April 19, 2012

Really? My knuckle "concerns" you? I could give you a whole list of other things to worry about.

Well over a year ago I went to the doctor (not the 12 year old one).  I had a persistent itch on my head that would NOT go away no matter what I tried.  And I tried everything, believe me.

Prior to going to the doctor, after all my ideas ran out (what?!  I'm a mom!  I'm practically a doctor - without the ability to prescribe drugs, but still....we ALL know that moms have the ability to diagnose pretty much anything) I turned to WebMD; as do all modern mothers whose diagnosing abilities have hit a dead end, and after keying in the symptoms I was pretty certain that I had either a) psoriasis or b) leprosy.  I was betting on the psoriasis since leprosy is pretty rare these days....and because I've had a bout with psoriasis once before long ago.

So off to the doctor I went; where I proclaimed to her that I had psoriasis.  She looked and informed me that I did NOT has psoriasis but that I had Xdfjdejahdfsarjalrjwe (not the real name, obviously, but I can't remember it and I'm pretty sure it was that long and had very few vowels) which was a type of fungal infection (ewwww!  Gross!  How did that happen????).

This baffled me.  Because a) how could I have been wrong b) how could WebMD have been wrong and c) HOW in the hell could *I* have contracted a fungal infection....on my HEAD!?

After reluctantly conceding that SHE was the one who actually attended medical school (and had been a mom far longer than I), I finally accepted her diagnoses and took her prescription.  And it worked.

For a little while.  And then it came back.  So I called for a refill.  And it worked.  For a while.  And then it spread.  I called for yet another refill and I was informed that I had to come back in (oh, the horror).

I put it off because by now, "my" doctor had left for her new job (just for the record, I still believe that doctors shouldn't be allowed to just abandon patients like that.....) and I was reluctant to deal with a new one.  And so I continued to itch and it continued to spread until finally I just couldn't take it anymore and I called for an appointment.

The new (fresh-faced) doctor looked me over and promptly called in another (more experienced) doctor.  They both agreed that this was, in fact, Xdfjdejahdfsarjalrjwe.  They even took samples to look at under the microscope.  They both said that "aggressive" treatment was warranted.  They checked my blood - to make sure I was "up" to the treatment since it, apparently, can wreak havoc on your kidneys.  They told me to take the pills every day for six weeks and then return to show them that they are brilliant it worked.

Immediately after taking the first pill, I noticed that new areas had broken out.  But I persevered.  Because, dammit, I was tired of the itching and I was ready for this new "aggressive" treatment to kick in.  And it helped....a little; very little (yes, I admit, I was delusionally optimistic at this point).

After six weeks, I went back so they could see how I was coming along.  Surprise, surprise.....nothing had changed.

The new doctor admitted defeat and said it was time to refer me to a dermatologist.  Fine.  Whatever.  Let's just deal with this already - that was my attitude.  It took a while but finally I got the appointment, which was for the other day.

The dermatologist looked me over and in under two minutes declared that I did NOT have Xdfjdejahdfsarjalrjwe.  She looked me in the eye and told me,

"You have psoriasis."

I looked at her in total shock and stammered, "That's what I TOLD them I had!  I WebMd'd myself!"  She laughed and said something about "Doctor Google," gave me prescriptions for a whole host of creams, ointments, sprays and instructions on what not to do (in total contradiction to what I had been instructed TO do; apparently while the symptoms are similar the treatments are not) and said that I'd probably get some relief in under three days.

THREE days!  This has been going on for OVER a year.  And do you know what one of the main triggers of psoriasis is?


What do you want to bet that the stress of the itching, the wondering where in the world I could have contracted Xdfjdejahdfsarjalrjwe and when it was all going to stop (in addition to everything else going on in my life right now) is WHAT contributed to the spreading of it in the first place?

Only me *sigh.*   Only me.  I swear, this stuff only happens to me.

The good news?  After only TWO treatments (which AREN'T poised to attack my kidneys) I am already feeling 100% better.  Imagine that.  It's amazing the results you get when you are receiving treatment for what you actually have.  The bad? I have an appointment with a rheumatologist....just in case, because, apparently, psoriasis is linked with arthritis and, according to the miracle-worker doctor, my knuckle "worries" her.  Seriously?  Out of the million OTHER worrisome things about me - THAT is what she decides to worry over; my knuckle?  And again, I sigh.


  1. I just literally LOL'd that you TOLD them you had psoriasis and they wouldn't listen! Duh. Don't they know everyone in America googles their own symptoms to see what is wrong with them? And chances are they will be told they have cancer (or leprosy)and will die a horrible, painful, drawn-out death. These doctors should KNOW this by now. Glad you finally got it taken care of, but seriously Gigi- a year is a bit long. Next time get thyself to the doctor sooner to let them know you have (insert diagnosis here) so that you don't have to suffer for so long.

  2. Oh, and the arthritis thing? Get that looked at now. My MIL had that and her hands were crippled at the end of her life and she was in a lot of pain. Don't mess around with that one.

  3. Crap, that made me laugh!! You should be a nurse, because we always think we have everything under the sun...

  4. What really irks me, and I've been through it, too, is that you took a potentially damaging medication for an extended period of time... and it was pointless. That scares the crap out of me.

    Good luck with the rheumatologist.

  5. Well, I hope you get your knuckle seen to after all that.
    I have psoriasis in the same place as you, it's stress-related. It takes super-human willpower not to scratch it. I just hope that on the odd occasion I have to scratch that itch that people don't think I have head lice!

  6. That is funny in a very frustrating way. Man, it does make me wonder about why in the world we can't have decent medical care. Of course, the specialist knew what you had, but you probably made the first doctor really mad that you tried to diagnose yourself and so by God you DIDN"T have psoriasis! Good luck with the rheumatologist. Glad you're going, Gigi.

  7. I was going to say it, but you said it first, Gigi...only you. I'm a doctor to and I get so tired of doing their job and not getting paid for it!