The Aftermath of Prednisone

One of the medications that I have been given in the past is Prednisone. If you aren’t familiar with the drug, it is a steroid that must be prescribed, and it treats many conditions and diseases, specifically those that are associated with inflammation. Basically, it helps the inflammation go down, which is why it is often used when treating Crohn’s and UC.

There are lots of side effects that occur when taking Prednisone. For most people, the longer you’ve been on the drug, the longer it takes to get out of your system. My doctor says that for however long you are taking it, it takes twice as long to get out of your system. I was prescribed the drug in September, and I finally went off of it in November. It is still in my system. I wanted to share with you some of the side effects that I have gotten from the steroid.

The first side effect I have is called “Moon Face”. Prednisone makes you retain a lot of water weight. Moon Face is when your face becomes puffy from the medication. You lose the definition of your cheekbones and jawline. For young people who suffer from IBD, this is a very difficult side effect because we tend to be focused on how we look. However, it has gone down for me slightly. I can promise you that this will go away, and if you wear makeup, you can definitely contour your face to look more sculpted than it actually is. Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry about it. No one cares or even notices except you and maybe your family.

The second side effect I have is weight gain. When I first got home from the hospital, I had lost a significant amount of weight. For two weeks, I stayed that way. Then, I began to gain weight rapidly. I am the heaviest I have ever been in my entire life. I have been struggling to lose the weight, but nothing is working. The only thing that even remotely works is eating approximately 200 calories a day and working out (which is not healthy and really difficult when you’re weak and dizzy all the time). What I recommend in order to stay sane, is just waiting for the drug to get out of your system. However, DO NOT BINGE BECAUSE YOU CANNOT LOSE THE WEIGHT ANYWAY. I have gone back and forth with dieting and then binging (I’ll talk about this issue another time), and I think the best thing for me to do is to eat intuitively. I pay attention to when I am truly hungry and when I am truly full, and I keep my weight balanced. Once the drug is out of my body, I will lose the weight more easily. Do not worry about it for now. I spent so long worrying, and I had no self-love. It’s not fun to live like that.

The third side effect I have is acne. I’m the type of teenager that has what a lot of people call “baby skin”. I’ve always had clear skin, and I don’t know what it’s like to deal with acne. When the Prednisone finally kicked in, my skin started breaking out badly. My entire face was covered in it (specifically forehead and chin area). I went to the dermatologist, and I was prescribed retinol, which I have been taking for a few weeks now. It has dried out my skin, and my breakouts have not cleared up yet. However, I have taken Prednisone before, and I have had breakouts caused by it before, and I know they will eventually go away. Again, this type of thing is difficult for young people who are suffering from IBD because it has to do with what we look like. Try not to touch your skin, and if you have gone to the dermatologist, follow their instructions on what to do.  Also, drink water! It has really helped me. I promise that it will go away once the drug is out of your system.

Prednisone is not a fun drug to take. There are lots of side effects, and in general, it just doesn’t make you feel well. I know that my advice wasn’t really on how to get rid of these side effects and more about being patient, but that’s all the advice that I can really give. There are so many people that are in the same boat as you and I are, so you don’t have to feel alone. Let me know in the comments what side effects you’ve experienced and how you’ve dealt with them.

Lisey


What to Bring to the Hospital

So I’ve been in the hospital for the past week due to a bad flare of my UC. I’ve never been to the hospital before, so I didn’t know what I was supposed to bring. I tried looking up what I should take with me, but no one seemed to have a good, solid answer for me. Hopefully, if any of you ever have to go to the hospital, this might be able to help you out.

First things first, if you are going to the ER, you can always have people bring things in for you at a later time. You don’t want to bring a giant suitcase with you into the ER. Just bring the essentials at first (things you absolutely cannot live without eg: toothbrush and toothpaste). After you get admitted, you can worry about the other stuff.

What you will need:

Pajamas- I was not given a hospital gown when I went into the hospital. They let me wear whatever I want the whole time. Pajamas are the best because they are the most comfortable. I prefer button-down short-sleeve, soft pajama shirts and soft shorts. Make sure that whatever clothes you bring are clothes that you are comfortable wearing for long periods of time. I’ve been hooked up to a TPN thing the whole time, so in order for me to change, they have to disconnect me. It ended up being much easier to just wear the pajamas you wore to bed during the day.

