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  • Writer's pictureDearbhla

Full Moon, Half Moon, Total Eclipse

Steroids make you eat like a baby dinosaur, give you moon face and flanges like a male orangutan. Not a look I would recommend.

As I lie in bed staring at the ceiling, I imagine David Attenborough narrating softly;

“She gazes wide-eyed and motionless from under the canopy of her duvet. Camouflaged, she watches and waits... Alas, sleep has alluded her yet again.”

Disconcertingly alert and wide-eyed at 3am, I am looking distinctly more owl-like each day. Specifically, I am reminded of these over-caffeinated owls from Walking on the Wild Side:

Unlike beautiful barn owls fluttering elegantly across the night sky, swooping and diving from tree to tree, their silvery feathers reflecting in the moonlight, I am regrettably more dishevelled, wonky feathered Patoo.

Night-time ruminations, spurred by three days of sleeplessness, make for interesting bed fellows. High dose methylprednisone steroids are an attempt to alleviate the orchestra of symptoms screeching through my nervous system like an out of tune violin. The pharmacist, somewhat alarmed, asked me to double check the dose with the hospital given how high it was. Steroids work by suppressing the immune system, thus decreasing inflammation quicker. Apparently. What they don’t say is it will play havoc with everything else in your system. It is like getting hit with elephant tranquilizer. I’m hoping the total peripheral numbness up the left-hand side of my body dissipates or I will have taken a pounding for nothing. Plus, I am away with my family in Lanzarote for my mother's big 6-0 birthday, so not an ideal time to be on the ‘roids.

High-dose steroids are often administered through a canula. This is when needles are wiggled in and out of my tiny veins so many times my hands feel like have been through a meat grinder. Thankfully, I am just on the pills this time. Large quantities of steroids don’t exactly do wonders for the complexion.

When I took them for the first time in July this year, by day four I had developed large cheek flanges remarkably similar to that of a male orangutan.

Upon reflection, I think that the copious amounts of wine the night after the four-day intravenous cortisone boost may have been a contributing factor. However, wine-free this time, my face has yet again turned into the moon, not to mention I have the appetite of a baby dinosaur.

Sadly, I didn’t take any photos of myself so here is a picture of a moon with a face.

On the plus side, my moon face and I have had more energy than I’ve had in a month, much like if I had snorted 10kg of coffee beans. However, this newfound ‘burst’ of energy is a false economy as it’s clearly not going to last. How people take steroids voluntarily is beyond me.


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