Effects on the side

It’s passed more quickly than I’d thought possible, but I’m almost finished with my three-week Colon Blast of 40 mg prednisone. Three weeks doesn’t really compare to my last swing on the Devil Pred tire (long, long ago in ye olde 2007), but I’ve been noticing some similarities and differences, some good, some bad.

So!

Happy Things

Pure, unfettered euphoria.
That high exuberance I remember from the last course of this medication? My god. Generally, I like to think I’m a content, happy person with a range of moods and emotions. Within a week of starting the pred, I realized that in actuality I am normally a sad self-centered sack of nervous paranoid anxiety who walks around certain that random passersby are thinking she walks funny or wears stupid clothing or maybe is a threat to society so when we laugh we’re laughing at her.

Ahem. In any case, that’s how stark the contrast feels. I’m beginning to come down from it now (which in my experience is what happens with pred) but the euphoria served to wipe away any and all anxiety regarding health and my everyday surroundings. Part of it is probably mental in a freaky What The Hell is This Drug Doing to My Brain Waves way. And part of it is mental in a different way; the pred kills most of my gut pain and has stopped the ass bleeding, so since I’m not bombarded with cramps or urgency, I’m less worried about immediate painkiller or toilet access. But overall it feels amazing: I’m relaxed and comfortable in my skin, I’m mellower than yellow, and blissed out at the smell of mown grass or the sight of the sky. Also I’m providing entertainment for others, as I look like I’m stoned all the time.

According to MedlinePlus, which also lists much of the fun I’m going to describe here, one of prednisone’s unfortunate side effects is “inappropriate happiness.” I wonder if this qualifies? I’m not laughing at little kids falling down. But then, I would probably laugh at that if I wasn’t on the pred, so. Inappropriate is all a state of mind, man.

Mobility.
I can get to a toilet in time. I can also move around without going, “Ow ow ow.” Don’t knock it.

The Food is Back.
No longer am I torturing myself with sloppy, sebaceously delicious imaginary dinner plates. Thanks to Devil Pred, I can eat again! In seriousness, A. and I had pasta with tomato-pepper-zucchini sauce and garlic bread and lots of mozzarella cheese last night. It was an Italian party in my mouth and my gut. While I’m still lusting after fresh greens, salads, salad bars, aaaagh, and crunchy green beans, I did manage to eat some peas this week. Soon the roughage may be back, too!

Bad, Annoying Things

Weird pains
Occasionally my hips ache like someone drove a metal pin through them. I asked A. if there was any funny business going on since I’m sleeping more heavily. He said no, this marriage is built on trust, damn it. I said, fine, I’ll just set up the video camera – okay, okay, just kidding. Trust. We’re trusty. Yep.

To Sleep…
I’m really fucking tired all the time now. It’s especially annoying because I miss things like Patrick Stewart being all military and bloody on PBS. (Which also makes me think of this, what a great show.) So I go to bed at eight or nine-ish, and am still tired upon waking. Big surprise. Moving on.

…Perchance to Dream
God, the dreams on prednisone are still super strange. Last night I was in Minnesota and Texas at the same time, and my mom was trying to visit me while still recovering from her chemo treatment because she’d told me she’d come visit, and then my sister and I were suddenly sleeping in the pullout couch downstairs at my folks’ house and I was trying to get a night photo of my car parked in the backyard because the moonlight was hitting the red paint just. Right. And I think our new dog was there. Of course, this all contributes to the feeling that I’m not getting enough sleep. Maybe prednisone causes your brain to skip a crucial two-second segment of the REM cycle?

Worry/Decisions
Technically, pred doesn’t cause this. It’s more a result of waiting to see what will happen this Saturday when I start the tapering off to 30 mg. Has the Imuran stopped working completely? Will I have to find a different, stronger drug with harsher side effects than even prednisone? Will the blood come back? Will the pain come back? Will I have to be on Pred longer? Will I catch a damn cold in the meantime? Should I get a flu shot or wait? It’s been so long since my last flare-up that I’ve forgotten how to – and that I probably should worry or at least think about a lot of these things.

Anyway. 30 mg on Saturday. I’m looking forward to it. I also have some nice peppermint tea with peppermint-mocha creamer, and my euphoria is sweetly in place. Thanks, prednisone! Er. No. But still. Thanks, somewhat.

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