Tag Archives: Prednisone

All Things Being Equal

wean sheet

My doctor is so conscientious. He made out this steroid wean sheet for me on my last visit. I’m making my way to Day Zero.

As I slowly say goodbye to my frenemy, Prednisone, my body is realizing something’s up.

This is a for-keeps kind of thing. I suppose it needs time to adjust. And it has started sending me signals, namely via hands and ankles.

Since I have a sore right thumb, I’ve taken to Ace-wrapping it, and of course my hand, for the night. Two mornings ago I woke up with a very painful left hand, but my right was A-OK.

I thought nothing of it, unwrapped my hand and got up to meet my day. I massaged my left hand at intervals and it took several hours for the pain and stiffness to go away. RA’s signature.

At the end of the day it hit me. Warmth. I’d kept my right hand warm encased in its Ace wrap all night. There was visible swelling along the base of the metacarpals, a definite RA calling card. But, it didn’t hurt and it didn’t affect my mobility.

 

Aha! I thought. What took me so long to figure that out? Nurse heal thyself.

sewing glove

I’ve had these gloves for many years and they still give my hands and wrists great support when I sew or quilt.

 

Since I was already in bed when the revelation hit me and my other Ace wrap had been left in my office, I opened my bedside drawer and grabbed my sewing glove.

It would have to do.

And it did.

This morning my hands felt equal. A little stiff, a little swollen, but barely sore. And most importantly, functional.

It’s all I ask.

 

 

 

And what makes me feel warm all over?

My little medicine  munchkin.

manicures

Blowing on her nails after Na did them. Another reason I need agile hands. To give my baby her manicures!

 

 

Advertisements

Off-Kilter

And so it begins. My succumbing.

To Bisphosphonates, that is.

I have resisted for over two years, or longer. It’s been a tug of war between my rheumatologist and me. I am the first to admit, I am not the most compliant of patients. I didn’t like what the literature had to say about these drugs and I chose to abstain, after consuming them sporadically for a few years.

His one complaint about me, to my hearing at least, is that I read too much. But, I believe your health care is a compact between you and your doctor. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with my being a nurse. I always saw doctors and nurses working in partnership, in tandem, though they didn’t see that way for the most part.

Now this particular war is over. My bone density test wasn’t pretty. Wasn’t exactly earth-shattering, excuse the partial pun, but it’s come time to grit my teeth and swallow. I don’t even know what he ordered. If it’s something I have to take once a week, or once a month, or . . . never? I just know it’s ready and waiting because my pharmacy texted me before I even reached home from his office. “Irma, your order is available for pickup.” Shouldn’t that be ‘pick up’? Two words?

Digital-age surprise awaits me tomorrow. A little pharmaceutical gift. Another modern medicine marvel to join the ones that already make themselves at home in my medicine curio. One positive in all this is that Prednisone gets kicked to the curb. Or I should say, gently eased to the curb. It doesn’t like any rough stuff, but as it likes to eat bone, it’s got to go. We might have to add another ingredient to my RA cocktail to replace what benefit I derived from it, but time will tell what and when.

I can’t complain, though. The other thing he says about me after every visit is: You’re doing very well. I suppose everything is relative. To him. But, I do feel a little askew. And maybe that’s why I subconsciously chose to place the borders to my panel quilt off-kilter last night.

quilt

My Lover, My Friend

I’ve been trying to say goodbye to my friend called Prednisone. Or at least, so long. He’s a good buddy to have around at your beck and call, as long as he knows his place. His place in the medicine cabinet, that is. But, I think he loves me more than I love him, because he’s gotten a reprieve. Not only will our connection not be decreased, he will stay on board a bit longer.

I was all set to start our goodbye process, a process that can take weeks, even months. We’ve been intimately involved since March when my right hand suffered a blow, or rather a blow-up. It became so swollen and painful, it was basically rendered useless. My left hand jumped into the fray and compensated as best it could, but the only thing that tore at the devil called Pain was my bestest friend.

Candy, I used to call him, though he is a bitter pill to swallow, literally. Every morning he’s there, waiting patiently for me. I want him, but I don’t want him, even though he does make me feel good, spry, nimble, young again.  Like a lover, he gives me a good feeling all over, once that initial swallow of tea takes him down into my innermost.

We will have to continue our relationship through the rest of the year, I suppose. He has a new area to caress and concentrate on. My chest, right over my heart. How ironic is that?

Costochondritis, my doctor calls it. A fancy word for swelling of the cartilage that connects each rib to what is commonly called the breastbone. This pain is not as severe, but then I don’t use my chest like I do my hands. Though one thing it does have in common with the hand pain is that it’s there all the time. All the time.

So, when I leave for The Big Easy in a few days, my good buddy will be first and foremost on my list. I was going to take him along anyway, as insurance. Now, he will go with me as assurance.