I am Lisa
62 years
one beautiful daughter
Live in Belfast northern Ireland
Retired in March from my job as genetic counsellor
Diagnosed with GPA in May 2020 - rubbish way to start retirement !!!

I was a fit and healthy 60 year old. Walked part of the Camino with 6 girlfriends for my 60th birthday. Only past medical history was low thyroid picked up in mid 40's so started thyroxine. Also have high cholesterol but am not overweight and have a good diet. In April last year I woke up one morning and had diarrhoea, no other symptoms. I had this every day for weeks but just put it down to a viral infection. i was due to have a sailing holiday in Croatia IN JUNE SO THOUGHT I SHOULD SEE A DR. Ran lots of blood tests, all normal. It subsided in July and I never really had a diagnosis. In August developed inflammatory arthritis which saw me house bound for weeks. I was off work for 5 months - my only sick time in 18years. Saw a rheumatologist in January 2020. Diagnosed inflammatory arthritis and wanted to give me a steroid injection as first line of treatment. I declined the steroid as I did not want to start on those and I thought I was getting better slowly> was due to see rheumatologist again in March but Covid-19 happened and all outpatient appointments were cancelled.
During March I got viral respiratory infections, sore muscles, pain in lung. Went to hospital ER and they told me I had Covid. That was end of April. In May I got unbearable burning in my legs, housebound again and put it down to Covid. Mid May lost complete sensation in my right foot. Off to hospital and was admitted for 9 Days and thoroughly investigated. Numerous scans, lumbar puncture and kidney biopsy. Confirmed GPA. Started on prednisolone and Rituximab. Still loss of feeling in my fingertips and both feet. I also have foot drop in my right foot so it will be some time before I recover from that> only now coming to terms GPA is now part of my life - I spent the last couple of months waiting for it to be over !!

Great to have joined the forum and hear other peoples stories and any new developments that might come along.
Thanks for reading