I want to talk about pain. I'm not talking about the pain of the person going through it though. Today I want to write about the pain parents go through.
As someone who grew up with severe eczema I can tell you I don't remember the pain. You see we experience physical pain, which is bad while you are in it, yes, but once it's passed you can't quite remember just how painful it actually was.
Have you ever broken a bone, stubbed a toe or hurt yourself in some way? Can you remember exactly the pain you experienced? The intensity? Can you recreate that experience your body had? No! That is the amazing thing about the body, we can't hold on to physical pain, we can't recreate it without inflicting the same injury on ourselves.
But mental pain, well that's a different matter.
The pain experienced by the parents of kids with eczema isn't physical, it's mental. The pain of watching your kid tear their own skin knowing you are the one that should be there to protect them but you are helpless. That is torture. The most common thing I hear from parents is "I just want to make it better, it kills me to see my child like this, nothing I do makes it go away"
No cream can help you deal with your pain, so even when the flare has calmed and your kid has forgotten all about it you are left with the vivid memories. Your pain is continuous and real and no one addresses this.
You visit the GP, get given more creams to try, you put them on and watch as often your little one cries in reaction to the new cream. No one tells you these creams often aren't soothing right away, that they often sting on contact. You expected them to calm it all down immediately but now you have to deal with the fact that in your act of trying to help your kid you made them scream in agony, and now your heart is breaking. How were you to know?
What I want and need you to know is that it's ok, I can tell you, the pain passes, for us anyway, but your pain can linger for years. Don't let this happen, accept you are doing everything out of love. We know you are and you need to give yourselves a break. Easier said than done I know!
I felt it was important to write this today, the trauma of living with eczema, indeed any condition, is that it isn't just the individual with the condition that is affected. It's the whole family.
I want to highlight this to the parents of "eczema kids" out there so that they stop being so hard on themselves. Take some time out to really look at everything you have done for your little one, you are making a difference whether you see it or not. For any of you that think you aren't I'm telling you, YOU ARE!
I now specialise in helping parents understand the options available to them. I want to provide a service I wish was available to my parents as I grew up.
In 2018 I want to make sure I am able to give back to people so I will be starting a self-help group for parents, this will be fortnightly in the Colchester area of the UK. It will be a drop in session where you can learn more about alternative options to dealing with eczema. Please follow my events on facebook to find out when and where they will be held and subscribe to my mailing list from my webpage to be kept up to date www.rebeccabonneteau.co.uk.
For those of you not in this location, I am now running a virtual self-help group for parents to help them learn how to take control, subscribe on my website www.rebeccabonneteau.co.uk and you will be sent a voucher code to book onto one of my virtual calls for free. Calls start 3rd January so don't delay subscribe today!