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.


7 thoughts on “Enough

  1. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry. Rashes are awful anyway and adding your frustration with the process on top of it, I can understand (and empathize with) your “enough already” statement. Can you just phone your doctor’s office and tell them that it’s back and refill the prescription (or do you have refills left on your old prescription?). I do hope you find some relief soon. Hang in there. (And I agree with you — I think anyone with RA has more than their quote of diagnoses ….)

    • Thanks, Carla. The dermatologist prescribed a year’s worth of triamcinalone cream, so I still have refills. It just isn’t having any effect. I talked with my pharmacist and was told that there’s a range of topical steroids; tmc is the weakest, clobetasol is the strongest, and there are others in between. I use clobetasol solution on my head, but the pharmacist said it would be a bad idea to use that solution on my rash (I thought maybe I could mix it in with some lotion). I just have too much to do right now to make another doctor’s appointment.

  2. Darn, that looks like a really angry rash! Maybe the doctor can just call in a stronger topical for you. I can totally agree with the quota on medical issues. Like you, I developed a nasty rash last winter that held on until the weather warmed. I’m hoping that it doesn’t make a return appearance this year. The wait for a dermatologist in this area is 3 months.
    Good luck with the dactor and I hope things settle for you soon.

  3. Oh, that looks so unhappy! Can you call your dermatologist? One of the things about chronic conditions is building that relationship with your doctor – if he/she could prescribe for you after talking to you over the phone it would certainly help and save you so much time and effort. I only see my RD every three months but I talk to him at least once between these appointments – I have no idea how he makes that work for billing! Your rash looks itchy/hurty – hope you get some help!

  4. I am sorry you aren’t well. It is a drag isn’t it! can’t the doc just call something in so you don’t have to make the long trip? Seems like it would be easier for him also.

  5. Yikes! So sorry you’ve been fighting this. My first rheumy said that rashes can be associated with autoimmune diseases including RA. Hope the kid to college thing is going well. We just dropped off our second.

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