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We received a placement call last fall for two baby boys.

They were being removed due to allegations of abuse, but upon arrival the worker noticed medical neglect as well. The placement unit worker reported to us that the youngest baby, four months old at the time , has eczema from head to toe. We had treated children with eczema before so I had no real concern over how to help this baby. A little Mupirocin here and there, and we would be fine, or so I thought. She then said the caseworkers we're giving him a bath and would arrive with him later in the evening. I'd never heard of the workers bathing children before placement. (That should have been a clue to the severity right there). Thinking they would be here in a few hours, we prepared for their arrival, and then waited.

As the adrenaline from nesting faded, I was struggling to keep my eyes open. Midnight rolled around and my head felt so heavy. It bobbed, and then eased onto any surface it could rest against. Finally, a little before 1:00 a.m. I hear a knock at the door. My head popped up, eyes wide open and off to the door the babies we're here!

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It was so dark, and both boys we're sleeping, I helped pull them out of the car and into the house. Taking Big boy to his new room and laying him, still sound asleep, into his bed. Then I hurried back downstairs to get the littlest baby. All I could see through the glow of the lamp we're spikes of what looked to be a half-shaven head of hair wrapped in blankets. As I stepped up the first two stairs, he awoke and started to fuss. In gentle reverse mode, I crept backwards into the dining room where the worker awaited me to sign paperwork. I placed baby boy back into the carrier and signed the papers. The worker headed out the door and as baby boy continued to cry, we headed toward the rocker. After another half hour of crying, I turned on another light, unwrapped him from the blankets, and well, the image of poor 'baby boys' pain filled body will never leave my memory.

He was covered head to toe all right, but his eczema was like none I had ever seen. I had pictured a few spotty patches here and there. Boy, did I under underestimate his condition!

He was covered in open wounds and bleeding on most surfaces of his body and limbs. I've got a weak stomach so with the sight of this poor baby came tears from disbelief that someone could let him suffer like this, and I was gagging from my inability to care for oozy, bleeding nurse stuff.

I wrapped him back up, and we rocked. We rocked, and baby boy cried. He cried all night; he was in so much pain. Every inch of his body was hurt, and he cried in his misery. He cried until 6:32 a.m. the next morning when he finally passed out. Then at 7:00 a.m. when the rest of the household headed through the living room, he was back up, just as miserable as the night before. First thing on the agenda was to get baby boy to the doctor.

He was diagnosed with severe eczema (that we already knew) and infection as well. We we're given the following instructions

We also left with several pages of handouts regarding prevention and care of eczema.

I was overwhelmed with caring for poor baby boy. We had changed bloody, gooey, flake filled sheets four times in less than twelve hours, not to mention the blankets we went through. I was worried about holding him without him being wrapped up. I don't do well with bodily fluids and especially when I don't know the medical history of their source. I can't do this! I just didn't have it in me. I just kept thinking he needs a nurse; I can't do this he just needs a foster mom that's a nurse.

Yes, looking back I know how ridiculous I sounded. Its not a g-tube, or a high medical needs child. Its blood, oozing and a bucket of medicine, but I just didn't think I had it in me to care for him. I was sleep-deprived, overwhelmed and being called to more than I felt I could handle. Thankfully, the new caseworker put me in touch with a sweet foster mom named Ms. Ann who had cared for a grandson with eczema. Ms. Ann was such a blessing. She just poured information and encouragement into me. She told me a few more tips Only dress him in light weight cotton. Use, mild soap and ask the doctor for Triamcinolone. She was our angel across the county line. A friendly voice who was willing to share a bit of advice to help us help our new little one.

We we're on the path of healing, and then came the secondary infection flare up, and we headed back to the doctor. This time we added Cephalexin (a new antibiotic), Mupirocin cream and a referral to the pediatric dermatologist.

We had more medicine than our small box would hold. We had filled out more medicine logs for baby boy than all of our other children combined, and we we're still less than a month into caring for him. I was failing this poor baby, or so I felt, when we finally made it to our pediatric dermatologist appointment.

I asked, just as Ms. Ann had instructed for Triamcinolone, which we we're given a prescription for, along with Protopic (for the face and other sensitive areas), as well as Atarax for itching. We left their office with three new prescriptions and a notebook (yes, literally a notebook) of information on eczema.

Overwhelmed, of course, but a bit more hopeful this time.

So all that said our journey was, well, a journey. It was overwhelming and frustrating and miserable, but ultimately, it was the path to healing for baby boy who had suffered too much, and for too long.

As I read a post today about a foster momma who was caring for twins with eczema, I was reminded of our journey to healing. Reminded that there are others who are desperately seeking help for the children in their care. Others, who need answers now!

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Posted in Agriculture Post Date 05/13/2021


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