Tapering off the steroids

While admitted to the hospital my surgion had changed the steroid I was taking from deximethizone to prednisone. He and my new endocrinoloslgist had determined a plan to taper me off of steroids. The plan would take a little less then 3 months. I was starting on a dosage of 50 mg of prednisone.

I was told by my endocrinoloslgist that the tapering plan may be too aggressive. That at the beginning of a week where I reduced my dosage of prednisone I would likely feel like I had the flu. That if the flu like symptoms didn’t improve by the middle of the week I should discontinue the tapering plan for a week and stay on the same dose until the symptoms improved.

I worked very hard at sticking to the plan, the flu like symptoms were tough but manageable. The good part was that as I started to taper off the prednisone my strength started to come back. Yes, I was performing all the physical therapy I could manage but I believe that it was only the reduction is prednisone that was helping my strength return.

I continued to taper of the prednisone as scheduled and got down to 10 mg. At that point the headaches were becoming so bad that I had ended up in the emergency room on two occasions. Both times I went to Olean General Hospital as it was closer to my parents house.

The first visit to the ER was a great experience. The nurses and doctors were very attentive. They ran a CT scan to verify that the aneurysm was not bleeding into my brain. It was determined that the aneurysm was fine and I was sent home with Oxycodone for the headache pain.

The second visit was horrible. I spent 12 hours in the ER. The nurse was very attentive but the doctor was not. Again, they ran a CT scan and determined that nothing had changed from my previous visit to the ER. My heart rate was deemed too high to release me and they started fluids to bring my heart rate down, which worked a to certain extent. I was eventually released even though my heart rate was still too high.

After the two ER visits I got in contact with my surgions. They were very concerned with my headaches. I made an appointment with a pain management specialist but would have to wait to see them due to scheduling. My surgions deemed the headaches to be caused by swelling in the brain due to the reduction in steroids. It was determined that I was to stay on 20 mg of prednisone until the headaches stabilized.

It was also at this time that I heard that I was to have another pipeline procedure. The aneurysm was not fully drying up and the surgions believed that placing a smaller pipeline in the neck of the aneurysm would assist with the process.

I was trying to stay positive through this whole process but with everything that had happened and the constant headaches I was becoming very frustrated.


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