Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Harmful Drug Warning

Last week, I promised to return with healthier children and lots to share with all of you.  And for the most part, I've accomplished both tasks.  (You've all heard about the Airstream.)  But it was not without a price.

The motor home was spendy but cost nothing in comparison to what I've endured over the last week in order to improve my boys' health.  Several nights last week were interrupted by the signature seal-bark of croup that my kids frequently pick up in addition to a regular cold.  At the doctor, Cael and Graham danced and played in an effort to make me look as ridiculous as possible, but in the end I won and they were both sent home with a prescription for oral Prednisone to reduce inflammation and prevent the croup.

We promptly went home and measured out the first dose of the steroid.  I had been advised at the pharmacy that this medication was bitter and the boys would not like the taste, so I was armed with a bag of pretzel M&Ms and prepared to use them as an incentive to swallow the prednisone.  With my bribe in place, they both gobbled down the medicine and their consolation prize and scampered off to destroy something.

Little did I know that by administering that medication I was transforming my sweet-but-mischievous children into snarling, pea-soup vomiting demons.  Even pretzel M&Ms, which I had previously thought could put a positive spin on gangrene or even the apocalypse, could not improve their behavior or brighten my mood in their presence.  I knew that they needed to continue the recommended doses, but I hoped there was something I could do to offset their naughtiness, so I took to the internet and read about their drug.

As I read phrases like "May cause irritability in children", I wanted to personally invite the pharmaceutical company president, along with the crony that penned this write-up, to dinner at my house.  I wanted to seat them next to my children as I asked Cael and Graham (in the nicest voice possible) to please eat their chicken and vegetables.  I wanted to sit back and watch as they were pelted with airborne peas and chicken strips.  I wanted to smile while my children spit and yelled at them and invented new swear words to say to them.

But alas, I knew that the boys would save that behavior for me.  Pass the M&Ms.

From my current vantage point three days post-prescription, I am still seeing the prednisone rear its ugly head and I am forever changed.  I have decided that I will adjust the drug information to reflect its real effects.  I'm a writer, right?  Kinda-sorta? 

What is Prednisone?  Prednisone is in a class of drugs called corticosteroids.  Prednisone prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.  Prednisone is used to treat many different conditions such as allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, or breathing disorders.  Prednisone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is Prednisone?  Prednisone is like catnip laced with cocaine.  Prednisone works by making your child so aggressive and agitated that he or she pants as if hyperventilating, allowing increased oxygen to flow to their lungs.  Prednisone is used to treat many different types of children such as quiet children, introverted children, shy or socially inept children and those with otherwise normal behavior.  Upon beginning a course of Prednisone, all will possess traits resembling Rabies, Schizophrenia, or Incontinence.  Prednisone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide, such as for revenge or to induce alcoholism in adults.

Important Information about Prednisone
-You should not use this medication if you are allergic to prednisone, or if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.
-Before taking prednisone, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, and about all other medicines you are using. There are many other diseases that can be affected by steroid use, and many other medicines that can interact with steroids.
-Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using a steroid.
-Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take prednisone. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you are using prednisone. 

Important Information about Prednisone
-You should not administer this drug to your children if you hope to sleep, eat, remain seated for long periods of time or if you do not wish to engage in physical violence.
-Before taking Prednisone, consult with a member of the clergy and arrange for an exorcism in advance, if necessary.  
-Avoid psychic portals where demons and the undead can enter your child's soul while taking this drug.  Such a possession can be very serious or fatal if left unchecked.
-Wear a braid of garlic or carry the Bible and/or a wooden stake for protection.

Prednisone Side Effects: Seek emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to prednisone: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:  blurred vision, eye pain or seeing halos around lights; swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath; severe depression, unusual thoughts or behavior, seizure; bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood; pancreatitis; low potassium or dangerously high blood pressure.

Prednisode Side Effects:  Seek prescription anxiety medications if your child develops any of the following side effects: white foam at mouth during angry outbursts, scratched corneas from clawing at one's brother during a brawl, tearful fits immediately followed by periods of inexplicable laughter, frequent attempts at hitting his/her mother in the face, mocking the caregiver for having to clean up shockingly smelly diapers, low tolerance for rules or restrictions or dangerously high threshold for time-outs.

I think we can all agree that my version is more accurate.  Anyone currently in my position should take two Xanax and call me in the morning.  I might not answer, though-- I've misplaced my garlic braid.  Would onion work?

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Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.