Prednisone is a steroid drug and prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation. It's used to treat many different conditions such as allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, or breathing disorders.
Prednisone is commonly used for several weeks or even months at a time to get a chronic process under control. It is important that the dose be tapered to an every other day schedule once the condition is controlled. The reason for this is that body will recognise these artificial hormones and not produce any of its own. Eventually, the adrenal glands will atrophy so that when the medication is discontinued, the patient will be unable to respond to any stressful situation. By using the medication every other day, this allows the body's own adrenal glands to remain active.
I remember about 25 years ago waking up one morning with giant hives. After using regular types of antihistamines that didn't help, my doctor gave me a shot of adrenaline. That cleared the hives up until the adrenaline wore off and I had to go back for another shot. The hives kept coming back. So I went on a round of prednisone then to get rid of the rash. We never did find out what was the cause.
This time we still don't seem to know the cause, although we do know that rashes are often caused by auto-immune disorders or allergic reactions. I'll be taking prednisone for about another month, gradually tapering off if/when the rash is completely gone. Then I'm not supposed to take any other medications to make sure the rash stays gone.
When I started taking prednisone last week, I was on a fairly high dosage. My body felt like it was in high-speed and I could feel the adrenaline surging through me. Although I was tired to the point of almost crying, I couldn't sleep. Those nasty hot flashes also came back! Thankfully, now on a lower dose, I've been able to sleep the past couple of nights and feel somewhat better.
Prednisone is not a drug to fool around with. It can be dangerous to stop taking it suddenly and should only be taken under the supervision of a medical practitioner. However, the benefits can outweigh the dangers and that's what I'm banking on. I need to have this cleared up soon because I finally have a date for my back surgery - January 13th.
Other "P" words I'd like to honour this week are:
peace - in our world
paradise - for eternity
passion - for life and love
play - with my grandchildren
prayer - for health and healing
patience - during difficult circumstances
and purple pansies that give me profound pleasure.
ABC Wednesday is the brainchild of Denise Nesbitt and you can check out other participants and join in by clicking here.