Half way through the work day I get an urgent phone call from my rheumatologist telling me that all the doctors have conferred and all recommend that I begin pulse treatments of Solumedrol immediately. Apparently, the oral steroids I was taking was not preventing further damage to my eye. My blood vessels were still being attacked by my immune cells and causing hemorrhaging in my eye resulting in the multiplication of the cotton wool spots in my vision.
She called the emergency clinic across the street from her office that administers IV treatments to see if they had the very high doses of steroids on hand and tells me to make an appointment ASAP. Since I carpooled today I had to ask my ride if he’d mine leaving early. I started to become a little frantic with the urgency of it all and I send out a note to the office that I had a medical emergency and would be available online later.
Executive ER in Beverly Hills at 3:30pm
They’re expecting me so they see me as soon as I walk in. I get hooked up to the machine and because I need to come back for two more treatments tomorrow and Monday that the nurse wanted to leave the needle in my arm so that she didn’t have to keep poking me since she had a hard time finding a good vein that would take the IV. She poked me on both arms and hands before the ER surgeon had to come in and do it. I sat for 45 minutes as the solution dripped slowly into my body not knowing what it was doing to it. I tasted a weird bitter metallic taste in my mouth as it dripped and asked for water to help wash it out. I was told that I might get a little jittery and anxious and might not be able to sleep because of it.
“Solu-Medrol etc. (I.V. Methylprednisolone) remains the preferred treatment for many medial conditions including sever rheumatoid arthritis flares, flares of systemic lupus erythematosus, vasculitis, moderate to severe MS relapses.
The most typical regimen involves high-dose intravenous infusions (either in the hospital or as an outpatient) for 3 days, followed by oral prednisone given for about 12 days with tapering doses.
Corticosteroids are synthetic drugs that closely resemble cortisol, a hormone that is naturally produced by the adrenal glands. Corticosteroids work by decreasing immune system antibody production and lymphocyte activation. Methylprednisolone is stronger than prednisone. Other corticosteroids include prednisolone (a derivative of prednisone that has been chemically changed for easy passage through the liver); hydrocortisone (weaker in strength than prednisone); and dexamethasone (which is extremely potent and is only used in unusual circumstances).
Although steroids can be remarkably fast-acting, life saving drugs, they often cause many unwanted side effects. Some of the more common side effects include acne, development of a round or moon-shaped face, weight gain, high blood pressure, thinning of the bones (osteoporosis), increased risk of diabetes, and an increased risk of infection.”