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Friday, June 11, 2010

Prednisone side effects

Recently, I had to take two rounds of medrol dose packs. Although I took these for allergies and not for lupus, the side effects are still the same. Since I am often on prednisone for my lupus, I felt I should share the side effects of this medication.

First, it can affect the bones. I have to take calcium supplements when I take prednisone. I also drink a glass of milk when I take the prednisone.

Second, it makes me very irrational and emotional. I feel so sorry for my poor husband who has to deal with my prednisone temper. I know it’s not fun for him.

Third, I become ravenous on the medication. I will eat anything and everything. I’ll even eat things that I normally do not touch—like heavily processed beef or pork products. With these two recent rounds of steroids, I gained 15 lbs and felt really puffy and bloated. I hate sharing unflattering photos, but I think some people don’t fully understand what lupus patients go through. We’re sick without the medications, but the medications have side effects that make us miserable and sick as well. When we are having a flare, it is a lose-lose situation.

I've gained a lot around my arms. Too bad it's not muscle :)

The prednisone has helped me gain around my midsection, my arms, and under my arms. It's not flattering--I look a little pregnant when I'm not. But in a few weeks I should be back to my normal size. After all, I have a beautiful, fitted wedding dress to fit into :)

A slight Buddha belly!

Update to June 4th

Late in the evening on May 27, my husband and I packed up my car and drove down to Fort Worth, TX to make preparations for our “real” wedding. My husband had worked all day and was exhausted, so I drove for 550 miles straight while he slept. When he took over and drove the remaining 120 miles, I was too wired to sleep. I didn’t fall asleep until an hour after we arrived at his mother’s house. And even then, I only slept 4 hours. I was exhausted, and my sleep cycle was completely thrown off. A good sleep schedule is so important--especially for those with chronic illnesses like lupus. Each time I sat down, I fell asleep. This means that I missed out on a lot of time with family. Steven and his younger sister played Wii games, I slept. I slept while she beat him a bumper pool. I just kept dozing off.

Somehow, I managed to make it through the weekend—through catering appointments and visits with friends. Then, on Monday, I drove Steven to the airport so he could return to Missouri in time for work on Tuesday. I then drove, with the dog, to the Houston area to see my parents. At my parents, I worked on several wedding crafts and finished many projects. I have now punched out all of the guest favor boxes. The pearl wreath for the front door is done—and I have the hot glue burn marks to prove it! The ribbon streamers for the send off are started. Despite still feeling off my sleep schedule, I got a lot done before leaving on Thursday morning.

The dog and I had to leave early Thursday morning to drive back to Missouri. I needed to get back fairly early on Friday to pack for the Dexter to Ann Arbor 1/2 marathon. We hit the road on Thursday, playing tourist so we could stretch our legs and walk every hour or so. After a lot of driving and about an hour of sleep at a rest stop, Lady and I made it back to St Louis at about 7:00 a.m. on Friday. This was more than enough time to nap and pack for the Ann Arbor trip.