Malachi was about two months old when he suddenly became covered from head to toe with chronic eczema. Ironically all but his diaper area was affected. We immediately took him to our regular doctor, who gave him some sort of cortisone cream and an oral steroid.
The eczema cleared right up. We were so thankful, and we thought his “little rash thing” was all taken care of.
Then about a week later, when the effects of the steroid wore off, the rash came right back, only worse.
Our baby became miserable. He was extremely itchy all the time, yet way too little to understand anything that was going on. He could hardly be still in his crib, in his car seat, and sadly, even in our arms. I can’t put into words the helplessness we felt watching our tiny boy feel such misery and not know what we could do to comfort him.
His jammies and his sheets would have blood spots where he’d rubbed himself raw trying to relieve the itching. His neck became an open wound. His face looked like he’d rolled around in a patch of poison ivy. His arms and legs were a mix of scabs and inflamed red sores.
And he stayed this way for months and months.
People stared. People asked, “What in the world is all over your baby?” People offered suggestions of help. It seemed to become all people talked to me about and I grew extremely weary.
I remember trying to comfort him in the middle of the night, and just weeping and praying over him, begging God to please give us answers and healing for our baby.
And I remember that even though it was so painful to watch our baby suffer so much, I was thankful. Thankful that it was “only eczema”. It made me more aware of what a parent might go through as they watch their child suffer from cancer or another major illness.
During the time we were trying to find answers for Malachi, one of my very dear friends was struggling severely and sinking into a deep depression. I had never experienced this kind of depression, nor had I watched a friend feel so much hopelessness. I was amazed by her absolute determination to fight it and find peace. She was desperately seeking answers.
We had yet another friend who had been doing a lot of research on whole body health and nutrition. This concept was foreign to me. But between the eczema and the depression we were all so determined to find answers for, we all began working together to learn and figure out how the food we ate effected our overall health and well-being.
I remember this being both a painful time, and a time of new hope. Could changing the food we ate make that big of a difference in our health? I truly had never though about food in that way. Crazy isn’t it? I never really equated food with nutrition. Food was just…food.
Not only that, but I was learning about the long term effect of drugs generally prescribed for ezcema. Filling Malachi with steroids and covering his body with cortisone might help in the short term, but his condition was chronic. He only found relief from the eczema when he was on steroids. Did we want to place our baby permanently on steroids?
And so our search continued. It was at this time we discovered the book Nourishing Traditions.
It was also at this time that I landed myself in the hospital for five days because of complications from asthma.
To be continued…