Sunday, September 1, 2013

May to June, 2013 - Getting Worse

About this time my GP is getting concerned and refers me to another new dermatologist, a national expert on steroids.  Unlike previous dermatologists I have seen, he seems to actually give a damn.  He does not acknowledge topical steroid withdrawal, but doesn't deny it either.  He tells me that I am about one day from going to the hospital because my skin barrier is seriously compromised. He convinces me that I cannot simply go cold turkey.  His plan is to give me a steroid shot and use a strong steroid ointment (Topicort) for a couple weeks, then a weaker ointment, and eventually weaning me off steroids altogether.  I reluctantly agree.

The steroid shot and Topicort make a significant improvement, but at a follow-up appointment 2 weeks later he tells me I need to continue on the Topicort, as I have not improved enough.  He asks me if I have ever had a biopsy, which I have not, as he is concerned I may have mycosis fungoides, a form of lymphoma.  Yikes, the C word.  He takes a plug from my right arm.

Test results thankfully show no cancer and no fungus, but is analyzed as "drug reaction".  He tells me that since it is not pure eczema I should go see an allergist or endroconologist and shows me the door.  He tells me I can come see him again if I need steroids.  I leave in disbelief, and the more I think about this the more pissed off I get.  This doctor not only abandoned me, he set my recovery back by months if not longer.

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