Would you take this drug?

I have been waiting to go to neuro rehab for 2 months.  At first I couldn’t go because I had precautions placed on my sternum as it was still healing from being cut open during open heart surgery. Then I couldn’t go because I was physically unable to fulfill the requirements of the facility. Now I can’t go because I am refusing to take a drug that will do me more harm than good.

Today I talked with the doctor whose decision it is to accept me into rehab. He told me he wants me to do a 2 week trial in rehab. It’s at this point that I should offer some medical info. I have rotator cuff tendinitis in my left shoulder that was exacerbated by the stroke, making use of my upper body iffy at best. Because of this I have mild  swelling of my left wrist and hand. The doctor wants me to take prednisone,  a steroid to take down the swelling. As soon as I heard steroid, I got worried. I have only had one experience with steroids. I recently received a cortisone shot in my left shoulder that left me in more pain than before the shot. So I did some research on oral prednisone. It has a very long list of side effects including irregular heart beat, severe dizziness, cataracts, glaucoma, lowered immunity, seizures, trouble breathing among many others. One of the drugs it reacts negatively with is a blood thinner, which I am currently on.  As a recovering cardiac patient anything that can effect the heart is a big no and as a stroke patient the scariest side effect is a loss of reality. Apparently I am expected to risk all of this over a little swelling that ibuprofen would likely cure, if the hospital used ibuprofen.

Needless to say I refuse to take prednisone. The response was an implication that I would not be welcome in rehab, aka the last part of treatment.

So I guess we are at an impasse. At this point I don’t know what to do. If I lived in America at least I could sue, but not here in Canada. 

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