Thursday, April 14, 2011

On the Up and Up

I was back at the hospital on Tuesday for an out patient appointment at the Hematology department. My platelets were at 380, so up very slightly from the previous week.

This is the high end of normal so the hope - and the expectation - is that once I'm off the Prednisone my platelets will drop a bit. Apparently it is not uncommon for them to be high-ish and then drop off somewhat as the Prednisone is tapered off.

What we don't want is for the platelets to continue to rise because then we are looking at the opposite problem thrombocytosis, the risk of blood clots. However, according to Wikipedia platelet counts over 750 are "cause for investigation" and I'm are a good way off this.

Ideally we want to be sitting somewhere in the normal range of 150-300 (though some websites put the top end of normal around 400-450).

The plan is that on Sunday I'll drop the Prednisone to 5mg and the following week take 5mg every other day (unless I begin to feel unwell as a result), ceasing to take it all together the following week. I image it will take a few weeks to get the steroids out of my system all together.

It seems incredible that after six months I'll finally be off the Prednisone and free of it's side effects: the sweats, the hot flushes, my hair falling out, the indigestion, the tingling in my feet, my "buffalo hump" and my "moon face," the facial hair, being tired in the middle of the day and wide awake at bedtime.

As of today I'm cutting down the amount of codeine I'm taking so I've been a bit more uncomfortable today, the nerve has been pinching a bit off and on, but over all it has been tolerable.

The sleeping pills have been working wonders at night, but I've decided to try to cut back on this as well. We'll see how I go. Tonight will be my first night on 1/2 a tablet.

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