Reading “The War of Art”

Author: Suhein Beck
June 11, 2017

Here’s a confession. About two months ago I was doing some mental house cleaning. I came across this dusty blog here at “Skin Confessions” that I started just over a year ago. I was so embarrassed that I was going to just delete it. I was not happy about the quality of my writing nor the consistency. Even the subject matter was not as comprehensive as I intended. I know I can do so much better – so of course, my self critic stepped in uninvited and gave me a whoopin!

My fingers went straight to the SETTINGS options. Just as I was about to erase this from my landscape of TO-DOs and trim down my priorities of just managing my company, ELAJ, I saw that our weekly visit rate was an astounding average of 975 views per week! How? In one year where I’ve barely been active. I admit I was negligent so how did this site miraculously attract over 20,000 visits in one year? I couldn’t believe it so I screenshot it over to my daughters as proof and called them in disbelief. But still, I did nothing. It further paralyzed me even more.

I was actually angry at all at all the visitors that came because they came when my house was not tidy yet…dinner was not ready yet. I needed to take a shower. But actually, I was just angry at myself that I had not given it my all and, more importantly, my true authentic style of writing was not here.

About 4 hours ago at 11:30pm on June 10, 2017, I opened a package from AMAZON. I didn’t remember ordering anything so just as I finished watching the 8th episode of Season 5 House of Cards, I sliced the box open to find this book sent from a dear friend, Lara who had just visited my actual untidy house this last week!

We had a soul-to-soul talk at The Cliff Restaurant in Laguna Beach over some fish tacos where I revealed how much I miss writing. Real writing. Not the stuff that is “marketable” to the general consumers with fluff content. I’m talking the real human stuff. The stuff that grabs you and shakes you to your core. The stories that would make you angry at how doctors and pharmaceutical companies get away with pimping false hope out to psychologically distraught patients with severe eczema and psoriasis. The gut-wrenching stories of a Facebook support group being on suicide watch for some young beautiful girls that can’t live with skin disorders anymore. Desperate mothers sacrificing everything for another magical cream…The story of a young woman filming a documentary to educate the world about the dangerous world of topical steroid addiction and withdrawal. Endless stories.

It’s now 2:15 am and every word of this book, “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield, just shook me to my core. I’ve tucked away a thousand stories and subjects and article ideas for months, no actually years…But now I am ready to dive back in and enter my cave once more. Naked. What more of a Skin Confession is there when the author feels as if she is naked and exposed? No hidden agendas, no push up bras or Spanx to tuck everything in and smooth bumps away.

Lara – the beast is awoke.
Audience – prepare for takeoff.

​Suhein

Goodbye Virgin America…

“It is a sad and some would say baffling day. Virgin America was the ride and love of a lifetime, but Virgin flies on…”

Sir Richard Branson
Founder, Visionary : Virgin Enterprises

Today I flew with my old friend, Virgin-A aka (Virgin America Airlines) as she officially announced that she had been forced into an arranged marriage and will subsequently be changing her name in 2019. Although I knew of this passive-aggressive relationship to some fellow with Alaskan-American ancestry, I just had to finally sit back and fasten my seatbelt and allow it to take flight in my mind.

Although Virgin-A comes from a well-known family originally from the United Kingdom, she was born here in California with a bit of independent sassiness. On the other side of the pond, her older sisters, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia have not settled down, despite their many suitors. Hopefully, they continue to spread their wings independently as we cheer them into the majestic horizons around the world. It was saddest for Virgin-A’s father who was the most heart-broken that he had to give her away like this. No father-daughter dance at this wedding. We leave the party in the sky without our cake.

In the spirit of the current state of American nationalism, it is a strange and symbolic twist of fate, that Virgin-A’s DNA was questioned and brought into challenge. In the end, Virgin-A surrendered to not having enough Americana citizenry to keep her “fiesta-in-flight” and therefore will have her wings and identity clipped by the dominant forces in power.

