A doctor is focused on typing on a computer while a patient in a hospital gown is trying to get her attention but is fading into the background. The dotted outline of a speech bubble is coming out of the patient's mouth.

Why I'm Sometimes Reluctant to Visit the Doctor

In 2018, an online survey was conducted in the United States and it made for some very interesting reading. The survey had just over 400 individual participants with atopic dermatitis. One statistic that caught my eye was that just over 90% of patients who took the survey felt that their eczema was not in control with current treatments. That is a staggeringly high proportion of eczema patients feeling and, more importantly, knowing that current treatments are simply not working or if they are - they are doing so with minimal impact.

Reading further, the survey revealed that almost 1 in 4 participants no longer see an HCP for their atopic dermatitis. Again, this stat should sound alarm bells ringing in the dermatology world. Something must change!  And not just for the people with enough money in their pockets to make that change viable.

A doctor's visit can feel like a waste of time

I have to literally be crawling along the floor before I see my doctor because they have not offered me anything different in forty years, give or take a slight change in moisturizer. It can be like talking to a block of wood.

Me: "Can I try something different, doctor?'

Dr: "Computer says no."

Me: "What about this new medication?

Dr: "Computer says no."

Me: "Why not?'

Dr: "Computer says no."

Obviously, I exaggerate for comic effect here. My doctor is lovely, and she has good intentions for me and is always willing to listen to my concerns. However, if you strip away all the good intentions, all the small talk, all the niceties, etc., then the aforementioned dialogue is not as silly as it might appear. Technically that is what is really being said. She can only offer me the same old meds. If truth be told, it can actually be a little embarrassing. We both know the treatment doesn't work!

Nice to know I am not alone

When I read the 2018 Atopic Dermatitis In America survey, it gave me some comfort to know that I am not completely mad or alone in my feelings. There are millions of people out there who share my views, and however illogical it might seem to a typical healthy bystander who hears of people like us not going to the doctor when we are sick, then hopefully after reading this they may have a little more understanding.

My next move

So what now? What are my options? Well, one option is to try and get some private health care. I have a friend of a friend that went private for help with his arthritis, and he spoke of being given new immunosuppressant medications that helped two-fold with his condition. I would be happy with trying this type of medication, if only for a few months, just to reset my system. The other option is to keep banging on the door of my primary care doctor. I really do not know what to do. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be grateful to hear them. Anyhow... back to the drawing board!

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