When I saw the rheumatologist last week I asked him if I should take some steroids to relieve the symptoms in my hands (just as a short-term measure). He said that I could if it 'becomes intolerable.' I contemplated what that might mean. I decided that it was intolerable if I couldn't ride my bike this weekend, (a group of us did a really nice ride in Kent) and so took a small dose of prednisolone (more than he suggested but not enormous!). My hands stopped hurting enough for me to spend 3 hours riding my bike so I figured that any potential damage from the steroids was more than mitigated by the benefits of the exercise. The challenge is going to be not to take them again tomorrow!
(The increased dose of immunosuppresants will take about 2 months to really work properly which is a long time to sit still!)