Why Honesty With Doctor(s) is Important to Feel Our Best

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First today is an author’s note I plan to write one blog post a week this coming week and next because I want to work less over Christmas and New Year’s. Spending more time with those I love is important to me over the next two weeks. Thanks to you all for understanding. Twice a week blog posts will resume after New Years Day. Now, on with today’s post…

Thursday, I had a checkup with my dermatologist. My checkups are yearly, so I can get my prescriptions. I’ve had dermatitis for the past decade. Dermatitis is a rash. It is hereditary. If I use my topical medicine daily, I’m not itchy and no one ever knows by looking at me. “[I]t’s a lifelong issue that clears and flares” (https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/eczema/seborrheic-dermatitis-medref) for me. I woke up itching on Thursday.

A flareup how lovely I thought, but at the same time I knew it was a good day for one. Purposefully not using my medicine because I wanted to let my doctor see, I went to my appointment. She asked how my life was because my appointment was virtual last year. I didn’t give my usual I’m fine answer. Being honest is hard for me when I don’t feel good, but I was. Explaining life for my immediate family this year I looked at her and said honestly, I’m surprised I’m doing as well as I am. Add the pandemic to the mix I’m calling this a win despite being itchy now.

She looked at my skin and told me what I already knew: my dermatitis was out of remission for the first time in a decade. Together we decided a medication change was needed to get me relief and back in remission. Proud of myself for being honest and comforted by her encouragement that we’d get me back in remission, I returned her wishes for a great Christmas and made my next checkup appointment promising to call if I didn’t feel better. Before she went to see her next patient, she reminded me about managing my stress. I promised to do my best knowing that stress makes flareups worse.

The reason I decided to write about my checkup is to remind you all it is important to be honest with your doctor(s) about how you are feeling. It isn’t weakness. As far as I’m concerned, it is a sign of strength. We’re human despite our best efforts to keep ourselves well sometimes we don’t feel great. Sometimes, we need help to feel better. It is perfectly okay to need help feeling better. I wrote this to remind all of us of that truth including myself.

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