The Woman on the Moon: Living With Moon Face

Let’s FACE it. If you have any type of chronic illness or autoimmune disease, you have been met face to face with the devil’s drug itself – PREDNISONE. Y’all this thing needs to come with a huge warning written all over it. Had I known the side effects were more than just physical, would I still have gone with this treatment route? I’m not sure, that’s a tough question. Everyone goes over the typical side effects – MOON FACE, mood changes, increased appetite, swelling, etc. But no one really tells you about the psychological effects.

prednisone and facial swelling.

Like one day you will wake up, look in the mirror and literally not recognize the person staring back at you. That will do something to you. Not being able to recognize yourself? You look like a completely different person, and not in a good way. Moon face is real, and boy does it mess with you mentally too.

My Moon Face

Fortunately, my moon faced peaked during COVID times, so I was able to cover my face with a mask…until I wasn’t. Like at my baby shower, and holidays. This was the first time I had seen family and friends since Renee was born. I was so embarrassed. I literally did not look like myself plus at this point, I had gained 20 lbs again. The prednisone was curing my kidneys (at the time), but at the cost of my mental health. Don’t even get me started on the stretch marks literally everywhere, the purple, dry skin, swollen eyes, and acne. 

The Before and After Prednisone

I have been on Prednisone for over a year. That’s ridiculous if you ask me. But unfortunately, once you start you can’t stop. You have to slowly wean off of it, or those side effects are even worse. If you are going through this, first, I am so so sorry. Second, I hope you are benefiting from its treatment. Third, I am here to listen and help you as best I can.

People will tell you, it’s okay, it’s only temporary. I hated hearing that! You have no idea what it is like to wake up in the morning and not even recognize yourself, not even be able to look at yourself in the mirror. I never wanted to leave the house. I despised going anywhere. Plus none of my clothes even fit me anymore. I know this all seems like first world problems, but when you have so much shit going on in your life this is the LAST thing you need. 

The A-Ha Moment

I am not a vain person. I buy drugstore makeup, my clothes are always on sale from Target or Old Navy or Amazon. Maybe I get my hair done maybe twice a year. I am okay with that lifestyle. However, I do believe when you look good you feel good. I knew looking completely different was not good for my healing, physical or mental. I was afraid people were going to think I wasn’t taking care of myself and just “let myself go.” Everyone LOVES to put in their two cents, about what will help you and what you need to be doing. Y’all know how much we love hearing that advice too. 

Finally, I eventually decided enough was enough (7 months later). I was going to take control of myself and my body and do my best to limit these side effects. I started a skin care routine, bought all the exfoliating products for my terrible skin, and actually bought clothes that fit me. Let me tell you, that made all the difference in the world. I still have chipmunk cheeks, and I’m not the same as it was (cue Harry Styles).

But I sure do feel much better in my own skin. Be gentle to yourself, you are doing the best you can with the cards you have been dealt. If other people can’t accept that, then they could NEVER walk an inch in your shoes.

You can read about how I chose to finally accept my new body and lifestyle on steroids here.

Don’t forget to treat yourself. You deserve it. You can do it. 

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