ONE YEAR ITCH, ONE YEAR HELL, ONE YEAR HEALING.
This was written one year to the day that we decided to stop steroids and change Lakyn's diet to help him naturally.
Today marks the day...
One year of hell for our precious baby boy Lakyn.
How hard it is to watch your little one in so much pain and suffering.
One year since we decided to stop using topical steroids for his eczema and put him on an elimination, gut healing diet.
Lakyn is also on a very very strict low chemical natural food diet, meaning no nasty chemicals, no colours or preservatives, also no wheat, no dairy, no soy, no egg and we have also taken away all bath wash, dish soap, laundry and home cleaners replacing them with natural products to give him the best possible chance to heal.
Just looking at pictures of others going through topical steroid withdrawal is enough to scare the crap out of you. But knowing that others had been through it and come out the other side made it so much easier for us to decide to go ahead with it.
The constant battle with eczema and steroids had to stop. After decided to stop using steroids, we knew it was going to be hard, but we didn't know how bad Lakyn was going to be, how long it was going to take, how we were going to get through it and how we would cope watching him suffer. We had researched so much and knew we had to give it a go.
Lakyn was not getting better, only worse. I just knew something needed to be done. Not being able to help your child sucks. What came next was the most difficult time for us all. Pain, itch and suffering. The hardest thing we've ever had to deal with.
Lakyn's little body was red all over and he felt like sand paper. He would go through a process of redness, scabbing and flaking. His skin did this for months. We had his whole body covered in natural creams and ointment all the time and every morning when his pj's would come off so would the dead skin. Watching him suffer, tears rolling down his little face while he scratched uncontrollably was so heartbreaking. I would often just hold him and cry along with him.
Lakyn wore mittens pretty much 24/7 especially in the car and at night to stop him tearing his skin apart. He would wear them most of the day, he was happy to play in them, we would only take them off for him to eat.
Working at the time was so hard, not having much sleep and sending him to childcare looking the way he did. Lots of days off work was the norm but his childcare were so great, applying his cream, cooking his special meals and they would have his mitts on whenever he needed. I would often pick him up and he would be red and swollen around his eyes, I believe it was the sun screen would flare him up, putting him in the bath would flare him up. We felt everything effected him.
We would walk him, rock him, play music, we would try anything, Nothing stopped the itch. I would dread bed time as I knew what lay ahead. At times I would still be trying to settle Lakyn and my alarm would go off for work. It was so stressful and tiring so I decided to give up work and concentrate on his health 100%. I would be awake with him all night, swapping with Dad when I needed some sleep. We couldn't see any light at the end of the tunnel, it felt like it had been forever but in reality it was only a few months. After leaving work Lakyn was hardly unwell and improved quicker.
People started questioning what we were doing, we were questioning what we were doing, was it worth it, was it helping, were we doing the right thing for him. People would stop us at the shops and ask what was wrong with him.
My daughter was holding him one day and a lady said "don't get too close to him he might be contagious".
Doctors would ask "what are you doing? why aren't you using steroids? have you got them at home?" I told the doctor what we were doing and she was very sceptical and thought I was crazy I'm sure.
I came home from work one day and Lakyn had a fever, was not well and very sleepy. I changed his nappy and he had pussy blisters on his back.
Off we went to the doctor, whom confirmed Lakyn had Staphylococcus aureus also known as golden staph. (a common bacterium that lives on the skin or in the nose.) It can cause a range of mild to severe infections and may cause death. Some strains are resistant to antibiotics.We were prescribed antibiotics and I knew they would compromise all we had done to heal his gut. We were so scared, I rang my homeopath and she booked me in as soon as she could and gave us some homeopathic meds for staph. She couldn't tell me what to do incase something serious happened to him, and yes confirmed that the antibiotics would compromise everything we had worked for to heal his gut.
We knew we wouldn't be able to live with ourselves if something did happen to him, so went to the chemist to get the antibiotics. They didn't have any in stock, the pharmacist said he would be fine if we waited until the next day and pointed to a spot of eczema on Lakyn's neck and said it was only mild staph.
We told her that spot was just his eczema and his staph was actually much worse. When she saw Lakyn's back her reaction scared us, she told us to go to another chemist straight away and get the antibiotics into him as soon as we could and that it was indeed a bad case of staph. Three hours after giving the first dose of antibiotics Lakyn's skin flared like crazy he was so red and his itch was uncontrollable, he didn't stop scratching for days. It was like this until we finished the antibiotics.
After about 6 months we started to see improvements and Lakyn was using the mitten's less and less. He's night time itch finally calmed and is much easier to settle. He still wakes up a few times a night and still has his bad nights. This has tested our patience and pushed us to the limits emotionally, physically and we are exhausted most of the time. I can not wait till he sleeps all night.
I never knew how much food allergies/intolerance's and eczema could affect someones life and wouldn't wish it on anyone. I have the greatest man by my side supporting me and helping me through this, telling me constantly I do a great job, I lose it often and he will take over.
I'm looking forward to the day he is eczema free and sleeping through the night, but until then the only thing we can do is hope and prey it comes soon.