Hello lovely readers,
I thought I would jump on here to give you a quick update and also clarify some things!
I do want to first off say that I am feeling better and there are definite improvements. I seem to be getting back to my regular routine of going to the bathroom only in the mornings, although sometimes I do go in the afternoons. Urgency has definitely decreased, which has been a HUGE relief as this was a side effect I did not miss in the slightest. Also this week I have seen no blood, nor have experienced a lot of cramping! So HURRAY. Maybe we are back on track.
I do want to clarify that going on prednisone was not my first line of defence. After my initial consultation with my doctor, we decided to first do lab work to rule our C.diff or any other infections, but that all came back normal. So then we decided to try Cortiment, which is a hydrocortisone that is known to be a little easier on the body. I am actually allergic or intolerant of most enemas (had to learn this the hard way), so this wasn’t an option I had available to me to help with this flare up. This means I was really only left with the choice of it having to be some sort of steroid. I was on Cortiment for a week, but things just were progressively getting worse. I was nauseous, dizzy, in a lot of pain, running to the washroom more frequently, had a lot more blood, actually passing stool more frequently, and my stool was changing in texture and consistency. So because of how quickly things had changed in a week, we reassessed and decided to try 20 mg of prednisone with a weekly taper of 5mg (or 1 pill). While it wasn’t always the most pleasant, it certainly wasn’t my worst experience with prednisone. And now nearly a month later I am almost off of prednisone and feeling better again!
I am so fortunate to have the medical team that I do and feel very confident in the team that I have because I am always part of the conversation. After my first week of being on Coritment, my nurses gave me a call to check in. Based on the information I gave them, my GI then called me and together we considered what would be the best option for me. He was willing to wait a little longer if I wanted to see, but I was feeling so ill and I knew that prednisone did work well for my body, that I did make the final decision to go on it. I was lucky enough that I didn’t have to go on too high of a dose and was able to taper off pretty quickly. In fact, I haven’t had too many withdrawal symptoms as a result. Just an achey body sometimes and terrible sleeping patterns.
But I am feeling better and feel okay with my decision. I also have been taking tumeric capsules in hopes that this also provides a little boost, and I will say that I do think it has been helping.
I do have 5 days off from work this week, which is nice. An extra long weekend to recoup and relax. Although relaxing is kind of hard when you have a final paper due Dec. 8 looming over your head. So we will see how I decide to cope with this….
But I had my first therapy session! I decided I finally just needed to commit to some therapy to work on my anxiety around driving. After being involved in two accidents (that were not my fault) during the winter months, I have noticed driving in the winter has brought up A LOT of anxiety. To the point that I have found myself actively avoiding going out even sometimes when it was just raining over the summer. And while I know I still have a long way to go, it was a really great and validating experience. It also gave me a chance to narrow in on what is working for me and what may no longer be serving me. I also vented about my paper, work, and my illness as well and after all of this she remarked “hmmm I’m getting this sense that you almost seek comfort in stress”
I wanted to deny this. To tell her she was WRONG. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized she was right. To the point that I know I actively seek out stressful situations. Literally. I could have worked in a cushy setting with predictable days but instead I chose to work in trauma and when asked why I responded “because I like the unpredictability of it”. Literally, I like that my job is stressful and keeps me on my toes. Then I thought of school and how I was never that kid that did things like studying weeks before. I was always that kid that did their assignment and studied days before. And I always did good. I was literally rewarded for this behaviour and it worked well for me.
Now she was great in saying that if this works well for me, then I don’t need to change it. But it did make me wonder, if I am constantly seeking stressful situations, how does that impact my health? Keeping in mind that I do know the difference between chronic stress (like my anxiety over winter driving) and healthy normal stress. I think there are many facets in my life that would fall under normal stress, but I also think there are many facets that I am now coming to realize, would fall more under the chronic stress. So, now here we are reconsidering everything I know about myself and trying to figure out what to do with this all. My solution yesterday? Shut my mind off of it and watch a movie. Today? Maybe I’ll journal about it. I mean I am talking about it on here too. But I do have some serious reflecting I need to do about my relationship with stress. What are your guys’ relationship with stress??? Is it just me?? I’m sure it’s not.
But that is where we are folks. I’ll be sure to update you all on where this goes. But for now I’m going to enjoy a cup of tea while I watch a Christmas movie.