Taper Log: Week Three, Day Two – Stress Reduction and a Speedy Appointment

Taper Log: Week Three, Day Two – Stress Reduction and a Speedy Appointment

Physically, I am doing okay. My tremors are generally in the evening anymore instead of all day, which is typical for someone who is dealing with minor adrenal issues. The body’s natural steroid, cortisol, is lowest in the evening, so if I’m going to have an issue, it’ll be then.

That said, now is not the time to try lowering my prednisone again, especially given my history with neurological issues at any lower dosage. There’s this thing happening in the world, you see. Perhaps… No, I’m not playing games. You’ve heard. We’ve all heard so I feel no need to explain or wring my hands, but I will tell you what I’m doing to cope.

My first art journal page in seventeen years.
  1. Social distance and I are best friends. Only my close family are around me and all but two of them either work from home or are retired/disabled/currently off work from an injury that happened before this all began. The last two family members will be at home aside from errands for the rest of us after tomorrow.
  2. I’m using all my tools: the phone to talk to my doctors, social media to keep in touch with friends, letting others shop. I usually stay at home, so this isn’t much of an actual change.
  3. I started a new art journal, the first one in seventeen years. Why? Because it’s relaxing and if I ever needed a distraction, it’s now. Long term prednisone often shuts down your adrenals so your body doesn’t produce cortisol like it normally would during stressful situations. It has no coping skills. Joy. So what does that mean for me? Self-management of my stress. My main ways of coping and reducing stress are planning and creating. I’ve meal planned, am going to inventory the pantry, have created art, and am planning out my next novel. Raising my prednisone to cope isn’t practical or advisable so I’ll take care of it by other means.
  4. Raising my prednisone should be reserved only for illness. Yes, that’s stress too, and my body needs the boost then, though only in a small way given that I have managed to bring my dosage down to a 9/8.5mg rotation over the years.  And, no, before you ask, the hype about the steroids causing death with the current virus (I refuse to write or say its name at present because that’s all I hear) only applies to pneumonia cases and science already figured out steroids didn’t work well for pneumonia a while back. It leads to poor outcomes and besides, my prednisone replaces, at least at this point seems to be replacing my normal adrenal output. (Note: I am speaking as it applies to myself alone. You do what works for you and/or what you’ve been advised to do by your physician.)

On a similar note, I do have a little good news. While my primary care provider said she would try to secure me an endocrinology appointment but wasn’t certain that one would see me for long term prednisone usage and that it’d take 9-12 months to be seen. Well, no to both. Not only am I being seen, but I am being seen on April 20th as a priority appointment barring blockage by the current crisis.

My fingers are crossed.

I hope you’re dealing. I hope you’re distancing. I hope you have a plan. And, most of all, I hope you’re staying safe through this.