Are you or a loved one suffering from eczema? Hopefully our story about eczema and food allergies will be of help and give you hope that there are answers.
Autism, food allergies, Asperger's Syndrome, eczema, and chronic fatigue are health issues that my family has dealt with over the past 12 years.
And over the years I've repeated a number of stories to friends to
- connect with others about our life
- share what might help others as they battle similar issues.
This is one of them.
It's the story of how our son's eczema basically terrorized our family for the first year of our life with him.
And how we beat it. With God's help.
This is that story.
It was a very tough road, but I hope our trials and what we learned are a blessing to someone else.
For long time readers of my blog, you know that my oldest son has Asperger's Syndrome and life threatening food allergies.
As a result, we have gradually transitioned to a whole foods, special diet menu and to non-toxic personal and home care products to lighten the toxic load on all of us – and on the planet.
While I really love sharing recipes (like Healthy Almond Joy and Homemade Chocolate / Carob Chips), kitchen tips (The Easiest Way to Peel Garlic), and DIY recipes (like No Streak Glass Cleaner) that make it easier for all of you to clean up your life and diet, I really want to also share from my heart.
Stories about this health journey – where we've been and where we are now.
Because we are real people and so are my readers. And by learning and sharing together we can help each other navigate this path towards greater health.
Our Journey of Eczema and Food Allergies Starts
To that end, I am sharing with you our story about my son's life threatening food allergies and eczema.
My oldest son was born at home in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois.
His birth was rough, but amazing. And that's another story that I will have to share at another time.
Things started out well.
He nursed well, taking to breastfeeding like a champ.
I still remember our first nap together – mother and son. lying close. myself sleepily drinking in the newness and bliss of motherhood.
But all of that changed about 3 months later.
We knew from the beginning that our son was “intense”, but he soon became basically an insomniac.
I wrote about sleep struggles in my post on “Natural Sleep Help for Children (and Adults)“and so you know we've dealt with sleep issues in our home for a long time. However, this was really out of control.
Basically, things got so bad that my son wouldn't sleep for more than a half hour at a time.
And at nighttime he would only sleep for 10 of those half hour stints at a time. (Translation – 5 hours of sleep disrupted 9 times.)
Mom was a complete mess.
We tried everything.
- Tying his crib next to our bed in sidecar fashion
- Having him sleep in a bouncy seat with the motor turned on
- Putting him to sleep in his car seat so he'd be surrounded by tight cushions
I was even in the market for a gadget that you attached to the baby's crib and it would make it feel like the baby was riding in a car.
But the reviews weren't consistent enough to justify the price on our then $13,000 per year income. So I passed.
I was at the end of my rope.
No sleep and a very irritable baby makes for a rough life :-(.
Then my son developed what we and his pediatrician thought was cradle cap on his head and eyebrows.
We tried several natural treatments, but it just progressed all over his eyebrows and then down to his cheeks and beyond.
So we were referred to a dermatologist who told us that he had eczema and was itching terribly.
(After hearing this, my husband and I remembered that our son would lie on his back in his crib and rotate his arms around in a strange way around his face. Now we knew that he was itching horribly and trying to scratch himself. Oh the pain of parenthood–to know your child has been suffering and you didn't know it and had done nothing to help him.)
The prescription for topical steroid cream came and we filled it.
And on went socks on his hands when he slept to prevent him from scratching himself.
(Part of that was to prevent infections and part is because eczema has an itch / scratch cycle that is important to beat. The more your itch, the more you scratch, and so on…. Stop the scratching and some of the itch goes away. Or so they say.)
My son's skin was gorgeous for awhile, and he slept fabulously, but once we were done with the prescription, the rash rebounded and we were back where we started. With itching and sleepless nights. And the warnings on the cream's insert were pretty frightening :-(.
We did what we could, but I was basically losing my mind.
Eventually, my son had a rash all over his abdomen, back and even his legs.
His cheeks were oozing a crusty, yellow goo, and he would stick to my arms when he nursed.
Finally, one day, in desperation, I called Chicago Children's Hospital and asked for an appointment with their head allergist.
What I got was horrible news. They were booking out 3 months in advance. I fell apart on the phone and told her that I honestly didn't think I would make it 'til then.
Graciously, somehow, she got the department head on the phone and a few minutes later I had an appointment.
I got a prescription during that appointment.
Not for another cream, but for hard work that paid off.
I'll be sharing that “prescription” in Part Two – next time.
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Has your family had to deal with eczema and/or food allergies?
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/seaniz/2114708830/