Day 12: Prednisone
Ugh! I have grown to have a love/hate relationship with prednisone. I have dispensed it a thousand times. I don’t counsel patients any more but when I did I would go through the typical talk about generic side effects and so on. Our dog has been taking it for a very long time. We get so mad at him when he literally climbs on the table to eat anything he can reach or steals food right out of the kids’ hands. Now, my counseling would be different and I will be a little more forgiving of my poor dog. Scarlett will be on prednisone for 30 days. We are counting down the days until she is done! Here are a few of her side effects:
* swelling, weight gain, difficulty breathing: it doesn’t look like she has gained too much weight yet. I don’t weigh her every day though. She is starting to get the characteristic chipmunk cheeks. But those are my favorite cheeks to kiss!
* severe depression, feelings of sadness, changes in personality or behavior: oh my Lord! Is this true. I don’t know about the depression (I certainly hope my 2-year-old isn’t depressed) but she is incredibly moody. She cries every time someone says “no” or “you can’t”, whether they are talking to her or not. She yells at everyone. She screams every time someone touches her. We just keep telling her “just because you are sick, doesn’t mean you can be rude”. Then she just cries because she thinks we yelled at her. Oh, I can see her teenage years coming too soon!
* extreme thirst, excessive urination: she seems to be drinking all the time (although that could be from dry mouth from other meds) and we have to change her pull-up two or three times a night.
* sleep problems: the worst! I like my sleep. I get crabby when I don’t get enough sleep. Everyone knows that. So having her wake up multiple times every night is killing me. Last night she was awake pretty consistently from 12:30 to 5 am. Brock is so much more patient in the middle of the night. He is probably as tired as I am but he never complains.
* increased appetite: this girl is eating like crazy. She has always been the best eater but this is insane. For the past 2 nights I have had to get up with her at 3 am and cook her another dinner. It’s so sad to hear her crying “I hungry Mama!” When I came home from work today, I had to make her Mac n Cheese, she ate 3 pieces of cheese (because she ate us out of string cheese), a bowl of goldfish, and she wanted me to make her garlic bread. All of this was before dinner. For her second snack. Of the afternoon! And she only weighs 22 pounds. Her oncologist said that he has seen patients double their weight during prednisone therapy. Yikes!
Besides all of the side effects, prednisone tastes horrible. It tastes so bad that her doctors don’t even give it as a liquid. We crush her tablets twice a day, dissolve it in water and dilute it in chocolate sauce. And she stills gags when she takes it.
Despite all of these complaints, the prednisone helps her. At the end of the day (the very very long day when she is up all night), it is only 30 days. 30 days of prednisone to save her life. I think we will take the prednisone.