Doing the doctor mambo

Oh, hi! I’m sorry I didn’t get around to posting yesterday. I totally would’ve, except for the fact that I spent the ENTIRE DAY:
A) Driving to the doctor
B) At the doctor
C) Driving to another doctor
D) Getting lost between doctor’s offices
E) Waiting at the pharmacy
F) Swearing about getting lost between offices
G) Having a coronary over the cost of all of these misadventures.

So that was fun.

In related news, I still kind of hate doctors.

In further related news, my daughter and I are delicate flowers. Ouch! Stop breathing so close to me!!

Hey, remember when I somehow borked up my neck, again, and had to find a new chiropractor? That was fun. Well, not the neck part, but the finding a new doctor I actually liked part. He was great! He fixed me right up.

So of course it came as no surprise whatsoever, on my fourth visit, when he informed me that he was moving away. I mean, OF COURSE HE WAS.

My neck got better and I didn’t seek a replacement. I knew the office where I’d seen him was going to bring in someone new eventually, and I figured that if I had a problem, I’d just call back there again whenever it happened.

Well, IT HAPPENED this weekend. I was bent over, started to stand up, whacked my head on something, and my neck went *CRUNCH* and I—ever the intellectual—thought to myself, “Huh. That can’t be good.”

It was not good. It was several different varieties of double-plus ungood, in fact. So I called the old doc’s practice and begged them to tell me that the new doctor was there and would take my insurance. And the new doctor IS there but doesn’t take my insurance YET, because my insurance likes to make sure that getting approved onto their plan is only slightly easier than assembling a nuclear bomb, and twice as slow. The good news is that they were still willing to see me and “work out the insurance stuff later.”

So yesterday started out with a visit to the new chiropractor. For almost two hours. First there was the paperwork. Then there was the waiting. Then there was assessment, and finally (FINALLY!) some adjustment. Said adjustment miraculously took me from “so much pain I want to die and incidentally I can’t really turn my head” all the way down to “enough pain that I am still chomping Advil like candy, but hey, my head moves again!” So that was good. Even though some of the appointment involved aromatherapy, which generally would make me extremely skeptical. (It was prefaced with, “Okay, this is a little woo-woo, but I really think it helps.” Acknowledgment of the woo-woo gets points from me.)

But the new chiro also wanted me to have some x-rays taken. Across town, of course. And could I just go do them right away, so that I could come back the next day for more work? Sure, no problem!

Then I had just about enough time to run home and gather up Chickadee and go to the x-ray place. There was more paperwork. There was a lot of waiting. And finally they called me to say that it would likely be another thirty minutes to an hour, and I told them I’d have to come back, because…

… Chickadee and I had appointments with a new dermatologist. First mother/daughter pedicures for the first time, and now mother/daughter dermatologist appointments. How shall I top this, next time? Mother/daughter dentist trip? Mother/daughter pap smears? The mind does boggle at the possibilities.


We left the x-ray place and promptly got lost on our way to the dermatologist. Because my whore of a GPS unit is all “ARRIVING AT DESTINATION!” when in fact we’re driving along on a road and there is NOTHING. No buildings. Why doesn’t it just say “GOOD LUCK, PUNK!” instead? But we finally found it, and in we went.

Chickie was up first. This doctor is now postulating that she has—are you ready for this? I hope you’re sitting down—a nickel allergy. HOW a nickel allergy causes head-to-toe rash I’m not entirely sure, and I don’t want to conclude that the doctor settled on this as the “most probable cause” simply because my poor kid has a rash INSIDE HER BELLY BUTTON (close to the site of the snap on her pants), but I have to say, I was skeptical. Regardless, the doc did suggest what sounded very reasonable to me: Let’s get her skin CLEARED UP, first, and then go back to the allergist for some targeted patch testing once she’s no longer all rashy. Fine.

