Only parents with children who suffers from eczema can understand the agony of watching your child, in mere minutes of scratching, undo weeks of hard work on the parent's part to protect the said child from all potential triggers and the all consuming, obsessive efforts to keep his/her skin properly moisturised.
The creams are made available in all conceivable accessible places: in her bedroom, in my bedroom, in her school bag, in her weekend bag, in her pockets and in ALL my bags, just so that she can moisturise and relieve her discomfort whenever she itches. All those patches of red, bleeding rashes never fully heals because of the continuous choice the girl makes to scratch instead of applying the cream which soothes the skin almost immediately.
At the end of the day, not just the victim/culprit suffers, everyone else in the family suffers too. Each family member has to endure the incessant whining, the crying, the screaming during bath-times and the seemingly cruel man-handling that takes place to bring about healing once again...
I used to scream my head off at each episode of going back to square one all over again just when it looked like the skin has almost completely healed. The disappointment, the crushing defeat and the anger at the child's wilfulness are all familiar demons to wrestle with.
Despite constant, careful and patient teaching that our bodies are the temples of God and we are worshipping God when we take good care of ourselves, the child still succumbs to the temptation of relying on her own strength instead of drawing upon the power of God to resist the devil. Isn't that the story of many of us, children of God?
Since I'd taken up the Orange Rhino Challenge not to yell at the children, what should I do with the pent up frustration threatening to explode each time I see the flaring up of the eczema due to my daughter's stark disobedience?
God inspired me at the spur of the moment to come up with a song which will remind her for the millionth time what she should be doing instead of scratching. It's simple but it worked. Not for her. But for me. The simmering tension within me dissipated. She smiled and giggled at the song.
I can only pray that some day she would take greater responsibility over her own skin and depend on God to carry her through the pain and itch, making the correct choices, moment by moment, to moisturise instead of scratch. Perhaps one day, the Lord will have mercy upon her and heal her of this ailment completely.
Moisturise in the morning
Moisturise before you go out
Moisturise when you come home
Moisturise before bedtime
Please don't scratch, go moisturise
If it's itchy, moisturise
Moisturise around your mouth
Moisturise your knees and wrists
Moisturise both your elbows
Moisturise anywhere that's itchy