Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Edema, Prednisone, Moon Face= Horsetail

This post is to save others the hassle of looking for an answer to water retention from prednisone- nothing but getting off of it will help the chunky, moon face and other swollen areas of your body. Period.

Full Moon from the other night. Put in perspective by different settings of camera. Something not afforded to you on prednisone....
You can read the rest of this informative post if you are bored, up late on prednisone, or just curious. 

When you are on prednisone for a long time- and I mean more than a week or more; more in the category of year(s), you get some really, really wicked side effects.

One of which is Edema.
It sounds like a name a star would give their child and then try to patent it. But it's just fancy for: legs like elephants( i.e. major overall body water retention.)
My little "edema" was so bad one night I was ballistically trying to reverse the hurt. I had my legs up in the air against the wall in my room, compression socks on, wrapped my legs in J's sprained ankle emergency kit bandages and hoped for relief.

The big toe was close to needing amputation by the strangulation. All I'd done was walk around shopping, do some laundry and basically try to live as normal as a stay puffed marshmellow can under the circumstances.

The elevation:brought the swelling down.\

 And right into my abdomen and face.

My ankles, that were as puffy as if I HAD sprained an ankle were compressed into submission, but the joints still hurt so bad. The inch of water below my knee disappeared but it still felt like someone had broken my legs.

Now that water/fluid/blood/toxins was on the other half of my body.


THAT helped.

So don't do that; elevate, compress and massage one end for a long period of time or else, like an hour glass, you just reverse fluid location.
Remember that one part in a STephen King's book where the lady breaks the guy's ankles? I think it got to a point where I was wondering if the joint pain in my feet, lack of potassium and overall side-effects bordered on that pain.

 I doubt it, but I wondered.

I unswaddled my strangled/ anemic looking appendages and started googling.

 One person mentioned home remedies for edema- when I got to the part of her blog suggestion of "Horsetail" I stopped reading

 I have never heard of this herb. Primrose, okay. But Horsetail.....

I'm assuming she meant it was an herb, like I said, I  stopped reading at "Horsetail" and figured

Horses Rear

cause I knew in my heart of hearts-- after a good 15 years of prednisone use, that this water retention doesn't go down til you are off the med so suck it up. -But it is still fun to google when you are desperate.And sometimes you find something funny or amusing. 
Sure, avoid salt. Drink a lot of water. Try to move around. Put your feet up above your heart a few times a day, if you've got two hours to spare. (they suggest 4 times a day of doing a 30 minute above your heart propping of your feet so it can just go to your face. Which hurts your neck and brain.
Bottom line: Don't get your hopes up of avoiding the side effects until you are off of it and it is out of your system.

Which can be up to a year.

I'm sorry.
DO try to find a send of humor. DO try and find clothes that fit and don't point out your trouble areas.
Good luck on that.
I've decided that only brooches are a good way to distract. BIG, GAUDY, LOUD ones if you want to really draw attention away from your moon face.

The full moon name for December is: Full Long Night's Moon or Full Cold Moon.
One last sob story of swelling.

The saddest event of this swelling took place when I moved one of my rings, a keepsake from my HS sweetheart onto a pinky finger. It was a Sunday and I was putting on some jewelry, shocked to find it only fit the pinky. Well, I was switching a load of laundry and the ring flung off my pinky- since it wasn't completely a tight fit, hit a metal file cabinet and flung into laundry room oblivion.
I checked the drain first. NOT there! The Black Hills gold ring, with my birth stone in laid between two leaves was officially declared lost after 3 minutes of searching. It will be up to the laundry Gods to reveal its location.
I hadn't worn ANY rings in a long time and the day I try to put some on, whelp. Gone. By the way, they say not to wear rings or bracelets because it draws attention to the swelling too.  But I wanted to make sure they knew what they were talking about. They do.
So stick with brooches, I guess. Neclaces possibly, depending on what you are wearing and how long they hang down. 
Oh, and to cover the swelling in your abdomen choose shirts with a big vertical stripe down the middle.

Hope this saved you the time of going out to some farm and trying to get some Horsetail.
This was written a few days ago. But tonight my Dad offered to help me look for the ring.
That's when it hit. He gave suggestions and I went into the depths of the laundry/storage room where we have a year's supply of both and looked for the special gift.
Long black flashlight in hand I peered into the dusty cob webbed recessess behind furnaces, file cabinets and between cans of cream of chicken soup and tins of wheat.
All it did was make me cry.
(not for the ring, but that my Dad would take such an interest in helping me find it.)
Second ring I've lost. Second time I had lost that ring. Well, it wasn't lost, just not on my finger and I noticed it missing during a test during college so I thought I'd lost it enroute to the testing center.
 I cried then too. For all the lovesick, missing my sweetheart reasons and sick to death to have lost something I'd worn every day since I got it.
I raced through the test, ran down the slick hill past the Hart Gym, searching the snow worn path-toward my apt complex with tears streaming down my face, crashed into my apartment and there it was- on the dresser beside my bed.
I sunk to the floor in relief. leaned up against my bed and put it back onto the finger it lived upon. How great the feeling of finding something so cherished!
I regretted speeding through the important test, felt embarrassed that my face was flushed red in front of my room mates all over a ring, but they understood. 
It was special.
It still is because it tells my story. But I'm not too upset about the loss. Too many losses in life help you deal with what you can't change.
However, I hope that one day, whether it's when we open a box for a new holiday, or open a can of peaches, or on one of my many trips into the laundry room- it appears.
I know it's in there.
Maybe it won't be found til years from now? Will One of my grandkids find it. like I found the strand of pearls outside digging while putting in new plants along our fence?? Or will another, new owner of this house at some point come across a ring. How sad, they will never know the story behind it!
That's why I love jewelry. I don't own much. My gnarled, swollen hands are too ugly to wear rings at the moment. And I usually wear silver or white gold. But the Black Hills Gold has pink undertones... It wasn't brassy on my skin. It was perfect. And sweet. And I love
But what I do own, has a great story behind it and is why I love them.
Those stories are in my journals.  

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