I hadn’t even had time to cut the medical wristbands off my arms, nor the nurses any time to clean my room out, by the time I’d got back to the hospital. The plus-side being a lot less paperwork than my admission the previous morning.
The docs arrived and inserted a new cannula into my hand to start me on a course of methal-prednisolone, a high-dose steroid treatment that would blitz my immune system into the equivalent of a small koala with a chesty cough and hay fever.
There are two things that should be noted about methal-pred (look away anyone who may be introduced to this wonder drug at any stage) – 1) It hurts like hell going into the back of your hand. It’s only a one-hour infusion once a day, but boy is that hour the most uncomfortable you’re going to be all day. 2) Steroids stop you sleeping. Especially when they first dose is administered at 6pm at night.
The next three days were something of a blur, not through a drugged-up haze of weird psychotropic experiences, but rather because I was just really quite bored. The high doses, which can really wrangle with your blood sugars, meant I had to be monitored quite closely, the pain in my hand and the bandage to protect it meant typing was almost impossible and being moved to a downstairs room midway through Thursday meant my dongle couldn’t get decent signal and the internet was out. I did, however, managed to watch all of Season Four of House on DVD, which was nice.
By Friday I was itching to get home. And just plain itching at the back of my hand, too. My blood sugars had been all over the place, hitting high points unheard of for me and even managing to creep higher even after a rapid injection of fast-working insulin, which I though was quite impressive myself. All of which had me convinced they weren’t about to kick me out, Good Friday or no Good Friday.
To my surprise, then, the docs did indeed come around and discharge me. To be sure I wasn’t being royally stitched up again, I actually made the Sister on the ward watch me cut off my wristbands and told her straight out that if they brought me back I was making her to ALL the paperwork again. Every single sheet. Which, I like to think, is why they didn’t call me back.
Instead, my three days of methal-pred over with, they sent me packing with new, much higher doses of oral prednisolone, a steroid I take as part of my regular regime, only increased by a monstrous 700%. Nice.
Only once I got home did I discover that oral pred is worse than methal-pred in one key aspect: it’s even worse at letting your sleep.
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