Questions We Don't Want To Ask the Doctor
Last updated: December 2018
I have been living with psoriasis for 55 years now. There are times I have had personal things going on with my body and dare not ask the doctor any questions. The reason, for me, is because I felt something in an area that is very personal. I remember once wanting to ask my doctor something and couldn’t get it out.
An uncomfortable situation
Sometimes we have to swallow our pride. When situations get desperate we must rethink our logic. I had to remember that my body is not an embarrassment. There is no stupid question that we should be ashamed of asking as a patient. I mean after all this is the doctors forte; study of the body. I have had moments when I didn’t even want the doctor to see how bad my plaque psoriasis was. I was thinking that if I didn’t even want to see myself, how could a doctor stand to look at me?
I had psoriasis between my toes, behind my ears, back, legs, face and every place you can imagine. Of course, the doctor always had to examine my entire body. These are the moments that I would really feel uncomfortable. The worst experiences were when they had to have people prance around and look at you. I realized now, I could have asked him why he thought it was OK to humiliate me? That was what I felt at the time. I know now that was not what he was trying to do.
Judgement free zone?
I always wonder what those people were thinking about my bad case of psoriasis. Did they sympathize or was I just another patient with psoriasis. Who knows? This is one of the questions I never asked. Many times I felt like asking, do you think my psoriasis is gross?
Talking about sex is always an uncomfortable subject to discuss with your doctor. I remember asking my doctor if having sex would irritate my skin more. The minute the question came out; I just wanted to die. My doctor was very understanding and knew what I was asking. He told me that condoms would help reduce friction to my sensitive areas and help with irritation. He also suggested I use Vaseline or some type of grease around the vulva area to reduce friction. I never asked “that” question again.
It’s important to have a doctor that you feel comfortable with. If you don’t feel comfortable with your doctor, how are you going to have a dialogue with them? It took me many years to begin to feel comfortable discussing intimate and personal things with my doctor concerning my psoriasis.
Years ago I was put on prednisone and within a short time my psoriasis came back with a vengeance. I was covered from head to toe; couldn’t take a bath without hurting. My skin cracked and bled so bad that I would cry myself to sleep.
I was scared to go back to the doctor to tell him what was going on with me. I even tried to do some research and tried self-treating. Of course, this didn’t work. I tried so many over-the-counter medications. My psoriasis just got worst.
Don't be afraid to get support
Back in the day, we didn't have the internet to get information. People can now do research and ask any questions they want to know the answers too. Times have certainly changed. If I had to do it all over again I would ask many more questions and therefore would have more answers. The one thing I have learned over the years is to educate yourself about your disease, show respect and compassion for others. I’m proud of the way I’ve survived so much and I strive everyday to be a better and happier me. Remember, your doctor has heard it all; speak up!!!
Does your psoriasis management change with the seasons?