…And for the rest of us. . .
We ache.
We mourn.
We look in the mirror and question our own identity.
As a young brand, have we that sassafras to earn such loyalty from our fellow “customer friends?” Will anyone mourn us when we pass? Have we been true to ourselves? Have we happy-danced whenever possible? Did we rewrite our inspired destinies out of the box of corporate templates to bypass the mainstream and swim upstream enough?

Although our own ELAJ brand went through our own very short “engagement” with a licensing deal last year, we felt our own identity and independence jeopardized feeling similar pangs of regret. Within the first weeks of signing with our L.A. Licensing Partners, they demanded we turn over our ELAJ name, effectively relinquishing rights to our Intellectual Property Trademarks! We jumped at the opportunity to annul the short-lived marriage of just a few months. That was just enough to give us the taste of how anxious customer-friends can get over their beloved brand. That also was a crash course for us to quickly learn how protecting a brand with every tooth and nail and ounce of energy is integral in avoiding the inevitable wing-clipping.

We survived.
We’ve been tested.
We earned our wings again.
Engines revving on the tarmac with full crew on board.
Join us again as our in-flight entertainment includes generous servings of our nerdy flair for health updates and skin confessions once more.

Top 10 Side Effects from Topical Steroids

by: Suhein Beck
Feb 3, 2016

TOP 10 SIDE EFFECTS from TOPICAL STEROIDS:

  1. Skin membrane thins and becomes more prone to UVA/B damage long term.
  2. Skin membrane thickens and becomes more like alligator skin with darkening aka lichenification. 
  3. Scars, stretch marks and skin darkening and then white out spots like Vitiligo are also common. 
  4. HPA Axis disruption hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal gland fatigue causing adrenal fatigue syndrome symptoms
  5. Increased risk of Glaucoma by increasing interocular (eye) pressure and possibly cataracts
  6. Infants and young children have a higher ratio of body surface area compared to their weight, so they are more susceptible to corticosteroid absorption. If a child is given corticosteroids, in large doses or over a long term, prolonged adrenal suppression can be associated with growth suppression
  7. A weakened immune response system – causing higher risk of infections, cancers, and other auto-immune diseases.
  8. Steroid Addiction
  9. Cushings Syndrome/Disease (See below)
  10. Addison’s Disease (See below)

Here are some things to consider more seriously:
It only takes 2 weeks of using a Topical Steroid on approx 20% of body to cause what is known as ADRENAL FATIGUE whereby the Adrenal Glands responsible for creating our natural hormone equivalent, Cortisol for the body begin to SLOW DOWN and NOT CREATE the hormone.  Since it is being introduced to the body through the skin, slows down the Adrenals, our body’s natural pharmacy.

The Adrenals slowing down triggers another effect – increasing the THYROID to work harder creating a confused imbalance between the two.  So this becomes the see-saw effect which disrupts the entire communication of the endocrine system. Each gland relies on the other to gauge how much it has to produce and communicate to the others what’s going on. The thyroid has to report back to the pituitary and thalamus and hypothalamus. 

This “confusion” in communication effects the entire immune system as well as the ability of body to produce growth hormones, balancing weight metabolism, body temperature control, liver production of glucose and therefore insulin, which can trigger Type 2 Diabetes, and some other lovely wonders such as unusually accelerated cataracts at a young age from the atopic dermatitis – but also Glaucoma, also at young age from using Topical Steroids on / around the face! 

If at some point, the Topical Steroids are no longer used after the body had adjusted itself to getting them “imported” for free, then the body goes into its own reactive shock and rebellion. It wants more, but doesn’t want to work for it. It’s kind of like your organs are on union wages and but get paid even when they go on strike for the most part!  So they fight back even more powerful signals to you to keep getting it from outside and this time make it stronger. And use it more to other areas and keep it coming. 

This is also referred to as the Steroid Rebound Phenomena.  It can be very tricky. So work WITH your doctor and let them know you are concerned about these side effects and want a strategy to minimize your risk!

