My youngest, Rory, suffers from eczema, and has put up with it since he was only a few months old. He turns a massive FOUR in January.
We’ve run the gamut of elimination diets, washes, creams, lotions, ointments, probiotics, antihistamines, less baths, wet wraps and emollients. You name it, we’ve tried it. Well, all except ‘Man and Beast’; that shit is foul! I am assured it works but I thought you poor bugger you’ve put up with a dozen other creams, half of which sting the hell out of your poor little pizza legs so I’m not smearing turps / liquefied phenol / petrolatum / paraffin / cottonseed oil on you as well. You’re my little man, not a motorbike.
Anyway for the past few months we’ve been trying something new, different and decidedly new age… kinesiology, to try and figure out what Rory’s eczema is being caused by. Allergy testing, basically. Rory calls it ‘queasyology’.
A fundamental premise of Kinesiology is that the body has innate healing energy and is doing its best to care for itself, but sometimes needs assistance to achieve this state. [It]… is defined primarily as the use of muscle testing to identify imbalances in the body’s structural, chemical, emotional or other energy…
Because Roars is only three I am an active participant in his treatment. I recline on the chiropractic couch holding his left hand with my right, while he clenches a tiny vial of a specific allergen in his right fist. And only occasionally tries to slide it into my pocket or drop it on the floor. I then lift my left arm straight up, alternating touching each of my first three fingers to my thumb as Dr Darren tries to push my arm back towards my head. I have to push as hard as I can against his hand; if my arm stays vertical each time, Rory’s immune system copes well against that particular allergen. If Darren pushes my arm over, it doesn’t. Then he touches a series of points on Rory’s chest and back – guaranteed to make him squirm and giggle like a loon – makes a few quick chiropractic adjustments, and for the following 25 hours Rory is to avoid all contact with that allergen.
After our first session I must admit to feeling faintly ridiculous. How can this possibly work? What, I’m a conduit? Is my hair standing up? Do I need to wear rubber soled shoes? I haven’t been doing many pushups lately, maybe it’s just my arms that are pissweak. And how do I know Darren isn’t just pushing less when Rory has the vial? (He assured me he pushes the same each time.) And then there was the 25 hours of avoiding contact with the allergen. Eggs was the second one we tested, and obviously it meant not eating eggs. That’s fine; Rory loves eggs, but he won’t miss them for one day. But no, he couldn’t eat chicken either, touch raw or cooked chook, or even sit on Finn’s bed, which has a feather doona. WEIRD!!
But I figured well, if we’re going to try this, we’re not going to half-arse it. I’ll try anything if it means Rory will stop having flare-ups that make him scratch so hard he leaves skin on the couch and bleeds on his sheets at night. He’s had this his entire life and is so stoic he hardly ever complains, but it broke my heart a few months ago when at 2am he wailed “MUMMMYYY I DON’T WANT SKIN!”
So we kept him out of Finn’s room and followed all the rules. Plus our regular routine of a bath with emollient only every second day, some hydrocortisone cream and slathered-on emollient covered with wet dressings every night, and probiotic powder every morning. 25 hours plus four days later, Rory’s legs were a beautiful pasty white! A few patches on his feet and knees, but on the whole they were the best they’d been since ever. For once his knees actually looked and felt like they were covered in skin – proper soft, little boy skin; neither blotchy and inflamed nor hard and rough like skin-coloured elephant testicles. Pardon my French, and double entendre, but J and I were fucking over the moon.
He’s been pretty great the past several weeks, but just recently has copped another flare-up, at the same time my hayfever also kicked in. We will test him with pollen in time, but today it was Vitamin B complex… shit, it was even worse than Vitamin C cos of all the banned stuff! There was no point telling me what he couldn’t have, was easier just to say what he could have: white rice (no sauce), white pasta (no sauce), cauliflower, super-deep-fried fish that’s had all the nutrients seared out of it, French fries, salt, white sugar, black coffee and purified water. That’s IT. So Rory had a plateful of well baked potato gems for tea, followed by a line of sherbet. He didn’t complain, even when I stopped him getting an ice cream for pudding. I said he couldn’t have it because it had milk in it, so he pointed to another flavour and said “cawamel?” Aww, sorry mate. He liked the sherbet though.
On this until 5pm tomorrow. Potato gems or French fries for breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea… might mix it up a bit with some exciting plain rice and steamed cauliflower so he’s not shitting bricks by Wednesday… every 3 year old’s dream diet! It’s only for one day, and I’m really hopeful it’ll all be worth it in the end.