The doctor also explained her reasoning behind the two topical prescriptions she was giving us for Chickadee to use, and then fixed me with a VERY STERN GAZE and said, “And in the meantime, NO CHEMICALS ON THIS CHILD’S SKIN. Arm & Hammer detergent. No dryer sheets. Special soap. Special shampoo. Special lotion! She needs to be kept free of irritants.” I agreed, because that seemed more prudent than pointing out that some days, I’m pretty sure the child is MADE of irritants.

She wrote me out a long list of approved products, then asked what brought ME in.

I explained about my lifelong acne, my recent elimination diet, the effect wheat seems to be having on my skin. She listened and nodded, and then, I don’t know, maybe I was just overwhelmed from all of the information she’d just given me about Chickadee, maybe I’d just reached saturation for the day, I DON’T KNOW, but I’m pretty sure she said:

“Blah blah blah atypical acne blah blah blah rosacea blah blah blah sensitive skin blah blah blah antifungal blah blah blah but I’m really not sure what I’m looking at, here.”


Then I got two prescriptions, too, although apparently I can still be a rogue and use dryer sheets. I think.

Finally we left, and headed BACK to the x-ray place. There I was instructed to walk around braless until they were ready to image my neck. Fun! Three x-rays later I was allowed to put my bra back on and leave. In the meantime, Chickadee first complained of being too parched to continue living and then spilled a big cup of water in the middle of the waiting area floor. She has clearly inherited my grace.

From there it was over to the pharmacy, where I was delighted to discover than all of the hypoallergenic hygiene products my child now requires are special-order only. No problem! They can order them for me! Which size body lotion would I like? I can get 4 ounces for $8, or 10 ounces for $15, or 28 ounces with a simple second mortgage on our home. And the shampoo costs even more, and I cannot even speak of the soap without weeping.

[“What about Cetaphil?” I’d asked the doc. Couldn’t she just use Cetaphil?” She looked at me as if I’d just suggested letting my baby bathe in a tub full of piranhas.

“CETAPHIL IS FULL OF CHEMICALS!” she’d roared. Okay, she didn’t roar. But I felt chastened.]

Finally, we returned home. Otto was kind enough to take us out to dinner, and it turns out that there are very few neck or skin ailments that cannot be fixed or at least GREATLY HELPED with liberal application of nachos. Thank goodness.


  1. Joshilyn


    Life is good.

  2. Joshilyn

    See also: FIRST! HA! Except this post that says I was first is not actually first, but, you know. I WAA FIRST. Up there. Where first is.

  3. exile on mom street

    Here, here to nachos!

    Also, some days (like today for instance) my child is also made up primarily of irritants. We’re about to bake cookies so that he can at least be partly made up of oatmeal and cranberries.

    Have you considered mother-daughter colonoscopies? That would be fun!

  4. liz

    There are so many things to comment on, but I’ll just pick one.
    Was perhaps the aromatherapy patchouli to cover up the scent of wacky tobacky to make you feel better? I mean, you DID scarf down nachos later.

  5. Chuck

    Yowch! Days devoted to medical stuff suck. I’m sorry Chickadee is having all the skin issues (and you also) and I can’t help feeling as if you still haven’t found the really good doc who will determine what the actual problem is. But good luck with the chemical free thing.

    I hurt my knee over a week ago and although it’s getting better, it’s still sore. I went to see my chiropractor, who is pretty good, but whatever he tried doing for my knee (some kind of trigger point pressure massage thing) didn’t help it at all. (In fact, it felt worse the next day.) So, I made an appointment with my regular doc for later today…and hopefully he can prescribe me something stronger than Advil to get me through until I meet the orthapedist in two weeks…and maybe then I can get back to exercising some, which I really need to do. So yeah, I feel your pain (well, not literally, but you know what I mean.) Good luck with your new back/skin docs!

  6. Katie in MA

    Ahhhh. Mother/Daughter nachos. See? You could be allergic to worse things.

