Thursday, July 29, 2010

The problem with prednisone

I have been on prednisone, at various dosages, since 2006. I've increased the dosage in a burst and taper with every flare I've ever had. Prednisone is the drug that works when nothing else will and it works very fast.

The effectiveness of prednisone is a wonderful thing, but it comes at a terrible price. It causes, among other things, osteoporosis, thinning skin and a risk of overwhelming infection. I've been diagnosed with severe osteoporosis. I've developed cellulitis after a minor cut and I have skin so thin on my forearms that the blood vessels break with barely a brush. So, I've been making a big effort to taper my dosage back to 5mg.

I've gotten down to 6mg and seem to be stuck there. I've felt every decrease, to be sure. Even when I went from 7.5mg to 7mg, I was stiffer and hurtier. It was worse, of course, when I dropped to 6 and when I dropped to 5, I went into a moderate flare of stiffness, pain, swollen, red joints, fatigue and the depression that comes with it.

Since I was definitely flaring, I decided to change my dose to an alternating 6mg and 5mg. I have gradually gotten worse, or maybe my narcotics aren't working as well as they were. I've done this for two weeks and have just decided to go back to 6mg for at least a month to see if I will adjust. I suppose if things get worse, I'll be calling my rheumatologist and will likely be put on a much higher dose than what I tapered from. Square -10.

I knew I was in for discomfort, but I did not think I'd have this much trouble. I'm hoping for better results when I try again. If I can't get down to 5mg, I'm afraid I'll have to add another DMARD or change to a biologic. I don't want to do either one.

If you've had RA for very long, I know you've been through this and can sympathize. If you've just been diagnosed, please keep my post in mind when you place that prednisone on your tongue. It is a quick fix for what ails us, but we just have to pay for it later. I'm not sure it is worth it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blog Retitle

After quite a few very positive posts, I'm back to whining. My ittle bitty blog may have to be retitled the BooHoo Blog.

I've been tapering prednisone and have only dropped 1.5mg over the last 3 weeks or so, but that is enough to send me back to the deep dark pit that is Rheumatoid Arthritis. Everything, everywhere hurts, my eyes are so dry I can't see well, I'm taking pain killers around the clock and I'm back to feeling blue and hopeless. If I had tears I'd cry 'round the clock too.

The hard drive in my Mac at work went bad, real bad and I lost all my files. I dread re-creating everything. It is a long story. Basically, I bought my own DVD's for four years and backed up my files, but then my optical drive went bad, I couldn't get an external drive or convince anyone that I needed backup of any sort. I gave up. I should have kept spending my own money, just for peace of mind, but money is one of many things that I just don't have enough of. And, to top it off, my admnistrators decided to replace my wonderful Mac with a regular old computer. I'm going to put on my so-fake smile and just keep plugging anyway. I don't have any choice. There just aren't any jobs around.

My daughter is having some medical issues and I'm worried to death.

I lost two fillings since my last cleaning in April. I always seem to lose fillings after a cleaning. What is up with that?

The love of my life is busy taking care of his aging parents and we barely have time to talk and he's so exhausted that he doesn't want to.

There isn't one positive thing going on in my life.

So, there you have it. A synopsis of the last few weeks. I hope that everything will do another 180 and I can be something other than depressed.

I've removed myself from all of my social contact. I just don't want to infect anyone with my negative thinking. So, I've probably pissed quite a few people off.

Right now, everything is just not good.