Category Archives: Prednisone

I’m an AS Kicker. Seriously.

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Hello there. Life is good today. It’s Friday.

Wow, so much has been going on! I am happy to say that my stress is at an all time low currently. While this will most likely change in the near future, I’ll take it when I can get it. I have now been back on Enbrel for 5 weeks and I have finished my second  short-course of Prednisone. So much to update you on… let’s see…

1. This past weekend, Andrew and I ran the Rock and Roll Half Marathon. It was Andrew’s first. It was awesome. It was in Pasadena, California and we had an amazing time with amazing weather. Just perfect! I have definitely decided that running reduces my stress levels immensely. I plan to continue doing it. It also helps that running temporarily reduces my AS symptoms.

2. We finally got our new kitchen set-up. This makes me happy because we can cook and we have been and it’s been delicious and awesome! Next step- the rest of the house!

3. Voltaren Gel– it seems to actually work. My knees are still not 100% but the gel does seem to be helping my knee pain a lot. I will continue using it for sure… plus! No cortisone injections!

4. Enbrel– while my pain is not gone, my fatigue has vastly improved over the past 5 weeks. For instance, it is now 2:30 in the afternoon and I am still awake… and all I had was a large green tea today (in the caffeine department). 5 weeks ago at this time I would have had 2 caffeinated sodas, 3 cups of coffee, and a cup of iced tea and I’d still be falling asleep. I am thanking Enbrel for these things.

5. Prednisone– it did seem to help with the pain and kind of jump start the Enbrel working. As you may remember, I was having terrrrrrrrible heart burn. As a result, I went on a 14 day course of Prilosec which I have just about finished up. It has worked wonderfully and my heart burn has died way down. thanks, Prilosec!

6. We signed up for our CSA again! I am super excited— I love going out to the farm and getting fresh produce and cutting fresh herbs. I see lots of food blogging in my future!

7. Finally, we found someone to take over the lease on our apartment— so no more double rent paying!!!! Such a good feeling! This took a TON of stress off of both Andrew and I.

Yes, life is good right now. Calculus is still there and still needs tending. Hopefully after we unpack this weekend I can buckle down and get it done. It’s about time!

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Prednisone and Heartburn

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As you may remember, after my last appointment, I was excited to go back to using Enbrel and I was “awarded” Voltran Gel for my knees. I still need to do a recap on how the Voltran Gel is working out and I know it’s been a bit since my last my post, but we’ve been super busy. We just moved into our first house! Very exciting- what was more exciting is that we hired movers which was just awesome. It was so nice to not have to move big bulky furniture, especially in light of the serious pain that I’ve been in lately. As I also mentioned in my previous post, my doctor said that if things weren’t significantly better this past week he was going to put me back on a short course of Prednisone.

He called to check in and then told me he was calling in a prescription. Cool- I haven’t had any bad experiences with prednisone yet and it seemed to work really well, so let’s do it! Well, let me tell you, I’m through two days now and m.i.s.e.r.a.b.l.e. The heartburn is unbearable! Yesterday especially it came and went almost every 5 minutes– just a really sharp pain and so much discomfort. I was really upset about it and thought it may prevent me from running my 5K today (it didn’t!). Anyway, after a nice conversation and a recommendation from my mom (Thanks, mom!) I picked up some Prilosec and the drugstore. It’s a 14-day course of taking one pill a day. I will say I am feeling less heartburn today and since it’s the third day of Prednisone, I’m taking fewer pills, so hopefully everything will work out just fine! Crisis averted!

In other news, Andrew and I ran the Love the Run You’re With 5K this morning! It felt like such an accomplishment to cross that finish line holding hands with the love of my life! What’s even more exciting is that we had been doing training runs at about 15:00min/miles which we knew we could go faster than but didn’t want to push because we’re trying to train for a half marathon, but we busted our behinds and ended up with a sub-12 minute/mile pace. 37:05! Next stop: Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Pasadena!!!

