My Frienemy Prednisone.

Hello Prednisone. I wish I could say I was happy to see you again. I really thought you were gone from my life for good.

December 18, 2014 is the date of my twisted bowel surgery. January 30, 2015 is the release date of my last (of 4) hospital stays. March 10, 2015 is the date I went to see my GI because I needed a 3rd refill of Hydrocodone 10-325. I am still having a lot of pain and I guess not all of it is surgery related, it's Crohn's related. I am averaging 2-4 pills a day plus 1-3 doses of Bentyl, an antispasmodic for the digestive system.  I was taking Entocort, a steroid designed specifically for the gut that doesn't have the typical steroid side effects like moon face, roid rage and weight gain but it just wasn't up to the task of my stubborn gut I guess. Doc decided I need a low dosage of Prednisone for a month or so and prescribed 10mg daily. As he examined me, he listed all the benefits of prednisone for a few weeks: quicker healing, pain management, getting inflammation under control, weight gain... Yes, he said weight gain. I've actually put on 10 pounds since I've been home from the hospital over the last 6 weeks. I guess I still look a little anorexic though.

I hate prednisone. It's a dirty word as far as I'm concerned. I had to fight back tears when he started talking about it.

I was already on the verge of a breakdown because as I've been getting things ready for our upcoming spring break trip I realized I did not have enough hydrocodone to last the trip. I take these very sparingly in order to make them last. Now that you need a paper script and an act of God to get them, I treat them like precious jewels. I was nervous about asking for a refill and so I decided to do it in person instead of over the phone. I'm so very glad I did. He is an awesome doc and very encouraging and understanding of what I am dealing with. He actually play scolded me a bit for being so worried about asking a refill. These were his words:
                           "Monnie, I know you. You are neither a complainer nor an addict. You have a horribly painful disease and you need pain management. I would not blink an eye if you needed hydrocodone every day from here on out. I have patients that take 1 dose every morning and/or every night just to help control the pain and/or ostomy output. It's already been established that your gut runs fast and with all that you've been through over the last 5 months it's no wonder you are still having pain issues so please do not hesitate to call and request refills. Your pain is legitimate." 
I felt my shoulders relax immediately and an audible sigh of relief from my heart filled the room. I have had doctors and/or nurses treat me like I am some crack whore trying to score my next hit and it's so humiliating. I would rather not take narcotics if possible but it's just not realistic for me right now. There are no words that I can use to adequately describe the relief this conversation gave me. It also gave me hope. Hope that I can function with less pain because my doc understands what I need and is willing to help me.

My healing process seems slow to me but I've been through hell for over 6 months so it's unlikely and unrealistic that I would just bounce back to 100% in a couple of months. This is the hardest part of recovery. Every day I push myself to the limit of my pain. I plan ahead of time what I will do so I can take the pain meds at the right time to help get through the tasks. It's like learning to read again and having to sound out each new big word in order to complete the sentence. I'm so over it.

Maybe the prednisone will speed things up a bit. 10mg isn't a big dose at all, I used to take 40-60 mg back in the day of UC. I'm on day 3 and really, the only side effects I've noticed so far are trouble sleeping and a little nervous energy. What are the chances this will be the worst of it? Probably not, the more it builds in my system I'll probably experience more side effects. Oh well, it beats feeling bad all the time.

My dear, dear frienemy, Prednisone, we are in this together whether I like it or not so let's make the best of it. I will take you faithfully if you will speed up my healing process. I will deal with your side effects if you bring down the inflammation of my intestines. I will take advantage of the extra energy you provide if you will go easy on the weight gain. I'm barely hanging on to my vanity as it is so please, can you take it easy on the moon face if at all possible? We can do this for a month and then we will part ways and I will deal with your younger brother of 5mg until I can send him packing too. I'm committed to this relationship so let's make it work and hopefully we will never have to meet again. At least not until the next flare anyway...


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