It seems like yesterday that I was shuttering at that word when I took my less than three month old daughter in for a check up with our family doctor. I had known a couple of people growing up who suffered with severe eczema and I remember how heavy-hearted it made me feel just looking at their dry, red skin.
I remember wanting to scratch it for them because I could see the temptation so badly in their eyes, but knew each day they overcame the desire to scratch that burning itch was even more valuable than just one more scratch. But most of all I remember feeling gratitude. Selfish gratitude at that – being so thankful that I didn’t have to live with such a heavy burden.
But on that late autumn day when that six letter word came pouring out of our doctors mouth all I could do was pray to God for the diagnosis be for me instead.
I left the doctors office that day with more questions than answers…
Did I cause this?
Was it too many scrambled eggs every morning or a shameful addiction to cheese and crackers during pregnancy that caused my littles skin to revolt?
Could I have done anything differently?
How long will this last?
How could those countless Johnson’s baby product ads not prepare me for this threat to my baby’s fresh and fragile skin?
Needless to say, almost 7 months later I am still searching for answers and solutions in this western world that praises the all natural mother and frowns upon the use of steroid creams and other prescription solutions.
But let me tell you.
I scoured every page of this internet that I could find that touched on the issue of eczema, infant eczema or seborrheic dermatitis. I read countless threads of moms seeking advice from other moms for similar issues. But above all else I sought every possible “all-natural remedy” that I could so that I could cross the finish line at the end with my pride in tact.
And it may just be because I live in an area of Canada where people hold natural living in a more high regard, but when I walked out of that doctors office holding a prescription for a corticosteroid cream I felt defeated. I had failed my daughter and her untainted skin, losing the battle of treating with natural remedies to the big bad wolf of pharmaceutical products I have been convinced of.
However, as I watched the red, warm, weeping skin of my 10 month old daughter’s elbows become calm and flawless again like the day she was born, I was immediately overcome with peace. Why did I try and refuse for so long the privilege of modern medicine that I have available to me? The privilege that so many others in this world die without each day.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still value the purity and benefits of using as many all natural products you can in every day living. But this experience has taught me that just because something is trendy or a superior option, it does not automatically make it the right option. I applaud the mothers out there who were able to bring relief to their children’s eczema naturally and without the use of any steroid creams. Praise the Lord!
More importantly though, I am sending prayers of comfort and encouragement to those who are still on the journey to recovery and fearful of what course of treatment you might have to settle with. It is still only the beginning of our journey and although we have found some peace this week, I know this battle is not over, but without a doubt I am eternally thankful for our doctors and the access I have to modern medicine.
I am still curious as to what natural remedies have worked for you!?
When we finally get down to the nitty gritty of things I do still hope to find a natural maintenance plan that works for us.