My seven year old daughter had tears in her eyes.
”Why am I the only one who has eczema? Will I ever be normal like everyone else?”
Once again someone had asked rude questions about her appearance. This was the same question that she asked me again and again. I had no real answer for her but I would not lie to her.
At the time she was taking strong oral medications to keep her immune system and her eczema (Atopic dermatitis) under control. Even with these medications, her skin condition was never at its optimal.
Her life was consumed with doctor visits, taking strong medications, and a rigid moisturisation schedule 5 to 6 times a day to keep her eczema under control. By this time we had already run through the entire range of treatments for eczema. In fact immunosuppressive medication are the last line of treatment in conventional medicine.
I remember I had tears in my eyes as I hugged her and reminded her that
“Always remember that eczema is just one part of who you are, it’s not you, you are so much more than that. We will find a way to deal with this together, you are not alone in this”.
And we did.
I have captured our story in a beautifully illustrated children’s book called “I have eczema…so what?”
A promise kept
I also made a promise to my daughter that day.
She had been through a major health crisis earlier that year in 2013. Once she was on her way to recovery, I made a decision. I decided that if there was a better and gentler way to help her deal with this, I would find it and help her get better.
I embarked on a journey that started with embracing the life that we had at the time. During a year long research, I became convinced that Functional Medicine could possibly address the root of her health problems.
I took the help of a Functional Medicine practitioner and learned how to create an environment that allowed her body to heal.
In two years she went off all her medications. Functional Medicine changed her life and ours.
Embarking on a healing journey
I believe that moving towards our health and wellness goals is like a journey. It has its share of ups and downs. And it certainly helps to have some support, encouragement and guidance along the way which goes beyond just the treatment and medication modalities.
Also, this extremely difficult phase in our lives taught me that true healing goes beyond managing your physical symptoms. It’s a combination of emotional, spiritual, and physical wellness that starts from deep inside of you. And that healing happens irrespective of whether there is a “cure” or not.
As Health Coach, now I share my insights, and experiences to help transform my client’s lives by partnering with them on their own healing journeys
Supporting your body’s healing process
You may be dealing with a chronic disease and tried everything that you can possibly think of.
You may have seen different experts, medications, treatments, and therapies. Some of these may have worked for you and others not so much.
At times it can feel that there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.
I know exactly what this feels like, I have been there years ago when dealing with my daughter’s health condition.
There was no “cure” for eczema.
What I realised eventually is that I had been completely focused solely on and had been relying on external data, and validation. I had been chasing a “cure”.
I learned the hard way that I needed to create an environment where my daughter’s body could come back into balance, to heal. And eventually, it did.
You see, true healing starts by going deep within ourselves, by connecting with our bodies. I have written more about this topic and you can read it here.
When we start paying attention to our bodies, we find the answers that we have been looking for.
Lessons that I learned
There are 3 main lessons that I learned that I am sharing with you.
1.Preparing yourself mentally and emotionally. A big part of how you deal with your health challenge is the mindset that you develop. Sometimes we need to change our perspective in order to cope with our challenges.
Rather than focusing only on the things that were wrong in our lives, I learned how to look at what was going well. You can also find ways to be inspired and look for a fresh perspective- it may give you the strength that you are looking for
2. Taking baby steps to implement the necessary changes. The other thing I learned was that I needed to slow things down and take baby steps to make the changes that were necessary.
There were quite a few changes that I needed to make in our lives. This included our diet and our lifestyle. Starting from the products we were using at home, to diet and other aspects of our lifestyle was a long, slow and deliberate process. Taking baby steps was the only way I kept my sanity and avoided overwhelm
3. Keeping yourself motivated during challenges that come up. No matter how hard you try, inevitably you will face challenges even when you are committed to your own healing journey. It’s easy to give up when you don’t see many improvements, especially in the beginning.
Getting to know myself better through self exploration and self awareness helped me to navigate these turbulent times. Books were my guide and stories of other people motivated me to keep on going.
The lessons that I learned have allowed me to embrace and create a life that I love. And now I act as a guide for my clients as they navigate the uncharted territories of their own healing journey.
As Drake said
“Sometimes it’s about going there, not getting there. Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination. And sometimes when you get there, you’ll look back and you’ll realise that you wish you could go there again because all the experiences are the reason that you are who you are today.