Seeing a new doctor can be exciting. It creates a sense of hope in someone who has been struggling with a continued medical problem, it makes you think “maybe this guy will be different, maybe he can help me.” That was my exact attitude as I pulled into the parking lot of a new allergist this morning at 8:00 am. Little did I know that 3 hours later I would be literally running out of his office sobbing my eyes out hoping to never see his stupid face again. I should feel relieved though because I don’t think I will ever encounter a doctor quite as awful as the one I met with today. Here are a few highlights from my 3 hours at his office:
Dr. Ross: Why aren’t you taking Allegra?
Me: It makes me dizzy. I sometimes will take it but on most days it just makes me too tired and lightheaded
Dr. Ross: It is physically impossible for Allegra to make you dizzy. Have you ever heard of the placebo effect? This is in your head. Start taking Allegra.
Me: Um, okay.
After our lovely conversation in Dr. Ross’ office where I told him twice how I am deathly allergic to eggs, he ordered more skin testing because “my skin tests from 7 months ago don’t make sense.” Great, nothing better than a surprise allergy skin test. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is cruel and unusual punishment to allergy/eczema sufferers. The doctor pricked my back with 100 different allergens and then waited twenty minutes to see which I am allergic to based on the size of the welt. Twenty minutes I had to sit there with my worst allergy offenders turning into welts on my back and not scratch.
Before the test began I asked Dr. Ross to please not test egg on my back, as I know how allergic I am to this. He insisted that they smear some on my back anyway and just not prick it with a needle. He also insisted that they retest seafood, which I am deathly allergic to. Hmmmm here’s a shocker, 2 minutes into the test and I am crying my eyes out because guess what?!?! I AM STILL ALLERGIC TO EGG AND SEAFOOD and they have exploded on my already rash covered back. Jackass.
Twenty long minutes later Dr. Ross came back in to “read” the results on my hive covered back. He smirked and see “Aha! You are not allergic to milk like you said you were.” I replied with “I know I’m not allergic to milk, I never said that.”
He then handed me a sheet of paper and said “I think your eczema may be caused by you accidentally ingesting food you are allergic to. Here is a list of foods, please circle all of the ones you normally eat.”
Easy enough, right? As I skimmed the list of foods I noticed they all had one thing in common: they all contained egg. I don’t eat any of them because I am deathly allergic to egg. C’mon even you, the reader, remembers this by now. I looked at the nurse and with tears still in my eyes said “I’m confused. Is he trying to see if I am accidentally ingesting egg?” She confirmed that he was and said she would go get him to explain. When Dr. Ross came back in the room I was furious. I said to him for probably the fourth time “I am NOT accidentally ingesting egg, Dr. Ross. Accidentally ingesting egg means a trip to the emergency room for me, NOT just a rash or nausea.” He continued to tell me that most people’s eczema is exacerbated by eating egg. I almost hit him.
I spent the next hour listening to him read the results of my allergy test into a microphone and not making eye contact with me once. He listed these foods as “positive allergens”:
- all seafood
- sesame seed
- soy beans
About halfway through the list, I started sobbing again. This can’t be real, I thought. Still, no eye contact from Dr. Ross, he just continued talking into his stupid microphone. “Patient is showing positive allergy to nuts even though she has no history of nut allergy.” I interrupted “Dr. Ross I DO have a history of a nut allergy, an anaphylactic one.” He became visibly irritated and said into the microphone “well that is certainly a different story than you told me earlier.” Right, because that makes sense. Sometimes I like to make doctor appointments, tell them everything I’m allergic to, then an hour later change my “story” and negate everything I said before.
I told him I had to get to work, and he wrote me a prescription to help my current eczema flare. Then, Dr. Ross did something that pushed me over the edge. He looked at me and said “you need to use this medicine on your face for more than 2 days, Courtney. Of course you still have a rash, you can’t expect to use a medicine for two days and then quit and say waaaah I’m not all better. It’s not a miracle, medicine takes time.”
Oh, thank you Dr. Ross. THANK YOU for clearing my preconceived notion that medicine is a magic little blue pill that you swallow and suddenly everything is perfect. I fired back at him “I KNOW it’s not a miracle cream. That’s why I came to see YOU today because I was using a cream for 2 days and wasn’t sure if I was even using the right one. I didn’t want to try and self diagnose.”
He gave a loud phhhhhhh and said “yeahhh, okaaay.”
And here is where the running from his office and sobbing takes place. This was the most insulting doctor visit I have ever had and I will not be returning to Dr. Ross. As someone whose life has been almost ended due to severe food allergies, do you have any idea how it feels to have a doctor basically tell you you are crazy and even your most severe allergy is “in your head”? It hurts. As soon as I have the energy to do so, I will be calling and requesting my documents be mailed to me because I will not step foot in that office again.
PS a little info from Drugs.com:
Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome when using Allegra:
Dizziness; headache; stomach upset.
Take that and shove it, Dr. Ross.