Saturday, March 28, 2015

So It Begins

Eczema.  Just some annoying dry patches behind the knees or in the elbows, right?  Something most kids grow out of.  Maybe change the bath time soap or the laundry detergent and lotion before bed.  But not really a big deal.

My older daughter had this kind of eczema as a baby.  I used topical steroids on her a couple times, lotioned her up before bed, and eventually discovered that if she didn’t eat gluten, dairy, eggs (and later peanuts), her eczema would completely disappear. 

But for some people, eczema is a debilitating medical condition.

My younger daughter, Penny, also developed eczema when she was about six weeks old.  I figured I would just experiment with my diet (since I was breastfeeding her), figure out what food was the culprit ,and put an end to it. 

I cut out dairy. 

I cut out nuts. 

I cut out more and more foods until I was only eating turkey, rice, sweet potatoes, pears, and sunflower seeds.  (Ironically, sunflower later turned out to be one of her biggest allergens.)

Yet her skin was worse than ever.  One of her first motor skills was learning to scratch.  I pulled her out of her car seat once and saw she'd been rubbing her arms on the straps during the drive until her skin was raw and weeping.   

Night after night, I paced the living room with her in the Ergo because she couldn't sleep.
We finally went to the doctor and learned she had secondary fungal and staph infections on her broken skin.  We came home with a strong topical steroid, Nystatin cream, and mupircion.  I was determined not to let her skin get so out of control and infected again. 

I didn’t take a lot of pictures when her skin was flared.  I wish now I had taken more, but I didn’t want to remember it.  I had no idea the eczema would be with us for the next four years. 

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