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Monday, November 11, 2013

Eczema and Mommy Angst Part 2

Here is Part 1 of this post- be sure to read there first.  Full Disclosure: There is more talk of baby poop here.  If you'd rather not read about that, feel free to skip this post also!

Round of Antibiotics for Craig #2

Craig seemed better.  He slept better. His poop was thicker a few times. Things were looking up.

Then yesterday the diarrhea came back.  I checked his temperature and it was back to 100.

Did he catch strep throat again?

Is his eczema infected again?

How do I figure this out?

Obviously, we will be making another trip to the doctor this week.  But I just can't help but wonder what is going on?

Why does he even have eczema?  What will make it better?  Will I be able to help him figure this out?  I want SO BADLY to figure out the why's and the hows of this eczema thing, so that by the time he is old enough to talk about it, I have answers for him and a list of things that help or heal him.  With my asthma, my mom and modern medicine were always able to put me back to normal, even after a really difficult time.  I am so worried that the solution won't be so easy for Craig.  (The same feeling tortured me when Peanut wheezed for two months last year in spite of intervention.) I feel constantly plagued that maybe he is not healthy.  Maybe he is sick.  He is my "fussy" baby.  He comfort nurses until he can't comfort nurse anymore.  A lot of times he needs me with him to fall asleep.  Is he just sensitive and attached or is he trying to tell me that something is not right with him?  In the meantime, we are also missing vaccinations since you can't get them when you are sick and running a fever.

Mostly we are good... I usually can't even tell anything is wrong with Craig at all unless I take his temperature or change a (liquid) poopy diaper.  He plays and laughs and snuggles and is pulling up to stand and trying to cruise around the furniture.  This is a strong but sensitive kid (every woman's dream... I will have to watch out one day!) and a toy stealer.  He is over 20 lbs and in the 90th percentile for height and weight!  I absolutely love this sweet boy.  I am just a little crazy over this eczema thing.  Like I said before... I want to be able to fix it for him.  I want to make it go away.  Just like my mom did for me.

My little Craig-y.

Does this mommy angst ever subside?  I know I get it honestly.  My mom could teach a class about how to worry about your kids.  I used to laugh at my mom and her worrying ways. But now I understand them.   I am becoming my mother in a lot of ways.  Yet even as I write this, I am remembering my mom's words of comfort- to lean on God and trust him to provide and care for us.  My mom was successful because her source of healing came from the Ultimate Healer. It didn't come from her (as much as I would like to think it did).  It came from God.  He was in my mother's touch and my mother's decision making ability.  And He can provide that for me too.

So, Lord, hear my plea. Give me wisdom. Give me your healing touch for my children. Give me a heart that leans on you in hard times, so one day when Craig is lamenting that he can't fix something for his own children, he will remember that You were there for him when he was a child, so you will be there for his own child.  Help me trust you more- even in adversity- in infections that don't seem to want to go away and eczema that is painful and not healing (yet).

And mom... if you are reading this, thank you for always taking care of me when I was sick.  Thank you for leaning on God to provide for us and teaching me that He is faithful.

And to you dear friend or reader, if you have made it through all of this personalsw4 processing, thank you for sticking with me.  Your support is welcomed and appreciated. But please... no horror stories of eczema or illnesses in the comments... and prayers welcome. :)

In His Grace,

UPDATE: After writing this post, Craig's fever went down to 99.2 and then the next night was down to 98.8.   He also had some thicker poo's! So whatever was ailing him, I am pretty sure it is on it's way out.  I am one relieved and thankful momma!

Eczema and Mommy Angst Part 1

WARNING: There is talk of baby poop in this post.  If you don't want to hear about it, 
then you can skip this one.

So here it is in written form.

Craig has eczema.

I have chatted with a few friends about it.  I have researched way too much about his eczema online.  It bothers me mentally and emotionally constantly.  I love all of my children so much and if something is wrong with them, I (of course) want to fix it.

Growing up my mother did an EXCELLENT job at learning how to manage my allergies and asthma.   So much so that I have grown into a person that doesn't feel defined or limited by these problems even though they are somewhat limiting.  As a mother myself now, I desperately desire to learn to manage my children's ailments so that I can teach them how to manage them when they are old enough.

But some things just seem complicated.  Like eczema.  I am having trouble working this out.

When Craig was about two months old, I noticed he had dry skin on his legs.  I didn't think a thing about it.   "Oh, dry skin... no big deal... babies get it... it goes away."

Then after a few weeks (months?) it dawned on me... this is not going away

Then I googled "infant eczema" having no idea what would pop up.  That was probably the biggest mistake of my life.  HORROR stories about people with eczema and how it controlled (and ruined) their lives were everywhere on the internet.  Anyone that knows me will tell you that I cannot stand listening to deep dark tales of what terrible thing happened to so-and-so (especially when it doesn't effect me or someone I have a connection to) because it effects me SO MUCH emotionally.  I found myself treasuring the sweet skin that Craig did have that was not effected, since I was afraid that it would later be covered by dry scaly weeping places.  And to a large degree, I was right.  Eventually, most of his arms and legs began to change and become covered in red and dry, weeping spots.

So my stress level about eczema went like this...

I learned that steroids would not be safe for babies since things put on a baby's skin can enter the their bloodstream prior to six months old.  Apparently it is why babies should not wear sunscreen or go swimming in chlorine, etc.  However, at Craig's four month check up, the doctor recommended Hydro-cortisone cream as the only solution while I began experimenting with cutting out certain foods.  I wasn't ready to use hydro-cortisone cream yet.

So we found some helpful solutions at around four months:
1.  Prayer
Honestly, we began to pray for Craig directly- laying on hands and with authority for weeks (and making a call to Bethel church and having him prayed for)- and parts of his eczema (noticeably his forehead and patches on his legs) began to clear up A LOT.  It was amazing.   Besides some of his eczema clearing up, it was a good time of being ministered to by God personally also.

2. Water + Cerave Lotion
Several times, I wet Craig's skin and put lotion on it while it was still wet.  This seemed pretty effective.

3. Bathing Once/Week
This seemed to be the perfect balance for bathing between not too much and not enough.

4. Only wearing cotton clothing

5. Putting all of our clothing on an extra rinse cycle to get out any extra detergent (and using all free and clear type detergents and dryer sheets.)

6. Vitamin D supplements (not sure if he really needs this, but many people have found it has helped their eczema!)

However, by his six month appointment there were two pretty significant spots (in the creases of one elbow and one ankle) that became open wounds and had a yellow film indicating infection (in spite of the fact that many other spots seemed better).  Just after this appointment, he began to have diarrhea.  One round of antibiotics later, he still had yellow film on the areas and still had diarrhea. 

I thought maybe the antibiotics had caused the diarrhea- or maybe he was teething?- or maybe he was having very loose stool due to not eating solids (I delayed that past 7 months).  Sometimes when he ate bananas or sweet potatoes his bm's would thicken up (sorry if this is TMI... you were warned!)

Finally, Melody got sick with something too (another story for another post?) and Craig had an outburst of what looked like hives (that I could not pinpoint a cause for), so I took both kids to the doctor the same day where Craig tested postive for strep throat.

Continue reading Part 2 of this post.