Why I will always have Fairy-soft hands
February 14, 2010 § 17 Comments
I mentioned this on Twitter the other day, but I am still so touched by my 4 year old, who has depths I couldn’t imagine, that I thought I would share here.
My little boy has eczema. He has always had it, from the day he was born, and over his short life we have tried every cream and ointment on the market going. Last year, he had a peanut and his head swelled up like a balloon and he was subsequently tested and found to have numerous food allergies, and since that big allergic reaction, his eczema has been worse, particularly on his face.
Every morning and every night I slather him in cream. Until recently, the only emollient we could use was a vaseline-type sticky one, which did not add moisture to the skin, but at least helped retain any natural moisture that remained. It was not great by any means, but far far better tahn nothing, and better than the screams of pain when trying to apply other creams that stung his ravanged skin.
But he copes, and always has coped with his eczema, and his allergies, unbelievably well. When he is feeling particularly itchy, he will ask for his cotton gloves which help prevent him gouging his own skin. He knows what he can and can’t eat, and rarely complains. Of course we have tears at cream time sometimes, but he is, after all, only 4.
Recently, I happened to be at Birmingham Skin Centre and saw a poster asking for children to trial a new eczema cream, known as Altoderm, which has already been trialled in the US and in this country. It is amazing. His skin is softer, less itchy and altogether smoother. His face is almost entirely cleared up and is almost unrecognisable from the red weeping sores of just a couple of months ago. And I can cover him in the cream and he doesn’t scream. My only regret is that I didn’t find out about the trial earlier.
But the inspiration for this post came from a conversation at bedtime a couple of nights ago. I was covering him in the new cream and he said to me “I wish I didn’t have eczema Mummy”. I told him that I wished he didn’t have eczema either and that I wished I could have it instead of him. His reply?
“I don’t, because then you would be itchy and I don’t want you to be itchy. People just have to be how they are Mummy”
So on Valentine’s Day, this post is dedicated to my lovely boy, whom I love with all my heart.