Skin Deep

This isn’t at all about beauty. I have a beautiful almost five month-old, Jack, who has a problem that’s skin deep. Since he was born he’s had skin problems.

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At birth he had a reaction to the eye drops they give newborns. His eyes were swollen shut for days. But that was just a bump in the road. Now his eyes are beautiful and clear. It’s the rest of his skin that’s the problem.

When Jack was a few weeks old we notice that his skin was dry. I mean REALLY dry. Like scaly, cracked, red, angry, even bleeding dry. Our first son, Reece, had a little bit of eczema when he was a baby so we just assumed this was the same and would pass. We liberally applied lotion labeled “eczema therapy” and for the most part ignored it. It didn’t seem to bother him and beyond aesthetics didn’t seem to be a problem. He was a happy boy, great sleeper, all around easy baby.

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When Jack saw his doctor for his well visits the doctor seemed to think it would soon get better and he would grow out of it in no time.

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But it just kept getting worse. Soon Jack’s face and head were scaly and his entire body was red, raw and itchy. Once he got better control of his hands he began clawing at himself. Any exposed skin was subjected to sharp little fingernail slices.

The next time we saw the doctor we were referred to an allergist where we found out Jack reacted to wheat, eggs, dairy, and peanuts. That’s a tall order for a little guy. We were told he’d probably outgrow these allergies and when he’s retested at a year old his results could totally change. (In fact, we were told that if we were to test him monthly what he reacted to would probably change each time since his immune system is still so immature).

So we’ve switched Jack to a hypoallergenic formula (no judgement – it was a hard decision and one we feel is best for him). We gave him some steroids for five days, which totally cleared up all of his skin (while he was on it). And we’ve been giving him allergy medicine before bed each night. This combination greatly improved everything from his head down. From the chin up he was still a mess.

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We went back to the allergist yesterday. He was really happy with the eczema improvement (he considers it 70% improved). But he is now sending us to a dermatologist for Jack’s extremely red and itchy head and face. The allergist believes we’re also dealing with a case of severe seborrhea. Which is basically whole face cradle cap, in my understanding.

I’ll have to write another post about all the crazy things we’re doing (at the allergist’s request) to keep the eczema under check. It’s quite the list.

Hopefully all of this is cleared up soon and this all soon forgotten.  We see the dermatologist on Saturday and see the allergist again in a month. Seems like an awful lot of doctors for such a little guy. Both will follow him until his skin is clear. It’s nice to know we’re doing all we can to fix him up.

Where there’s a will there’s a way

I was sent a link to this video yesterday about a painter (nicknamed Grandpa) who was forced to stop painting due to Macular Degeneration. He loved creating but his vision made it next to impossible to see what he was doing. Until he was introduced to Microsoft Paint. That simple, crude tool opened up a whole new world for Grandpa. The ability to zoom in and work on one detail at a time made all the difference.

This video is well worth the eight and a half minute watch.

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The fact that he’s creating really cool work using Microsoft Paint, also brings up a good point. It’s amazing what can happen when you forget what you don’t have and embrace what’s available. Isn’t there a quote that says something to the effect of the best art isn’t despite obstacle but because of them?

Here’s another great example.

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Check out these mind-blowing paintings(?) created in EXCEL! Yes, the spreadsheet program.

What have you come across that made you say, “that was made how?”

Inspiration

Recently I realized that most of what I’m drawn to online, be it blogs, Pinterest, or articles, is all about inspiration. Either someone struck by a stroke of genius and going after it full force or just a simple smart idea.

Over time I hope to be able to share some of the things that inspire me. Maybe the act of sharing will even give me the kick I need to doing more inspirational things myself. (That’s not to self-serving, right?)

A little bit about me. I’m a writer by day (I mean it – that’s what I’m actually paid to do.) Please don’t hold that against me. I’m just paid to write, it’s the job of someone else to make sure my spelling and grammar are correct.

When I’m not at work I’m a reader, home-improver, and a knitter.  I’m a mother to two amazing, energetic, happy little boys, and married to an incredible, supportive, funny man who puts up with me (that’s a asking a lot most days).

To get an idea of some of the things that inspire me you can visit my Pinterest board here http://pinterest.com/cplazar/boards/

And I’ll leave you with something that inspired me today, the bathroom house. Others saw a public restroom. She saw a home:

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/9461916/From-public-loo-to-private-home.html