Other Adrenal Suppression conditions similarly are:

Cushings Syndrome/Disease also known as “HYPERCORTISOLISM” with symptoms of:

  • Weight Gain – especially around midsection , upper back and face causing “moon face” and “buffalo hump” (similar to sports-type steroid abuse)
  • Pink or Purple stretch marks 
  • Thinning, fragile skin that bruises easily
  • Acne
  • In Women – thicker and more visible body and facial hair, Irregular periods
  • In Men – decreased libido, decreases fertility, erectile dysfunction
  • Fatigue, muscle weakness, depression, anxiety
  • Cognitive difficulties, foggy brain
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Headaches
  • Bone Loss        

Addison’s  Disease also caused by extensive corticosteroid use and body stresses:  

  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue, muscle weakness, fever, anxiety
  • Hyper pigmentation of skin

Note from Author,
I recommend working with your medical practitioner in a more knowledgable manner to achieve better results with minimal side effects and risk. Talk about your concerns in a more thorough, comprehensive discussion about all the benefits and risks associated with both topical and systemic steroids. 

Telling Your Romantic Partner You Have Eczema

When is the “right” time to talk about your ex?
No – not that ex!
Eczema!
NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. Neither Actors or Filmmakers endorse this opinion or blog or product or service associated herein. 

Author: Suhein Beck
Feb 1, 2016

If only first dates had an instant rewind feature that could erase the silly mistakes we make when we are nervous. The movie 50 First Dates with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler shows what’s it like to enjoy that magical experience of first dates – but every day! As if dating wasn’t hard enough without lugging around baggage from past relationships even more so, the dreaded conversation of, ” I have eczema! ”

Instead of thinking of this topic as a possible disqualification of YOU, think of this early discussion in the first few dates as YOUR opportunity to evaluate him/her based on how they react. Not only do you get to test his/her maturity level and understanding of real-world problems, but long-term relationships depend on these problem-solving skills together.

It’s probably not a 1st or 2nd date discussion – unless it comes up randomly, just go with the flow naturally. But definitely it needs to come up in the early 3rd-5th dates, before things become more committed. An exception to this, is if you are on serious medications or cycles of eczema that limit your normal activities. In those cases, you have to be upfront and bring up the circumstances, such as your energy level doesn’t allow you to go dancing and that activity would be excruciating to your skin. No your health comes first here!

If your eczema is currently absent, you can mention in a casual manner how you are excited about your recent healthy lifestyle changes and that this is a “good time” and you are up for celebrating life! This is where you can build bridges with this person around these good habits. Is he/she interested in joining you on these life-celebrating activities, exercise, better diet habits? Remember you want a partner to encourage that lifestyle, not a downer! Besides this person could be the father/mother of your 27 children – so they better be up to the task!

Once you mention it, this is your chance to see if that person dives in to understand and work through this with you. THAT’S the kind of person you are looking for, right? Maybe he/she DOES deserve YOU!?! Your eczema makes you a better person for having inner strength and endurance. Patience and empathy towards other human beings are all traits that come with the territory. You offer so much more than so many other “healthy” people that walk around feeling invincible and immortal. You know how precious life is, and therefore you cherish love and tenderness so much more than another would. YOU are not “damaged”, but rather you’ve been tested and because of this, you rise above it and offer so much more depth to all of your family and your lucky circle of friends!

Confused by Health Trends?

by: Suhein Beck
Jan 31, 2016

It may be tempting to try out different diets as they show up on the radar of every other internet post. But you can cash this WINNING LOTTERY TICKET in just one easy-to-read book that explains your body, digestive system and how everything interacts with each other from your brain down to your nervous system through your unexplainably dry skin BEFORE embarking on another dead-end diet or health trend. I hope you’re skeptically thinking;

“C’mon Suhein – seriously one book?
How can one book possibly tell me everything I need to know
about choosing the diet that will put me on the right path of healing?”

Yes I found it! I’ve read countless books, articles, researched till my thumbs were blue and emptied many coffee pots for you! I pinky promise – this is a game changer. Not only that, but it’s written by an entertaining and ridiculously young PhD graduate from Germany who will be on the radar soon enough.

