This week I wanted to start on a positive note and tell you about the things we try to do as a family, because sometimes living with eczema can get you down, with the constant scratching when you have to slap on the creams and potions, that you can feel is it worth the effort.
I can only speak from my own perspective and say quite honestly that there is not much in the way of sports, holiday or entertainment when we don’t give it a try. Sometimes you have to turn away when an itchy phase starts but that’s just the way it goes.
From an early age my son loved being active, we started off with Soccer Tots (sometimes more scratching than kicking the ball), we then had a go at Trampolining which he got a bit bored with as he wanted to jump higher than he was able to and therefore got frustrated at his own efforts, so a lot of scratching there. But both of these encouraged him to have a go, socialise with other children and enjoy just “being”. It didn’t stop the scratching but for that short time there was no-one nagging or stopping him doing what other children did.
As he got older he was always keen to participate in anything concerning sports. The local Hockey team from age 5 years old, where he tore around the pitch getting hotter and hotter but enjoying every minute and when the coach told him and us he had a natural sporting ability well past his age group, that was brilliant news. He still plays hockey enjoying the team spirit and the friendships he makes and most half terms there is usually a couple of days where extensive training is given.
The next sport was swimming. Well as you probably know, before they even go into the pool you wonder what reaction the skin will have to the chlorine. So you plaster the child with a cream so that the water almost slides off the skin: just a little problem here, as they become slippery as an eel and you end up trying to keep hold of them as they slide through your grasp, but hey, they think its all part of the game. Then comes the shower and more creams from head to toe but he enjoyed it, he is laughing and had a great time so we got something right and he forgot about scratching for a while.
The sea can also be a problem as this really does sting the skin and this is so offputting to us all, but this year for some reason in the very hot weather we managed to get into the water and it was ok. Whether this is because the skin is improving or that it was too hot to be on the beach I don’t know but it was good to see.
Football is also a great favourite, playing most weekends and enjoying coaching during the week from an ex professional. Again we are told he is good but more importantly than that, he forgets the scratching for a bit. However, as he gets hotter, putting so much effort into tearing around the field like a racehorse, the scratching begins, people start to stare because they do not understand what is going on, other kids look at him as if he has suddenly developed two heads and that spoils it for me. But, he has a good scratch, drinks a load of water and then goes on to score and all is forgotten by everyone who shout and cheer.
We also love to go camping, so its tree climbing, exploring, wading through streams, everything that says freedom. We haven’t attempted a holiday abroad yet but hopefully this will come.
We do still have problems with itchy, sweaty skin and having to put on creams but whether we have just got used to it or not, it certainly does not stop us doing anything.
One important thing to come from all of this, is that he is sensitive and has a greater understanding of other children less fortunate with health problems so in the grand scheme of things Eczema is not the end of the world.
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