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My Bone Marrow Transplant

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

Category Archives: Prednisolone

Yesterday I went to see Dr. Ruth D at SLMC because she is a pulmonary specialist and I have a head and chest cold and cough. I haven’t seen her since I was in the ICU in SLMC last March. She was the doctor who kept me alive long enough for me to be airlifted to Hong Kong. She helped save my life. She’s a wonderful, cheery, chatty person who is a delight to be with.

The first words out of her mouth after the usual pleasantries were “what prednisolone dose are you on?” That threw me; I’m used to haematologists asking such things but from a pulmonary doctor it was something new. She took careful notes of my current drug regime, and from the questions it was obvious that she knew a lot about GvHD. She asked me where my GvHD presents and I told her the gut, mouth and infrequently the skin. She said she had a patient who had a transplant 8 years ago and the GvHD is only on her tongue. We had a discussion about bronchiolitis obliterans, the most dreaded GvHD, and also scleroderma. She listened to my chest, prescribed a whole lot of medication including a new antibiotic, nagged me to exercise more and sent me on my way.

My weight has increased a bit since I went back on the steroids, today I am 79.6kg, still over 10kg down on my pre-illness weight. But that’s a good thing for other health reasons.

No issues after reducing the steroid dose to 20mg per day. I am coughing but Sam has been sick with a cough as well so no surprises there. No more noticeable edema, sometimes I think my feet are slightly swollen but regular shoes still fit.

I have a tropical fish tank which I find very therapeutic. As I’ve never kept fish before I have started a separate blog cichlidsandme.wordpress.com to chronicle my journey. Why fish? It wasn’t through choice as you will read, but now that I have them I am determined to keep them healthy and alive.

I have been given permission to reduce my daily steroid intake from 40mg to 35mg starting immediately. In a few days I can go down to 30mg after checking with the doctor again. Prednisolone is a wonderful drug for controlling GvHD, but the long term side effects make me want to use as little as possible.

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I am back on the steroid Prednisolone to control the gut GvHD, and it is doing a great job. I feel so much better without the constant gut discomfort. My appetite is much, much better and I am gaining weight again. However, I am not sleeping as well.

Unfortunately I was also instructed to go back on the dreaded Itraconazole! I have discovered that the liquid form is not available anywhere in Manila, so I have had to switch to the tablets which don’t absorb as well. I’ll pick up a large supply of the liquid form at my next check up in Singapore in 2 weeks time.

You can buy both medicines over the counter in Mercury Drug here. The Prednisolone is cheap, the Itraconazole is not!

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