Kate has had to deal with eczema since infancy. I noticed it early on and when they're tiny like that you spend a lot of time at regular check-ups with the pediatrician. I mentioned it. The doctor gave me a steroid cream. "I don't know how I feel about putting steroid creams on my infant's skin. What if she gets Roid Rage?" I was kidding about the Rage but not about my discomfort. My doctor assured me that the percentage of steroid was very low, it was mostly boring cream and so I shouldn't worry. So I used the cream. No change. The doctor upped the percentage in the cream. Same conversation. I caved, used the cream, no change. Higher percentage again and again, until I finally pointed out that this same "cure" wasn't working at all. "Well, don't worry" my doctor assured me, "most kids grow out of this by the time they're seven." SEVEN? At this point, she was about 2.
No longer an infant, Kate now scratched at her eczema, often until it bled. When the weather got hot and humid, her skin got considerably worse, and she started to look really rough. It was so bad, sometimes she would scream and scream just being rinsed off in the bath. As I would later learn, sometimes even water burns those spots.
I'd become convinced that her pediatrician didn't care about her eczema, so I began reading. What could be causing it? Answer: anything at all. Eczema is a symptom, not a disease. Unfortunately, it's a symptom of damn near everything. Stress. Allergies. Fungus. Mold. The preservatives in vaccines. Every single lotion I've ever seen in the store contains alcohol as a stabilizer. Alcohol burns. I started making my own concoctions. I read more. I finally took her to a homeopath. I thought nearly every single thing Kate's homeopath said to me was completely insane. I was paying her, though, so I gave her advice a sincere try. So far, she's been right every time. That's when I started thinking all crazy-like. Jeremiah, too. We've had some progress with Kate's skin, but we haven't gotten down to the root cause and she's now six.
So Kate's still got The Eczema, but our lives have changed considerably. No more toxic cleaners anywhere to be found; I make most of the stuff we use to clean around here. That's really the tip of the iceberg, but I don't have that much time today. Along the way, I've learned so much and my mind has been so changed that it's more open than it ever was before I had Kate and I've started to wonder if there wasn't some very different reason for my kid's eczema than what I initially assumed.
During this healing journey we've all been on, I developed eczema on my hands so horrific that I couldn't bend my fingers. It was extremely informative, though, because I literally knew how Kate was feeling. I went to Sonja, who is now not just Kate's homeopath, but mine too. She said "you gotta take out the wheat and the dairy just to see. Most allergies are caused by an intolerance to one or both of those things". I argued with her about that for a solid week. Remembering her batting average, though, I finally gave it a whirl. Two weeks, no wheat, no dairy. It was like life was suddenly in black and white. OK, not that bad, but still. After the trial period I put dairy back in because I was desperate. I noticed nothing. Then I slipped in some wheat and my hands, not quite healed but not as bad as they had been, flared up so horribly I looked like a burn victim. That was a crushing blow. Perhaps I'll do a post that's just a list of the things I miss since I quit the wheat. Even after I stopped eating wheat entirely, my hands didn't get completely better, they just weren't as bad.
Then Ellen took up Reiki. By that time I'd tried everything to heal up the skin on my hands. I let her have a go at them; I had no expectations at all. I had no idea what Reiki even was, but whatever. She took that first pass and they got way, way worse, but I knew from the homeopathy that a flare-up right after a treatment was very likely what's known in those circles as a healing event (initally I thought that was just ironic, but no, it tends to proceed a bit of the better). So I asked her to do it again. She did. And my hands got better. Completely healed. It took about a week, but the open cuts on my knuckles quickly receded until there was no sign of them ever having existed. Wow.
Still, Kate itched. Months later, to my surprise, I ended up going through my own Reiki I and II attunements. I use that stuff daily now. I see it work a lot. Healing, though, doesn't happen all at once and often not where you were aiming, so we've got our work cut out for us. I look back on all we've done just to try to make Kate stop itching, and I see healing all around us, to ills we had no idea even existed in our lives. I know we'll get there with her, but oddly enough, I find myself grateful for a struggle we appear to be losing.