Social Isolation and Eczema: A Burden for My Family
Have you struggled with all of these lockdowns? Isolation is a word that we heard even before COVID.
Socially isolated because of eczema triggers
Harry, my 2-year-old son, is highly allergic to dust mites and other things around the 'environment.' It means he has to isolate himself at home for a month or so for his skin to recover again. Harry's last isolation period went for eight months. That is eight months of not being able to leave the house.
The emotional toll isolation has had on Harry
He was locked inside the house rather than going to birthday parties, stuck at home rather than going to the playground, shut inside rather than even going for a walk around the block for exercise.
The poor little guy would cry whenever daddy would leave the house for work, when his big sister left the house for a playdate or when mummy left to get the groceries. All he wanted to do was come with us and leave the house that would've felt like a prison to him.
A toddler has a lot of energy
On a challenging level, trying to keep a 2-year-old inside is very difficult. Harry has so much energy he needs to let off but can't. We had to make up some games and activities that included a lot of movement to burn some of that energy off.
Harry's skin dictates where we can go
Even when we aren't in isolation, we really have to think about leaving the house or where we can go. It is extremely hard to find a place with no carpet, where animals have never been, a playground with shelter (his skin cracks from lots of sun exposure), and no sand or bark (as they both flare up his skin). It's hard to find somewhere that is clean (but harsh chemicals can't be used), there can be no material sofas/chairs/curtains, etc. The choices are very limited.
Going to friends' houses is basically impossible, as their houses don't meet the requirements where it won't set Harry's skin off, so if they don't come to my house, we can't catch up.
I feel guilty about wanting to go out
As a mum, I sometimes feel selfish with my thoughts and desires. I really want to go to a café and catch up with a friend. Or go to the playground and spend time with other mums. Go to church. Go for a walk. Go out for a meal with the family. And the list goes on.
Human contact is something we all need. And being such an extrovert as I am, I struggle hugely without it. We need the human connection, and this is something I miss out on regularly.
The impact of isolation on my family
I have found that it's not just me who struggles with this. Even at my kids' young ages (4, 2, and 1), they also struggle with it. They have regressed with their communication with others and have turned shy when they used to be the loud kids in groups.
So as much as I know that these home isolations are helping little Harry's skin recover, they are also damaging my families' well-being by not having connections with people and the community.
It's Eczema Awareness Month! Have you shared your eczema story on AtopicDermatitis.net?