Dear Prednisone Me,
You will be starting a high taper soon in order to knock down the flare you’re currently experiencing, and I know that you usually have trouble thinking clearly when that happens. Your energy will be running high, but you’ll also have a hard time focusing. So here are some thoughts that I hope will help you:
1. You’re going to want to do everything in the world, but you will also have the attention span of a flea, and a complete lack of ability to make simple decisions. With this in mind, I’ve made two lists for you. One has things to do that are really important and have deadlines. The other has things to do that fall into the category of “If only I had energy, I’d love to…” You can do things from both lists, but please start with the first one. Also, give at least half an hour to whatever you pick – jumping from task to task will only exhaust and frustrate you.
2. If you can’t decide what to do, use a random number generator. Seriously. It works.
3. You may feel great and want to exercise, but please stick to your physical-therapist-approved plan. You may feel invincible, but you are not.
4. PLEASE try to control your eating. I know those brownies will be calling to you, but you don’t have to listen. I know you haven’t been eating well lately because you’ve been exhausted from flaring; now is your chance to get back on track.
5. Your husband is sweet and supportive and loves you very much. He is also not on steroids and won’t be moving at steroid-speed. Be patient and kind.
6. Your toddler is not trying to drive you crazy on purpose. Be loving.
7. If you are feeling weepy or emotional, go watch a sad movie or listen to moving music. If you try to keep it in, it WILL come out in some publicly embarrassing way. Same goes for angry feelings – can you say ‘roid rage?
8. The Starbucks girl is NOT YOUR ENEMY. Same goes for any other service-industry workers. You are nice to them when you feel normal.
9. Don’t overdo, overextend, or overcommit. Again, you are not invincible. Feeling better does not mean that you are suddenly cured. I know it feels great to have energy, but trust me, you will pay for it later.
10. Try to stick to a good, relaxing bedtime routine. Prednisone brings insomnia – give yourself the best possible chance of getting decent sleep.
11. Once you drop below 15 mg, there WILL be a crash. This happens EVERY TIME. Be ready for it – plan for extra rest.
12. Try to avoid making any major life decision, having conversations with people who usually upset or irritate you, and sharing too much information with people who don’t need to know it. These are especially vulnerable areas for you right now.
13. If you can’t follow some of these guidelines, please cut yourself some slack. Prednisone is a powerful drug that is known to affect behavior, and you are going to be on a high dose. Be kind to yourself; tomorrow is another day.