Goddess knows, everyone here has heard me complaining about psoriasis. I started menopause and now, after a lifetime of perfectly fine skin, I have horrible flairs in the winter, for the past 3 years. But every summer, my skin clears and I get a break before it comes back, usually in January.
This year, not only is it not clearing, it goes in cycles of getting really bad, improving a bit, then getting really bad, again. My case is severe, when I have it, it covers much more than 20% of my body, and I have 4 types. Luckily, it hasn’t spread, but it’s painful.
The biologics from big pharma are really expensive, the cheapest cash price that I could find runs around $4000 per month, and it only works while you take it. Doctors visits are additional costs. I am in the states, health insurance for me averages about $700 per month, and most insurance refuses to pay for psoriasis meds because they consider psoriasis to be “cosmetic”.
Yesterday morning, I was in tears when Mr. Jayne came in from work, I hadn’t slept in a few days, from the pain and the itching. It’s gross, it’s nasty, and sometimes, nothing relieves it, and it should be mostly gone by now.* It’s June. I am usually much better by June.
Mr. Jayne tells me (not for the first time) to go to an urgent care, see if they can do anything for me. But I can’t think of a single thing that they can do, because I can’t afford the drugs that treat psoriasis, and I likely wouldn’t take them, even if I could.
So I am emailing with my best internet friend and she suggests that maybe steroids would help me. I hadn’t thought of that in my misery, but when she said that, that gave me a little hope that something relatively inexpensive would maybe give me a little relief, even if it’s only temporary.
Knowing what will help you makes no difference. In the states, health “care” is for profit. So if you want steroids, and you have insurance, many times, a doctor will run a bunch of tests that you don’t need just so he can get that sweet insurance cash. And if you try to resist, he will refuse to treat you for what you need.
If you are cash paying, like me, doctors are likely to refuse to give you the treatment that you need just because you ask for it. See, he is DOCKTOR. You don’t tell mr. DOCKTOR what you need, DOCKTOR tells YOU. If he finds you too uppity, he will punish you by withholding treatment.
Because he still gets your little bit of cash. If he can keep you sick, he knows he will likely get more cash next time.
So you are gambling.
But in my county, we have an urgent care clinic that is staffed by only women, much like this one.** And I was desperate enough to gamble the price of a visit, and I was very comfortable gambling it on a clinic staffed with only women.
So I looked online at their website, and I made myself an appointment for this morning at 10 am, at about 1 am this morning.
Arriving right on time, I filled out 2 papers, paid $99, and waited maybe 2 minutes before a nurse came for me. She weighed me, confirming that I am chubby, with a BMI of 34, which might be bad, I don’t know. She took my blood pressure and pulse, which were all good, she had a look at my psoriasis legs, and some of the inverse, and then I waited about 5 minutes for doctor Brittany.
Doctor Brittany asked me questions, and I think that she is the first doctor that ever listened to me. I didn’t have to strip naked, either. I just moved my clothes around.
She looked at my legs, my right one is particularly bad. She asked me if I had a diagnosis of psoriasis, which I do, but I wasn’t going to pay for medical records, $25 per page,*** from my doctor from over 10 years ago.
I told her that I am hoping that some steroids would give me a little jump start to clearing it up. She said it looks painful, and would I mind if she tested me for diabetes. She left and sent in another woman to do the diabetes finger prick thing.
The finger prick woman left, and Dr. Brittany came back immediately, with a prescription for Prednisone and a prescription for triamcinolon 0.1% steroid cream. I asked if the cream would help with the itching, and she said “Wait! Did you want something for the itching? Let me get you something for that, too”. She came right back with a prescription for hydroxyzine, which she had called in to the Walmart across the street along with the first 2.
And then she asked me if I wanted a shot, too, of steroids, and I was all YES! I asked her how much it costs, and she told me not to worry about it.
The last thing Dr. Brittany said was that if my prescriptions were too expensive, to call her back and she would do something different. (The total of the 3 medicines was just under $40).
There was no losing weight fixes all female issues. There was no “it doesn’t hurt, use some Vaseline” or “how much sugar do you eat”. There was only a really competent, empathetic doctor that heard what I said and trusted my assessment of my own body.
And I don’t know that I can adequately describe the atmosphere of a medical office totally devoid of staffed penis. It was so peaceful. I didn’t have to worry about a male making inappropriate comments about my body,**** or getting irritated by what I was requesting, or constantly looking at his phone or paperwork while I was telling him what I needed.
I was in and out in less than an hour. That has never happened in a male doctor’s office.
The entire experience was relaxed, from the women that greeted me, until I left. I am so glad that I gambled on women. I was not disappointed.
Always seek out the women, the original healers. You likely will also be glad that you did.
*I haven’t had menstrual bleeding in almost 2 years. I had vaginal bleeding a few days last week. Isn’t that……. interesting.
**It was probably that exact one.
***For profit corporations. It’s the entire patriarchal medical system in the states.
****I once had a male gynocologist refer to my genitals as a “monkey”. I was 15.