Like the boomerang generation of kids who leave home, then return, my rash has made an unwelcome return and shows no inclination of departing.
It took five long months of steroid cream to vanquished my rash the first time. The dermatologist didn’t even look to verify that the rash had disappeared. He took my word for it, and just nodded his head as he instructed me to taper off the topical steroid. Tapering oral prednisone I understand. 20mg, 18mg, 15mg, 12mg, 10mg, 8 mg, 5mg, 4mg… It’s not so clear how one tapers a topical medicine that’s applied “sparingly.” Maybe every-other-day instead of daily? The doctor wasn’t clear, and I didn’t think to ask until too late.
In the beginning, this rash was mildly annoying. Now that it’s back, it’s more than annoying. It hurts. If I wear shoes, with every step it feels like coarse sandpaper scraping raw patches on my feet. If I go barefoot, my slacks rub back and forth across the rash on top of my feet. If I wear capris or skirts to keep fabric off my legs, people stare at these hideous red blotches.
Back to the dermatologist I should go, I suppose, but I have lost all inclination to make appointments to see doctors. It is wearying.
- phone to make appointment, wait 2-3 weeks to be seen
- rearrange my schedule
- make arrangements for my kids while I’m at the doctor
- drive an hour for a 15 minute appointment, then another hour home
- go to pharmacy to fill yet another prescription
- return for follow-up appointment to check whether treatment was effective (more driving, more childcare, more schedule rearranging)
I’m starting to wonder if the benefit is worth the time & money expended, and I’m starting to understand why some doctors aren’t too enthusiastic about treating patients with chronic conditions. If you break a bone, the doctor can set it and it will (usually) heal. If you catch a cold, it will go away in a few weeks. Even if you get pneumonia, you either get well, or die; it doesn’t drag on for years and year and years.
It’s the dragging on and on and on that gets me. There should be a limit to the number of medical issues every person has to deal with. I’d like to say, “I’m sorry, but my quota has been filled, that diagnosis will have to go to someone else.” I’ve had enough.