My experience with health professionals over the years has definitely been a roll coaster. On some occasions I did not look forward to appointments with GP’s or dermatology due to negative experiences. I have learnt overtime that GP’s and dermatologists only focus on the physical side of eczema. I believe that anyone who has a skin condition needs to think beyond the physical side. This includes handling things mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
GP’s and dermatologists don’t discuss getting to the root of the cause. During consultations they are likely to recommend trying steroid creams or tablets or the UV light treatment etc. Getting to the foundation or the root of the cause involves what is happening inside our bodies and how we mentally live and manage eczema. During one consultation, I requested counselling and psychotherapy specifically around skin conditions however the waiting list is long. Now with COVID 19 and a second national lockdown, this is definitely not top priority in the NHS.
Visits to GP’s and dermatology – my story
In 2005 each time I had an appointment it was never with the same dermatologist. This lead to confusion as each dermatologist had to look through and review my notes. I had to repeat my story and history several times which was frustrating. My first session of UV light treatment was in 2007. The experience I had during this time was positive and I the nursing staff was very friendly and helpful. I was discharged from dermatology in 2013 due to things being more or less under control. I only had small patches on my legs which was manageable.
I then had a major flare up towards the end of 2015 due to issues with accommodation and then was evicted due to my eczema. I visited my GP and requested to be referred back to dermatology. However, I made a mistake by requesting my local hospital only which increased the waiting time. While waiting I saw a different GP who prescribed Prediscone. This steroid tablet caused flaking all over my body and excessive weight loss. Two days prior to my appointment I received a call advising it was cancelled. I was offered an appointment at a different hospital a week later. I saw the same dermatologist who kept giving me the same options, Steroid tablets or UV light treatment. Due to my experience with Prediscone I was very reluctant to take another oral steroid.
There was one follow up appointment which happened either late 2017 or early 2018. My normal dermatologist was on annual leave so ended up seeing someone else. At that point my eczema was under control and in my own eyes thought it was ok and manageable. I was told that my eczema was not good in fact the exact words I was told was ‘your skin is bad ‘then was offered steroid tablets or UV light treatment. The appointment ended in tears. I looked at myself and thought I was bad and unattractive with no confidence. I think that appointment was my worst experience with any healthcare professional. I questioned God in prayer why he couldn’t just heal me so that I would not experience such heart break.
Then after careful consideration as well as prayer I went to have UV light treatment again. This was based at another hospital where I was also working at which was a huge advantage. I have also blogged about my phototherapy light treatment journey.
My last face to face consultation was in January 2020 where I was given steroid cream to calm things down and a follow up in July 2020. Due to the pandemic, the next follow up was via phone which was weird as couldn’t show my skin; however the advice I was given was reasonable at the time.
There’s a part of me that wants to save up on money and go private and there’s another part that wants to try alternate options. I was cutting out wheat and diary at one point but currently no longer doing this as noticed my skin did not flare up after eating these foods. So I will definitely think more about alternatives and then report back later on a future blog!