Roughly three and a half years ago I involuntarily began a journey into a world that I was entirely unprepared for as I became a mother. I wasn't prepared for any of motherhood in reality, but specifically I was quite taken off guard by this relentless, itchy, messy, frustrating, seemingly unsolvable issue called "eczema."
Not only has Emma dealt with this since she was only a few months old (with some brief reprieves throughout the years), but now our sweet 16 month old Ben has it as well, only far worse than Emma's ever was.
I decided to blog about it because I feel like I should have some sort of honorary eczema doctorate degree from the hours and hours of online research I have put in over the years. It's not that I am such an excellent researcher, but at the end of every day I find myself at such a loss as to what to do, how to help my sweet kiddos not scratch at their skin the next day until they bleed. To say that it breaks my heart is putting it midly. It feels crushing to any parent I imagine to watch your child in obvious pain and feel entirely helpless. So back I go to this vast world wide web in an attempt to find some new clues, some new cream, some new method, some new hope. I have to feel like I'm doing something to help them.
I feel like I've tried everything. Various allergy tests, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, taste free, homemade laundy soap, homemade hand soap, homemade eczema creams, wet wraps, bleach baths, steroid creams (ugh), hazelwood neckalces (desperate times), aquaphor, cerave, aveeno, eucerin, neutrogena, vaniply, waxelene, calendula, vaseline, coconut oil, shea butter, apple cider vinegar, vitamin D, vitamin C, fish oil, probiotics....the list goes on.
My goal here is to temper this incredibly depressing entry with some humor as I navigate the itchiness. Jesus and laughter get me through the days like today when my son with the staph infection scratches at his leg until the skin finally breaks open and starts bleeding before we can stop him. I look at them both in the bathtub at the end of the day with red patches covering both of their sweet little bodies and it's hard to not feel quite hopeless. I pray daily for healing, that they wouldn't have to go through life like this, that their skin wouldn't keep them from being able to participate in activities, and wouldn't make them feel embarrassed. I'm thankful that they are such happy, fun, otherwise healthy children and realize it could be so much worse.
I'm also thankful for homemade almond butter cookies on discouraging days :)