No Better Rainy Day Activity Than Apple Picking

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This morning we dropped Andrew’s friend, Lana off at Dulles Airport for her flight to Hawaii! It was early in the morning and about an hour or so closer to Marker Miller Orchards, so we decided to drive all the way on out (rather than drive home and spend 3+ hours to do it again). The weather was freeeezing and rainy, but we got a huge bag of delicious fresh apples, so it was definitely worth it. I’m hoping to make one of these recipes this weekend/week if I can ever dig myself out from under this pile of grad school work and EPA conference planning!

Anyway, we picked a sizeable grocery bag full of apples; choosing from Golden Delicious, Fuji, Crispen, and Roma.. they also had Red Delicious and Ida Red but we weren’t feeling those today. We also spent some time walking around their little store. They are famous for their most delicious cider donuts… just amazing. Last year when we went picking, there was a line about 20 people long and they just kept carting out fresh, piping hot donuts! This year, no real line; the weather seemed to deter the masses but not everyone! One of the guys that works there was super friendly and was telling us that they just ran out of fresh made blueberry donuts but were now onto pumpkin donuts and we should definitely try them… along with a few other choice baked goods in the little counter display. Needless to say, we walked out with a whole mess of baked goods from cider donuts to pumpkin donuts to cinnamon twists. YUM!

Along with the baked goods, we grabbed some small red potatoes, a spaghetti squash, some honey-peanut butter bites (For Franklin), a nice big onion, and a bag of culled pears (we got about 25 for $5)! From there we headed back towards home and made a stop off at Hudson Trails Outfitters to get Andrew a new bike chain and then to Costco to get some new pillows, socks, and pineapple/mango slices (YUMM). Horror upon horror, they were OUT OF MANGO SLICES! That did not make a happy Klasic, but Andrew was quick with the uptake and said “let’s just get a box of mangos.” So we did and it’s just wonderful. I really love mangos.

The rest of the day since getting home (not much of it left) was spent taking a nap (gasp! a nap? I haven’t taken one in years!) and then reading papers for class, writing responses to discussion questions on my class forums, and typing up technical review papers. Dinner was thai food from the Thai Peppers restaurant in Del Ray; I know, we just got a ton of delicious produce, what are we thinking!?! Well, when it’s 10PM on a Saturday and you’ve been working and running most of the day, sometimes you just don’t feel like cooking… plus, I just cleaned the kitchen and I wanted one more day with no messes. That’s not too much to ask, right?

Tomorrow we’re going to bike into DC (can you tell that I’m still gushing over prednisone)? We’re headed to breakfast with some of Andrew’s Cornell friends and then off to see the Solar Decathlon. Then it’s football (and term paper research) time!

Cruising Around Alexandria on a Bike

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Today was a good day. As I mentioned earlier, prednisone really seems to be helping out with the issues. I got up and went for a bike ride in Old Town today! It was good to be back on a bike and as we keep training for our Climate Ride next May, I want to be sure to train far enough in advance that I’m not “cramming” at the 11th hour.

So, today I followed Mount Vernon Ave and the Mount Vernon Bike Path down into the Huntington area. I ended up biking there and back for a total of around 9 miles; not too shabby. Just have to multiply that by 6 and do it for a week straight and I’ll be good to go. haha. The ride was tough; I am definitely out of shape but I’ll get there!

The ride took me down Mount Vernon Ave to Braddock Metro where I hung a right and then a quick left onto Pendleton street. From there, I road straight down to Royal Street. A right on Royal Street takes me quite a few blocks down across Princess, Prince, Duke, King, Oronoco, and others… and eventually slams right into the Mount Vernon Bike Path near the far side of Jones Point Park. There is currently a decent amount of construction going on in Jones Point Park so the path is closed through there, but you are still able to get the construction crew to wave you on through; they’re very nice- be sure to say hello in the event you bike that way! The bike path goes along the US-1 on-ramp and comes to an intersection where there are cement directions in the sidewalk pointing to Old Town, Jones Point, Huntington, and other places. I’ll try to grab a photo of it next time. So I followed this path down and along US-1 a ways and then pulled a U-turn and headed back up. It’s a great ride to do Saturday mornings, ending up at the Old Town Farmers Market.

