A few of weeks ago I was sent my appointment to see the consultant for my follow up after UVB light treatment last year. After the disappointing consultation previously I decided to cancel this. After years of seeing doctors and follow up appointments after light treatment I knew what the response would be. “Well you’re not severe enough for us to consider anything else so it’s back on topical treatments.
I called to cancel the appointment and followed it up in writing. I explained my reasons, which were the poor treatment, lack of eye contact during consultations, lack of actually examining my skin and total lack of confidence in the consultants at my local hospital. The reply “We confirm cancellation of your appointment”. That was it. Possibly it would be a little cynical of me to think that the same attitude runs through the hospital.
I am glad to say it doesn’t. I have mentioned before that while I was undergoing light therapy the nurses were outstanding. The compassion and empathy they show makes you feel comfortable and at ease. They are remarkably good and getting you to talk about your feelings without you even realising too.
Having had to visit the hospital for a completely unrelated health matter reinforces my view that the poor attitude in Dermatology is not hospital wide. I spent two hours in one outpatients clinic and things ran fairly on time. I had to see a nurse and a consultant separately which was organised extremely well with only a few minutes back in the waiting room between both. There was no rush, lots of explanation and, importantly, eye contact. It may sound silly, eye contact is so important. Would you trust someone who doesn’t even look you in the eye? It restored my faith a little in the hospital and reinforced my decision to cancel the dermatology appointment.
So, what did I do after cancelling? I went back to my GP and we had a chat and after discussing topical treatments we agreed on one batch of a steroid gel to kick my psoriasis in the butt before going back on a mild topical treatment. The side affects of steroid cream cannot be ignored so this will be a one prescription treatment. There is another reason for doing this to calm my skin down, I will be trying a brand new treatment soon which does not use steroids, in fact it doesn’t involve and form of prescribed topical treatment. I am meeting with the company responsible at the end of this week so look out for an update soon.
I should add that I did not have a knee jerk reaction to cancel my appointment. I weighed up the pros and cons and considered if I would be better off going or not. The fact I was due to see the same consultant as before and that even if I asked to see someone else they couldn’t guarantee it on the day it just didn’t seem worth it to me. I do have a GP with a dermatology background which is useful. I don’t want to encourage people to cancel their appointments, please do think about it and consider your options. If nothing else, make sure you cancel in plenty of time so you do not get a bad record.