I mentioned a little while ago that I have a skin condition called cold urticaria but annoyingly I have a couple of other skin issues going on – nothing major; skin rashes etc. I gave up trying to get a diagnosis about a year ago as the NHS just makes it too hard (i.e. they took a bucketful of blood for testing but threw it away when they realised they didn’t have the right tubes to put it in and didn’t bother to tell me. The one tube they did have they tested and called me in urgently to see the doctor who told me my cholesterol was a bit high) but had a final attempt after a long break today when I went to see a dermatologist, privately.  It’s quite easily the most pointless and bizarre thing I’ve ever done, and I’m blogging it because I don’t know what else to do with it.

After hearing the symptoms Dr Stupid decides I have a Harm Avoidance personality and that explains it all. He’s all ready to let me leave after three minutes when he suddenly grabs my arm and starts drawing a hash mark on my arm with a metal pen, so hard he cuts my skin. He wants to see if goes red. Erm, yes it bloody well does. But not, apparently, red enough for severe urticaria. I point out that I haven’t really had any satisfactory answers from him and he asks me how long it’s been since I saw my parents. I say three weeks and he says he once had a patient that didn’t see hers for nine years. I don’t really know what to say. So, to break the awkward silence he asks me my job. I say I’m a journalist – he comments that it would be very stressful if someone stole my story. That could bring me out in a rash if I’m a sensitive type. 
At this point, after glancing at the nonsensical diagrams he is drawing to illustrate a mast cell (which he tells me to look up on line) I start laughing because I almost think there must be a hidden camera. He asks aloud why I’m getting ‘distressed’. I don’t say because he is a mad old sod but I do say again, that I don’t think we are really getting very far. At this point, he has a ladybird crawling up his leg. So he looks – out of courtesy as far as I can tell – at another rash issue I have and gives it a medical term. I say, what does that mean and he says it means it is round and red. At this point I do actually lose it a bit… I effing well know it is round and red. That is NOT news. He tries to rectify the situation by asking if I’ve eaten a prawn recently or been in contact with ticks.
I might as well have been to see an electrician for all the use he was. He finally nails it for me by a) assuming I’m married (which I am) and b) rambling on that if I was sitting on a beach with my husband he thought the thing that I would most like to hear from my husband is that I’d been appreciated and valued. 
I leave.

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