the comments and responses whizzed in faster than Usain Bolt’s 100m record, I consciously decided to “sit this one out.”  Not because I didn’t have a gazillion questions, I did!  And not because I didn’t find the entire exchange absolutely riveting, I did!  And, no it wasn’t because I thought I was “above” it all, I’m not and I wasn’t!  

No, I believe it was because one of my first impressions, after reading the initial Post (admittedly several times) was that this new member may have had (shall we say) a few issues… 

Now, I’m no doctor; nor do I have a degree in Psychology… but I am “non compos mentis” enough myself to recognise that when someone struggles (to that extent!) to make his/her point, convey their thought process, and to be able to respond in a civil, logical, rational manner, there may be some extenuating circumstances at play.

I found it interesting, that when I looked up the formal definition of the word “extenuating,” it is defined as “making forgivable.”  I was both surprised and delighted by that definition!  Making forgivable, how lovely.  

And I feel (reluctantly) compelled to say, a big part of me, felt sorry for her.  Now, I know that is NOT going to be a POPULAR opinion, but please hear me out.

It was obvious that she irritated most everyone, beyond words, including me!  Tempers and emotions “flared,” (no pun intended) and things got out of hand…  but, if you look back at the exchange now, 5 days later, it kind of (in my opinion) took on a “Lord of the Flies” vibe.

It ended up being one against many, which is never pretty.  And although everything seemed to be going okay in the beginning and people really were trying hard to understand her; when she failed (again and again) to make her point and she became frustrated and a bit hostile (and more confusing) it all went terribly wrong.

One premise William Golding explored in “The Lord of the Flies,” is that humans are essentially good at heart, unless they are tempted by evil.

I believe we were all tempted by evil that night…  not an innate, viledepravedsinister, evil, but a more non-toxic, run-of-the-mill, everyday evil that creeps into a lot of our hearts and souls at some point in our lives; perhaps it’s caused by drugs, depression, loneliness, hormone imbalances, mental health issues, Prednisone, etc.   …but I would wager to guess that maybe 90%+ of us have gone though some kind of “hell” in our lives, that caused us to be irrational, inconsistent, confusing, unintelligible, belligerent, accusatory, defensive and perhaps even worse!

All you’d have to do is ask my husband; he could give you 100 examples, off the top of his head, when I went from “seemingly sane,” to a special kind of “evil,” in a matter of minutes! 

In any case… back to my original question;  Is it just me, or has the atmosphere on the HealthUnlocked site changed (just the tiniest bit) in the last 4-5 days? 

Now that I ask the question again in earnest…  I think it’s just me.

I think I’m just bit sad that the whole exchange ever took place.  I’m sad the writer wasn’t able to get her point/question across.  I’m sad that the reader/responders were upset and unsettled by the exchange.  I’m sad that I sensed anger and hostility in a social circle that I have come to know as helpful and tolerant.  I’m sad that we, as a strong, intellectual, educated, coherent, on-line community weren’t able to just “shrug it off”  and move on.

However, with that said…  I’m the LAST person in the world, to suggest to anyone, that they deny or swallow, their true feelings about anything!  If you have a “rant,” simmering inside of you, you need to (no, you must!) set it free!  What did my Mom say, ” Better out than in!”  I would not deny ANYONE their opportunity to RANT and set themself free of that internal angst.

In retrospect, this is probably just me over analysing and reading into a whole lot of nothing! 

However, here’s the part where I feel I must say, PLEASE don’t get me wrong!  Please don’t  misunderstand me or this rant!  I am not judging anyone!  I am not pointing fingers. I am not placing blame. I am simply communicating MY feelings, observations, thoughts and opinions, of that particular post and the responses I saw that particular evening.

In closing, please be reminded that I LOVE being part of the HealthUnlocked PMRGCAuk  website/forum and I treasure all of its members, especially it’s long time, “expert” members.  I appreciate and rely on the quality (and quantity) of valuable, information that is available, at my fingertips.  And feel fortunate to have found the site so early in my PMR/GCA journey.

“I am by nature an optimist and by intellectual conviction a pessimist.”

~ William Golding


  1. I will keep this ever so short and sweet…..I hope. I applaud you for your humanity and the power of your insight and ability to think it all through and forgive another human being for their failings, their inabilities…. Thank you! Reading this made my day so much better. I’m a sucker for kindnesses!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Vicki… if the words you say are even a little true, it’s only because I have had to be forgiven for my failings and inabilities as human being… and more than once! Namaste.


  2. I must have missed this one and I must admit that while I gain much from the site, I am relatively quiet. My one frustration is that whether we have GCA, PMR or both, we are jumbled together in the group and it is rare that members specify which they have when they post. I’m always wondering which they have since although the medication is often the same, the dosing is not.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good point Recbecca! I do try to mention to new members that I have both, when I was diagnosed and what dosage I’m on… but if I am just commenting in general, I don’t. If you missed, you’re lucky… Be well!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I felt a bit tarnished by the exchange, in part because I was hooked into feeling angry at a person whom, if I had taken a step back, I would have realised was not well. I love the health unlocked site and am focusing on using my wicked sense of humour to cheer up us all on this Good Ship PMR so heads up me mateys. You’ll love this by the way, I told someone who asked that I had been diagnosed with pmr and was told their wife suffered with it for years and was so glad the menopause came along. I had to hide the twinkle and grin when Mr Know-it-all told me I’d be alright when the hot flushes arrive. Hmm I said….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Angie, I too felt “tarnished!” Great words for the feeling, by the way!!! I wish everyone had taken a “step back,” that evening… Ahhhh, well it is in the past now. Keep cheering us up with you sense of humour!!!!! We all need a laugh!
      PS – That is TOO funny! Hope the hot flashes come and sort you out soon!!!! : )

      Liked by 1 person

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