For almost 2 years, I have been submerged into the world of eczema. Day to day skin regimens, flare ups, removal of allergens, scratching, scars, skin discoloration and many trial & error situations. You name it, we’ve tried it or are about to! I’m even in the process of mastering “The Uncontrollable Scratching Toddler”.The thing is, I look at my friends with children with nothing more than hay fever and wonder what it would be like to have a “eat whatever you want” child or better yet a “scarless” child with an occasional boo boo. As a parent dealing with eczema, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in our difficult lives and look at how easy someone else has it. Especially, if you have a child with severe eczema. I’ve wanted to yell at eczema and say “You’re Fired!!” Wouldn’t it be nice if it really worked? Especially, if I used this face! lol
My perception on a difficult life quickly changed this past weekend. Our daughter had a cold for the past week that was fading away. Just as I thought she was getting over it, a fever came the day before our trip to Colorado. I was giving her Tylenol & cool baths, the usual to keep her cool and her fever let up. Once our flight began, it came back. Ironically, an elderly couple sat in my seat so I sat in theirs one row up. Across from our new seat was a Pediatrician and her family. I told her about the fever and she gave me a few pointers, but didn’t seem worried. The funny thing is, beyond a fever, I couldn’t look at her and tell if something was wrong. She was playing, talking, reading and singing. The only thing that was out of the norm was a fever.
That same evening her fever was back with a vengeance and this time accompanied by neon green spit up. She hadn’t eaten much, nor had she eaten anything green. This was definitely peculiar and alarming. We took her to Colorado’s ER and as they poked and prodded her with needles, tubes and who knows what else, we as parents sat there helpless, trying to help her stay calm. Even though, I was having a hard time keeping it together. I tried my best to show her my strong side, so she wouldn’t see my fear, concern and worries. Her dad was a true warrior! I was turning into mush.
We both wanted to rescue her, yet knowing some of the tests were necessary, we couldn’t. Imagine your child screaming your name for help and all you can do is watch. For hours, we sat in the ER, we opted to leave to return in the afternoon for the test results. The next day, we were told she had a blood infection that could be cured with antibiotics. I was so thankful and relieved it wasn’t meningitis, some type of blockage or other sicknesses the doctors were rattling off.
Over the next couple of days, I thought about how challenging this experience was, both mentally and physically. It was hard for me to watch IVs being put in, and other tests being performed. I can only imagine if this were my day to day life. Parents of terribly ill children go through this day and night. And they don’t always get that sigh of relief that it’s curable with an antibiotic or two.
I quickly began to be grateful for her eczema. Strange enough! Although I’d rather her not have any ailments or skin issues, I am grateful for what I do not have go to through daily. I know we will probably visit the ER a couple times a year for food allergens or an occasional sickness, but this is not our everyday lives. She doesn’t have to live in a hospital and we don’t have to run our lives based on the hospital schedule.
It definitely makes me say an extra prayer at night for those parents going through the trenches of hospital life. For a parent, it is mentally draining, to watch your little one go through so much at such a young age. I encourage you to be grateful, no matter how hard it is to deal with your child’s personal ailments. And look for the little delights in your day to get you through the hard times. I know we will!
A friend once said she was talking to her doctor about how hard it was to manage day to day life with a set of twins and 2 other children (4 total). Her doctor patiently listened and heard every word she said. After she was done, her doctor pointed to her pregnant belly and said, “This is our 8th,” and smiled. No matter how hard we have it, someone else has to handle just a tad bit more.
Be encouraged!! Sure some of it’s a pain, but I’m learning it’s mostly about perspective 🙂