Thursday, April 23, 2009

Blogging on Prednisone

I'm a bit...


today. Just
a little

I apologize to my regular readers for my scattershot thinking this week.

I'm on an 8 day short course of Prednisone, in order to try to tackle the inflammation in my toe, aka dactylitis. In a few weeks, I'm going to Germany to see my family, and I'd like to be able to walk up the four flights of stairs to their apartment without pain. So I'm trying to get a quick fix, using drugs.

Prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid drug that can reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. It was developed in the 50s, and is now available as generic. It's considered a very useful drug because it can frequently relieve pain and discomfort, control symptoms and/or treat many conditions - Crohn's, RA, organ transplant rejection, kidney disease, some headaches, and on and on.

It is also often used in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, for acute inflammatory situations, like mine.

Prednisone also can come with a lot of side effects, and needs to be used with care. Potential side effects include (but aren't limited to):
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Fluid retention, including swelling in your lower legs
  • Mood swings
  • High blood sugar, which can trigger or worsen diabetes
  • Weight gain, with fat deposits in your abdomen, face and the back of your neck
  • Increased risk of infections
  • Loss of calcium from bones, which can lead to osteoporosis and fractures
(The above list is from the Mayo Clinic.)

All I know is that since I started my short course (which hasn't helped my toe, unfortunately) I'm unfocused, wound up, irritable, and very scattered. I'm finding it hard to write, to complete my thoughts on the page.

I feel a little crazy - I'm bouncing off the walls. But every time I hit a wall, my toe throbs.

So in this case, the side effects from the medication were more potent than the curative effects.

This prednisone trial makes me wonder, (in my newfound scattershot way), about moving beyond Western medicine (again) in order to tackle this disease. My body feels like a pharmaceutical playground these days - Humira, Remicade, Codeine, Diclofenac, Dovenex. I haven't done the extreme diet that some folks swear by in a while, although I did feel better on it when I tried it months ago. I've stopped going to acupuncture. I continually forget to take my vitamin D.

When my head settles down, I'm going to think more about the choices I've made for my body... prednisone was a good try, but not the right choice for right now. I do know its easier to take a pill in the morning than to manage a complicated diet - but that's just my laziness talking. And this pill, this time, didn't work.

Back to the drawing board...

1 comment:

  1. I say get off the Prednisone as soon as possible. That stuff scares me.