I haven't used steroids in years. But then, I haven't HAD to use steroids in years. Since starting on the Betaseron about
15 years ago, I have only had on exacerbation, and that subsided on it's own in about
At the time, the neuro I saw said that he was no longer prescribing steroids for every attack. Only for those that dramatically affected a person's ability to "perform Activities of Daily Living"": feeding, bathing, dressing, toileting, bowel and bladder continence, getting in and out of a chair, household and community activities such as meal preparation, doing laundery, grocery shopping, managing money, making telephone calls, doing light work, getting around outside, going places that are beyond walking (or wheelchairing) distance.. Note I said DRAMATICALLY affecting one's ability to do those things. Sometimes it was a matter of "wait and see; if things dont improve in a couple of days, then we'll consider steroids.."
I think what happens is that a lot of newly diagnosed people think that somehow, if/when the MS "goes into remission", that they'll feel COMPLETELY normal for awhile. That they'll not experience ANY residual stuff..numbness, tingling, loss of strength, spasticity, all those "usual" MS symptoms. When in fact it's been MY experience that most people with MS experience at least SOME of those things, in varying intensities, ALL of the time. It's a matter of "re-defining normal". "Normal" will NEVER be what it was like before you got MS. "Normal" can ONLY be your "best good day"..when, while you experience some symptoms, they're not so onerous that you can't go about your daily activities, modified perhaps by an afternoon nap, or by doing things a bit differently, or by postponing the more physical activities for awhile, until you feel better.
When I was first diagnosed I was feeling like, "I gotta do SOMETHING!!!" so I was on the phone all the time to the neuro. Of course this was long before any of the disease modifying drugs, or even the newer steroid treatments, so it meant hospitalization, and ACTH intraveneously, and lots of expense, of both $$ and energy. Then when I finally came to grips with the fact that I was ALWAYS going to experience some disability, then it was a matter of..."If I can't pee by myself..time to call the doctor." or "can't move my leg at all", or "my left arm seems to not want to grip things.." or...any of those things that really affected my "ADL's" (activities of daily living). And almost ALWAYS for visiion things, as that's the one area where the steroids do indeed seem to have some benefit.
So...you really need to talk with your doctor. Find out when HE thinks you should call..and sometimes, it's really just a call to "report" that you're in a flare, and not really a request for intervention. But you and he need to work that out to your comfort, and satisfaction.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....