Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of Passage? His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man! Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm. We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, God is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.

Let's be more aware of all the choices, situations, twists and turns that brought us to this place right here and now. They May Be Miracles.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

To Burt's Bees, or Not To Burt's Bees (little miracles part IV)

I have three beautiful children. Grace is the oldest and will soon be 6, Magdalene (Maggie) is 2 1/2 and Brady was born in September of 2008 and is now approaching his 9 month mark. Grace is your classic first-born child...she just has to have rules for everything, especially for Maggie, and she is very concerned about making sure she does everything right and perfect. Grace is also very sweet and loving and very sensitive as well. Maggie, well, she's just concerned about being 2. I have been saying since she was approaching 2 that she is the ultimate 2 year old...she was born to be 2. I'm still not sure what will happen when she's 3 and even older. Maggie has such a pleasant personality and is very laid back. When she is trying my patience I just shake my finger at her and say, "You are such a two year old!" and she thinks that's hilarious. Brady's personality is just starting to shine and he's waaaaaayyyy different from the girls even as a baby! He just goes after everything and is VERY demanding and wants what he wants and wants it right now...and for now at least, he is very much a "mamma's boy." I never had to worry about Grace and Maggie getting into things all that much...Maggie more than Grace, but still not bad...but Brady, he's only 9 months and already crawling into places in the house that the girls never cared about.

Brady was pretty much born with sensitive skin. All babies are, but he's had a few issues with his skin. First we were dealing with a bad case of cradle cap that covered the entire back of his head - I guess that was around the time he was like 3 or 4 months. And he also would get little spots of eczema behind his ears and other places on his body. About the time he was 6 month old he came down with RSV so we gave him the breathing treatments when necessary and also steroids for his lungs. A few days after his last steroid treatment his face broke out with a horrible case of eczema. We have been dealing with this extremely bad eczema ever since then.

First, we followed the advice of our pediatrician and made sure we washed all of our clothes in baby detergent (we only wish during all this time we could have convinced the entire rest of the world to wash their clothes in baby detergent too so that no matter who held him wouldn't cause him to break out). Also following our pediatrician's advice we used the cetaphil soap and lotion on him...which in reading up on eczema on the internet is a widely supported brand for the condition. We also went to the dermatologist who walked in the room, looked at him, and imediately asked, "Does eczema run in your family?" He said that it was hereditary and may or may not be caused by allergies. He prescribed steroid cream and also some high-strength antibacterial cream because the cracked and bleading areas were cause for concern for staff infection.

I had read on the internet that although steroid creams are effective for treating eczema, they should be used sparingly because continued use of steroid creams can cause other and worse skin problems due to thinning out the skin. So the steroid was the only thing helping him...any time I would use the steroid the eczema would go away for 2 - 3 days, but then come back with a vengence on the 3rd or 4th day. Frustrating!! I did not want to continue using steroid to treat him, but needed to find other options.

I took him to a woman for a reike treatment and that actually helped calm the swelling...the redness went away that day. This woman who did the reike told me to try udder cream with him and actually udder cream seemed to give him less of a reaction than anything else I had used, so I continued to use the udder cream from then on.

We then took him to a homeopathic doctor. She believed she could come up with a remedy to cure it completely. She did not like the idea of steroid cream because it just supressed the eczema and didn't help to cure it. She thought that Brady might have a milk allergy and said that we needed to pick one thing to feed him (I was both nursing and supplementing him) so to stop nursing since I did not have enough to feed him. Also, to take him off of regular formula and to give him goats milk, soy formula or rice formula and to not feed him anything else until she could determine if it was a milk allergy. I chose soy formula. Brady broke out into full body hives from the soy formula. Not a good choice. I switched him back to his regular formula and called the homeopathic doctor to tell her. She said she really wanted him on goats give him goats milk. I told Dan and his reaction was, what's the difference between goats milk and cows milk?! If he has a milk allergy why would it matter which animal it came from? So I did some more reading on the internet. Turns out goats milk is NOT a good thing to give to an infant AT ALL! Even a goats milk company trying to sell goats milk has a large exerpt on their page that says, NEVER under any circumstances should goats milk be given to an infant. Everything I read said that if your infant has a milk allergy you should give it the hypoallergenic formula. So that's what I did. We did this for 2 weeks. No change...Brady still was in a constant state of extreme eczema and he was hungry and crying ALL the time because his appetite was too big for a formula only diet.

Dan and I did not take Brady back to the homeopathic doctor, and I started feeding him other foods one at a time again to check for reactions. I do think he may have a sensitivity to wheat, but that's another story another time.

