I belong to Kaiser in the US. I wrote an email to my Rheumy yesterday about tapering. This was my email to her.
"Today is the first day of my next taper, down to 11. I'm a bit concerned because I think I'm fighting something. Have had a stuffed right ear for bit which has gotten worse, a dull headache in the afternoons and an irritated throat. The allegra which worked well in the spring has not handled this. Feels like some kind of cold or sinus thing. Not surprising since my husband has had a bad cold and cough, and both grandsons. I've tried my best to isolate myself, but can only do so much.
So question: Do I taper to 11 or not? I don't feel a flair. But I don't want to provoke one either. I don't really understand how stress on the immune system might cause a flair. I guess I should go for an ESR/CRP today. It's about time iirc."
Bless Kaiser's messaging system. It turns out my Rheumy is out of the office until Monday. So they have another MD who covers and answers email. She checked my labs and this is the reply I got today:
I am covering for your Dr. as she is not in the office today. Your labs showed no inflammation. You should decrease the prednisone down to 1 mg daily.Please let me know if any questions or concerns. "
I have no idea what she means by tapering down to 1mg daily. Really.
I had already decided to go ahead and taper to 11. I too was reassured by the labs. Today is day 2 and I'm feeling OK. I'll stick with it unless something unforeseen occurs.
The system in general is remarkably good. Prompt replies, analysis of labs by a covering MD, but this reply about tapering doesn't fit any pattern I'm familiar with. My Rheumy's notes are .5mg per week until my next visit. And that's as fast as I can go even at these levels. I'm hoping it was a typo.. I've given up trying to parse the reply. What do you think she meant?
I have an appt with my Rheumy on Monday in any case.