It’s been about 40 days since my MS relapse started and I’m at the point where I feel like I can safely say I am over the worse of it. I know I must have peaked around the time I had started and was on infusion steroids. I’m currently tapering off prednisone with only two 10mg capsules left.
Was it worth it to go on prednisone? I honestly don’t know, I don’t know how much worse I would have gotten without it and I honestly don’t know if the side effects were worse than the relapse. I believe I was really lucky and missed food craving part of it, my appetite remained normal. The insomnia was the worst, heart palpitations and shaking, irritable, acne, pretty much the rest of the side effects where in play.
There were times where it was hard to tell which problems where MS related symptoms and which where prednisone/infusion side effects. Currently my experiences include pressure on my chest (no more MS hug), ulnar nerve pain in my arms and fingers (but my hands do not hurt nearly as bad as they did), legs are shaky and weak (no more pain and numbness, I can walk again), and sporadic brain fog throughout the day (at least I am sleeping at night again).
Things that I found that help:
1. Chest pain and MS Hug: Goldenrod salve and/or Arnica Salve relieves the muscle spasms and tightening feeling in my chest. You can find it on Etsy pretty easily (plus it helps support a lot of woman-owned small businesses). All you do is just rub it on the area that needs it - I even used it on my legs when I was getting charley horsed. Just be aware that it does have a shelf life so if your MS is in remission you may want to hold off until you feel a relapse coming on.
2. Nerve pain/numbness: Any salve or oil that has St. John Wort in it and Feverfew tincture. The effects I experienced with the nerve pain salves were not as significant at the salves mentioned above for the MS hug, but it was noticeable enough to mention it for anyone looking to get some relief from this annoying symptom. I also find peppermint oil/frankincense oil mixtures work with the pins and needles feeling pretty well also - but I knew about that from a previous relapse. My only other word of advice is to not take ibuprofen or over the counter pain relievers for nerve pain - it won’t work and you just be putting another medication in your body that it probably doesn’t need.
3. Brain fog: Orange zest and peppermint oil! Just put some on your temples and hopefully you will have the same success I have had. There was a significant difference for me within seconds. Just be careful not to use it later in the night if you are already fighting insomnia.
4. Insomnia/Sleep: I was not quite as successful in this area, but I figured people following the #prednisone tag and #insomnia tag would want to know. Melatonin has always been my go to but I also recommend Hops tincture. You can find Hops flower tinctures on Etsy and I have had success in the past with getting a good nights sleep - unfortunately I think the prednisone was a little stronger! All you do is add like 15 drops of this plant friend to whatever you like to drink and you should be good to go. My only other advice is that wine will not work (I probably shouldn’t have even tried with all the meds and tinctures I’ve been taking - but it was for science….. and well I was desperate to try anything for sleep)