Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Wonders of Prednisone

For the last week and a half or so I have felt great! Unfortunately I think it is because of prednisone. It's a wonder drug. Too bad it has so many bad side effects. A couple weeks ago I saw my GI doctor. That day I had started having pain around my ribs similar to what I had had a few months ago. He said it was the costochondritis flaring. He said to put heat on it 3 times a day and if it didn't get better that he could give me some prednisone. Every time I get off prednisone I swear that I will never take it again. My face gets poofy, I crave junk food, I can't sleep, and the longer I'm on it the grumpier I get. After 3 days it was so bad I couldn't even take a deep breath, so I gave in and asked for the prednisone. It worked instantly. And not only did it help my rib pain, but everything else too. It was amazing. The pain that I'd had for for weeks and weeks was gone. Everything I ate was not running straight through me anymore. Oh it was glorious. But it was only a 12 day course so I took the last one on Monday night..... And the pain started again Monday morning. It was nice while it lasted. :)

The day I saw my GI doctor we decided to start Remicade. I've had this discussion so many times over the years and never started it, so it's kind of weird to actually be going through with it now. The hope is that it will help any inflammation that we are not seeing (and I'm convinced that there is some because I felt so good while on the prednisone), and help a fistula heal if in fact there is one. I was hesitant because I thought you shouldn't take it if you want to get pregnant, but after talking to the nurse more and reading some material that she sent me, I am not worried anymore. They have a lot of patients who take Remicade during their pregnancy.

I also had an appointment scheduled with the colorectal surgeon a few days later, to see if they can find the fistula and know how to treat it. The surgeon I saw said that I very well could have one, but she is not positive. She is going to do something called an Exam Under Anesthesia. I had this done last year when I was in the hospital in Salt Lake. Basically they put you all the way under so they can do all the looking around they want to. She said that she suspects it would take a big surgery to find and fix it, so it is probably best to try the Remicade first in an attempt to avoid surgery. But we are still going ahead with the EUA to see what she can find. I am having it done this coming Monday, as an outpatient procedure. I shouldn't have pain or anything afterwards and should be able to go to work the next day.

So we are just crossing our fingers that this procedure will be beneficial and that the Remicade will work. I start the Remicade on June 18. I will have 3 infusions 2 weeks apart, and then every 8 weeks after that. Each infusion takes just 2-3 hours. So I finally feel like we are on the right track and that I will hopefully be feeling better soon!

On a different note we had a nice Memorial Day together. I was a little sad being away from family and not being able to visit loved one's graves like I have almost every Memorial Day of my life, but Chris and I had fun together. We had a picnic, played some tennis, and went on a little hike on some trails along the side of the big hill we live on. It's my goal to get out more this summer and build up some endurance and strength!

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