At first I thought it was diaper rash, but that made no sense because he was daytime potty trained. Probably not diaper rash, despite the delicate location of the angry red bumps. We tried creams. I suspected that if I took him to the doctor too quickly, he would tell me it was just a rash or eczema and send me along home on the assumption it would clear up on its own.
We have private insurance, which in the UK means that we have additional coverage on top of NHS, so that if we are referred to a private physician, it is covered. We have to go through our NHS general practitioner first, of course, as he is the gatekeeper. So, after two months of creams, we took Zachary to our NHS general practitioner.
“Eczema,” he declared.
Really? I myself have eczema, and this did not fit the usual profile. It was persistent, and it did not go away with the usual creams. The doctor gave me a new one, with nice things like hydrocortisone.
Two months later. Same GP, since under NHS there are no pediatricians unless the child has a special condition.
“Eczema,” he said, seeming bored with my insistence on a treatment. A new ointment.
Two months later, we came back. “Eczema.” I was starting to feel pretty sorry for my two-year-old son, who had now been walking around with red, itchy bumps for almost six months, but the doctor seemed rather unconcerned.
“You know,” I said, “since we do have private insurance, perhaps we could see a dermatologist, just to be sure.”
“Fine. Who would you like to see?” He found a name, wrote out the referral. “I’ll be interested to see how this comes back,” he commented. “I suspect she will tell you it is eczema and there is nothing to be done.” Stupid, pain-in-the-ass, spoiled American wasting the medical resources on her demanding notions that everything be treated immediately.