When I think of steroids, Hans and Franz comes to mind first. Then a guy that I knew in school who took steroids to make himself supposedly look like a better bodybuilder, but only made him look like a complete jerk. Then the whole discussion of steroids and diabetes…
And then I’m dizzy.
I’ve always been a “no way am I going to take steroids!” because I don’t want to deal with the “just how much insulin will I have to take to keep my blood sugars within a normal range” factor. I even refused steroids after the birth of my daughter because I wanted to bask in the glow of her rather than my insulin pump light. But I changed my mind last week. Here’s why:
My shoulder still hurts. Stupid frozen shoulder. Adhesive capsulitis. Whatever you want to call it. The manual manipulation under anesthesia and physical therapy worked for a while, but it’s back to being a constant ache and still wakes me up at night. A visit to a new PCP after moving to get non-narcotic (but still heavy) pain meds refilled was a bust (in more ways than one, but that’s another tale for another day), so I schlepped it over to a new orthopedist for a consult and advice.
He was sympathetic after examining me, even wincing a little himself when he cranked my arm a little too far and I yelped like a bichon frisé (That’s the epitome of yappy dog to me, so I apologize if you have one. They’re cute and adorable…and yappy.).
“Wow, I can’t believe you’ve been living like this,” he comments. (Super D-Girl, that’s me. The D obviously stands for dumb.)
“Yeah, well, I’ve been rationing out Tramadol at night to keep it from getting too bad, but I’m figuring that I’ll need physical therapy again.” I roll my eyes, because while I liked my last physical therapist, it’s a huge time suck going to PT. (Please don’t start the lecture on what’s important and taking the time to do this. I’ve already had that from at least three people…)
“Look, let me ask you a question. How controlled is your diabetes?”
I glance slyly around to see if I’m on camera. Will I win something with the right answer?
“It’s controlled, which is a subjective term. Why?”
“I could give you a cortisone injection into your shoulder which will help with the pain and the inflammation. It won’t help with your blood sugars. You’ll need to do physical therapy and we’ll reassess in six weeks. If it doesn’t work, then it’s surgery and this time, I’ll go in and remove scar tissue.”
I sigh. I didn’t want to do the steroid thing, but my back (or my shoulder) is up against the wall. I want to be able to do things with my kid and not feel like a ninety-year-old woman (looking fine for ninety, but…). I don’t want surgery, especially arthroscopic.
The nurse plunks me down facing my daughter, who is up until this point, enthralled with the iPad. (Any port in a storm, right?) The doc steadies me, a numbing spray hits my skin and then…
“Ohhhh…..myyyyy….goooddnnnesss…..that……HURTS.” I clench my teeth and think of England. The Kid looks up at me and quips:
“Deep breath, Mommy.”
The tension is broken. I smile and while the needle hurts like a son of a bitch, I’m reminded that I have a smart toddler. I had forgotten to breathe.
Over the next twenty-four hours, my CGM and pump tag team my blood sugars. I am a little higher than what I want to be, but still under 200. Gosh, I say to myself. This isn’t so bad.
On Saturday night, all hell broke loose.
I started temp basaling at 150% with correction boluses. Three hundreds. Two hundreds with megadoses. Temp basals go up and blood sugars go down, then creep slowly up..up…up.
But my shoulder hurts way less than it did before. Physical therapy begins tomorrow.
I just can’t decide if I’m Hans or Franz.
(Franz. Going with Franz. Yup.)