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Watching Someone Struggle with Eczema

Living with chronic illness is so hard. It’s also really hard to watch a friend or loved one suffer from a chronic condition as well. I never really understood that. I’ve spent so much of my life being a patient, I never really had the chance to spend too much time fully embracing my role as a caregiver. Because of this, I never fully understood the pain people experience when they watch someone they care about trying to fight for their health.

Why do I have eczema?

For a long time, I was extremely frustrated with my body. Why was I of all people chosen to live with multiple chronic conditions? Especially considering that when I was diagnosed with eczema, everyone thought I’d just grow out of it. Just like everyone in my family, right? Wrong. Of course, I didn’t.

I want to be “normal”

I didn’t grow out of my eczema, I only continued to grow into other conditions and illnesses. So yes, I was frustrated. I wanted to be “normal,” whatever that meant. I’d never experienced it and to this day if you asked me to describe the feeling, I honestly wouldn’t have a clue.

Triggering an eczema flare-up

Being frustrated with my body didn’t improve my condition. It didn’t help me cope or make the suffering any easier. It just seemed to make a mess of things. I would experience mood swings. One minute I’d be perfectly fine, the next I’d be questioning why my body couldn’t just work.

Eczema stress

Stressing over my condition caused my condition to flare, and not just my eczema. Eczema wasn’t the only condition that was easily flared by my mood, but it was the only one that was visible.

Living with eczema

Through all of the ups and downs and all of the mood swings. Through all of the failed medications, treatments, doctor visits, ointments, creams, you name it. Through everything, I’d never once considered how my family felt through it all.

Watching someone struggle with eczema

I never once imagined how hard it would be on them to watch me struggle. I never imagined it because I really didn’t know the impact caregiving had on a caregiver. I didn’t understand the emotional toll it can take on a person. My family watched me go through all of that. They watched me suffer. People who’ve known me since birth had to watch me struggle to live a normal life.

Caregiver frustrations

Frustration isn’t just applicable to the patient. Caregivers experience it too. They have that right and it should be acknowledged. Caregivers are heroes. They work hard to keep everything balanced. They manage at least two lives, and occasionally more. Taking care of yourself while also taking care of a loved one can’t be easy. Managing your happiness while being held accountable for someone else’s health. That’s a heavy load. 

Appreciating caregivers

If you’re a caregiver, just know, we see you. We are here for you too. We love you. We may appear weak, but we’re stronger than you could possibly imagine. Don’t get so caught up in caring for someone else that you forget to take care of yourself. You can’t pour from a glass half empty.

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