A parent’s journey with allergies, eczema and asthma
As a parent, you look forward to many milestones in your child’s life because you know it means your child is developing correctly.
As parents of children with allergies, eczema and asthma, you also look forward to different milestones, such as not having to carry your child all night to stop him from scratching, or the first time he got a cold and you didn’t have to take him to emergency due to asthma, or his first swimming lesson when he is almost five.
Eczema is intolerable. Imagine thousands of mosquito bites all over your body keeping you awake all night and resulting in open wounds, secondary infections, and asthma episodes.
This is why these milestones are so significant; because it means you can have a semi-normal family experience. We don’t go on holidays, or spontaneous days out—everything has to be planned. Will there be pets there? Will there be food allergens present?
Despite already being on high alert, you have to deal with being accosted by people—even strangers in the street. Did you know your child has eczema? What do you use for his skin? You get tired of justifying the way you parent.
Little do they know that once you get home you will bleach bath, moisturise and wet wrap your child’s whole body, three times a day and every night, and that no matter how much skin management you do each day, chances are, it will still be bad the next.
Add to this watching two of your children suffer through an anaphylactic reaction and asthma episodes on more than one occasion.
You dread any function—because it means risk. And people’s judgement.
Years of dealing with it has made us experts. Do we still get overwhelmed and want to bury our heads in the sand? All the time. But the reality is, if we don’t manage it, who will? It is time-consuming and exhausting, but just imagine what it is like for them. And if he can still smile, so can I. And the best part—he started swimming lessons; something simple that all kids do, and he LOVED it.
* Testimonial from Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia www.allergyfacts.org.au