Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Shh, really, I am not taking steroids!

So, I finally went to see the doctor yesterday - well, not really the doctor - a nurse practitioner, actually. And, one not even associated with my doctor as far as I can tell, but just someone they randomly assigned me to because my doc was booked.

ANYhoo, despite the fact that the cold I developed three weeks ago is long gone and the sinus infection-type malady that ensued has disappeared, I am left with the lingering aftereffects of said mess - namely, my left ear continues to feel plugged up and my hearing on that side is muffled.

The diagnosis?  Eustachian Tube Dysfunction.  Huh?  Yeah, some people have dysfunctional families; I apparently have dysfunctional body parts.  So, after a nice chat with the NP about what was ailing me and a confirmation of the fact that there seems to be no infection present, that is what I ended up with.

So, the cure?
  • Afrin nasal spray, but for no more than four days because it can cause rebound congestion (the packaging, by the way, says no more than three days)
  • Combo anti-histamine and decongestant, which I had considered anyway, because I think I have some allergies going on
  • And, Prednisone - a corticosteroid

Now, being someone who eschews ALL forms of medication as much as possible (you might recall during my sinus infection I finally succumbed to the pain and took a decongestant for a couple of days), I went into a kind of waffling-induced fog at this conclusion.

I understand the NP's reasoning.  I am relatively young, after all, fit and for these intents and purposes healthy enough.  And, I reasoned, I do have a race this weekend.  Maybe being on a steroid would help my performance?  Or, maybe it could help rid my body of any lingering inflammation that I am no doubt dealing with from all the training I've been doing.  This could be a GOOD thing was my first thought. (By the way, I am just kidding about the improved performance thing.)

Then, after I actually filled the prescription, I started reading the possible side effects: loss of sleep, manic behavior, indigestion, depression, skin rashes, brittle bones, tendon rupture (okay, those last two probably won't happen with only a week's use) and depressed immune function to name a few.  This is where doubt started to creep in. I mean, I want to believe in the medical diagnosis and whole-heartedly embrace the route to wellness that was prescribed.  After all, most people would without question, right? Why do I have to be the one to question everything? I think what really got me was the immune suppression.  I am surrounded by sick people right now; the last thing I need is a malfunctioning immune system.

To make matters worse, I also made the mistake of going online to see what other people's experiences are with Prednisone.  I know, I know.  Shame on me.  No one should ever do that, but it's too late.  I already did it.  Unfortunately, the horror stories of what this drug does to people far outweigh the "yippee, it worked for me" stories, at least insofar as I could find.  

So, in the end, I am left with confusion.  I have a call in to the NP to discuss this all again.  After all, I am not in any pain, and she did say this would most likely go away on its own; it's just a matter of time.  So, I am thinking maybe I just live with being a little deaf for a while and hope for the best.

In the meantime, I have completely lived up to my Hubby's view of me.  You see, every time I am sick enough to go in to the doctor, Hubby tries to talk me out of it.  This used to irritate me, thinking that he just wanted to save money or something.  But, I kind of get it now.  Hubby's problem with me and doctors is that I go to see them, and then invariably I opt not to follow the advice they give me.  So, really, what is the point?

Oh well. I guess for the interim, I will let food by my medicine, as Hippocrates said.  Today was off to a good start with a beautiful smoothie.  I guess you could say I am drinking my lunch.  Carrots, celery, apples, bananas, frozen blueberries and peaches, as well as ginger and a glob of almond butter.  Filling and good.  Cure all for what ails me?  I can only hope.

Happy Running!

No comments:

Post a Comment