About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

ABC Wednesday - P is for Prednisone

Last summer, I noticed a strange bruising or burned appearance on one inner knee, one hip, and under one arm. The spots didn't itch, but there was a bit of a burning sensation. I sort of ignored the areas until last month when I noticed I had a few more smaller spots on my torso and the rash was spreading around my waist. I also began to feel considerably more uncomfortable. After checking my diet and thinking about whether I'd changed any soaps, talcs, deodorants, etc. I decided it was time to seek my doctor's advice. First thing he told me to do was to discontinue one of my medications. I did, but no change. So he decided we should do a round of prednisone.

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.

41 comments:

Aileni said...

Sounds remakably like shingles, Leslie. Whatever - not nice.

Reader Wil said...

I suffered from psoriasis and it took me a year to get rid of it. I didn't believe my first dermatologist and went to a second one who really cured me.
I wish you good luck whatever it might be.

Dragonstar said...

That sounds so unpleasant! I'm glad things are easing - and very glad you have a date for your surgery!
The Purple Pansies are Perfect.

ellen b said...

I'm praying for you right now Leslie that you'll be able to taper off the prednisone and your flare up will go away. I hope you are able to rest well in the meantime!

babooshka said...

What a very informative post. Amazing what we learn when blogging.

marLou said...

I hope the Rx is helping you and I wish you the best.

peppylady said...

Don't sound like barrel of monkeys. I think I took Prednisone isn't a steroid?
If so I took it for my asthma getting out of control and I believe it was from a carpet shampoo.

Coffee is on.

Russell said...

I like the word "peace" the best! When I used to go to church (!!) my favorite part of the service or mass was when we turned to each other and offered each other a sign of peace. So, to you, I say "Peace be with you!"

One of my favorite expressions in class - when we are doing little matching exercises - is to say such or such word matches up with the definition found next to the "P" - "P" as in pneumonia!! About 1/4 of the students seem to get the joke...!

Take care.

photowannabe said...

I thought you were going to say shingles too. I hope that powerful drug will do the trick for you.
Love the pretty purple panseys, one of my favorite flowers.
Take care and feel better soon.

Ruth W. said...

I am glad you finally have a surgery date. So, take your recuperating this winter and being able to enjoy your wonderful Spring with a very long walk with your camera.

I will be praying for you if that is OK with you.

Smalltown RN said...

I love the purple pansies....lovely...Now as for prednisone...you just did your public annoucementn for the day good on you.....I had to be on prednisone in February for a flare up of my colitis...it can be a nasty drug...but it does work. The night sweats I didn't like at all...and well if you are on them for any length of time you get the MOON face...yippee! NOT.....but yes prednisone can be a great drug..when used for the right reasons....I hope they figure out what causes your spots...

I am finally off to the allergist tomorrow in Vancouver...I have to many allergies...got to get to the root of things...

Melissa said...

Those purple pansies are so pretty! Hope your feeling well!

nancygrayce said...

Or as my dermatologist said today "you know that rash could be caused by stress!" I hope your rash is gone soon!

Rositta said...

I was going to say shingles as well since it sounds exactly what my late mother had. Your right about Prednisone, it's not a nice drug but does the job. I take it about 3 times a year for 6 days each time starting with a really high dose and tapering. During those 6 days I can't sleep, I'm like the energizer bunny and I'm cranky as all get out. But for rheumatoid arthritis it's the only thing that keeps the flare ups in check. By the way, long term use destroys bone density. I know someone who needed a hip replacement at age 26...ciao

Deb said...

Funny how when two different people take the same drug and there are opposite side effects. A couple of years ago, I was prescribed predisone for a severe case of poisen oak and had none of the effects you mentioned. I thought you were going to say you had a case of shingles which can be very painful.
I wish you the best of luck with your upcoming back surgery.

mannanan said...

I'd go along with Aileni saying it sounds a lot like shingles. Hope the cure works. Interesting post.

womaninawindow said...

In the spirit of the US election which we are watching even though in Canada, what about P for O'Pama? I know lame. Hopefully your rash clears up and it's clear sailing after this.

womaninawindow said...

In the spirit of the US election which we are watching even though in Canada, what about P for O'Pama? I know lame. Hopefully your rash clears up and it's clear sailing after this.

leslie said...

Thanks everyone for your kind words of reassurance. I also thought "shingles" but I'd heard it is supposed to be VERY painful and this really wasn't/isn' - just sort of creepy sorta itchy feeling all over. Some parts of the red were smooth and other parts were bumpy. Really weird! But I do know shingles can be caused by stress and it all started after finding out I definitely have to have back surgery and also finding out it's a bigger operation than I had originally expected. So...???

