Friday, 15 May 2015

What it feels like to be on steroids

If you know, you know. Steroids can be a right pain in the bum. They can be used in treatment schedules for all different types of illnesses, not just cancer. My treatment included 5 long weeks worth of steroids which started to make me turn a little looney. It can mess with your emotions and can make the treatment process difficult to deal with. But it gets better.. eventually. Everyone has different steroid experiences and mine was pretty emotional. Every emotion I felt was extremely heightened, so a not so angry and easily upset girl turned into a crying machine that went from a 1 to a 10 in a matter of seconds on the anger scale. It also distrupted my sleep, and who isnt a little cranky when they havent had enough sleep?

It is difficult to pin point how you exactly feel when your on steroids. Sometimes, being on the steroids can be the easiest part. It's the steroids leaving your body is what makes things become a bit more troublesome. I have started to notice the signs of the steroids leaving my body and it hasn't been an easy experience for me. My body begins to ache and seems so tender. Every touch or when light pressure is applied is slightly painful but the physical side effects are nothing compared to the mental. I seriously struggle with the mental challenges that steroids brings to my life. Every day task's seem impossible and the motivation to want to get up of a morning becomes increasingly difficult to find. The more encouragement I receive to get up or do things, the more I just want to bury myself in my duvet covers and indulge in netflix series. I feel like my brain is trapped in a box that is slightly open, but not open enough that I feel normal. I could be surrounded by a group of people but feel isolated from the situation. My brain doesn't want me to be there which makes my reactions to everyone and anything a lot more slower. This includes my communication. I have words that want to come out or stories I want to tell but my brain and my speech are working in two different directions and not meeting each other in the middle. This then leads to serious frustration. Usually, I would get frustrated and then get over it. But every emotion I feel, I then relate it back to the steroids. Being frustrated about my speech will lead to be frustrated about feeling so rough, frustrated that I have to go through this, frustrated that I don't know how long I will suffer this time.. You get the gist. 

Steroids also give the gift of hunger to your bellies. This hunger is present, all the time. As soon as I stop eating, im getting something else prepared for me to eat. The worst thing about it is that you think you could beat the hunger, but then the hunger turns uncomfortable and even painful if you leave it too long. I have found that eating little and often is the best way to battle my hunger side effects of the steroids but everyone has their different ways of battling different situations. Unfortunately for me I had steroids induced diabetes which meant I couldnt indulge in all the tasty treats that I wanted all the time. Carrots, cucumber, peppers and tzatziki became my best friends. Being able to control my induced diabetes with my diet was much easier than needing an insulin injection, so I traded the chocolates and sweets for all things green and colourful. I also got into an interesting routine of getting up of a morning and pricking my finger to check my sugar levels to see whether I could sneak in a cheeky spoonful of sugar into my tea.

I definitely saved the best for last. The good old bloating of the belly. Of a morning, I would wake up with my normal sized stomach.. Of an evening on the other hand, I would go to sleep about 6 months pregnant. 

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