My adventures into Motherhood
My defective genes have made themselves known in my poor defenceless offspring. Mikala has eczema! Poor itchy scratchy inflamed red rashy little baby…..
About a month ago, just after we got back from NZ, I noticed that Mikala’s “hormone rash” still hadn’t gone away, but I was hell bent on clearing her cradle cap so I didn’t pay it that much attention. Instead of subsiding it steadily got worse and faded and then got worse and worse. At her first round of jabs, the GP told me I should try vigilantly moisturising her with specialty creams to reduce itchiness and hopefully it would go away. She didn’t confirm to me that it was eczema, she just said maybe. Well, moisturising it didn’t help much and the rash got infected and started weeping, so now Miki was red and rashy and crusty and sticky and very cranky. She spent most of her time trying to furiously scratch her skin off and I spent most of my time telling her not to while covering her hands with mitts (aka socks) and swaddling her tight to go to sleep.
We went to the doctor and after a 5 minute consultation I had a script for two steroid creams and a whole raft of moisturisers to add to my already substantial collection from Boots as well as an anti-biotic to clear the weeping infection. A week of slathering on creams and tipping penicillin into an uncooperative patient made a good deal of difference and Miki became much less rashy and was almost beautiful again. But those of you with eczema know that it’s never really gone, it can come up again anytime. Our Saturday packing sessions (we are moving to Kingston! Upon Thames, not Jamaica) made her much more itchy and red again, so I suspect she is sensitive to dust mites. What else could be causing her distress? My Mum found a very helpful book called “Eczema! Cure it!” By Dr Rodney Ford, and he thinks that 80% of baby eczema is sensitivity to three things; dairy, eggs and peanuts. So I started cutting these products from my diet.
Three weeks later I’m getting used to the altered diet, and I’ve only fallen off the dairy-wagon a few times in the first week, half a croissant at a cafe which I shared with Sof before I realised it was basically all butter in a different form. Then automatically licking Sof’s ice cream to help her clean up the drips before remembering that I wasn’t supposed to have any – and after I had purposely not bought myself an ice cream! Then accidentally putting normal milk in my cup of tea by muscle memory, instead of reaching for the soy milk. I drank the whole cup before I realised that it tasted too good….. I’m getting used to the taste of soy milk now and I’m discovering a whole new world of dairy and egg free food products at the supermarket. For anyone who’s interested, Orgran have a potato starch based product called ‘No egg’ which you can use in baking. You can even make a meringue with it! Just don’t try making scrambled eggs with it, even if you used your imagination and squinted a bit, it still wouldn’t cut the mustard. And Mrs Crimble’s has some yummy baking that is vegan friendly. Admittedly her cakes could also be used as door stops and they have more of a dense loaf-like texture which is better sliced and spread with a non-dairy marg. Both the Stem Ginger cake and the Dutch Apple cake that I have tried have been yummy 🙂 Kinnerton also do a non-dairy chocolate bar so if you’re craving, you don’t have to miss out!
Despite the restricted diet, I haven’t noticed much of a change in Miki’s itchiness so now I have made an appointment with an allergy specialist, one private, one on referral with the NHS and I’m keeping a food diary. Next month I will get to the bottom of Miki’s eczema triggers so I can manage her eczema, and if she doesn’t grow out of it, then I can teach her how to manage it herself as she gets older. But for now, she needs to keep wearing her socks on her hands.