Just before Christmas, I experienced a bad bout of costochondritis, which ended up with me being off sick from work for a few weeks. My regular rheumy refused to give me steroids, saying that because I'd never had them before there was no evidence they would work for me (?!?!?), so I had to make do with co-codamol and NSAIDs.
I had an appointment at Rheumetology in April and ended up seeing a lovely locum. She asked me how I'd got on with steroids for my costochondritis and appeared visibly shocked when I told her I hadn't been allowed any. She immediately prescribed me a short course/low dose so that no one could ever use the excuse that I'd never been prescribed them before as an excuse not to give them when I really needed them.
The first week started off on 15mg daily. On the first day I got a banging migraine (with aura) two hours after taking it, which lasted about 6 hours. I only got about 3 1/2 hours sleep that night, but felt fully functional the next day. After that I felt pretty good every day - less pain (which in turn meant better sleep), more energy, feeling 'well', etc.
The next week I was down to 12.5mg daily and felt fine for the first 3 days or so, then noticed I more pain creeping in.
Third week I was down to 10mg daily and felt more tired, a bit achy, and less 'well', but still better than usual.
Then down to 7.5mg daily the next week, and now 5mg daily this week, with 2.5mg daily next week.
So this week, on 5mg daily I feel rubbish. The familiar 'flu' feeling has returned - shivery, headachy, nausea, swollen glands and pain in my neck/throat, mouth ulcers, much more sore joints, etc.
Is this just 'come down' from the steroids, even though it was such a low dose and is reducing slowly?
Is this me just going back to how I usually feel - I've just forgotten because I felt ok for a couple of weeks?
Am I having a flare that would have happened anyway?
Is my body telling me I need prednisolone to function normally?
Am I coming down with something? This seems unlikely, as I'm not getting worse/better after 3 days of feeling like this.
It's worth mentioning that I've been on leave this week and have had a lovely week of taking it easy and pottering about, so it's not like I've been overdoing things.
The locum rheumy wants me to email her a couple of weeks after I've finished the course of prednisolone and let her know what happened/how I felt when I started it, each time I reduced the dose and what happened when I finished it. I wish she would stay because she's so much more helpful and interested than my regular rheumy!
Thanks for listening, and I'd really appreciate hearing your opinions and experiences of prednisolone 💐