Hallo moon face and other tales

Well, I’ve been seeing it creeping up, but now even my daughter has to admit my face has fluffed out. Also a double chin is sneaking in. So, it looks like I’m about 3 stone more than I actually weigh. I checked my weight this morning – 10st 13lbs as usual. I keep trying to see where the fat has moved from. Perhaps I’ll end up with skinny arms and legs….

The face is supposed to go down as the pred dose reduces although that will be a while obviously. I have 5th December in my calendar as the date reduction starts. In the meantime, I keep feeling my back between my shoulders to see if the hump is arriving as well – just like the boy in The Secret Garden. I can live with a moon, but not a buffalo! Please…

The trouble is that if moon face is here, that means that other stuff is happening. Stuff I can’t see – like stomach (sorry for the m word) mucus changes and osteocytes shutting down. With every little twinge anywhere in my body, I am now waiting for ulcers to start bleeding. ‘Well you brought it on yourself – should have taken the PPIs!’ “But they bring on osteoporosis’; ‘Still, you chose to ignore the advice’. I now have an inner rheumatologist – I hope the real one is nicer!

Another pred side effect that got fiercer is early waking. I mean really early waking! Like 4am. Almost every day. I get awoken with a bang by the pred behaving like Robin Williams in Goooooood Morning Vietnam. Pred is so chatty at that time of day. “Rise and shine! Another nice day! Don’t you fancy a lovely coffee?!” Because I am working until 9pm, it means I don’t get the chance to go to bed really early, plus I’m not tired until at least 11pm, so many nights recently it’s been 4 hours sleep for me. Strange to think of 5 hours as a lie in! And last night I got 7 hours!!! Again, I think this will calm down as the pred dose reduces. I remember my dad being addicted to barbiturates which he took to counteract the pred insomnia. He used to have terrible nightmares. But he was on high doses – I  remember him coming down to 35mg of pred.

Anyway I’ve gone Wii Fit running today again – finally unlocked the Round the Island level so will be making lots of microbreaks from now on 🙂 Give those osteocytes a purpose to live so they won’t go into automatic suicide mode more than they need to (at least that’s my theory lol). I really don’t need apoptosis (say it out loud and it sounds like a sweetie breakfast you stick in the toaster) (but it’s not – it’s scheduled cell death). So you do need new osteoblasts and osteocasts to be formed and the old ones to be ‘eliminated’  but  the bottom line is that pred, the little monkey, messes up the balance of this process. Git.

You know, I think I’ve had this PMR brewing for years. The sleep thing was at least 3 years of aggravation that no-one could identify, but now I think about it, I was having a lot of trouble (not yet pain) rolling over in bed which may have been all it needed to disrupt my sleep. I’ve noticed that the pred has taken a lot of stiffness away from various spots like my hips, although other aches and pains are still about. I amazed myself yesterday by performing my old spring-out-of-bed routine – where I go from lying flat on my back to standing up in one fell move. I had forgotten I used to do that. So maybe the PMR was sub for several years until the shoulder injury gave it a nudge into clinical…

And my final ponder for the moment (I am in a bit of a hurry today so the writing’s not well organised) – I’ve always prided myself on my strong immune system. I had one very half-hearted cold last year and nothing previously for ages. I used to tell it to watch out for invaders. But the balance has gone – I do want my immune system to be strong and helpful, but it didn’t need to become frantic and hyper-vigilant. Pred is supposed to be squashing it, although my doctor says it may not do so completely. However, I’m off to London in a couple of weeks, travelling on public transport and meeting many new (to me) bacteria and viruses. I wonder if I should be encouraging my immune system to keep a look out for them. I suppose that, if it all goes wrong and my immune system goes back to being OCD, then the PMR pain will come back. I just don’t want to get ill. I do trust my body – I was just expecting it to do too much for too long.





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