The gist of his steroid tapering advice is thus: lowering by one tablet, i.e. 5mgs, a week is too much, especially as you get to the lower doses. For instance, 20mgs down to 15mgs is a 25% reduction in dose, 15 down to 10 is 33% and then 10 down to 5 is a 50% reduction. His argument, which resonated with me, was that, just as you are reaching the lower levels of the steroid tapering by one tablet a week massively cuts the levels of steroid in your system. And therefore may upset the bodies levels as it replaces the artificial steroid with its own (or something like that). Now this could be a load of old cobblers but it sounds reasonable to me.
So, this week I am taking alternating doses of 10mgs one day and 15mgs the next, therefore achieving a steroid dose of 12.5mgs overall - a reduction of only about 15% (forgive the shoddy maths). This I will continue for another week after this and then reduce to 10mgs. This will involve seeing my GP in the meantime because to make this slow tapering work I need more preds than I've been given.
Interestingly, this week as the dose has been lowered I have seen an increase of:
- Spots. Curses. Shaved the blinkin beard off too, so I've got nothing to hide them under... Strangely they seem focused on my nose, which is rubbish (and, one has to note, would not be hidden by a beard. Unless I was some sort of wierdo. Which I'm not. Well, not in that sense anyway), and continue their dominance of my scalp. Honestly, it feels like braille up there...
- Roid rage. Yesterday in particular I spent the day with a knotted ball of fury growing in my stomach. Unfortunately, as usual, it manifested itself in me being snappy at the family, and nearly erupted in the cinema (took boy 2 to see Coraline in 3D) due mainly to a huge number of imbecilic adults talking/walking about/reacting to a film for kids as though they were children themselves... grrrrrr
Which leaves me wondering; is it the steroids themselves that create these side-effects or the changing levels of prednisolone and my own bodies steroids, i.e. it doesn't matter much about the size of the dose, more influential are the periods when the dose changes. (there needs to be a ? somewhere in that sentence, but I can't work out where, sorry. I'm going to stop thinking about it before I get angry with punctuation...)