I've had a few family members asking how Sam is doing and when I am going to update this blog. It's probably time. I've mostly been putting this off because I'm a picture kind of gal and my camera broke a couple of weeks ago. I was really hoping to be able to post a photo of Sammy's skin just so I could say... TA-DA! ... and blow you all away.
Sam looks like a different child and I am constantly finding reasons to undress him so I can admire his clear, soft skin. By using the eczema solution described at www.solveeczema.org, we have seen a complete and total change for the better in Sammy's skin. My heart is full. I am grateful that after so many months of discomfort and struggle and prayer and pleading, that Heavenly Father has mercifully led us to the information that would finally unlock the door we'd been pounding upon in vain for so long. I am grateful beyond words for so many benevolent angels sent our way, without whom Sam would not be where he is today. Among the kindnesses bestowed upon Sam and our family were prayers, fasting, help with specialty clothing, soaps and other "safe" products we could not have afforded on our own, advice, invaluable support and encouragement. Thank you so much to all of you who made this progress possible.
This process has been a lot of hard work, but the results are definitely worth it. The redness in Sam's legs finally disappeared- all but just a faint hint around the thick skin of his knees. I have found that if I keep all of his body clothed and covered with the exception of his face and hands, he is able to remain comfortable and eczema free the majority of the time. He still has minor break-outs when we visit other people's houses or stores or the library - all of which have much higher levels of harsh detergents than our home. But those break-outs are limited to exposed areas of skin, typically hands, wrists, neck and face. Some break-outs can be washed away within hours by simply washing the detergent out of the skin with soap. Over time the irritation fades. Other break-outs still take 2 to 3 days of washing to heal, not sure why but I think those must be from harsher detergent exposures. Sometimes I can prevent an exposure from showing up on the skin at all if I know it has occurred and wash the area immediately. In that case the eczema will not develop at all.
The most important thing that has emerged from this entire pursuit of detergent removal, is the understanding that eczema is not random, but rather predictable and follows certain rules (thank you AJ)! Once you are able to understand the rules, you go from being ruled by the eczema to being in control of it. For parents of children with unrelenting, full body eczema, this shift in understanding is nothing short of life changing. I no longer worry about Sam's skin the way I did ten weeks ago. Even when he is not completely clear or a new rash appears on his body out of the blue, I am not phased because I understand where it came from and how to handle it. I know how to make it go away. Such a contrast to the feeling of helplessness, despair, and anxiety that I used to experience when seeing new rashes appear on Sam's body.
Good news, no?? I promise I will post some pictures very soon! ( If I can't figure out how to get my camera fixed I'll just have to borrow Grandma's!)