Day 21 of slowest #prednisone taper ever:

3 weeks! Down 20% from 5mg to 4mg. Get thee behind me, Satan!  

Perhaps you’re wondering why I’m being so public about trying to get off prednisone. What’s the big deal, anyway? It’s only 5mg a day. How bad can that be?

Well, it’s better than the 60 mg I was on in the spring of 2011. It’s better than the 20 mg I stayed on for several months that fall. And it’s better than the 10mg I was on for the next nine months or so. 

I’ve been on 5mg since then, and it’s helped my body stop fighting itself so much. 
That’s the good part. 

The bad part is that it’s poison, and long term, it is guaranteed to wreak havoc on my already havoc-ridden body.

Here’s how I explained it on my Women on the Verge blog:

In case you don’t know, prednisone is a steroid used to treat all manner of inflammation. It’s great for that. The problem is that it’s also poison. Besides causing insomnia, acne, and a host of other immediate side effects, it also does major damage to the body when used for long periods of time. 

And if your body gets used to it, it can be difficult to stop taking it; withdrawal is worse than the side effects, and it can trigger whatever chronic illness it is supposed to suppress. It’s a nasty ordeal.

Its an ordeal people with chronic illnesses and conditions go through frequently, one I’m going through now. After spending years on prednisone, I’m trying to get my body to kick the habit without triggering a lupus flare.

I began to post updates about my progress on Facebook and Twitter for two reasons. First, I have the most supportive network of family and friends, and if I’m battling anything, they’re on my side. Their kind comments and responses are encouraging. And the whole process is not time consuming for anyone. Second, it’s good for battlers of chronic illness to see that they are not alone. Our shared stories become their own type of encouragement.

Diatribes, however, are not just downers; they’re boring. So sticking to Twitter length updates helps me keep it short and semi-sweet. 

Thanks to those of you who follow along here on Nascent Niknud. I may expound a bit here on the blog, but if you want the quick version, it’ll always be the first 140ish characters on the top or on Twitter (@theblandau).

If you’ve got questions about any of this, simply leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

And to those of you following because you’re on a similar journey: Stay strong and take care of you.

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