I have apparently gained 20 lbs in the past four months.
And 90% of it is in my midsection.
I was not one in the position to be gaining 1 lb, let alone 20.
I look pregnant.
I have friends who ARE pregnant and don’t look it.
Did I mention that I HATE steroids?
I was started on 60 mg/day in June. I stayed at that level for almost a month. I was down to 20mg/day and then my eyes started acting up again so I was bumped back up to 40mg/day for another month. I was at 20mg/day again and now I’m at 10mg/day.
If anyone has been on steroids they can tell you what it usually does: ravenous appetite, usually for bad things like bread, or in my case cookies. At 60 mg/day I was so hungry all the time. I felt like an adolescent male. Usually not one serving, try two. Or three.
And the irritability. I’ll make that a separate post. And insomnia. Yuck. But let’s get back to the issue at hand. My fatness.
Even when I had no appetite, I still ate to stave off the nausea caused by the methotrexate. Usually small snacks every few hours as needed, but they were usually peanut butter crackers or PB&J. And I drink ginger ale on methotrexate nights because I believe it helps with the nausea as well.
I do recall an entire week where I ate frozen waffles every day. Sometimes twice a day.
Oh and the ice cream! I won’t even go there.
And the cookies. My daughter is fascinated with baking. She has a baking app on the iPad she “shares” with my dad. She wants an easy bake oven. I have made cookies with her each week for the past three weeks. And I have probably inhaled most of them myself.
Why can’t they make steroids that make you crave things that are good for you? Like vegetables?
As a nurse I know the reason. My body is chronically in a state of alertness by the artificial corticosteroids coursing through my body. They artificially raise my blood sugar as well, and probably my heart rate (I’ve been running in the 120s). And probably send a signal to my brain to eat food that can be easily broken down to sugars that can be rapidly accessed in case my muscles need them for the old “fight or flight” response. It sucks when you trick the body.
And since I am no where near actually doing any fighting or flighting (thank you overwhelming fatigue), my body is converting all of this excess sugar that is hanging around to fat. That is sitting right out in front. Like I swallowed a basketball.
I’m not going to do anything silly at this point, like falsely promise that tomorrow I’ll start a new exercise regime (because I can’t). I will say that I have been more active in the past few weeks. I am no longer relegated to my bed-to-couch existence. I will chalk that up to my body getting used to the poison. Or as used to is as it can get.
I will say that I will be more aware of what I put in my body. But it is damn hard when you feel awful and are craving something. Sometimes its a taste thing, for me I crave sweet. I find that I usually have to chase something salty with something sweet or I feel uncomfortable. The back of my mouth feels yucky and nasty. I don’t know how to explain it any other way. I have already been through one battle with thrush. I know the methotrexate (and most types of chemo) kill rapidly dividing cells. Your mouth has rapidly dividing epithelial cells. Fantastic.
I have been limiting calorie containing drinks other than on methotrexate night when I do the ginger ale thing. But most of the time its water. Lots and lots of water. If I start to get increased urination, I will ask for another diabetes screening.
That gives me another idea for a post….