Sunday, April 24, 2011

10mg Pain Barrier Take III

And Action!

Yet again I'm trying to adjust to just 10mgs of Prednisone!

My week back at 15mgs was a comparatively blissful time. A week at 12.5mgs was telling. Now I'm back to 10mgs.

It hurts.

I'll stick with it for a couple of more days, but if my back, knees, ankles and feet don't start to adjust, I'm going back up - I can't see any point in reaching for the analgesics. My back hasn't really been a problem since I got out of hospital, so it is mildly annoying that it has resurfaced.

The good news is that whilst my hands are still sore, I have full range of movement back in my left hand and fingers and almost full range in my right, so I've been able to play guitar again. Not quite back to the standard I was at, but learning two Clapton songs, Layla and Tears in Heaven which are relatively difficult has brightened my spirits no end. I'm not completely useless :)

I look forward to the day I can take a long walk or maybe even a little run.

All good :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Good Professor

Had my first follow up appointment with my rheumotologist on Friday - a few days more than 4 weeks after my discharge from hospital.

Last week I described my ups and downs attempting to wean off the cortisone, well this week was the same. After my brief return to 15mgs for 3 days (I was on 20mgs when I left hospital) and subsequent reduction to 10mgs, every day became increasingly more painful than the day before. By Friday I was again getting close to the end of my tether, so a visit to the Good Professor was indeed timely.

Anecdote and mere feelings aside - the science (read blood tests) revealed that whilst I was improving, the improvement wasn't keeping pace with the weaning. I kind of already knew that but it is good to have corroboration - it ain't just in my head. For the record, the main inflammatory marker had dropped from 81 on the day I left hospital to 60. NB normal range is 0 to 10. 5 days before hospital I was 225 and I maxed out at 440 the morning after I went into hospital.

Anyhoo - the upshot of it all is, that the 15mgs has been restored for a full 7 days and then a gentler weaning using 2.5mg steps down instead of the previously bigger 5mg jumps. The Sulfasalazine dose has also been increased to 1.5gms morning and night.

As I've discovered, it takes a couple of days for both increases and decreases to have an effect, so it has only been today that the pain has settled to a manageable discomfort. Mostly it is more a recognition of impaired mobility than actual pain. Of course moving the wrong way, sitting in the one position for too long, or walking for too long still reminds me that the hurty bits are still hurty. But this is a whole lot better than most of the last 2-3 weeks and it is amazing how much lighter I feel mentally as a result.

Speaking of lighter - I dipped below 96kgs through last week. Probably my muscles atrophying but at least I'm not putting on weight during this period of forced inactivity.

All good :)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Roller Coaster

Well this week has been a bit tough.... Stepped down to 10mg of Prednisone last Thursday week which meant cutting out my evening dose - the pain gradually grew till I was starting to climb the walls by this Wednesday and I was starting to hammer the analgesics just to get by.

A trip to the GP on Wednesday arvo saw my evening dose of Prednisone reinstated for 3 days and the cut again. By yesterday the pain was back to just a general discomfort so it will be interesting to see how I go over the next few days.

Managed 4 hours each day Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri at work last week with Wednesday off.

I'm due for more blood tests Wednesday and then I'm back to the Specialist on Friday - it will be interesting to see what level my inflammation markers are at.