Friday, December 17, 2010

We Are Not Amused

Nope. This is not me, although my eczema is nummular, too. So there. Image of nummular (or coin shaped) eczema found here

So I have had another outbreak of skin weirdness recently. Different from the other skin weirdness-es that I have experienced previously.

My rheumatologist looked at the circular bright pink blobs on my shoulders and chest and back and made a referral to a dermatologist. "Hm," he said. "New spots."

Off I went like a good patient to my derm doctor. And after forking over $45 dollars for the co-pay, she looked at my pink blobs and said, "Hm. Spots."

Really? Really??

She did elaborate a bit further. She said I have atopic dermatitis, or eczema. "Seems as though people with autoimmune issues also frequently have eczema. Your skin is already irritated and dry, and so it reacts. Try putting some over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream on it, and take benadryl if it gets really itchy. Here's some other skin-care suggestions."

She handed me a patient info sheet, asked if I had any other more interesting blotches to show her, and when I told her that what she saw is all that I had - was out the door.

Forty five bucks for about a five minute chat.

Really? Really??

I'm cranky.


Leslie at SugarAndSpiceADK. said...

I have these spots too, Julia--my Derma. says it's either eczcema or Psoriasis, and gave me another tube of steroid cream. Seems to be helping a little bit. The spots are slightly raised and perfectly round, and they pop up everywhere on my legs.

sue said...

I get spots too but my rheumatologist says it is vasculitis. It usually happens only in the summer after being out in the sun all day with the kids (amusement parks and such). At least, being Canadian, I don't have to fork over $45 and be told "Hmm spots". Of course we pay in other ways but I think I'd get really cranky if I had to hand over cash for that piece of priceless wisdom.

Scott S said...

I would be annoyed, too! A more competent doctor would spend some time talking with you as the patient to understand why you were referred to her. This is what our healthcare "system" (a term I use very loosely) has come to; doctors who have at most 15 minutes to spend with patients in order to meet quotas to pay the bills, therefore its rush them in and out to maximize turnover. Still, I would have been annoyed by the selection of this doctor, you'd like to think a referral means that they trust a doctor, but in this case, it's unclear what that meant.

Anonymous said...

Have they tested you for lupus. These sores can show up with lupus too. I feel for you. Hugs. Tammy

annie said...

My sister has eczema and other "weird" symptoms, not like mine, but very similar. Of course none of her doctors find anything wrong with her, and all her tests are fine, but I tell her to keep pursuing and checking as she too, may have some autoimmune problem. What a bummer for you though, I hope these spots are not painful.

Julia Oleinik said...

Thanks for your concern, everyone. These stupid spots actually don't hurt, just are kind of itchy. My rheumy told me they are not vasculitis, which is why he sent me on to Dr. Useless.

Anonymous said...

If they are eczema, the over-the-counter may help - but if it doesn't there are stronger prescription creams that might also, so it's worth following up if the OTC doesn't do the trick.