Side Effects of Prednisone

kneeAbout a week ago, I was going about my business doing errands with my son. Nothing exciting mind you, but I was enjoying the time with him as any parent would given that the last person teenagers want to be with on a Saturday morning is their mother.

As I got out of my car, my right leg gave out. While I did not fall, I knew immediately that something was wrong. Very wrong. I closed the car door and took a step. Can you say “O.U.C.H.”?  (Ok. Ok. Not exactly the four letter word I muttered under my breath.)

Never one to give up a cash refund, I trudged into the store, waited on line to return my items, and made my way to the car back home. I crawled up the stairs into my bed and called my friends to cancel the day’s plans. One of these friends provoked me to find the lesson in this mishap. Because as we all know – there’s always a lesson to learn from our circumstances.

Since I had nothing better to do, I decided to give it a whirl. It’s been a week and I’ve been gathering up lessons day by day. I thought you might relate to some of these so here goes.

  1. Prednisone is the best kept secret for busy moms. One week of taking this miracle drug and I not only slept better but on the nights where my insomnia kicked in, I still had a steady stream of energy throughout the day. I was in a good mood, relaxed, and just felt great. I realize taking steroids is not a long-term strategy for beating mommy exhaustion but if someone knows how to bottle this safely, I’m in!
  2. My son will never go into the healthcare field. This became apparent as my son and I were driving home after my “moment”.  About halfway home, I found it difficult to breathe. I felt light-headed. I started to cry. My son looked at me incredulously and said “What is the matter with you? You are so weird!”  (Good thing he wants to be a sports broadcaster. Medical school is not in my budget.)
  3. But…my daughter might. Maybe it’s a girl thing but my daughter selflessly volunteered to come home from her friend’s pool party and take care of me. I declined of course. Why shouldn’t one of us enjoy the beautiful summer day? When she did get home, she graciously tended to my every need and more. I’m hoping her actions rubbed off on my son or my future daughter-in-law is gonna hate me.
  4. I need more dresses and skirts. After two days of navigating the bulky black brace with the two work-appropriate dresses I own, I quickly realized that a) I have way too many dressy dresses and no place to wear them and b) it is time to go shopping. Do you think I can write these purchases off as a medical expense?
  5. No one wants to go to a pity party. On most days, I’m a pretty tough cookie and able to navigate the stresses of single parenthood and a full-time job. That weekend, I was a hot mess. Driven to tears easily, feeling sorry for myself nearly 24/7, and hoping someone would come to my rare, but somewhat well-deserved pity party. No takers. Nearly everyone I spoke to, while supportive and caring, was not going to let me fall down the rabbit hole of “poor me” thinking. In hindsight, I’m glad no one showed up. Debbie Downer is no fun to be around.
  6. It’s a good idea to read the manual. My first day at work, I hobbled into the office with my “stylish” knee brace peeking out of my summer dress. All day long, it kept slipping and sliding. I was constantly in the ladies room adjusting it. I couldn’t imagine what was going on. When I returned home, I decided to read the instructions on how to wear it. Turns out, I had it on backwards all day. Stop laughing at me. I mean it – stop!
  7. Doctors who tell me I’m young will get a repeat visit. I don’t know why this matters but when that orthopedic doctor called me “young lady”, my heart soared. Between this comment and the x-ray indicating I had a “young knee”, I left the office feeling ageless. I’ll definitely be returning to this doctor if only to boost my ego!
  8. If you don’t know the answer, don’t make one up.  While I was grateful for the urgent care doctor who tried to diagnose an orthopedic issue, his attempts to do so were unnerving. Throwing around a bunch of medical terms trying to sound knowledgeable not only decreased my confidence in him but left me angry that I had wasted over an hour of my life with the wrong person. When faced with a problem or question you have no answer to, just say you don’t know and move on.
  9. It’s time to kill SuperMom. Throughout my tenure as a mom, I have pushed through illness and exhaustion time and time again. Looking back on this parenting strategy, I now realize this was about the dumbest thing I could do. Yes, I may have taught my kids to push through tough things, but it also taught them that I never need to rest or heal, or worse, ask for help. This was evident when they selfishly expected meals to be prepared and activities to go on as planned during my brief incarceration on the couch. Stop trying to do it all.
  10. If you don’t hear the whisper, you sure as heck will hear the shout. Prior to this incident, I had been feeling overwhelmed, overworked and stressed. Instead of resting as I knew I should, I kept pushing on. (See Lesson #9). So what happened? I was forced into rest and self-care. Net/net – when you know what you should do and don’t do it, you’re gonna end up with a knee brace and hours of Property Brothers.

property bros

I realize this is a longer than usual post (and if you’re still reading, thanks for hanging in!) But there was alot my cute little knee taught me this week. My intuitive friends tell me that knees represent the act of moving forward and when you have pain or struggles with your knees, fear is the culprit. Eeks!

That fateful Saturday afternoon I was supposed to meet a friend to talk about next steps for a project I’m working on. Hmm – see? “The knee bone’s connected to the ….”

While I’m still in my knee brace, I’m mobile and nearly healed. I will continue to move forward keeping in mind the lessons I learned and dealing with the ones that I’m struggling to understand.

At the end of the day, life is a plethora of lessons. We are here to learn these lessons and grow from them. If we don’t learn them the first time, they’ll return again, until we do; getting harder each time. No way around it.

Jen’s Gem: When faced with tough circumstances, look for the lesson and learn it the first time. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.


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