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Caretaker Chronicles

As a parent of a child with atopic dermatitis, one of the hardest experiences is watching your child be itchy, aggravated, and uncomfortable. It’s hard because you feel helpless, knowing that all you can do is provide the best treatment and comfort possible while it takes it’s toll.

Another extremely challenging experience is making and watching your child miss out on experiences because the risks of those experiences on his, or her, atopic dermatitis by far outweigh the benefits.

Indoor prisoner

When my child, who adores being outside and playing with her toddler peers, could not have her first birthday party outside, I was extremely disappointed. But, I knew I had to make a judgement call in the best interest of her health.

When she went to her cousin’s birthday party and had a flare up that took weeks to clear up, I knew I had made the right call.

Guilt

Since that occurrence, I have been doing my best to keep her from too much heat or grass. Keeping a one-year-old from grass is no easy feat. Each time she runs over to the grass and I have to stop her, I feel as though I am depriving her of fun experiences that she desires.

Hopeful escape

My heart breaks further when it is above ninety degrees and beautiful outside and someone comes in or out of the house. She’ll smile and run over to the door hoping to get a glimpse, and perhaps even an opportunity to go outside to play. She gets her hopes up only to realize that outdoor play is not an option for her on such hot days.

In those moments, I am torn between her social, emotional, mental, and physical health needs. Her cry of disappointment when the door closes and she realizes she is still inside the house are truly heart wrenching. It pulls at my heartstrings every time. Deep down, I know I am ultimately doing what is best for her in the grand scheme of things.

Doesn’t understand why

But, a one-year-old does not see the grand scheme of things. All she sees is her momma not letting her go play. I hear that little voice in the back of my head telling me I am doing the right thing and advocating for my child’s condition and acting in her best interest. But, all she hears is the thud of the door slamming then the sound of it locking after the slam. All she hears is her momma saying “No Tamia” followed by several other words she likely does not understand.

Another missed opportunity

This past weekend, there was Splish Splash Bubble Bash in which a few of my daughter’s playdate friends participated. I wanted so badly to let her participate but I knew in my heart of hearts that it was a big risk to take for her atopic dermatitis, so I did not. Seeing pictures and hearing stories of all the fun we missed truly saddened me and made me feel yet again as though her atopic dermatitis had cost her another experience.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AtopicDermatitis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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