Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dear Dr. Gott: My wife has been afflicted with polymyalgia for the past four years and has been under the care of numerous medical doctors. Their only remedy is to prescribe prednisone in dosages of 5 milligrams to 30 milligrams. She has followed their instructions to the letter but has been steadily losing the struggle.
Her current doctor has deduced that prednisone is not helping her condition and has taken it off her menu. Now she feels even worse and is becoming so weak that she can hardly walk from one room to another at home. In addition, she is in constant pain. She has been treated by a doctor who specializes in pain management, with no improvement. So far, none of the widely acclaimed painkillers have helped her condition.
We are becoming desperate for proper guidance and effective treatment to mitigate the impact of this terrible disease, and we are hoping that you can help us.
Dear Reader: One of the characteristics of polymyalgia is that the muscle pain usually responds dramatically to steroid drugs, especially prednisone, so I’m confused about why your wife failed to respond to prednisone. Perhaps she doesn’t have polymyalgia. I urge you to seek a consultation with a rheumatologist, who should be able to sort matters out and prescribe appropriate medicine to reduce muscle inflammation and pain. Your wife shouldn’t need to suffer unnecessarily.
To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report “Managing Chronic Pain.” Other readers who would like a copy should send a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2 to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.
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Dear Dr. Gott: Several years ago, I had a sleep study and was prescribed a CPAP mask. After nine months, I gave up on it. My wife said she thought she was sleeping with Darth Vader. The success rate must be extremely low for the mask. It’s noisy and cumbersome. I tried something that worked for me and could work for others. I use a Band-Aid to tape my mouth shut before I go to bed. You can’t snore with your mouth closed. My wife says I haven’t snored since I started doing this, and I don’t even know I have the Band-Aid on until I get up in the morning.
Dear Reader: This is an intriguing option for people who snore or have sleep apnea. Readers, if you try this, please let me know the results, both pro and con.
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Dear Dr. Gott: Thanks to the person who wrote to you about using Sally Hansen’s nail hardener to remove skin tags. It really works.
Dear Reader: Thanks for writing. I have yet to hear from other readers. So, readers who have tried this novel remedy, please let me know whether it worked for you.
Doctor Gott is a retired physician and the author of the new book “Dr. Gott’s No Flour, No Sugar Diet,” available at most chain and independent bookstores.
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