You’ll recall that I last saw the pulmonologist on January 1, the day she started me on a regimen of 60 mg of prednisone a day. For a week to 10 days I could not honestly say I saw any improvement in my cough. But it’s a very hard thing to quantify from day to day. I need definite landmarks, like the November 13 dinner when I couldn’t get a sentence out without coughing and had to just bow out of the conversation.
This week though, finally, I feel I can go out on a limb and say the coughing is getting better. I cough less, and when I do, it sounds different, like things are actually loosening up and moving around, like the coughing is finally, maybe, trying to break up or something.
My son says he notices because it’s becoming easier and more pleasant to talk to me on the phone. My grandson even overheard our last conversation and exclaimed, “Grandma’s not coughing.”
So yes, I finally feel I’m making progress on that front.
Not doing quite as well on other fronts. Prednisone can cause fatigue, and I began feeling that this week as I tried to run around doing assorted errands on different days. One day I just had to quit and head for home. I was completely fried, out of gas, no energy for anything more than just getting home. And the feeling has continued through the week. I’m rapidly relearning my old couch potato postures.
And the biggest downside of such inactivity is my weight. Hopped on the scales this morning and I’m up almost 5 pounds from the first of the month. Yikes. Prednisone can cause fluid retention, but I don’t see the puffy wrists, ankles, and face that would indicate that. Too bad. Water weight would go away in time. No, I fear this may be genuine weight gain resulting from increased appetite and reduced activity level.
Killing the cough and restoring proper lung function is the primary objective. And I’m increasingly confident that I’m finally seeing progress there. I’ll leave it to the pulmonologist to make a pronouncement at my next appointment on February 1.
Meantime I’ll be crossing my fingers that the 20 lbs I so enjoyed losing are not coming back. (Correction: Losing it was no fun at all, but having it off has been great.)