This is a new series in 2013 focused on personal journey with eczema while managing a certain aspect of life. Today, we have Vida Lok, whose 4 year-old son has had eczema since he was a few months old and shares how she manages bedtime for her son. Vida blogs at MommyLok on her three children and book reviews written by her daughter.
Marcie Mom: Hi Vida, thanks for taking part in my new blog series ‘Someone has Eczema’! Can you share with us the severity of your son’s eczema and which are the triggers you’ve figured out?
Vida: Hi Marcie Mom! My pleasure and thank you so much for blogging specifically about eczema. I know this issue causes heartaches for many parents, including myself. The worst of my son’s eczema is primarily focused on the hands, feet and neck area (up to the ears). His skin can get so irritated that it causes bloody cracks all over his fingers and also at the bottom of his earlobe. Many times, I wake up to find blood spots all over the pillow and bed sheets. As for triggers, I haven’t determined what they are specifically though I would say it’s primarily weather-related.
Marcie Mom: Bedtime is the most difficult time to manage eczema for our children; the scratching intensifies when we just want to shut our eyes! Is your son sleeping well through the night, and what preparations do you take before, during sleep to minimize the scratching damage?
Vida: At 4 years old, I was hoping that he would be sleeping on his own by now. However, he still wakes up (I’d say at least 6 nights out of the week) screaming in the middle of the night because he is so agitated. It’s been a frustrating (and tiring) 4 years of this nightly routine. Children just do not deserve this sort of torment! Every day after his shower, we moisturize (mineral oil, creams and Vaseline) and then once again right before he sleeps. However, like my daughter who has suffered through the same thing, all the moisturizers just seem to dry up upon contact to his skin. It just does not seem to provide much relief. We also use the humidifier since winter is so dry, but it hasn’t had much of an effect on his relief either. The most effective preparation we have is to make sure that his fingernails are filed down every couple days to minimize the intensity of his scratching.
Marcie Mom: Many parents would love to figure out a way to get their children to sleep throughout, and for us, parents with eczema children – sleeping without scratching is already a dream come true! Is there a ‘magic’ trick that you’ve figured out, or anytime when your child slept without the scratching?
Vida: I really wish I could be that miracle mom and share the secrets of “curing” eczema for all the children who suffer from it. However, sadly, I just have to wait for those occasional lucky nights where my son’s eczema is slightly better than the previous nights and he can sleep a bit more comfortably.
Marcie Mom: One final question – is it difficult to manage bedtime for your toddler, when you’ve another two children to take care of? How did you get them all to bed?
Vida: You can say it’s a bit difficult! My two sons share a room so that causes a problem right there (they’re too tempted to play and talk all night!) Though sometimes it helps because if my toddler sees my older son going to bed, it’s easier to convince him that he should be in bed, as well. My daughter is 8 years old now so she’s a little easier to manage (and also because bribery is more effective on her!) As with most kids, I’m sure, some nights are easier than others. I try to spend as much time with them at nighttime (since I work during the day, bedtime is where I get to spend quality time with my children) so some nights they actually look forward to bedtime. Those other nights? If I’m repeating myself over and over again to them (“It’s bedtime, go to sleep!”), they’ll eventually settle down because they’re tired of hearing me be so annoying!
Marcie Mom: Thanks Vida for taking time to share your bedtime journey, I’m sure many many parents out there can identify with your sharing! and yes, bed time is quality time for me too!
Vida: Thank YOU for allowing me to share! And best of luck to all the parents out there.