Tomorrow we’re headed apple picking; I’m thinking about making one of these recipes but I’m still open to other ideas, so if you have any, let me know!

 

 

 

90 Year Old Syndrome?

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As you are aware, the previous three posts have all been in regards to my joint and overall body issues, particularly the flare ups I’ve been having in my SI joints (located in your hips). Anyway, my appointment with the Rheumatologist went well and if you’re interested in the tests being done you can read about it here. I’m going to spend a few moments discussing medications. My orthopedist and general doctor had me on Flexeral for a good chunk of time.

Flexeral is a muscle relaxant. While I appreciated the ability to fall asleep in a matter of seconds after I took it, it wasn’t helping with anything. What made it worse was that if I didn’t get to wake up naturally (aka I ALWAYS wake up to an alarm or to Andrew waking me up), it made me a well, bitch. There is really no other word for it. I would wake up in an angry, pissy mood, and nothing or no one could help improve that situation. At first, I thought perhaps I was being a bitch because I was hungry? But no, that didn’t help at all. Only after I had slept for a long period of time did I come back to my “normal” state.

Then there was Percoset. Percoset is a narcotic. You would think it would help, right? Wrong. Percoset did not do anything. I took two at a time and again, while it helped me sleep, it didn’t help with the pain. It simply masked it until the morning. Upside: no bitchy Meghan. Downside: very very sleepy Meghan. Percoset is easy to become addicted to and after going through some of those issues with Percoset and Vicodin and Oxycontin as a result of ankle surgery, I don’t want to go through it again (don’t mistake me, I was never really an addict, it’s just that once I stopped taking them, my body would feel like my skin was crawling). Better not to test it. If it’s not helping at all, why keep taking it?
After seeing my Rheumatologist on Monday, he prescribed Meloxicam for me. Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID for short). It’s used to help with pain, tenderness, stiffness, and swelling caused by a variety of things. It has a decent list of nasty side effects, including heartburn, which is why I was told to also buy some Prilosec. The doc told me that I should take the Meloxicam and have the tests done and then come back in once all the results were put together so we could discuss next steps. Fair enough. So, I left and went about my day. Well over the proceeding two days, the pain that I experienced was indescribable. I don’t know what it was; the medicine (I doubt it), the fear of having dye injected for my MRIs (probably not), or just a really bad flare up (YES!) but I was miserable. Absolutely miserable. So, on Wednesday, I called my Rheumatologist and explained that the best way to describe was by saying when I try to stand up, I feel like a 90 year old; knees and ankles in pain and swollen, my hips felt like knives were in them, and my lower back and SI area— hurt so bad it took me a few seconds until I could stand up straight. Not. Good.
I knew that the Meloxicam would need to build up in my body, but I asked if there was anything else he could suggest that would be ok to take with the Meloxicam. I was thinking he’d tell me ibprofen or something like that. No such luck. He prescribed a short course of Prednisone.
Prednisone is a steroid used to help with inflammation. It has horrendous side effects including fat face (moon face), weight gain, congestive heart failure, and shortness of breath. Seriously, check out this list of side effects. Anyway, lucky for me it was just a short course. I wasn’t thrilled about it but I asked him what he thought; he said that the short course would help us figure out if it is inflammation.
I have been on prednisone for a day. The first day you take 6 pills throughout the day, the second day, 5; and so on and so forth until the 6th day with one. While I have no experienced any side effects (nock on wood; fingers crossed) and while the pain isn’t completely gone, I feel like this is actually helping. I do not feel anywhere near as bad as I did on Tuesday when I walked onto the metro train and fell into Andrew, crying because I hurt so bad. My mood has actually been better today. So, here’s hoping that I keep NOT experiencing side effects and I keep experiencing increased pain relief!
So, that’s my recap of drugs that I’ve been on so far for my body aches. Hopefully we’re headed in a good direction; I am staying optimistic!
My question to you all is have you ever spent a lot of time trying to get a diagnosis? Have you had to go through a variety of medications? Did you ever find one that helped you out?