I LOVE this stuff – because I grew up with parents that took poop patrol to a whole crazy, embarrassing level, even in front of my high school friends, but now finally the world is catching on to this wonderful topic of discussion over dinner – I don’t feel alone anymore. Your poop tells you what foods work for YOU…It’s NOT THE DIET – it’s the specific food types. It really is THAT easy! When any of my friends would have a baby, I would show up at the hospital and instead of flowers and chocolate, I had Flax Seed Oil and home-made yogurt and my first question was always, if they had their first bowel movement – especially important after a C-Section and / or antibiotics and frequently overlooked by medical staff. Everyone focuses on the baby and forgets that mom’s colon was put to sleep from the anasthesia and will be snoozing for days unless someone reminds mama to focus on poop production, not just milk production or the consequences are dangerously painful! Can you say, ” it feels like my stitches are bursting open…” It DOES happen!

The truth is – the same medically complex, technical information in this book, “GUT” is also written by many of the best Gastrointestinal / Immunology Medical Doctors and heavyweight champions in the health research circuit. Plenty of nerdy books out there. But this gal, my new imaginary BFF (Best Friend Forever) nails the “yucky topics” in the most funny and digestible way!

What I like most about the author, Giulia Enders, is that she helps you choose the right diet by self-diagnosis and “reading your body’s signals.” She gives precise details on poop patrol and understanding what each poop production means. It’s hilarious in its own cute way! You’ll start understanding whether you need to be dairy, meat or gluten free or eating duck feather soup and how to test yourself.

She is a RockStar in the science of pooping and microbiology and I invite you to let go of your cultural social taboos to consider the far-reaching consequences of your poop! So how long are we going to keep focusing on eczema, psoriasis and problem skin or adrenal fatigue when the unknown soldier has always been begging for attention with a gurgle, bout of gas or stubborn pellets? Are you uncomfortable yet? Wait till she gets into the chapter, Few Facts About Feces!

You’ve been warned!

Save Our Skin : Confession from a Nurse

by: Suhein Beck
Jan 30, 2016


“what started out as dry skin on my hands
ended up turning my life upside down.”

Skin Confession of a Nurse

Dear Suhein,
I just saw your blog and post about nurses. That hit home a little too close for me. I was a nurse. I was pretty awesome actually. I made enough money to support my ailing mother here in the desert and we were both comfortable.

And then what started out as dry skin on my hands ended up turning my life upside down. I left no prescription unfilled in search of something to get my horrible hands cleared up. Then it started to spread and I noticed I was getting sick constantly. My immune system was shot. I knew what was happening, but was in denial. If anyone should know better it was me. Reality hit me when I could no longer wash my hands with either the antibacterial soaps required by my hospital or even regular soap anywhere on my body.

I was constantly tired and couldn’t do my job anymore. I went on disability and even when I got back to work I felt they didn’t want me because my hands were atrocious and I couldn’t keep hiding them from patients and my colleagues in gloves constantly (which by the way- irritated more but I had no choice). I just waited until my position was terminated so I can get unemployment.

Not even 6 months later, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and my adrenals were shot. Every test came back contradicting the previous one. It was a roller coaster of diagnostic madness.
I’ve gone thru hell and back and could no longer care for my own mother.

The reason I’m writing is to tell you I’m still in contact with some nurses in the hospital and I’ve forwarded that post to them and they emailed me back saying they’re now going through similar challenges with their hands and remember what I went through. I hope you can circulate this email as well as that post to the medical world and get some attention that we need help.

I was a nurse long enough to remember life before this system was in place. We can just as easily go back to washing hands the old fashioned way instead of ruining careers. I wish I knew then, what I know now. Good luck with your blog.

Sincerely,
Beth

Keeping a Health Journal

Author: Suhein Beck
Jan 30, 2016

Imagine traveling to a foreign land with no GPS, no map and no translator? Sure it may be fun to explore spontaneously, but you’ll lose valuable time. When going down a serious healing journey, each misstep could cost you energy, quality time and serious health consequences slowing down your recovery.