  7. meghann

    If you want, I know of some good makers of handmade all natural soaps and lotions and stuff. And it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

    And vinegar in the rinse cycle of the laundry will help soften the clothes.

    I’m becoming so crunchy, I AM a nacho.

  8. RuthWells

    I wish MY doctor would order that I be kept free of irritants. Would help greatly with some of my more high-maintenance co-workers….

  9. Daisy

    Are dryer anti-static balls acceptable? I’ve been using those for a few months and love them! No more dryer sheets for my family, even though we’re not delicate flowers. Not that I know of, at least.

  10. Daisy

    Oops — I should have added this. Chicky is too young for this one, but it fits the mother-daughter theme. My mom sent me an email with a bumper sticker she liked: “Real women don’t have hot flashes; they have power surges.” Ah, mother daughter bonding. Love it!

  11. Jean

    Nachos is the first thing I make after a rough day. I really hope you feel tons better and although the no chemical thing is a pain, it sounds like a very prudent thing to do. But I’m sorry for your bank account!

  12. Melissa

    This doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but if it’s any consolation it makes for very funny reading.
    Also, meghann and RuthWells made me snort. You have the best commenters!

  13. Sharon

    I understand why you don’t like to leave the house! Except for dinner of course.

  14. Ruth

    Nachos and power surges; no wonder I like this site! Yes, life is good.

  15. Megan

    See what impresses me is that you think, ha, I need to see a [insert specialist here] and you ACTUALLY MAKE THE APPOINTMENT. Where I think I need to see someone and then two months later I’m either better (because my body knows me and has long since given up) or am really amazed to find that although I carefully thought about going to a dr. that alone wasn’t enough to fix the problem.

    So, speaking of which, maybe I should actually call around and find a specializing-in-tooth-phobic-types dentist…

  16. Meredith

    My chiropractor is also certified in accupunture/pressure, naturopathy and will describe himself as a voo-doo doctor. He’s a bit nuts, but what would you expect for a used-to-be rock star who has also written and illustrated children’s books. But he can fix my back, cure my cramps and make is so the sounds of my children’s voices don’t send me running for a clif. Sounds like a voo-doo doctor to me.

  17. Sara

    “I’m pretty sure the child is MADE of irritants.” HAHAHAHAHA!! You might be rashy, but you also make me laugh.

  18. Angela

    Mother-daughter pap smears? That totally made my day. I needed that! Thank you!

  19. Annette

    Hey Mir…I have an MD appt today to go over AGAIN all of my odd sx. I checked out of the library a couple of books on anti-inflammation diets. I think I will be fine if I only eat organic lettuce for the rest of my life. Until the scurvy and rickets set in…SIGH

    Liz, that was hilarious!

  20. Gaylin

    Check out Aubrey Organics soap/shampoo line, made in Florida and I have been using them for years – safely. I went through the whole sensitive skin thing, allergy testing, blistering scalp from ‘safe’ shampoo’s etc. At least Aubrey stuff is easily available and reasonably priced.
    Yum nachos, may need to make those this weekend!

  21. Kelly

    Nachos make everything better…

    Hmmm, cetaphil is what they recommend for eczema kids – you’d think it would be okay… (at least the wash is, the lotion has like almond oil or something).

    We live on California baby products for my food allergy/eczema toddler – luckily our Publix carries them. The ‘super sensitive line’.

  22. Groovecatmom

    My daughter was diagnosed with a nickel allergy as an infant, after she did in fact come down with a head to toe rash (something about scarlet fever?) when the first pediatrician misdiagnosed it, back when it was only little rashes under the snaps on her jammies. When it went head to toe, the ped derm told me her immune system was in overdrive. Required an antibiotic, a steroid, and onesies under all her jammies. Now…what is with all the pants with metal buttons? And snaps? She’s got like perma rash on her waist. Poor pumpkin. I even sewed her a special belt with a wooden buckle!