RiverPoet said...

Prednisone is a bitter mistress. It makes me swell. It makes me anxious. It makes me a raging insomniac - but it's necessary sometimes when I get sick. It thins the bones, though, and my sisters and mom all had/have osteoporosis - early onset. Risky, this drug is, but so necessary sometimes.

I wish you well and hope it gets your condition under control. Don't forget to breathe!

Peace - D

Island Rambles Blog said...

Hope you are feeling better and take care...Prednisone is useful when needed and you can taper off it...I like how you listed some lovely p words at the end of your post...peace.

Jo said...

I hope you don't have to stay on the Prednisone for too long. It can cause unpleasant side effects, some of which I think you are experiencing. Perhaps you should get a referral to a dermatologist, if the Prednisone doesn't work.

Liz said...

THat sounds nasty. How it's sorted soon. (jmb had a similar thing - is it a vancouver itch?)

naturglede said...

I hope the surgery will help you. I love your worlds in the end today. Have a nice day:)

Mickle in NZ said...

So relieved that you at last have a date for your back surgery.

I know prednisone well, was on it for Crohn's disease and remember the feeling of being totally "wired". Am sure it will do the trick for you.

btw - our general election is this coming Saturday.

Sending gentle, warm huggles, Michelle and Zebby-cat in NZ

CherryPie said...

I hope it clears up soon for you. I love the poem and the pansies :-)

Rocky Mtn. Girl said...

Gosh... what an annoying skin ailment, whatever it may be. I truly hope that it may be cured soon. It sounds really uncomfortable.
I'm glad they finally settled on a date for the surgery.
{Hug}
~Michele~

Gordon said...

I hope the prednisone works for you. An informative post; we certainly learn lots on ABC Wednesdays.

Miss_Yves said...

Beautiful pansies !
In France medecines are always taken under the supervising of a doctor...
Hope you're feeling better !

Miss Yves

Deslilas said...

Smart post !

Bear Naked said...

Leslie
Thank you for a very informative and educational post about the drug Prednisone.
I've heard about it (who hasn't watched all those drug commercials on tv) but never really understood about it.
Now,thanks to your post, I have a better understanding about this drug.

Bear((( )))

Daryl said...

Nice P ...

Sounds more like stress to me than any other malady and I know about this because I have been itching/having hives/welts for the last 17 mos. Saw allergists, dermatologists, GPs and even an Acupuncturist. Did tons of blood work to eliminate auto immune issues and played with my meds to see if one or another was at fault .. no allergies, no explanation ... AND my doc did not want to go the prenisone route because it has a lot of side effects ...

I wish you luck ...

Trust me ... its STRESS

:-Daryl

kml said...

The pansies are beautiful and cheery!

That prednisone is ugly stuff - my sister has many medical problems and has been on it for over 30 years - it is taking it's toll in her poor body - but without it, she wouldn't be alive.

Trubes said...

Hello Leslie:
I've been diagnosed as having Bullous Pemphigoid, (autoimmune disorder), and am taking Prednisolone, on a decreasing scale. I have been taking it for 8months and each time we get the dosage below 20mgs the rash returns.
The Dermatologist is thinking it is Eczma because the skin biopsies are now negative, yet, I still have the blistery rash and creeping itches.
As you may recall Leslie I have RA, again a disorder in the autoimmune system.
I hope this may be of some help to you, and soon will find some relief...Good luck !

Di.x

Trubes said...

P.S. Glad to see you have the date for your operation and the pansies are very pretty too!

Di.x

Trubes said...

Hello Leslie:
I've been diagnosed as having Bullous Pemphigoid, (autoimmune disorder), and am taking Prednisolone, on a decreasing scale. I have been taking it for 8months and each time we get the dosage below 20mgs the rash returns.
The Dermatologist is thinking it is Eczma because the skin biopsies are now negative, yet, I still have the blistery rash and creeping itches.
As you may recall Leslie I have RA, again a disorder in the autoimmune system.
I hope this may be of some help to you, and soon will find some relief...Good luck !

Di.x

antigoni said...

I hope you feel better now. You are one of the most loveing person i know. My thoughts are with you for a full recovary of your health problems.

Neva said...

Leslie, I hope all is well now! Prednisone.....very helpful but you are so right on how it needs to be taken!!!It is astonishing how bad good drugs can make you feel! A very good ABC choice!

Dori said...

I developed large raised red welts randomly over all of body 3 years ago. Noone can tell me what it is... just say take prednisone. enough already, there has to be other options. Ireally dont think noone has every had this before, if so I want to name it....It sometimes is so large and raised that it looks and feels like a topographical map.. any ideas

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