More than skin deep

16 May

I feel I am particularly well adjusted to having two so called children with ‘special needs’ . It’s a pretty rare day where I find myself getting glum or feeling the whole ‘why me’ thing. Cup half full girl that I am, I honestly find I am mostly drawn to the positives – the fact that both of them are doing so well, the fact they are such lovely kids and the fact that we have been very lucky in so many ways and have had so few setbacks.

But, when it comes to eczema – which all 3 of the boys suffer from terribly – I am beyond frustration. I feel silly that it’s itchy skin that gets me so upset and makes me feel stressed. I feel embarrassed and even a little ashamed to admit how sorry for myself I feel about dealing with it- especially when I know so many other families who deal with such significantly more burdensome issues.

And for those families (you know who you are), I apologise for making such a big deal about this and believe me, I do know that in the bigger picture, we are so lucky, so very very lucky that this is the biggest drama we’re facing right now.

But the thing is, it just ISN’T fair that in addition to all the other issues my boys are faced with, they also have to contend with itchy skin that wakes them all night long, causes constant discomfort and requires frequent medication and treatment.

Much more than that though, it isn’t fair that doctors, honestly, have no idea how to help. Sure, they can prescribe creams and the odd blood test and tell us to bathe them in bleach baths (highly diluted), dress them in cotton clothes, keep the heater down low, watch what they eat, don’t touch animals, don’t play in sandpits, sleep under blankets rather than doonas, get rid of carpet, vaccuum regularly, avoid dust, try this cream, no that cream, no this cream, take this antibiotic, use this antihistamine – and I could go on and on and on.

We’ve spent more money than I care to remember over the past 5 years on eczema treatments, creams, medications, naturopaths, private dermatologists, skin prick testing etc etc. not to mention the money it costs to modify their diet and buy ‘safe’  food for them to eat.

But still, they wake with itchy, red, uncomfortable skin.

I honestly take advice from anyone and I am willing to try anything. Anything.

Because if the boys don’t sleep well, then neither do we. My husband and I argue over what we fed them, which cream we used on them, who’s going to get up and comfort them etc. We all end up sleep deprived and even more grumpy. S can’t study well at school, M misses out on playing with his new best friend in the kinder sandpit and I get phone calls from school, kinder, childcare asking me if I should come pick them up because they scratching and uncomfortable. It’s not fair on them or on any of us :-(

Over this last fortnight, we have spent close to $700 on a new naturopath, new blood test and new supplements for S – whose skin is by far the worst of the boys at the moment.

As a result, he’s going to start on a severely restricted diet as we try to remove some possible food sensitivities from his diet in the hope it will allow his body to stop attacking his skin.

I know some people think naturopaths are quacks, but I am not one of them. I have a lot of faith in a GOOD naturopath and I am keeping all fingers, toes, eyes and ears crossed that THIS TIME we’ve got an answer that is finally going to allow us to all get some sleep.

4 Responses to “More than skin deep”

  1. karamelissa May 16, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    I hope this new naturopath works! Don’t be apologetic! It totally sucks you’ve been battling this so long! My friend’s son had severe skin reactions to a lot of foods and was gluten/wheat, dairy, peanut free for the first 3 years of his life and it eliminated the skin rashes, etc. He’s just 3 now and they are trying to wean him a bit at a time to test the food sensitivities. But now the mom discovered she has a wheat allergy! I really hope S’s new diet works for him.

  2. Alison May 16, 2012 at 4:23 am #

    I feel for you – I was covered in eczema as a kid. I have grown out of the worst of it but it still annoys me!! I find ‘regular, everyday’ illnesses the most frustrating of all to deal with – shouldn’t we be exempt from them because of all the other stuff?? Especially when we are so well adjusted about the other stuff???

  3. Bron May 16, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    Just wanted to encourage and support your venting xx sorry i have no advice that can help xx see you soon x

  4. Emma August 7, 2012 at 3:31 am #

    My daughter was covered from head to toe in eczema from 3 months age til she was 2. We used cortisone, wet wraps, diet changes, you name it we did it. Then we discovered an amazing naturopath who changed just a few little things in our diet and a year later we were at just two patches of it. Now a year after that just one patch behind her knee. I had thought we were never going to get through it and I felt like you did it was ridiculous to feel so overwhelmed by something so ‘normal’ in comparison to all the disability stuff. We spend about $200/year on a powder that helps heal her gut and hemp seed oil that keeps her moisturised from the inside (she’s allergic to fish oils, dairy & loads of other things). All the rest have been easy diet changes like adding coconut oil and coconut milk to everything and going as wholefood/wholesome as possible. And lots of meat on the bone stews! Good fats! Email me if you want more info though..
    (sorry for such a long reply!)

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