As regular readers will know, the past few weeks have been geared to preparing for, and then attending the Allergy Show. It’s been a hectic few weeks, and a couple of weekends ago saw the biggest Allergy Show to date at Olympia.
Callum and I attended on 2 out of the 3 days it was running, and understandably were rather exhausted by the Sunday. It should have set alarm bells ringing for me, when Callum gets really tired, he is more susceptible to things happening.
I wasn’t on the ball! In fact, I was so far off the ball, and I’m still feeling so incredibly guilty!
On the Friday of the show, Callum had started to complain that he had sore hands – nothing new there. He suffers with severe eczema, and one of the first places it hits is his hands because they are understandably constantly in use!
By the Sunday, his hands weren't looking too great! An hour of playing in the garden saw them looking even worse!
Come mid afternoon, things started to go horribly wrong!!
When Callum gets ill, he plummets really quickly, usually within a matter of hours!
Sadly, this was no exception.
Within the space of just 2hrs, his hands went from raw, to covered in green blisters, accompanied with a honeycomb crust....., and he was running a high fever, had become lethargic and was difficult to wake!
All the classic symptoms of a nasty staph infection, which if we don't control quickly, in his case, usually progresses to a blood infection.
I immediately called 111 to ask for advice, and based on the notes held on Callum and his condition, we were given an immediate appointment! (He becomes severely ill so very fast, they want to see him as soon as I mention that I'm unable to control any infected eczema).
It turns out my gut instinct was sadly very right!
It was indeed staph, and spreading fast!
His fingers were a deep red colour, oozing and weeping pus in every crack of skin.
They were so swollen they looked as if they'd been bound by twine!
Callum was in so much pain, it was all he could do not to whimper permanently, and this was after as much antihistamine, calpol and ibuprofen as he was allowed!
The poor kid!
He was immediately prescribed a strong course of antibiotics to try and combat the infection.
They weren't strong enough!
Within 24hrs, we were referred to A&E, where they wanted to admit him for iv antibiotics. They were at the point of putting in the canular, when a senior consultant advised they had no beds, doubled his dose of antibiotics and sent us home.
I was concerned and nervous to say the least, but home is a far nicer place to be when feeling poorly, so off we went!
By the end of the next day, it was clear the drugs were working, thank goodness!
Callum was on strong antibiotics for 2 weeks to clear the infection, and all looked well before we went on holiday!
The antibiotics were completed 2 days before we left, and we were all hopeful the infection wouldn't return!
Fast forward to today, just 1 week later....
Callum has spent the last 5 days playing in sea water on and off, never longer than 10-20 minutes so his skin doesn't dry out.
The dreaded infection is returning! There are little green spots appearing on his little fingers, along with the honeycomb crust!
Can you bloody believe it?!
I could literally cry!
We're on holiday, the poor kid deserves a break!
I deserve a break!
I really hate eczema!
And I feel so much damn guilt that inspite of everything I know, all the drugs we have, I am still powerless at times to be able to help!
My experience with recurring infected eczema has improved significantly since I began a regular schedule of bathing in diluted bleach. If you need more information, my article on bleach bathing is here: http://wp.me/p1slXW-7g, and there is also this site: http://bleachbath.org/
i have read one article by some beauty blog author that claimed miraculous benefits after one bath, but I'm not buying that.
It seems that for a small percentage of people the bleach baths are ineffective, or trigger and increase in flare. i wonder if the Clorox brand bleach may have been partly responsible for that (as it was for me), or if that statistic (I believe it's around 3%) were simply chemically sensitive to the bleach--entirely possible.
If Callum is tolerant of the bleach bath on the first night, I would suggest doing at least a few days consecutively to see how things react. If they work for him, I would reduce to a three- or four-day per week schedule and see how that goes. He may benefit with more, or with less, but experimentation is key in determining his "sweet spot" for the bathing.
The only side effect that i have noticed is with higher concentrations of bleach in the bath (the full 1/2 cup/118ml), i would begin to have a "chemically dry feeling" in my skin. It is very difficult to describe, but my skin felt like the bleach had dried it out in an abnormal way...although mi skin was not actually any dryer than before.
i tolerated that strange feeling for those days when I was battling the herpeticum relapse, but I have since scaled down my bleach bath concentration to between 60ml and 80ml in a tub of water, depending on my skin is feeling at the time.
I wouldn't normally do this but I feel the pain in your writing. Have you heard of Dr Richard Aron? He has changed our lives in the treatment of eczema. No more fears of infection and hospitalization. He is the real deal and has dedicated his life and career to eczema sufferers. His regime addresses the staph, which causes the dreaded itch & infections which never goes away with the usual steroid/emollient treatment.
I know it's a tough road and you've probably received plenty of unsolicited advice, but I just had to share, from one allergy mum to another.