Two Pairs of Flip Flops- Hospital floors are really gross, so I would recommend having a comfortable pair of flip flops to walk around in. Also, I would make sure to have a pair of old, worn-out flip flops that you don’t use anymore because they are very helpful when it comes to showering. You don’t want to have to walk around with soggy shoes after you’ve showered.

Moisturizer- This one sounds kind of odd, but your skin gets so dry when you’re in the hospital! They have you shower with this super powered body wash to prevent infection, and it dries out your skin so much. I prefer the Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturizer. It’s hydrating, easy to use, and it dries in less than a minute.

Hand Cream- As I said before, the hospital dries out your skin. I already have to use hand cream on a daily basis, but I use it several times a day while I’m here. I’ve gone back and forth between using two different ones here: The Aveeno Active Naturals Eczema Therapy Hand Cream and the Crabtree and Evelyn Pear and Pink Magnolia Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy. The Aveeno one is a product that I have sworn by for years, and it is for people who have chronic dry hands. The Crabtree and Evelyn one is something that I picked up at the gift shop, and it smells amazing and keeps my hands soft too.

Lip Balm- My lips are so dry here, and it’s really frustrating. I’ve been using the Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm for when my lips aren’t too bad, but when I need something more, I go for the Smith’s Rosebud Salve.

Skincare Routine- Your skincare routine in the hospital is a totally personal thing, but when I found out that I was going to the hospital, I knew that I was not going to get bad skin here. I will list my current skincare routine below along with all the other products I have talked about. I really like keeping up my routine in the hospital because it makes me feel like I’m still human. I have also added something to my routine since I’ve been here, so I can take a few shortcuts when I’m feeling lazy. I have been using the Burt’s Bees Cleansing Wipes, so I don’t have to worry about washing my face all the time. My skin has actually cleared up since coming here!

Hair Routine- My hair has looked pretty bad since I’ve been here, but I do still use all the essentials. I have been using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. I brought a brush with me, and I also brought my trust-worthy argan oil to keep my hair soft. I would also recommend bringing hair ties and bobby pins, so you can keep your hair out of your face if you want to.

Disinfectant Wipes and Flushable Wipes- Hospitals are gross, and you want to make sure that your room is as clean as possible. Disinfectant wipes are a must. Flushable wipes are necessary because the toilet paper sucks in the hospital. Also, they just make you feel a little bit more hygienic.

Hand Sanitizer- Again, hospitals are gross.

Essentials- I would also bring things like your toothbrush and toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, tissues, etc.

Entertainment- Hospitals can get pretty boring, so bring whatever you can to entertain you. Your phone, computer, and chargers are things that you cannot live without. I also have been reading some magazines while I’ve been here. I haven’t read any books, but that’s just because I haven’t been in the mood to. I know a lot of people love spending their time reading, so feel free to bring them.

A Robe and a Turbie Twist- I brought my short-sleeve robe with me, so I can use it for when I shower, and it was the best decision ever. I have a PICC Line in my arm, and it makes it a little bit difficult to move around when it’s time to shower, so a robe that does not restrict your arms is a really nice thing to have. I also use Turbie Twists at home to tie up my hair after I shower, so it was a no-brainer for me to bring mine with me. It makes everything so much easier.

Okay, I think that I’ve covered everything. I will list all of the products and where you can find them below. Knowing me, I probably left something out, so please comment if you’ve thought of anything that I’ve missed. Also, let me know what you bring to the hospital.

 

Lisey

 

Products Mentioned:

Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturizer (Cocoa Radiant)

Aveeno Active Naturals Eczema Therapy Hand Cream

Crabtree and Evelyn Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy  (Pear and Pink Magnolia)

Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

Smith’s Rosebud Salve

Burt’s Bees Cleansing Wipes

Turbie Twist

Skincare Routine:

Éminence Organic Skin Care Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser

Éminence Organic Skin Care Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster-Serum

Éminence Organic Skin Care Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer 

This post is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own:)