Privileged - Even With Eczema

This past week, I was reminded of what truly matters in life, and how we tend to take those things for granted.

No matter how much we try to control our stress levels and do our best to organize our lives around our chronic illness, life still happens.

Not having any control

This past week, a family member who lives in Bosnia still, had to have emergency surgery Monday night. Of course, this terrified me. I was terrified to lose someone so near and dear to my heart. In addition to that, I am nowhere near to be able to even do anything to help.

After a few days, I started to flare up myself. By now, I can almost predict when it will happen. I am well aware that stress is my biggest trigger, and this was a big one. By Thursday, I started to feel the red patches and broken skin all over my chest. Even worse, the dreaded ooze was flowing out of the cracks in my skin. I felt exhausted, both mentally and physically.

Taking a step back

I decided to take a "mental health day" that day and just rest.  Admittedly, it is hard for me to do this without judging myself. However, when my skin is so bad that it is oozing, I am unable to do much anyway. It is such a debilitating symptom, that leaves me just wanting to lay in one spot all day.

Slowly though, I am learning that it is okay to have days like this. Not every day needs to be productive. Sometimes the most "productive" thing we can do is take a step back and honor our bodies.

Taking health care for granted

Through this experience, I've been thinking a lot about health care. Particularly how those of us in more developed countries tend to take it for granted. For example, even in the best hospital in the city there, there is no air conditioning, and they don't even have enough toilet paper. I found this completely appalling and disappointing. Not much has changed there in the past 30 years.

I take it for granted at times myself, especially being in the United States. When something like this happens, I'm quickly reminded of how much worse it can really be. On top of that, I have a MUCH better understanding of why my parents moved us across the entire world when they did.

When I went through topical steroid withdrawal, I had so much anger towards medical professionals in the beginning. Regardless, I've realized how grateful I am to be where I am now, and how much I have gained from the experience. With all the other plethora of health issues I've struggled with over the years, I likely wouldn't be here right now writing this, had we stayed there.

Listening to my body

My body quickly reminded me of my own limits. It screamed pretty loudly to stop pushing myself so far, to the point of flaring.  I was also reminded of how lucky and privileged I truly am to be here. Here, I have all the resources at my disposal, should I need them.

While I now use mostly herbal medicine for my TSW and eczema, it is still nice to know I have the option to see a different health care professional. Not only that, but I can get whatever I need, any time I need it.

Gratitude for eczema

While I also believe we need more options for eczema and skin conditions in general, I am grateful that I have been able to learn about natural healing and all sorts of different healing modalities on my journey.

Knowledge really is power, and I believe it is extremely valuable to keep learning. It allows me to take control of my own health. That goes for both knowledge of self, and what can cause us to flare, as well as knowledge about healing in general.

Had I not dealt with atopic dermatitis my whole life, as well as TSW for 7 years, I would have never delved so deep into the world of natural remedies. What a loss that would have been.

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