When a Diagnosis Makes You Laugh

I went to the dermatologist last week to check up on my MRSA. (It’s “gone” but they did not test me for decolonization. I seem fine. )

image via yayimages.com

So in the course of the follow-up, she asked me, “Is your face always that red?” When I answered “yes” she diagnosed me with roseacea and said the disease is in the mid-range.

I didn’t laugh at her, but I wanted to. Roseacea? So what? I have a failing gallbladder and a rare autoimmune disease and a rare neurological disease. My face has been this red since I was EIGHT. I have photos. I have always had a red face, especially with the exercise and too much sun. It’s always been as if I’m allergic to both those things. No doctor ever cared, and that’s how it’s always been.

Then she showed me a photo of an untreated roseacea nose — swollen, thick and bulbous, and I had to consent to treatment. Nobody wants a nose like that, and my nose is already a bit red and thick with a bump or two.

I added it to the list in my head of weird diseases I went untreated for as a person without healthcare/insurance my whole life, and scoffed at the idea that I really need to treat it, when I have had so many other diseases that had gone untreated for so long, and I let out a big sigh.

It’s almost absurd to me that this, like so many other problems, was brought up to my previous doctor. I told him my face had been staying red and getting bumps. He told me it looked like I was blushing. Ugh, he didn’t care.

I still have some things that want to kill me, and one that wants to simply disable me forever, so it seems just kind of laughable to treat this disease. Because my skin is so sensitive, and it’s a trigger for my trigeminal neuralgia, and I haven’t worn foundation in over a year. I haven’t been able to wear ANY makeup without itching, and I’ve gotten used to it, it’s really the least of my concerns.

Now they are telling me I will be able to wear makeup again, and it won’t make my skin itch.

Of all the things I wished to get back, the ability to wear makeup was so low it wasn’t on the list, but I’ll take it.

I’ll take almost anything that helps me feel normal for a minute or two each day.

But I don’t feel normal, right now, not yet, because I have to pop these pills for it (new pills, again!) and put on a face cream twice a day.

treatment. recovery. new ways to live. new pills. new creams. new regimens.

I am still not getting used to any of this.

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