Dealing with your Doctor

 I am a newbie to this, just 3 months in, so I don't assume to know everything about TSW, but i just wanted to use this blog to share what works for me!  Please do let me know your feed back and methods you have tried! :) On the Itsan Forum, a question went out regarding finding a good doctor.  I just wanted to  dedicate a post on dealing with your doctor/derm and the approach I used to get support from my doctor!

Firstly, you need to know your stuff!  Not because you are going to enter a debate with  them (that would be unwise-seeing as eventually you want them to prescribe you meds for itch and pain).
The reason you need to know your stuff is because they will shove steroids down your throat(not literally)  you want to know enough not to fall for the bait.  Especially mid-flare.  Once you know your stuff and are confident in TSW, you are ready to see a doctor.

These are my tips regarding "Doc's & Derms"

1)You do not need to "prove" TSW to your doctor.  It is extremely difficult for a doc to admit to you that they have been screwing up for all these years.  So try another approach.

2) Use their knowledge against them: What info can you find regarding steroids that is medically supported i.e-on the Topical Steroids websites and otherwise places they would support.
So things like, thinning of the skin, limited sun exposure, glaucoma, cancer , stretch marks and a suppressed immunize system are all medically recognized side effects of steroids that your doctor will agree with.

3) Simply say, I no longer want to use steroids anymore because  of the above side affects.  Tell them you have noticed your skin thinning, you want to be out in the sun, got stretch marks, whatever-even though it's not your main reason, that's all Dear Doc needs to know.

4) Let them know it hasn't been working and the pattern.  Without impling that there is a whole 'syndrome', just lay out the facts for them.  I did this with my doctor.  I let her know I have been using these my entire life, everyday at some point and each year we up the anti with the steroids.  You would prefer not to end up on predisone one day-also list side affects for that or an injection.  So for that you would rather suffer through your eczema.  Which is really TSW(but they don't need to know that quite yet)

5) Of corse protopic-and elide will be offered.  Say honestly I don't want another immune suppressant and if they could just support you through the symptoms instead.  Give you something to help itch, to sleep better and to watch out for infections.

6) How you treat your eczema is your choice not your doctors.  When I told my doctor I didn't want to use steroids anymore she did understand. But as I said I didn't introduce the "red skin syndrome ".  Basically I saved her ego, and just asked her to level with me.  Her and I both knew the treatments weren't working, so why not try something else for a bit.

7) As your skin improves-make sure to go in an see your doctor! This is key, because if you really want to convert your doc, they are going to have to see it for themselves.  So go in during your flares and ask for whatever you need.  Reiterate you know that steroids would "solve"(stroke ego) the problem but would prefer not.  As soon as the symptoms subside book another "victory" appointment!

8) Once you are healed make sure to see your doctor and then show them the the study and all the facts!  I truly believe this is the best way to get support from a doctor and in the end probably may even help them change their practices.

No one likes to be told they are wrong or aren't doing their job properly.  Especially those with doctorate degrees tend to have medical pride!  And rightfully so, they spent how many years in school studying things we can't even pronounce?  How can we really expect to walk in to their office with a couple sheets of paper and expect them to lay down what they have spent their whole careers believing.
I am sure their are some doctors that would read the pages and believe immediately.  But as the saying goes "seeing is believing" !


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