Now imagine walking into your doctor’s office with your Health Journal that documents the foods that you noticed trigger your Eczema flare ups, your night sweats and your cycles of stress and energy. You may be able to shortcut a lot of diagnostic and allergy testing! This may cut down months of exhaustive dead ends.

Make it easy. Download a “Diary” app on your phone and take pics of your meals and voila – you are half way there! Then get in the habit of making short,quick notes of good sleep / bad sleep / stress cycles and all the crazy adventures of life that come your way. If you are on medications of any kind, describe progress or decline of condition and any side effects.

Your doctor will take you more seriously and you will be armed to help your medical practitioner(s) strategize far more effectively. Don’t forget to document changes in prescriptions and dosages. Again, simply take pictures of your meds and you’ll start seeing patterns that could have gone unnoticed without a journal.

TOP 10 Shopping TIPS for Sensitive Skin

Author: Suhein Beck
Jan 30, 2016

Protecting Your Sensitive Skin While Shopping

WARNING: YUCK Factor = 7.3

The joys of shopping are undeniably sweet. For some of us it’s like The Hunt. The best of female bonding happens on these hunting trips! The conquest of a great deal with an adorable outfit is a skill to be admired.

After reading this article, please don’t hate me. I’m just watching out for us and especially those already suffering from sensitive skin from Eczema, Psoriasis, Fungal Infections, etc., and other auto-immune conditions.

In recent tests conducted by Philip Tierno, PhD., Director of MicroBiology & Immunology University in New York, clothing from both high and low-end clothing stores had detectable traces of :
Feces, Respiratory Secretions, Vaginal Organisms, Yeast, Skin Flora, and More…

“Some garments were grossly contaminated with many organisms … indicating that either many people tried it or … someone tried it on with heavy contamination

The types of potential diseases that can spread are hepatitis A, traveler’s diarrhea, MRSA, salmonella, norovirus, yeast infections, lice, scabies and streptococcus are all fair game when it comes to clothing items tried on by multiple people.

GOOD NEWS: A person with a strong immune system can generally bypass transmission.
BAD NEWS: A person with a compromised immune system and already sensitized skin is more susceptible to adding to their burdens.

So aside from the YUCK Factor here of microbial transmission from trying clothes on, remember washing clothes upon purchase IS A MUST for all of us! Now – let’s add to that the following scary skin crawling facts.

MORE BAD NEWS: Chemical Exposure is a serious concern if you are trying to reduce your overall toxin intake, both in respiratory AND topical absorption.

Some of the Chemical Culprits are:

1. Azo-aniline dyes – which may cause skin reactions ranging from mild to severe. If you’re sensitive, such dyes may leave your skin red, itchy and dry, especially where the fabric rubs on your skin, such as at your waist, neck, armpits and thighs. The irritants can be mostly washed out, but it might take multiple washings to do so.

2. Formaldehyde resins are also used in clothing to cut down on wrinkling and mildew. Not only is formaldehyde a known carcinogen, but the resins have been linked to eczema and may cause your skin to become flaky or erupt in a rash.

3. Nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE), meanwhile, is a toxic endocrine-disrupting surfactant used to manufacture clothing.

4. Antimicrobial Triclosan – also used in many antibacterial soaps and personal care products and has been suspected to disrupt the endocrine (hormone) systems and may interfere with fetal development as well as offset antibiotics and be linked to increased cancer risks.

5. Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), which are toxic to humans and the environment. This is the stuff that helps fabrics graduate to NON-STAIN just like NON-STICK cookware, but they’re also most common in outdoor gear and fabrics.

6. Pesticides – especially with cotton fabrics! As if we didn’t get enough in our food supply, now we have to worry about this in our precious 100% Cotton? I thought that was the safest of all! There are actually some fabrics treated with bug repellants for the consumer to enjoy a camping experience without Mosquitos. Those are treated with some heavy duty, long-lasting chemicals made to endure many adventures and washings.

