Last night, I doused my hands in moisturizer, slid a pair of cotton socks over them, and went downstairs to watch a movie with my fiance. It wasn’t until I was comfortably snuggled on the couch and resting my face … Continue reading
Vegan. The world makes me angry, confused, sad. How can people eat vegan when things like this exist: or this: I have never understood why people would put themselves through the torcher of avoiding such delicious foods. Vegetarianism I can … Continue reading
Seeing a new doctor can be exciting. It creates a sense of hope in someone who has been struggling with a continued medical problem, it makes you think “maybe this guy will be different, maybe he can help me.” That was my exact attitude as I pulled into the parking lot of a new allergist this morning at 8:00 am. Little did I know that 3 hours later I would be literally running out of his office sobbing my eyes out hoping to never see his stupid face again. I should feel relieved though because I don’t think I will ever encounter a doctor quite as awful as the one I met with today. Here are a few highlights from my 3 hours at his office:
Dr. Ross: Why aren’t you taking Allegra?
Me: It makes me dizzy. I sometimes will take it but on most days it just makes me too tired and lightheaded
Dr. Ross: It is physically impossible for Allegra to make you dizzy. Have you ever heard of the placebo effect? This is in your head. Start taking Allegra.
Me: Um, okay.
After our lovely conversation in Dr. Ross’ office where I told him twice how I am deathly allergic to eggs, he ordered more skin testing because “my skin tests from 7 months ago don’t make sense.” Great, nothing better than a surprise allergy skin test. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is cruel and unusual punishment to allergy/eczema sufferers. The doctor pricked my back with 100 different allergens and then waited twenty minutes to see which I am allergic to based on the size of the welt. Twenty minutes I had to sit there with my worst allergy offenders turning into welts on my back and not scratch.
Before the test began I asked Dr. Ross to please not test egg on my back, as I know how allergic I am to this. He insisted that they smear some on my back anyway and just not prick it with a needle. He also insisted that they retest seafood, which I am deathly allergic to. Hmmmm here’s a shocker, 2 minutes into the test and I am crying my eyes out because guess what?!?! I AM STILL ALLERGIC TO EGG AND SEAFOOD and they have exploded on my already rash covered back. Jackass.
Twenty long minutes later Dr. Ross came back in to “read” the results on my hive covered back. He smirked and see “Aha! You are not allergic to milk like you said you were.” I replied with “I know I’m not allergic to milk, I never said that.”
He then handed me a sheet of paper and said “I think your eczema may be caused by you accidentally ingesting food you are allergic to. Here is a list of foods, please circle all of the ones you normally eat.”
Easy enough, right? As I skimmed the list of foods I noticed they all had one thing in common: they all contained egg. I don’t eat any of them because I am deathly allergic to egg. C’mon even you, the reader, remembers this by now. I looked at the nurse and with tears still in my eyes said “I’m confused. Is he trying to see if I am accidentally ingesting egg?” She confirmed that he was and said she would go get him to explain. When Dr. Ross came back in the room I was furious. I said to him for probably the fourth time “I am NOT accidentally ingesting egg, Dr. Ross. Accidentally ingesting egg means a trip to the emergency room for me, NOT just a rash or nausea.” He continued to tell me that most people’s eczema is exacerbated by eating egg. I almost hit him.
I spent the next hour listening to him read the results of my allergy test into a microphone and not making eye contact with me once. He listed these foods as “positive allergens”:
- all seafood
- sesame seed
- soy beans
About halfway through the list, I started sobbing again. This can’t be real, I thought. Still, no eye contact from Dr. Ross, he just continued talking into his stupid microphone. ”Patient is showing positive allergy to nuts even though she has no history of nut allergy.” I interrupted “Dr. Ross I DO have a history of a nut allergy, an anaphylactic one.” He became visibly irritated and said into the microphone “well that is certainly a different story than you told me earlier.” Right, because that makes sense. Sometimes I like to make doctor appointments, tell them everything I’m allergic to, then an hour later change my “story” and negate everything I said before.
