Monday, August 29, 2011

I've gotta say, I am pretty pleased with prednisolone!




Ever since my second successful trial on prednisolone back in 2008, I have begged and pleaded to be put back on it.

Lately, I have been craving it. Bad.

Yep, you know you have a chronic illness when you crave certain drugs instead of food!

In the early stages of my diagnosis, I spent six joyous months singing prednisolones praises. I could manage to work three short shifts a week and still have some sort of a life on the weekends. Although I certainly didn't feel "well" and I sure had my moments, prednisolone made life manageable. I saw eighty percent improvement in joint pain and fatigue decreased a little, too.

These days I find myself craving the pain relief and the half decent life which it once enabled me to live. Oh the things I would give to have eighty percent improvement in joint pain right now.

The things I would give.

During the past year, however, fatigue has become far more troublesome and debilitating than joint pain, and according to my rheumatologist fatigue doesn't warrant another prednisolone trial.

Yeah, I've been feeling pretty pooped about this.

Yes, my fatigue has increased considerably, but that doesn't mean that my joints don't hurt like hell some days. The combination of methotrexate, feldene, and plaquenil doesn't seem to be working quite as well for me anymore.

Lately, I feel that chronic fatigue has been stealing all the attention, so much so that this back pain just doesn't seem to be getting dealt with.

Here comes the exciting news though...

After four very long and trying months of tests and frustrating doctors appointments, my rheumatologist has finally decided that it is time for another prednisolone trial to see if it curbs my unexplained back pain.

Hurrah!

This time around, I was to try four weeks on a low dose (I was on the highest dose during my second trial). My rheumatologist has been hesitant to put me back on prednisolone purely because it takes such a high dose for it to work for me, so I was afraid that this small dosage would do nothing for my pain either, but for diagnostic purposes I had to give it a go.

The last time I spoke with my rheumatologist on the phone she said that if this prednisolone trial helps, then I will qualify for stronger drugs.

Ya think?

I think four months of back pain and a history of arthritis should be enough to meet criteria, but because I'm one of the unusual ones, with no blood tests to prove my inflammation the criteria process is a much more lengthy one.

I've been on this merry-go-round for years. It's a joke.

Since I've had no answers or solutions to my worsening back pain, I was sensible and didn't pin all my hopes on prednisolone helping.

I'm now in my final week of taking prednisolone and I've gotta say, I am pretty pleased. I am one happy woman.

It has satisfied my cravings.

Well, to an extent.

It hasn't taken away all of the pain (I am trying to imagine how awesome life would be on a higher dose) and the pain and stiffness make mornings a struggle, but I have definitely noticed improvement. The pain is much more manageable now. Driving doesn't cause as much pain as it used to, I don't have shooting pain coming from my back round to my stomach. Basically I can move without inflicting pain!

It is AM-A-ZING!

Sheer bliss.

I wish I could stay on this drug forever but if I did, the long term side effects would probably kill me, so then again I probably don't want to stay on it. It's a real pity that this drug is only temporarily used to aid flare-ups because it really works for me.

While it hasn't improve fatigue in the slightest I wasn't expecting it to. After all, I am dealing with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia syndrome also. I'm just really pleased that something has actually helped eased my pain a bit yet at the same time I'm upset because this trial only confirms my rheumatologists suspicions that I do in fact have inflammation in my spine {sigh}.

I see my rheumatologist later this week and will hopefully be starting on new drugs. I'm sure she'll be just as pleased as I am about the results and excited to hear that I have also started exercise rehab.

I am making progress, oh yes I am!

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3 comments:

phylor said...

Glad you got some relief -- even if only for a short while.
It's not fair that the drugs that help the most have long-term side effects that make taking them on a regular basis difficult!
Hopefully your next rheumy appt will go well, and you will get some relief from the pain again.
Hang in there!

Controlled Substances said...

My pain started when I fell at work and hurt my neck. I had pain in my neck and shoulders. What has helped me is many things combined. First, I lowered my stress. Anything that I thought would stress me, I avoided. My wife helped me a lot. Second, I started taking Cymbalta for the pain. Third, I stretched every muscle, every which way I could five times a week for about an hour a day. I have been a very active person all my life and I really believe that fibromyalgia is a combination of stress and over exercising. I have not exercised besides the stretching for over three months and I look and feel a lot better. I believe a muscle imbalance leads to some of this as well as overly dense muscles.

Miss Chronically Creative said...

Thanks phylor, it's been four weeks of bliss! Really not looking forward to life without them though. Oh well, I'll get by. I am so behind on your blog (and everyone else's for that matter) and I am so sorry! It's top priority on my to do list!

@controlled substances: I am so glad that you have found what works for you, that's fantastic! I've tried cymbalta and all it did was give me a terrible time with side effects so it's great to hear that it works for somebody! I was a very active person too. I totally agree that stress aggravates fibromyalgia and it wouldn't surprise me that over exercising may cause it in some cases but that hasn't been my case. I also have inflammatory arthritis which has caused fibromyalgia and in my case is hereditary (my nan has arthritis and fibro also).

Thanks for sharing your experience!

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