I’m wondering if there’s ever a time when one of my children will have a problem I can’t seem to fix that it DOESN’T cause me to buckle under the weight of crushing guilt at my inefficacy.
Maybe when they’re 18? 20? 40??
(Don’t answer that. I suspect I won’t like the answer.)
So I thought we were doing everything right as regards Chickadee’s mysterious skin affliction; we followed the steroid shot with all of the dermatologist’s recommendations—stronger allergy meds, scent-free, chemical-free, additive-free shampoo, soap, and detergents, as well as an afternoon spent painting every metal stud and button on all of her pants with clear nail polish. And her skin cleared up with the steroid shot, and promptly began bubbling and rashing up as soon as the prednisone cleared her system.
In fact, her skin is STILL peeling from the after-healing of the first rash clearing… right on top of the new bumps that are forming underneath.
The good news is that the new dermatologist is good and kind and gentle but thorough; she is taking this seriously, not waving her hand at us as the allergist, previous dermatologist, and primary doctor have done. She is sweet with Chickadee and tells her she understands how miserable it is, and that she’s doing her best to get it figured out so that she can feel better.
The bad news is that although we’re all still calling it eczema, now a battery of tests as long as my arm have been ordered, and while some of them are targeted allergy tests—and we all still expect this will turn out to be some sort of allergy gone haywire—others of those tests are frightening to me because the other possibilities are things like chronic diseases. They’re just being thorough, I tell myself. They’re just making sure, I tell Chickadee.
This afternoon I will hold my daughter’s hand and more than likely hold her down as she has a biopsy of the rash. Just one item on the list; just ruling out a couple of the possibilities. The biopsy will get sent to Emory, the holy grail of medical knowledge ’round here. We’ll be able to check off those possibilities, and it’s all part of getting to the answer, and getting her feeling better.
After the biopsy she’ll go on another course of prednisone to clear her up enough that she can have the next round of allergy testing. The steroids make her crabby and snappy and make it hard for her to sleep. Right now there is nothing else that works, and so right now this is what we’ll do.
Eventually we’ll have some answers, and then we’ll be able to make her feel better (I hope), and I am (supposedly) doing everything right, so why do I feel so guilty?
(On the up side, I’m thinking ice cream after the biopsy. Right?)