I told him I had to get to work, and he wrote me a prescription to help my current eczema flare. Then, Dr. Ross did something that pushed me over the edge. He looked at me and said “you need to use this medicine on your face for more than 2 days, Courtney. Of course you still have a rash, you can’t expect to use a medicine for two days and then quit and say waaaah I’m not all better. It’s not a miracle, medicine takes time.”
Oh, thank you Dr. Ross. THANK YOU for clearing my preconceived notion that medicine is a magic little blue pill that you swallow and suddenly everything is perfect. I fired back at him “I KNOW it’s not a miracle cream. That’s why I came to see YOU today because I was using a cream for 2 days and wasn’t sure if I was even using the right one. I didn’t want to try and self diagnose.”
He gave a loud phhhhhhh and said “yeahhh, okaaay.”
And here is where the running from his office and sobbing takes place. This was the most insulting doctor visit I have ever had and I will not be returning to Dr. Ross. As someone whose life has been almost ended due to severe food allergies, do you have any idea how it feels to have a doctor basically tell you you are crazy and even your most severe allergy is “in your head”? It hurts. As soon as I have the energy to do so, I will be calling and requesting my documents be mailed to me because I will not step foot in that office again.
PS a little info from Drugs.com:
Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome when using Allegra:
Dizziness; headache; stomach upset.
Take that and shove it, Dr. Ross.
My quest for both clear and steroid free skin has never been successful. In the life of an eczema sufferer, these two are contradictions. As you may have read in an earlier post, I decided to go gluten free as a desperate measure to heal my scarred and hurting skin.
I took a picture of my swollen and rash covered face 6 days ago, before quitting both topical steroids and gluten. It is not pretty, but I am not ashamed to show it! Eczema is not pretty. It is one of the most frustrating, depressing, and thought consuming diseases. It is filled with stares from strangers, worried looks from friends, “what’s wrong with your face?” questions, and pain.
5 days of a gluten-free diet and no steroids:
In this picture I am wearing absolutely no makeup except eyeliner. 5 days ago, my eyes were so swollen and itchy that the thought of eyeliner made me want to scream. I am excited to continue my gluten free diet, and to continue finding other ways of maintaining my skin!
I was talking to my boss at work last night about the “gluten free fad” and he told me about several people he knows who have seen incredible results, even those who are not celiac positive. He spoke of one woman, a regular at the restaurant, who was always overweight and had a horrible complexion. A month into her gluten free diet she had dropped a significant amount weight and her always splotchy skin was beautiful. I can’t wait to see the progress in the next few months if 5 days has already helped so much. I mean, if Miley Cyrus endorses a gluten free lifestyle it HAS to hold some value, right??
Day 2 of my new gluten free lifestyle is complete! I have decided that I am sick of having to use steroid cream every single day to control my eczema and am going to try cutting out gluten. My little sister who also suffers from eczema has done this and has experienced wonderful results. My mom and another one of my sisters also have a gluten intolerance, so the likelihood that gluten is causing my eczema flare is very high.
This past weekend I developed a gnarly rash on my face that I am pretty sure is a RESULT of the eczema steroids I use. It’s so unfair isn’t it? The one thing that helps my eczema suddenly decides to stop working and actually make it worse. I’m trying to stay positive, but the fact that I want to burst into tears every time I look in the mirror doesn’t help.
Cutting out gluten won’t be hard for me. I already live a life devoid of eggs, seafood, nuts, and certain preservatives. Why not add gluten to the list?! If nothing else it will be a hell of a diet plan!
When I told Isaac about my decision to go gluten free, I’m not sure how I was expecting him to respond. I thought it would be something along the lines of “are you sure you want to do that? You are already so limited in what you can eat.” Instead he thought for a minute, gave his little devilish grin, and said “does this mean I can eat all of the chips, bread, and crackers in the house? They are all mine?”
That is what I love about Isaac. He constantly brings humor to situations that are…not humorous. When I am feeling depressed and frustrated by one of my physical/allergy limitations, he always finds a way to bring my anxiety down a level and make me laugh. I think that having someone in your life who can clear the fog and keep you from taking yourself too seriously is invaluable. I am lucky enough to be marrying that person.
Last night I was working at my part-time waitressing job and was nearing the end of my shift. Hands full of glassware, I tip-toed through the busy kitchen and made my way to the dish pit. I have put dirty … Continue reading