It’s eczema.

The rash, that is.

The dermatologist we saw, who could hardly fit us into her busy botox schedule, said immediately on seeing Clare that she was suffering from severe winter eczema.

I can tell you right now that I wanted to hear anything but that.  

I know. I know. You’re thinking I’m crazy. Eczema? Really Val? It’s not a big deal.

Yeah…that’s cause you haven’t seen her fathers eczema.  Andrew has the worst case of eczema I have ever seen.  He is constantly itchy.  He can’t use soap. Soap people! I will often find that after a night sleep he will wake up having scratched himself raw.  It’s miserable and there is no known cure.

She might have it her whole life.  She might never have it again.

I just wanted to have them say, “Here’s some medicine. This nasty rash will be gone in a couple of hours.” (man I sound American)

I don’t mind eczema. The brilliance of Andrew and Clare’s person shines far brighter than the scabbing and the dryness of this disease but I hate seeing them patiently suffer with it. I want to find a solution.  I want to fix this and the eczema diagnosis meant there was no sure way for me to do that.

Of course I blamed it on the doctor.

“Did you see her HANDS!!!?! UGH! Gross! And she had a skunk stripe right down the middle of her head.  You’d think with all that plastic surgery she has been doing that she would be able to afford a nice hair dye job. And did you see how she played with Clare? How dare she! And she didn’t even look at every spot before she just figured out what it was…ugh…like SHE knows anything.”, I said in a one way conversation I had with my mom on the way home from the doctor’s office.

But I know that wasn’t right.

Just before I arrived at the dermatologist yesterday I was listening to a radio program where a novelist was plugging her new book all about her battle with seizures.  She confessed quietly, after describing what it was like, that she had had to acknowledge that seizures were a part of her story and that she had a choice to make them the enemy or to embrace all parts of her life…good or bad.

When we become parents we want all good things for our children.  No parent thinks to themselves, “Hey! I love disease and rashes and asthma! Bring it on!”.

I knew a day would come when I would have to let go of Clare and let life happen to her.  I thought I was hot stuff when I said, “Oh who cares if the paci fell on the floor?” or “Bring your snotty kid over! We love germs.” or “Nope…don’t do it for her. She will have to learn how to do it herself.”  But now I feel like it’s really hit me – what it means to let life happen to your kid. I can’t protect her from eczema. I can help her manage it but … I can’t scare it away or call the principle about it.

So there you have it. Eczema. I guess that’s not as awful as a bad attitude.

In other parts of my world: The laundry is still where I left it last night. *shrug*


3 responses

  1. I wonder if that’s why she likes being naked… of course, don’t we all? I’ve heard that sunshine/heat is good for it(?), if thats true either summer better get here fast, our you two need to come down for a visit. 🙂 you and your eczema are welcome any day.

  2. Oh Val. I am sorry. That really sucks for all of you.
    But, you so beautifully described the heart ache that is motherhood. You truly are gifted… how do you do that? Turn something like eczema into a touching post on motherhood.

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