7. Bleach – are we depressed yet? This is so obvious, yet how did my OCD tendencies miss this? Of course there is bleach and dyes and pesticides…I never thought I’d say this, but maybe those nudist colonies were onto something?

According to the Organic Trade Association:

“Cotton is considered the world’s ‘dirtiest’ crop due to its heavy use of insecticides, the most hazardous pesticide to human and animal health. Cotton covers 2.5% of the world’s cultivated land yet uses 16% of the world’s insecticides, more than any other single major crop.”

My crystal ball tells me, we should be focused on CLOTHING LABELS that must disclose Chemical Exposures on the far horizon.

TOP 10 TIPS:

  1. Look for clothes with OEKO-TEX Standard 100 label which represents it passed an independent lab that certified the fabric free from the top 100 most used dangerous textile chemicals.
  2. When trying clothes on, wear long sleeve and long pants undergarments, similar to Spandex as a precaution for all garments.
  3. Wash clothes immediately after purchase.
  4. Double wash when you suspect the stronger chemicals were used for wrinkle guard and stain guard.
  5. If you can’t wash, run a cycle in the dryer.
  6. Do a vinegar soak to help eliminate dyes.
  7. Shop online and enjoy private home fittings instead.
  8. Shop for non-irritating fabrics such as bamboo.
  9. Use non-fragrance detergents made for sensitive skin.
  10. Focus on rebuilding your immune system – notice this one was last – we all know it’s the hardest and most significant one of all.

Where are you?

Skin Confessions is about the journey.
Where are you in your healing journey?
Share and help others discover the roads to avoid.
We are a community that spreads information and tools to simplify the eczema and psoriasis complications. 
This is a safe-haven for people suffering from Topical Steroid Withdrawal and Red Skin Syndrome. 

by: Suhein Beck
Jan 30, 2016

What’s it REALLY like to have Eczema?


Author: Suhein Beck
Jan 27, 2016

What’s It Really Like To Have Eczema?

This is a letter I received from a husband of someone with Eczema and they are struggling with understanding Eczema and their relationship as a result of it. ( I edited out personal info except for the Doberman’s I.D. because I LOVE dobies!)

Hello Suhein,
We met a couple years ago in Palm Springs when my family was on vacation and we happened to pass by your booth at the fair. You were kind enough to give my wife some pointers on eczema and what to do to avoid her seasonal flareups. We were the ones with the Doberman.


Was wondering if you could give me ideas on how I could help my wife deal with this better, or maybe how I can deal with this better? She said I don’t “get it and never will” and this kills me because I really thought I’ve been there for her and she knows I would do anything for her. But there seems to be a rift between us stemming from this eczema problem and she won’t talk to me about it anymore. I know she’s hurting and I’m thinking we need counseling and I don’t know where to begin and I remembered you and recently came across your business card and figured that was a sign.

My response to this loving husband and anyone else out there wondering…

Let’s go through this in stages.
STAGE-1: SELF-DOUBT – Anyone with eczema will begin this journey by questioning and abusing themselves. They will ask and begin a self-doubting roller-coaster ride of:
“Was this because of something I did? Something I ate? Something I am allergic to? How did I cause this? Is it because I’m not clean enough? Healthy enough? Eating junk food? My lifestyle of stress, working, etc.. Am I too weak? Is it because I’m a redhead, white, Asian, overweight, menopausal, student?”

This is a normal mental and never-ending checklist and is ok unless it becomes obsessive. For example, in the cleanliness issue, a secondary problem develops and that is compulsive cleaning or using antibacterial soaps or bleach because they feel they need to ultra sanitize themselves, their surrounding, their clothes to clean off the imaginary bacteria that must be causing this condition or avoid infections. This obviously will make the problem worse, both from an increased stress level as well as increasing toxic chemical exposures that could contribute to the problem.

