Guruatma K Khalsa

healing from the inside out

steroids like prednisone (cortisone-related drugs) can save your life and really mess you up, too


i am reminded how powerful steroids are by observing their effects on world-famous athlete, Lance Armstrong.  i watched his confession on Oprah and kept expecting an ’emergency broadcast system’ banner to run across the bottom of the screen, heralding the strapping and dangerous side-effects of that particular class of drugs

now, of course there is no excuse for cheating and lying and being a bully but i do know, from my own experience of being on long-term, high-dosage prednisone for 11 years, that steroids amplified the tendencies in me of whatever i happened to be going through at the time – sad, ambitious, happy, dissatisfied, excited, you-name-it

for instance, i am a big-time cook and love to serve people a good meal.  after I started taking that drug, i would have prednisone parties and feed the whole block tons of food, spending hours and hours in the kitchen making my fav recipes

another example  – my husband is a carpenter and artist and our whole property is filled with piles and piles of  logs waiting to be sculpted and all sizes and shapes of lumber waiting to be built into something.  i would go out there and take it upon myself to ‘reorganize’ them, picking up wood that was definitely way-beyond my capacity to lift and move, throwing it around all over the place, seriously-bent on pulling off the project at hand

also, with a life-threatening medical scene going out-of-control at this time in my life, i was naturally sad, scared, upset and confused.  i remember those feelings going way overboard after starting the prednisone and then, i needed to add all these other drugs to my Px drug cocktail like anti-anxiety meds, sleeping pills and anti-depressents

so, hearing lance talk about what a big bully he became and how his killer-drive to win drove him to unethical and insane behavior, hit a cord in me and i kinda understood how it took on an energy of its own and pulled him down into his worst nightmare, ruining his career and reputation, messing up his whole life and creating great suffering for others

don’t get me wrong, prednisone was one of the tools that saved my life.  it’s a phenomenal drug and sometimes the only treatment available for serious or life-threatening illnesses but, the side-effects can be so unpleasant and devastating

7 yrs after weaning off that drug, i still have to cope and fight with some of its lasting effects and collateral damage

there was a great book i found back then that really helped me understand about cortisone-related medicines.  it’s written by a world-famous flutist who was prescribed prednisone to combat a rare lung disease.  she teamed up with her sister, a well-know medical doctor and specialist, to write a first-ever, comprehensive guide for patients undergoing this difficult treatment

here it is – Coping with PREDNISONE* – It may work miracles, but how do you handle the side effects? (*and other cortisone-related medicines)

by Eugenia Zukerman and Julie R Ingelfinger, MD

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.