An Ode to Prednisone… Ha, Ha! Just Kidding!

An Ode to Prednisone… Ha, Ha!  Just kidding! I hate prednisone.  I HATE it.  It’s the bane of my existence.  I have been on this poison for almost nine years now. Straight, no breaks.  NINE YEARSl!  My doctors said, “Take this, you’ll feel better.”  And I did feel better.  For a while.  Do you know what nine years of prednisone does to a person?  I have no immune system.  None.  My RA?  It is a nasty side effect of long-term prednisone. If that isn’t a crappy break, huh?  I don’t sleep. And my adrenal system?  Doesn’t work.  Totally on strike.  I mean why should my adrenal system cooperate when the prednisone can do all the work.  I’m in the process of being weaned off – a three year-long battle.  I finally made it down to 1.5 mg’s and then this last illness caused a dosage increase back to 50 mg’s.  I fought it.  I fought hard and then had to cave.  I’m now having the worst time with the taper.  The worst!  I’m cranky and emotional and physically drained. That’s not me and I hate it.  I hope to eventually be off this poison but because I have been on it so long there is a chance I will have to take a small dose the rest of my life because my body is so dependent upon it.  If I were to just stop taking it now, I could die.  Ok, so perhaps I have the flair for the dramatic but to go cold turkey could have some very drastic consequences for me.

I know prednisone has its place for healing but I also have learned of the many dangers. And it’s frustrating.  It’s frustrating that I allowed this to happen to me. Here’s the thing. You don’t feel well so you go to the doctor.  They prescribe something for you and you take it.  Because they know best, right?  And we don’t question them because we want to feel better.  That’s sure what got me into this mess. I was so desperate to feel better I didn’t ask questions.  I allowed myself to be put on this awful stuff and stay on it.  I didn’t ask about tapering or side effects. I don’t even think I knew TO ask. I’ve since learned to ask questions.  Push.  Say no if you are unsure or disagree. Ask what the long-range plan is. Ask to see someone else.  It’s ok.  At the end of the day it is YOUR body and health and YOU need to make the ultimate decisions about your care.  I’m lucky enough that a dear friend who also happens to be a physician asked me if I was finally ready to look at more holistic alternatives.  And I will forever be indebted to him.  He saved my life.  That is the truth.  No dramatic flair there. 

Tomorrow, or maybe later today, I’ll share what I’m doing holistically to heal my body. To help me with this prednisone hell.  I already shared some about the food I eat.  But I also take a shit ton of supplements.  Yes, I just said a shit ton. And I exercise.  Mostly I run.  Something I was told I couldn’t do because I have RA.  HA!  Try and stop me. But that’s a story for another day.

Happy Friday!

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