I have been both rather eager and reluctant to review this stage of the saga that has been my holidays. This is due to exactly how much of a roller coaster of emotions, hormones and physicality I was enduring 24-hourly. This wasn’t even due to the festivities of Christmas and familial celebrations and New Years get-together. Allow me to take five steps back and elaborate on a commonly used and much talked about medication and how I survived holidaying on it.
When I left hospital, as I mentioned previously they had started me on 50mg of Prednisolone ( I call them preds). Prednisolone, or Solone, is a medication that works as, among other things, an immuno-suppressant and in my experience it tends to fix a good many different viruses, diseases and body ailments. The bonus is a whole lot of nasty side effects of which you really need to be on your toes to keep ahead of from the second they hand you the prescription.
This isn’t my first time on the preds so I was aware that I needed to be prepared, and I firmly believe that the last two years of becoming a Raw foodie were preparing me for the preds. I say this because when I was 16 I was on a dose of preds that ranged between 100mg and 25mg. During that time I had severely oily, pimply skin and managed to gain a whopping amount of weight. A lady never reveals her weight and I cannot honestly say I recorded it so I won’t share the figure, but it took me a good 5 years to lose that afterwards. Again when I was 22 I took a short 6 months course of 5mg of preds and even then the side effects were severe and painful.
The reason the preds have these effects is they are a synthetic form of steroid. They tend to increase the natural processes of the body. I like to think of my organs and bodily fluids as little superheroes overdosed on red bull. When you are on them the feeling of tiredness and weariness don’t exist. The mind is constantly buzzing like a hummingbird or dragonfly and I don’t know if you notice how they rarely sit and chill in the shade for long. The blood in your veins feels warm and tingly and always flowing with activity, encouraging you to be physically active and mobile, building or destroying or fidgeting and talking. With everything that your body wants to do, it develops this insatiable appetite that is working 24 hours of the day and is endless. I suppose this is because the body is so excited and active, but this appetite drives the mind crazy. This is why people gain weight on the preds.
Christmas and the holiday season, for many is a time of eating. Lets be honest, it’s all about the food. Our family has a small breakfast, then we meet up with close extended family for lunch, then maybe we see more extended family and friends for dinner. The same occurs on Boxing Day. Maybe we even have a big dinner Christmas Eve night. It was painful for me to sit through those few days, and the many that followed with all the leftovers, watching everyone pile their plate with food. So much yummy goodness! I had to make a rule beforehand of how much meat I could have, how many spoons of salad and cool drinks and desserts. If I wanted to go crazy snacking, I had to limit myself to lettuce, celery, cucumber, watermelon and peas or beans. I cannot express how many kilograms of snap peas and watermelons I have been through in the past few weeks so that I didn’t keep the turkey and ham all to myself.
At the start of January there were a few days that were over 40 degrees Celsius, as well as most of late December and the remainder of January being in the mid or late 40’s. None of these days had too much effect on me due to the preds. They stifle the way the body feels the outer temperature to the point that I actually got around in my skinny leg jeans while everyone else swam in the pool. It is one of the few side-effects I enjoyed since the excessive heat makes my head feel, well, uncomfortable and migraine-y.
I know this may be rambling. Most likely this is boring as bat shit but I just want to express the things that all the proper medical documents don’t. The preds are uncomfortable. You will need to ask the docs what is the best sleeping pill for you, but it is advisable to have a sleeping pill handy each night, or a natural and therapeutic way to become drowsy. The easiest way to survive is to plan out your day and make sure you have a sensible amount of breaks like morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner. Don’t over fill the calendar just because you can. When you are with another person try to pause and think about each sentence before you say it. It will feel slower at first, but more likely you will just be functioning at normal speed and your thoughts will not be jumbling up in your mind so much.
Most importantly stick to your regular diet!!!
l know how much you want to eat. I do. I know you will be going mad. You will eat the inside of your cheeks, most likely. I’m sorry. I cannot stop that. I can tell you that green, fibrous vegetables and fruits that are low in sugars are your friends. Try to avoid too much dressing on salads and grainy or starchy foods. I would suggest just buying bags of fresh beans and peas and having them in a desk drawer or lunchbox and any time you need to chew, pop one in your mouth. People enjoy nuts, and yes I think nuts are healthy, but no they should not be substituted for snacks on roids as they have salts and fats. I like raw fruits and veggies because they have great nutrients, no preparation needed, no added sugars or fats or carbs, they let you eat your proteins and normal lunches/dinners, they also prevent excessive weight gain when consumed in large amounts and due to large fiber and water contents they pass through the system without much fuss. Plus everyone needs to eat more fruit and vegetables and that is a fact. So, normal meals at normal times in normal serving sizes and just hoe in to a carrot every so often and you should be fine .