Thursday, July 7, 2011

Work Out Report

So I'm back to trying to kill myself with exercise. It's genetic. One of the parental units does insane things like run 10 miles with pneumonia (while calling me to tell me about it). I'm not that crazy, as evidenced by a distinct lack of exercise induced injuries compared to my parent who is a hot mess of injury, but I can push myself into a pool and muck up my knee pretty good.

(I did not jump, I sat on the edge and entered that way, somehow slamming my knee to the bottom of the pool. Now I walk funny and can't go to Zumba class.)

This (sufficiently anonymous) picture is from when we were doing the Strength Cardio work outs (aka Lactic Acid training, aka Metabolic Conditioning). I wonder where I would be today if a)I could've kept up with those work outs and b) been able to lose weight?

Here's a front view. I almost want to say how much I weigh as I think I look pretty good given the ginormous number on the scale, but I can't bring myself to be that honest. Let's just leave it at, I'm dense and weigh more than anyone expects.

By the way, a good quarter of my ass was muscle growth from those work outs. NOT what I was going for as I have enough junk in the trunk, thank you, but, if anyone has a flat butt, this work out method will fix that right quick.

My hope is to start working my way up to those workouts again. Now that the steroids are done, I seem to be able to lose weight, although I did get side tracked by birthday cake for a while there. It would also be nice to feel strong and competent in my own skin as I've spent quite a lot of time not feeling like that.

My next goal is to drop 20lbs. If my health cooperates, I should be able to do that this summer.

The only thing missing? Push up motivation. I just don't want to do them. No interest whatsoever. Don't know what that's about. If you see the push-up fairy, send her my way.

PS. As of today, I'm not longer radioactive. Sadly, the police never stopped me to inquire as to why I was tripping their geiger counters, so I never got to whip out the little card I got from the HIDA scan explaining I was not a nuclear device.


  1. You look great....treat yourself good today! Hope you feel strong and ready to kick ass today!

  2. Hi. I stumbled on your blog posts while Googling for info on HPA axis suppression due to long-term steroids...

    I've been on prednisone for for about 18 years now, for severe RA. At some points I was taking 20mg a day, but the past few years I've hovered at 10 - 12mg per day. Prednisone has absolutely ruined my life: DEXA scans equivalent to an 80 yr old woman, three major joint replacements, fused wrists, cracked and broken teeth, not to mention the emotional aspects of having the face of a 500 lb circus freak.

    I'm 30 now, and I have not had much luck with physicians as an adult -- a series of rheumatolgists either wanted me to taper at an insanely slow rate, or they informed me how bad prednisone is for my body and ordered me to immediately drop to 5mg, not giving a shit that at that dose I basically couldn't walk or dress myself. I gave up on docs (except pain management) and have been freewheeling for a few years.

    At this point, nearly all my pain and mobility issues are caused by the damage done to my muscoskeletal system by pred; there's very little active inflammation -- so I decided that I need to get OFF this stuff once and for all. I don't want to die at 50, inhabiting the body of a debilitated 90 yr old.

    I tapered by 1mg a week. On July 1st, for the first time since I was 12, I stopped taking it entirely.

    I was Googling because I'm worried about going into adrenal crisis without knowing it. Tapering has been easier than I'd feared, but I already had almost all the symptoms before I began tapering. My knees are so bad I can't walk much anymore - I know I need replacement surgery or I'll be in a wheelchair by Halloween. I spend most of my time in bed or on the couch, and sleep a lot. I've never been a big eater and as my pain level and depression\frustration increase I eat even less. (I also have some serious dental issues due to the pred eroding half my teeth, which makes eating painful to begin with).

    So, conclusion? I'm already experiencing extreme joint pain in knees and elbows, I sleep 14 - 16 hours a day and lay around the rest of the time, I barely eat enough to sustain a bird. That was all true before I began tapering the pred. How the hell would I know if I were in adrenal crisis? I'm adamant about never ingesting the foul stuff ever again UNLESS it's a life or death emergency. I just don't know how to tell if it is.

    After 18 years of HPA axis suppression, I don't know how my body could be able to just start pumping out its own cortisol again. Isn't there a point where the atrophy is too much to recover from?

    I took 1mg of prednisone last night because I couldn't sleep and was feeling light-headed and nauseated -- not unusual, as I'm on narcotic painkillers, nausea is something I live with. Feeling dizzy is also a familiar state of being, particularly when all I'd eaten in the past 24 hours was one slice of Kraft cheese and a couple Pixie sticks.

    I'm just afraid I won't recognize adrenal crisis until it's too late because the symptoms are all so commonplace for me. I've been fighting the horror of prednisone for so many years there's a part of me that can't believe I could actually be free of it.

    I'm not asking for medical advice. I have a rheum appointment on the 4th. Maybe I'm wondering if you could fill me in about HPA axis suppression and recovery, and adrenal crisis. Pred has a half-life of about 24 hours, I know. I was taking 2mg for about a week, then 1mg for a few days, then I stopped taking it entirely for five full days. If my body isn't producing enough cortisol, wouldn't I be dead by now? Is there any way to measure cortisol level at home? Based on your experience, what would you do in my place?

    I hope I haven't imposed myself -- I've never met anyone who's fought prednisone the way I have, and I think a lot of frustration just sort of came pouring out, lol.


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