(1) I call the advice nurse. Tells me to take Benedryl. (2) Got a phone appointment. Doctor says she can't assess me over the phone. Duh. (3) Was able to be seen by a doctor. Leaving out details but she must have been new or just not thinking that day. (4) Finally got my referral to see specialists!
You know what this reminded me of? College pre-req "weeder" courses. I just wanted to get started with the upper div classes!
The allergist was very helpful. We talked over my symptoms, diet, family history to determine which skin tests I should take. Each test would be a prick of a needle on my forearm. She narrowed it down to 30. I thought she was kidding. Nope! Before I knew it I had consented to sitting in a chair with 30 holes in both arms. It looked something like this, except the nurse scribbled HUGE numbers, lines, and abbreviations down both forearms with a blue ball point pen:
The first one that I reacted to was histamine to make sure I didn't have any anti-histamine in my system to show false results. Yes, it itched very much. After the 30 pokes, I noticed that only the second allergen was turning into a welt. It, too, was calling for my fingernails to dig into it. The culprit: dustmites! These pesky creatures (aren't they butt-ugly?) are everywhere!
Hear me roar.
The dermatologist was also helpful. I'm so glad I had Mr. Woo there with me because the doc came in with a "visiting dermatologist" (student?). With two men hovering over my back (to see my ugly eczema patches), I was feeling a bit uneasy. But it was quick, painless, and professional. Even with my personal questions that I asked, to which I (finally!) received answers. I found that some of my symptoms to which I had other concerns were actually common in women. Hoorah! (kind of...)
The best doctors' visits, hands down.
- There's no cure for eczema, but there are some "preventative measures":
- Moisturize like crazy,
- Don't scratch, and
- Get a topical steroid cream for the aftermath of when you do relieve the itching.
- Google is my friend.
- Kaiser and I are "aite" now.