  23. Kim

    Huh. Hadn’t ever heard of a nickel allergy, and then last night my mom tells me my 16 year old cousin was part of a clinical trial for his eczema, and the stuff blew him up like a balloon. When it calmed down, the docs decided he was allergic to nickel and chromium. Which means no leather, no zippers, and other crazy difficult stuff.
    Looks like all the hip kids are getting it these days….

  24. MomCat

    A child made of irritants….I think you just made wine come out of my nose. Thanks for the laugh! (and the nasal irrigation)

  25. alice

    Hrmph. A pet peeve of mine is the ‘it has CHEMICALS!’ line. *Everything* has chemicals. They’re, you know, in molecules and stuff.

    Anyway, glad that you have a plan of attack, though the Derm’s reccomendation for you seems more like a ‘well, this can’t hurt…’ plan. I envy you your nachos, though – I know I’m allergic to corn, and the mini-elimination diet I’m on still has me off of wheat. I miss you, carbs!

  26. Heather

    I snorted at the mother/daughter pap smear thing :P Funny, if scarring.

  27. JennSpastic

    Too funny seeing as how I had my own dermatologist problems today! I arrived at 9:15 for my 9:30 which they did not see me for until 10:30 to have a few moles checked out. Before even looking at said moles, Doctor informs me that I have Rosacea and some other skin thing that starts with an s. Please- pass the nachos! :)

  28. Meredith

    I have eczema and a nickel allergy, both of which are a big pain in the behind, but you can work around them (I swear!). First, I sew a patch over the back snap part of all of my pants. It can’t be too thin, or I still get the rash. I cover up all the little grommets on the pants, too. It seems like a little thing, but it makes a big difference on the amount of rashes. Cetaphil also gives me a rash, but I really like Vanicream, which my derma suggested. They have a lotion and a soap. Not cheap, but it really has helped a lot. I also stopped wearing metal jewelry, which is sad. Finally, I stopped using household cleaners with fragrance and bleach. Mostly I use vinegar based stuff.

    I’m so not woo woo in my general life, but changing that stuff has helped a lot!

  29. Nicole in WI

    Two kids with nickel allergies. One broke out in mini blisters on her hands — took us forever to figure out she was allergic to the nickel in the saxophone! Had to get a special one for her. Second one has issues with her snaps on her pants & belt buckles. We coat the backs with clear nail polish and that seems to help. She also has eczema pretty bad, so it is fun. Special trumpet for her! The joys!!

  30. Patricia

    I’m not sure about the nickle thing, but I went dryer sheet and liquid softener free many, MANY years ago.

    First it sucked, because you have to wash everything again to get rid of it AND your household pretty much needs to be dryer sheet free – since it builds up in your dryer. Also, don’t forget about those things you never think about like sheets, towels, kitchen towels…more than just her clothes.

    The after effect was almost instant skin clearing. Now, after 10+ years of being away from those things 90% of the time, I can sleep in my mother’s house (Dryer Sheet User) and not break out.

    I ought to mention that my understanding is that more people are allergic to fabric softeners than they realize. It causes rashes, acne, and skin issues in some — in others chronic hayfever.

    So — just a thought about giving up those dryer sheets.

  31. Amy

    My husband has very sensitive skin and I have been banned from using dryer sheets and any kind of scented detergent for years. It really sucks. I only get a little sad that when I can smell the Tide from out neighbors dryer vent.

  32. ~annie

    Forget all those products. It’s summer! An occasional dunking in the rain barrel should keep Chickie clean enough and an old over sized t-shirt could be her main outfit. No?

  33. Half Assed Kitchen

    We use Ecos detergent (supposedly all natural) or Country Save (recommended by our derma). We also use Eucerin, but that’s probably all chemically too.

    Good luck with all that. I totally feel your pain with the full body rashes.

  34. Dyan

    Try Baking soda for washing her hair – it works great and is SO cheap!

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