I say it all the time: medical doctors do not know how to heal. They can diagnose. They can treat symptoms. But very few are interested in a cure. The cynical part of me says that there is nothing to be gained monetarily by actually healing. I want to believe that there are some doctors out there who are working because they truly believe they are making a difference. However, after years of practice and never seeing anyone get healed, I would think some doctors would start to question their profession. Healing does not equal "no symptoms" and I'm yet to meet a doctor who understands that. Worse yet, is the arrogance that one may encounter when dealing with doctors. They often get smug in their role as "the professional" and yours as "the patient". You find them dismissing concerns, half-listening, rushing through an appointment all while writing a prescription and scheduling the next appointment.
I want to be clear: I'm talking about allopathic (Western) medicine which I believe *only* has a place when it comes to acute medical emergencies. I believe wholeheartedly that you are better off using some other medical model if you truly want healing for a chronic illness.
Why do I feel this way?
1. I have had allergies all my life despite always being under the care of a doctor.
2. My eyesight continues to get worse despite always being under the care of a doctor.
3. My scalp is still on fire, flaking and scabby despite going to a doctor today.
I want to address #3. So I finally made it to a dermatologist today and I was so excited since by her name, I knew she was Black. I figured it would be great to have a doctor who was familiar with Black skin. Well, what a complete and total disaster and waste of time. The doctor seemed to have some disdain for me from the very beginning. Maybe it's because when I was asked by the receptionist for my social security I said I didn't have one. That seems to be easier than saying "Oh, I don't just give out my SS#" (which I don't because there is no need for a doctor to have it if they know my insurance information). During that whole interaction, the doctor was standing right there although I had no idea she was the doctor. Even if I were to give the #, why would I do so with some stranger standing right there? Anyway, when I went into the examination room, the doctor said "Do you have a social security number?" And I said, "Yes". She then says, "But you don't want to give it?" and I said, "That's correct" and she mumbles "Because every U.S. citizen has a SS# . . . aren't you a U.S. citizen?" At which point I wanted to ask, "Are you a doctor or the INS?"
Anyway, homegirl was not trying to hear what I was saying. She looked at my scalp and decided that I had, wait for it, DANDRUFF (seborrheic dermatitis) and said she couldn't see the flakes because I use shea butter to oil my scalp. She said that I should discontinue use of shea butter on my skin because it clogs the pores. Bullshit. I've been using shea butter on my face for years now without a problem. If I happen to wash my hair and oil it with, lets say, jojoba or coconut oil or not at all, it seems to be a big huge problem (remember, flare-ups start with a feeling of very dry scalp which makes me initially think that I missed a spot when oiling). I tried to explain to her the cycle of hair loss. Tried to explain what a flare-up feels like. She hardly listened. I showed her that there are parts of my body where I had hair before where there is no hair at all right now. Explained that I used to have to shave with some regularity. Explained about the brittle hair that breaks easily (and the thinning locks). She said, "Oh, when I'm walking down the street I see persons who have locks that are all different lengths--their hair can't support the extra weight of the locks." When I said, "Aren't hair and nails made from the same protein? Why are my nails so incredibly strong but I get so much hair on a comb when I comb it?" She said, "Oh, you need a good conditioner and I'd recommend Nexxus products." When I suggested a biopsy, she said, "Oh, that won't be necessary. Here's a prescription for crap pharmaceutical steroidal cream which you should use forever and ever and ever until you die. Fill it, use it and come back to see me in a month." But not before asking how many children I had if I was married and had I gone to college. I had the feeling that she had made some gross assumptions about me before I even sat down and while I'm not a showy person, I felt compelled to let her know that, actually, I had a master's degree. So intense was the condescension.
I've already treated myself for seborrheic dermatitis using OTC shampoos and creams. It soothes a flare-up but doesn't keep them from happening. I need to know why it is happening. And since my skin is not greasy anywhere (it's actually changed since having kids and has become quite dry), I'm pretty sure it's not as simple as that. And, according to Medline, diagnosis is based on "the appearance and location of the skin lesions" and since the doctor didn't see any (because I supposedly used shea butter on my skin although the last time I washed I didn't do anything--she didn't bother to find out though), how the heck did she diagnose that? If the doctor is hardly interested in they "why" it's clear that he/she is not interested in the cure.
I need to go to someone else but I have to call the insurance company to see if I can, i.e. how many dermatological visits are allowed annually. I would try a holistic healer or a naturopath but honestly, I've been ripped off before and I'm scared of quacks. So I'm not further in this journey. Tuesday, I'm going to see my family doctor but I'm not hopeful. Unfortunately. I'm also quite tired.
And I really hate having short hair.