Tonight, my sweet Hanna stepped out of the shower and with a towel wrapped around her, asked proudly if she, “was fast, right?” I told her she was, she did a great job. She normally takes forever, payback from when I was a child and racked up my parents water bill in the shower, I’m sure. But, more importantly, I noticed she was happy, not crying, not on the verge of hyperventilating, because her skin was hurting so much. In fact, she didn’t even notice her skin, and I had to ask her how it felt. She exclaimed, “It feels fine! It doesn’t hurt at all!” In that moment, I felt joy for her. I reminded her to go put some coconut oil on so we can keep her skin feeling nice now that it’s doing better. She quickly did it, and got clean pajamas on. From shower to finish, it was record timing on her part.
Today was day 10, the final day, of taking Prednisone. We visited the doctor for Liam’s 18 month well-baby visit last week, and as great as our doctor is, he always asks how we’re all doing. Hanna showed him her legs and we agreed that sometimes you just have to go in with the big guns. She has had a prescription for a topical steroid that we’ve filled on and off when her skin has flared up. But, you can only use it for 2 weeks at a time… and then what do you do when her skin is still awful? I’ve been at a loss. With eczema, I feel like finding the triggers is just a giant guessing game. You guess what you think it might be, try to eliminate it or decrease exposure, and move on to the next thing.
I realize the Prednisone isn’t a fix. It’s a temporary solution to break the itch-scratch cycle and let her skin try to repair itself. It’s obvious when you look at her skin, that something is going on. Healing from that much trauma is going to take time.
Tonight, after it was silent, and everyone was in bed, the tears came. In seeing her so “okay” and thinking about the weeks and months past, where she’d beg to not have to take a shower. Where she’d get out of the shower and immediately cry so hard she couldn’t catch her breath. Where the last two showers she took, I had to put her in there and do it for her because she didn’t even want her skin wet. Where her sheets are covered in small spots of blood from scratching so much at night. It broke my heart that she’s been dealing with this her whole 8 year life, and that it’s seemingly only getting worse. Why haven’t I been able to make this go away for her?
We’ve tried eliminating dairy, I don’t know that it makes that big of a difference in her eczema. She now eats some here and there, mainly cheese. It does seem to make a difference in how her stomach feels; if she eats too much, she notices. Strangely, living in the house we’re in now has made her eczema flare big time. (As well as mine and even Oliver’s – but ours is only in small patches on our hands, and Oliver’s is more just excessive dryness.) It made me realize in the 3 years we lived in our last place, she only had minimal flare ups, and the eczema seemed to be under control for the most part. I still haven’t figured out what exactly it is here that is the trigger. Our next big trial is eliminating wheat and gluten. A huge challenge in itself.
I have pieces to a puzzle, never ending research, new ideas and thoughts. I hope that somewhere in the pile is an answer.