Taper Town: Unpacking
As a nearly two-week resident of Taper Town, I feel confident saying that the move has been uneventful. And in any prednisone taper, uneventful equals successful. Specifically, I decreased my prednisone dosage from 5mg every day (5, 5, 5) to 4mg every third day (4, 5, 5), and I can’t tell if my body’s noticed.
Let me be clear: I have not been symptom-free. In fact, I’ve had periods of better health than I’m experiencing now. But Taper Town is not to blame.
An increase in lupus symptoms (and those in other chronic illnesses or pain syndromes) is common in the fall and continuing into winter months due to multiple factors, including excess sun over the summer. Even with enough sunscreen and protective clothing to keep any signs of tanning at bay, most people are simply outside more in the warm months. So the increase in pain and fatigue I experienced the two weeks prior to the beginning of the taper, when paired with blood test results that indicated only my usual, doctor-approved abnormalities, were not necessarily indicative of an impending flare. It was status quo on 5mg of prednisone and no reason to put off the taper.
So, I’ve got a regular lupie autumn going on. My joints are bitching, there’s more hair in my shower drain, and I’m seeking all things soft, warm, and cuddly. Opening jars and carrying heavy objects require the help of my family and friends. And it’s all manageable.
At 4, 5, 5, my dosage is down by only a third of a milligram, and I’m getting ready to take it down to a half-milligram decrease by switching to 4, 5, 4, 5 when I refill my little pill organizer in a couple of days.
Trouble may be on the horizon. It’s possible that my adrenal glands and I are in a honeymoon period. They might get restless when I’ve unpacked everything and the newness wears off. They might think we’re on vacation and get testy when they realize we’ve moved in. But I refuse waste time worrying about it unless it happens.
Now, it’s time to go downstairs for tai chi and some yoga stretches. We’re very vigilant about daily exercise practice here in Taper Town.
You’ll find some helpful tai chi links on my previous post, When Even Yoga Hurts: Tai Chi.
Comments always welcome!
Looking for more on this subject? The tags below or in the “cloud” to the right of this column will take you where you want to go.