Sunday, September 1, 2013

Prednisone - My enemy, My ally

Flashing back to when my doctor first stated that he suspected that I had rheumatoid arthritis, I was feeling a little vindicated and sad at the same time.  For close to a year, I was losing weight, feeling better, and the drug he was giving me for what we thought then was just osteoarthritis were working.

The flare that brought me back to him was intense – I ended up digging out the cane I thought I wouldn’t need again for a long while.  The best appointment he could get me for a rheumatologist? It was seven months out!  (Not a lot of rheumatologists in my area, and since my insurance company was helping me out and the resulting fatigue was kicking me squarely in the arse, I didn’t question it or have the urge to look elsewhere)

I was miserable right then, I argued.  Can you give me something to tide me over until my rheumatologist appointment?

Enter Prednisone.

A steroid, enough to take the inflammation away – I was thankful and hopeful. At 269 pounds, I was hoping to continue my weight loss and be well prepared for rheumatologist appointment.

But then as he was writing up the prescription, he said the first words that have seemed to seal my fate: you will gain weight with this drug.

What? Surely it would be a temporary thing, and I will be off of it when I get what I need from the rheumatologist – or at least that’s what I thought.

But as I started on it, I began to hear some of the same things from the people in my weight watcher meeting and around me: Prednisone will make you gain weight.

But I was feeling good! I could walk! I went on vacation with my parents and I rarely needed my cane.  But what I didn’t pay attention to was that my appetite was out of whack along with a few other things.  I was having such grand success with weight watchers that I was tracking my eating in my head and everything.

That was my downfall – Once I was with my rheumatologist, he told me that I could not quit this steroid quite yet – I had to be ‘weaned’ off of it. 

Fast forward to now.  I am 305lbs, depressed, and angry. I wonder truly if it was the steroid or was it the people who kept telling me that this steroid could do this.  Regardless, I have come to the end of my chapter with the steroid – I am now out of it and currently relying on the methotrexate and Enbrel that I have been prescribed. The last intention of my rheumatologist was that this was to be the last of it.

So far I am feeling a little tender everywhere, and hoping that he will not put me back on it. Now that drug influence is gone, it is time to get my mind back on track – I hope.

Too much on my mind,
RAmbling Girl 

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