I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to use steroid cream on him every 3 or 4 days apart to keep the eczema from being too cracked and bleading...and that was just how it was going to have to be. I would use udder cream, and I had also read on the internet to not wash him with soap, but instead to wash him in baby oil so that his skin could hold moisture better. So I started washing him in baby oil, slathering udder cream on him, and periodically used steroid cream.

Well, one day Dan's mom told me that she had been speaking with one of Dan's cousins and she had a similar problem with one of her kids. She said she had never used steroid cream because she didn't want to, but basically she eventually used Burt's Bees lotion on his eczema and it disappeared and never came back. I said that maybe I'd try that because I was willing to try anything...and felt I had tried anything so far. So I basically decided that if I came across Burt's Bees somewhere I would pick up a bottle of lotion and give it a try. It kind of left my mind after that.

Last Wednesday I went to Amish Country shopping with my mother-in-law. When she met up with us she noticed that Brady was pretty swollen and red that day and he was in for a full flair-up by the end of the day...I knew I'd have to use steroid by the next day. She mentioned to me again what Dan's cousin had said about Burt's Bees and I said, "well we'll be in Amish Country today, I'm sure I'll see some of that somewhere...I'll give it a try if I find some."

We shopped several furniture stores in the morning looking for a deacon's bench for her mud room. We decided to stop for lunch and then we would go to several other furniture stores that we had passed by on the way to lunch. When we got to the restaurant there happened to be a lot of people waiting in line in front of us, so I took Maggie to the bathroom and she held Brady. The people behind her started playing with Brady and struck up a conversation with her because of his eczema. They had a grandchild that had it really bad and I should try washing him in goats milk (ugggh...goats milk again!). They lived close by and they assured us that this was the best Amish restaurant around and worth the wait...the Amish even eat at this Amish restaurant. My mother-in-law asked them where the best place would be to get a deacon's bench. They decided Slabach's was the best and explained how to get there.

After we ate we started for Slabach's furniture. We went down the road, but then missed our turn and knew it right away. So we were looking for a place to turn around and go back, and found another furniture store where we could turn around...I said, "well since it's a furniture store and we're here, we might as well go in." So we did. It turned out to be a very high-end furniture store and they did not have a deacon's bench anywhere in the store...but the woman was very pleasant and wanted to take my mother-in-law through her catalog. So I walked Maggie and Brady through the store and Maggie had to sit on all the chairs and open drawers to all the dressers and desks. I was about to take them outside to walk around outside and Maggie noticed a tiny display of lotions that she wanted me to put on her hands (she loves lotion). It was Burt's Bees on a bottom shelf down on the floor level of a book case. There were maybe 5 Burt's Bees products altogether. One of the products was called Baby Bees Lotion and it said it was for sensitive skin. I figured this was the one I needed. Hmmm, I had forgotten that I was kind of looking for this. Fancy that.

Listen, we weren't even planning on going to this furniture store. They didn't even have what Betty was looking for. I was waisting time with my kids...and here, after making a wrong turn and stopping at the place we were just going to turn around in, I find this Baby Bee product that has been reduced to half price because they were not going to sell Burt's Bees products there anymore. Now, if I had known that it was going to completely cure Brady of the eczema on his face...that he would have normal beautiful baby skin on his face just by using Baby Bees lotion on his face...don't you think I would have bought every single solitary bottle of that lotion that they had left??? Yes, I'm telling you here and now that nothing else worked for this child...a complete and total random series of events led me to the correct lotion. I may never have even picked that lotion given a choice in another store...but it's really all they had left at this store. Why would a furniture store even have Burt's Bees products ... on a bottom shelf ... of a book case ... down by the floor where no one is looking....except my 2 year old who thought she wanted me to put some samples of lotion on her hands?

I put the lotion on him as soon as we got to the car. Before we ever reached home that day his face was cleared. It still needed to heal a little, but it was cleared. It has been 4 days and he has not had a flair-up. I have not used steroid at all. Only the Burt's Bees Baby Bees Lotion. I'm keeping my fingers crossed...but it looks like we found his cure.

I'm not the only one that miracles happen to either, by the way! I'm sure you have a story to share!!! Leave a comment if you have a story!

By the way...the furniture store that those people told us to go to, "Slabach's," we did end up finding it and the store had so many deacon's benches that she could barely decide what to get! And they were very reasonably priced too. Now Dan wants one and I guess I'm going to have to try to find it again...who knows where we'll end up the next time we take a wrong turn!

1 comment:

Dustine said...

I wanted to comment, or state for the record, that the advice and help given by all the doctors and friends was never wrong and if you would research Brady's condition on the internet you would find all of the things we were told to do on there. (Well, except for feeding him Goat's milk instead of formula or breast milk). Many things work for different children and babies...we just had to find the thing that worked for Brady.