Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eczema Is A Bully

One thing I haven't shared with you is Grayson's struggle with eczema. Really, it's not just HIS struggle, but mine and Joey's as well. It burdens our hearts, because it truly torments Grayson both night and day.

I know that lots of children struggle with eczema - and to different degrees. Let me just say, I know that things could be a LOT worse. So, I don't want to complain. I DO want to talk about our experience with it.

(This is not Grayson's skin. But, I wanted to show the picture I googled because it looks a lot like the rashes on various parts of his body.)Everyday Challenges:
I would show you pictures of all the medicated creams, lotions, ointments and oils we have been prescribed by different dermatologists and doctors, but, frankly, I don't have that kind of time - there are too many to hunt down. And none of them bring any kind of relief!

Some seasons are better than others, but lately, his skin has gotten so irritated, he's been grabbing our fingers and placing them on his body or face to scratch it for him.

There's nothing worse than not being able to ease your child's misery - it's such a powerless feeling.

When putting him to sleep, it's like trying to wrestle an alligator. He'll contort to scratch an itch, or rub his hands on my chest.

When we go places, we often get comments on his hands (they have scabs from itching and are very red). My eye doctor asked if Grayson got into poison ivy. No. People inquire, "what happened?"

While I know they are [rightfully] concerned, it makes me sad. My son's skin is my soft spot - you know, the one we all have that we carry around like an emotional bruise that can get pushed.

Going Gluten Free:
It's time to regulate his diet in order to discover a possible connection to his eczema outbreaks. Today is Day 1 of his GF diet. We are also limiting dairy as much as possible. So, I went to AKiN's to buy some special foods not offered in regular stores. Holy coconuts! The cost of this food is atrocious! $6.49 for this little box of chicken nuggets?? I jokingly thought, "Joey may be donating plasma twice a month to cushion the costs of this new diet!" Realistically, this pregnant lady will need to become educated on GF recipes and get savvy with the food planning.

I'm praying that his new diet helps with his skin and overall behavior. I just want him to be healthy and happy, and Joey and I will go to the ends of the earth to make this happen.

Thought For the Day: Any suggestions on gluten free foods would be greatly appreciated, as well as tips or supporting advice. Thanks, readers!


Misty said...

Meredith - Going GF was hard for me at first and I spent TONS of money at the store trying all of the products out there . . . don't make that mistake. The BEST way to go GF is to stick with a protein / veggie / fruit diet and then supplement with replacement staples. I, for one, was desperate for pasta and bread . . . those are the two things I spend my GF money on (best brands: Udi breads and Pasta Joy Rice Pasta). Both can generally be found at a regular grocery store like Hy-Vee / Kroger in the health foods area. Don't waste your money on the expensive bread mixes and cookie mixes and frozen concoctions. It's like throwing money away - as most of them pale in comparison to the real thing and often left me with the "why me" feeling.

Some of the "worth the money" products:
Udi Bread products (they have bread, pizza crusts, and even bagels!)
Pasta Joy Rice Pasta - I have tried about every brand of GF pasta, and this is by far the closest to the real thing.
Chex Cereals (all except wheat) are GF and don't cost an arm and a leg.
Betty Crocker Gluten Free cake mixes: while not a staple, this definitely works when you have a sweet tooth. I have used both the chocolate and vanilla for party cakes that people are unable to tell it's GF. (You have to beat them much longer than the box says though, or you'll get a goopy mess. Beat it about 2x as long and it will come out great! The vanilla cake works as a GREAT strawberry shortcake substitute!)
Nut Thins crackers: These are DELISH and come in a variety of flavors. The boxes are small - so get more than one - but definitely worth it if you want crackers / something crunchy.
And last, but not least, Glutino pretzels. They taste like the real thing and work as a great snack!

Good luck! Sorry for the long list, and I'm sure you'll get lots of advice, but from a foodie's perspective, seek out recipes that just don't use flour and 9/10ths of the battle is over!

Misty said...

Sorry, one more thing:
since you are eliminating dairy, when you want ice cream, definitely try coconut dream! SOOO good. It's expensive, but in small quantities, it's worth the money. Also, Vanilla Almond Milk (90 cal, not the light stuff!) is pretty good too. You have to get past the grayish color (yeah, I know...grayish milk doesn't sound good), but I am here to testify that it is good!

BTW - I went GF as a result of a true wheat allergy - sent me into hives and anaphalaxis! Don't give up too early on it - - - it takes time to "kick in" - but I think you will find you have more energy and are eating healthier foods in the long run! Good luck!!

Misty said...

one more thought . . .
here's a blog I read that's great!

good luck!