It was a few days before Halloween and I came down with what seemed to be a benign rash on my right arm. The rash spread and progressed to the point of concern as it now covered my right arm, spread to my left arm, across my left pectoralis, scattered some rash across my breasts and left bumpy pimples all over my back. The itching was insane but more concerning to me was the fact that the rash was spreading. Not good. No amount of Benadryl helped, so I went to see a doctor.
He asked me what I was allergic to and I could only think of one product that was new: Bepreve prescription eye drops from Bausche and Lomb, which worked wonders for my allergic itchy eyes but did a bad number on my skin, which makes me mad because I had to pay a co-pay of $30 for a teeny tiny vial and now I am stricken with horrible rashes, scratch marks and healing scabs on my arm. Gross.
The doctor prescribed Methylprenisolone for my severe skin allergic reaction. My first thought was, “oh crap, I am going to gain weight” as I have with prednisone before. I normally end up gaining about 5 – 6 lbs on steroids but not so this time!
I waited a day after Halloween to start the medication as I was having a party and drinking wine. You are not supposed to drink on Methylprednisolone. The doseage pack was a six-day regiment of 4 mg each. The first day you take 6 pills, the second day 5 pills, the third day 4 pills, and so on.
The very next day after taking my medication, I went on an insane cleaning rampage that startled even myself. From the minute I woke up, I started cleaning. This is what I cleaned on November 2 (skip and scroll down to next paragraph if you don’t want to read the insanity):
– cooked breakfast for family, washed the dishes.
– cleaned both ceiling fans in master bedroom and kid’s room; which involved climbing onto a small ladder, dusting and wiping then vacuuming both room floors TWICE due to the dust.
– cleaned out kid’s room: sorted all toys, threw out old stuff, vacuumed the entire room after having husband move the bed, cleaned out closet, dusted entire room including all floorboard moldings, washed all sheets and comforter, took out night table and dusted it and dried it in the sun.
– cleaned master bedroom: the entire bed room. Vacuumed, dusted, washed all sheets.
– did loads of laundry and sorted out all odd socks, even going as far as putting them on my son’s feet to make sure they still fit.
– dusted all the floorboard mouldings in the house
– took down a bunch of Halloween decorations, including plastic table-cloths taped to the ceilings in the garage, folded them all neatly and placed them back in their original packaging to recycle for next year…now that was hard to do!
– dumped out all the coolers, cleaned them and placed them in the sun and moved all the drinks to the fridge
– spoke to the neighbor, gave them left over Halloween yummies.
– cleared off two Halloween tables of decorations/dishes/candles and cleaned both tables; folded them and had husband load them into the car.
– drove to two different CVS pharmacy locations and purchased a ton of cheap discounted Halloween and Fall stuff; stopped by Safeway and got a loaf of bread for dinner to make garlic bread.
– drove to one of our friend’s house and dropped off coolers.
– drove to neighbor’s house to return two folding tables used for Halloween night.
– came home and cleaned under the fridge – vacuumed all the dust and wiped off the grille.
– cooked a full dinner; linguine with marinara and garlic bread
– prepped my uniform and my lunch for the next day (this is normal and usual routine)
– dyed my hair before bathing and going to bed
And probably did a lot more that day, but I was a non-stop cleaning machine. I didn’t even need to eat. I was a single-minded, working organism with one goal – CLEAN HOUSE and organize. I was sweating and hot but it didn’t stop me. I was the raging house-bull of cleaning madness and time was my Matador. Charge on ahead, head to the ground and clean clean clean do do do.
I felt like I was on some kind of ultra-productive euphoria drug for the next few days. Some nights it was hard to sleep due to the fact that on one of the nights I woke up damp with sweat (a side effect) and to use the bathroom multiple times. I’d have so much energy it was hard to sleep, so for the first few days, I’d only get four hours of sleep or less, due to the multiple times I’d get up to use the toilet or toss and turn. Some nights I’d still wake up scratching at my rash, so I’d have to apply lotion in the middle of the night.
Another curious (but good) side effect that I noticed was the chronic mild swelling along one of my face near my ear was now gone. It was flat. My ears felt clear despite the fact that I blew my nose too hard during the earlier part of the week and I could feel my ears back up – which usually ends up in an sinus/ear infection.
I weigh myself daily, which is an obsessive habit, but its helped me maintain an almost-steady weight since ten years ago. Because I weigh myself daily I know for a fact that my 4 lb weight loss in less than a week is probably due to the Methylprednisolone. I now weigh 135 lbs and feel really great. It’s odd that I was dreading taking this medication because I thought I’d feel sluggish and gain weight.
I am now tapering down and down to two pills today; tomorrow it will be one pill. I am already “coming down” and “crashing” although the crash is not so dramatic as say, a car crashing and burning into a wall but rather imagine sinking back into your normal routine of being tired, feeling lazy and not wanting to move or lift a finger…and this feeling is “normal” for me.
To have such a crazy, temporary high was amazing; not to mention the weight loss and feeling like I was on top of the world. My mind was even clear at work and I was able to cut through the sloggy work-day with razor-sharp precision. Ultra-efficient and running like a sleek sexy sports car with a warm purring engine; now it’s back to a Caboose train filled with coal-tar logs all matted up together and stuck in oozy black stickiness.
The rash has cleared up remarkably well but I still have tell-tale red bumps, scratches and a few patchy areas of rough skin but there is no more itching. I am hoping I won’t gain my weight back. I kept joking that the word “meth” is in “methylprednisolone” and although I know meth is no laughing matter and I have no clue what meth feels like, I do know that for a few glorious, manic days, I felt absolutely fabulous.