My advice? Give him/ her space to explore this jagged terrain and be there to carry the backpack and all the weights, and the waterproof tent when it rains hard while you lose complete sense of direction in the wilderness and it feels like you’re going in circles. There are some that never find any rhyme or reason with this even after years, but that’s a small percentage. Eventually patterns develop and it’s all about how well you document the journey.

Most people have to work through a diet of elimination to consider what triggers could be suspect of the flareups. Remember, eczema is typically one part of a triad of conditions – ECZEMA – ALLERGIES – ASTHMA seem to come in 3’s especially with young children. So again, that’s normal to start by documenting the good, bad and ugly of what’s going on over time.

STAGE-2: RESENTMENT – This is where the, ” Why me? ” feelings set in. I don’t deserve this, I don’t have time for this, Aren’t I dealing with enough? Look at her, she eats junk – why doesn’t she have it? Now I have to change, eat differently, sacrifice fun activities with everyone? Oh just this once…and then fears of – will I or won’t I flare? Oh no…then there’s the guilt. If I had more self discipline, I wouldn’t be in this agony…and then self-hate sets in. OUCH! Looking in the mirror and seeing what I did to myself is even more painful than the worst eczema flareups because now we add a heaping scoop of guilt and self-blame. Hand me that chocolate and I’ll wash my shame down with some red wine! Again, vicious cycles slap you silly in this stage!

Feelings of deprivation begin to set in and it’s natural that anytime he/she is deprived there could be feelings of life passing them by. That hurts! It really does. Watching your kids go swimming in the chlorinated pool all summer starts chipping away at even the strongest person – so this is where a sensitive support partner can step up and be a hero. Find alternatives and physically be there during the deprivation.

Yes – this is exhausting. But somewhere between reality setting in and acceptance is you. Unconditional love and diving in head first to the next stage is where you will shine.

STAGE -3: EDUCATION – a whole new world opens up. Something about the universe opens its energy forces to welcome you down many roads. The latest medical theories along with the ancient therapies will be playing a tug of war in both your brains at 2:32am. Oh how the spirits of every know-it-all relative whether they are dead or alive they will be emailing and knocking your doors down, judging you and ridiculing your choice of methodology. Here’s a sure thing – you will choose the wrong one. It’s a Russian Roulette and the gun is loaded – so expect some emotional hemorrhaging and awkward Thanksgiving dinners because “they” believe you are backwards and not worthy to raise your own children or make medical decisions about your health.

Social outcasting and bullying is HUGE in and around this community. There are literally internet trollers casting nets out to the eczema folks that choose Topical Steroids vs. Natural Alternatives. Once you get caught in this net, you will get chastised from the other team. Meanwhile, you will come to a meeting of the minds with your doctor. Ahem…but that will be your 7th doctor after you’ve driven across 3 county lines to find this doctor from a real person that actually had a legitimately good experience with that human angel doctor.

STAGE-4: ACTIVISM – here is where we all settle down and then rumble back up under the umbrella of a worthy cause. This could be because now as a united couple or family, you all have discovered you are stronger together for this experience and that you feel you can help others. The beauty of this is that you now have tender successes that were so challenging, but worthwhile. It’s that moment of climbing on the roof and singing to the world, Eczema did NOT take this house down. You pound on your chest and echo to the world, WE live here and will not be spooked out by this ghost of eczema that we’ve accepted resides with us.

This redemption of chest-pounding might be with your child’s schoolteacher or on a large Facebook Eczema support group. Meanwhile, now that you’ve had a meaningful journey together, you can build on that wonderful, for better for worse, in sickness and in health test that you’ve passed and allow your relationship to take on a deeper sense of connection.

Your eczema partner is lucky to have someone caring enough to read this and seek sources that will further expand both your knowledge and your intimacy. Pound your chest! This is about YOU now! Did you know you were someone’s hero? Go celebrate yourself – you deserve some credit here. In the end, we all need to feel that our suffering did not go down in vain. How gloriously noble it is to be the sacrificial lamb for another…

My best to you and my prayer for our Eczema community, including the bullies,
Let the healing begin…