I'm feeling so much better now and go figure, sometimes this happens right AFTER I make a doctor's appointment. I think today's nurse put it best when he said, "It's kind of like taking your car to the mechanic: once you get there, the problem is gone."
In my case though, the eczema wasn't completely gone.
As I mentioned before, I had my hesitations about this dermatologist because of a language barrier - she's Italian. She graduated from Emory University about 3-4 years ago. I was worried that I would get the eczema basic-care sermon when, considering that I've had eczema as a child, I know the do's and don'ts. Although, I have to admit that I've recently given up very warm showers and opted for lukewarm ones to keep my skin happy.
This derm wasn't too bad. She was very serious and she questioned a lot of what I was doing. "Why are you seeing all these specialists?" Then I had to explain that my original dermatologist wasn't able to help me since the MRSA/staph infection kept coming back. I explained that I sought an Infectious Disease specialist who advised me to see a hematologist, and now I've been advised to see a rheumatologist mostly because of an elevated iGe level in my blood. "But an elevated iGe level is because of atopic dermatitis [eczema]," she said, looking at my quizzically.
Y'know... I had my suspicions about my ID doc not being too bright.
She then went on to say that I pretty much fit the bill for having severe eczema and I'm going through a bad flare. She asked how many bad flares do I get each year. I'd say about 2 or 3, but it's only felt like more the past 6 months because I've also been dealing with MRSA.
She commented on my old dermatologist: "He's a great doctor." I agreed. I will kind of miss seeing that dermatologist because he's so knowledgeable and I know most of his staff. However, I need a doctor or a dermatology group that would be more available to see me AND that's closer to where I live.
So here's how we're going to treat this recent flare. I'm on Prednisone for the next 10 days. Instead of taking 30 mgs a day in 10mg increments, I'm doing 40 mgs every morning for the first 4 days. Then, the dosage will decrease the days afterwards. It's pretty much a given to decrease Prednisone gradually. I was advised to take my first dose after dinner tonight and I think I'm already seeing results. The only problem I foresee is getting sleep. Prednisone can make one alert and full of energy - it's a steroid.
I'm also prescribed Protopic, a non-steroidal ointment to use on affected areas AFTER I use the steroidal ointment Triamcinolone. I've been using Triamcinolone for some time now, but it does thin-out skin. Unfortunately, my Protopic ointment is still being approved by insurance (God, just another reason why I dislike Anthem California so much) so I couldn't pick it up today. I did confirm with my dermatologist that my samples of Eletone (another non-steroidal prescription, given to me by my old derm) could work too.
I'm seeing my ID doc tomorrow and I'm really hoping it's the day I get my PICC-line removed. I'm not too happy with this guy even though he was able to clear me of my MRSA boils with the IV antibiotics. He's sent me on this wild goose chase seeing different doctors, but I'm still seeing a rheumatologist. I have a high rheumatoid factor in my blood too. I had a blood test done almost 10 years ago which said the same thing, but it wasn't a huge issue. Now I'm going to get it checked out because I've noticed poor circulation in my feet and toes.
I'm feeling much better, but I've still got my fingers crossed that things aren't too serious.