I had a long day yesterday and I’m just getting to share how things went at my medical appointments. Overall, I was very pleased by the care I received and the help I’ve been given. However, after reading up on some things I’m a little perplexed about one diagnosis.
First, I’m very optimistic about my spinal cord stimulator. Yesterday was the first adjustment I’ve gone to where I knew exactly what I needed to ask my programming representative. My device was originally set on a setting where it ran for 30 seconds on and then off for 1 1/2 minutes. After getting over stimulated so much my rep back in June set it where it ran for 30 seconds on and then 5 minutes off. Due to not getting enough from that setting she created every variation in between so I can see which works best for me over time. I can turn my unit to being off for 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1 minute now. Shortly explained I’m learning how to drive this vehicle known as my spinal cord stimulator. You never master it, but it’s extremely important you have the setting that helps your nervous system the most.
My other appointment was seeing a dermatologist for the first time. They took off a place on my face and my stomach that looked very suspicious. Removing them was painless and I really like being proactive when it comes to your health. Of course, I won’t find out for two weeks whether they were benign.
What I don’t agree with her on is her diagnosis of my skin breakouts. At that time, I had no way of educating myself concerning what she was saying about my itching skin. We both agreed that it is stress and nerve fed for sure. And it’s stimulated even further by hot water, sweat, tight clothing, and even not keeping your skin moisturized. But, I believe she is pretty off with saying that I have Dermatographism. In fact, after looking it up I know without a doubt she is wrong.
“Dermatographism is a common form of hives that appears due to stroking, rubbing, or scratching of the skin, or when tight-fitting clothes rub the skin.” Yes, any of my areas of various rashes are irritated more by scratching. But, most of the time I’m not even touching the places that are already burning red. Bottom line is my stuff is so much more than her observation. She said, “ I don’t doubt that you have Neurodermatitis from all your nerve damage. But I believe you have this as well because I personally have similar symptoms.”
Looking back I don’t think she liked me telling her that my doctor had already said he was fairly certain I had Neurodermatitis. I showed her all my pictures and shared all my symptoms. Yet, she told me it wasn’t necessary to take my medication three times a day for my Neurodermatitis as prescribed by my primary doctor. Well, just by not taking the nightly dose alone woke me up 3am itching like crazy.
We settled on the fact that we must deal with all the potential trigger points which are many. I must take every helpful medication both related to my nerves and allergies. They literally said I should take a shower every time I sweat. They also told me I should only be in lukewarm water even in the shower. I basically have to wash with special soap and then follow that with moisturizing cream.
She wrote me a prescription for Zyrtec and Hydroxyzine which I already take. Then, a prescription for ranitidine (Zantac) that surprised me, but here is how it works in tandem with Zyrtec. “There is a chemical in the skin that can cause allergy symptoms like hives. … H2 blockers: You may be told to take more than one type of antihistamine at a time for your hives. Medicines like famotidine (Pepcid) or ranitidine (Zantac) can be used together with other treatments. Mild cases of hives may not need treatment. But moderate to severe cases require antihistamines or steroid pills. Stomach medicines that have some antihistamine effect, like ranitidine, may also help.”
Anyway, I now have the peace we’re doing everything possible to contain my nerve pain and my itching. If there is one thing I’ve learned about doctors it’s the fact they too don’t have all the answers. Just like as a pastor I don’t have all the answers. But, doctors need to not be so quick to label you with something without enough observation or understanding of your specific struggle. No two people are completely alike. And, I feel many of your bigger medical places are just used to quickly throwing certain meds and labels at you. They herd you like cattle in and out of their office. And, let’s face it how can you understand someone’s condition when 5 minutes after you walk in the room you’re already positive of the problem. While there may be some degree of educated guessing most doctors need to treat each patient as if it were one of their own family members. Listen, learn, and then direct us the best you can. Overall, I got what a prayed yesterday at both visits. Thanks for your prayers.