An noted in my previous post about change in custody, this past week was the first week of our 50/50 custody arrangement for our son.  His mother had emailed me saying that his skin looked very irritated prior to returning him.  Our son has had a problems with eczema in the past so I figured it wasn’t anything to worry about; I would apply some Desonide which his doctor had prescribed and which worked wonderfully in clearing it up.

Well, when I removed his clothes and took a look at his body, I was shocked.  It looked as if his mother had not applied any lotion or medication during the 4 days that he was with her.  Patches of red skin with part of it peeling around his underarms, back, inner elbow and knee, and waist.  I couldn’t believe she had let it get to such a point!  For anyone familiar with eczema, it starts out as small red patches which gets progressively worse if left untreated.  The good part is that it is easily treated with lotion, cortisone cream, and/or Desonide.  If properly treated, the condition disappears within a couple of days.   During the years I had been dealing with his eczema, I had never seen it get this bad.

My first reaction was to draw up an oatmeal bath followed by application of lotion and Desonide.  Afterwards, I couldn’t help just holding him in my arms while holding back the tears.  My son is such a trooper that the poor thing didn’t even complain even though I knew it had to hurt and itch.

After putting him to bed, I sat down at my computer to email his mother.  My first reaction was to vent and ask how she could let this happen.  But we have to live with this schedule for many years to come.  I didn’t want to shut down the lines of communication by playing the blame game.   So instead of venting, I just stated that I wanted to coordinate his skin regimen to avoid having his skin get to this point.  I made it perfectly clear I wasn’t blaming her and that I wanted to maintain honest open dialog without offending her.

What was her reply?  That she was tired of me blaming her and that his skin was like that when she picked him up 4 days prior!  I had stated in the email “I am not blaming you”, not once but twice!  And he had no signs of eczema when I bathed him the night before she picked him up.  I so wanted to reply that if his skin was like that 4 days ago and she had treated it for 4 days, it would never have gotten to the point it was when he came back home.  But once again, I thought better of it and just reiterated that I wasn’t trying to blame her.  And that i just wanted to coordinate a proper treatment in light of the new schedule.  She never replied back…

The good news is that just one day after having treated it with lotion and Desonide, his skin is already starting to clear up.  I am looking foward to getting home tonight and letting him splash around in the oatmeal bath.  He loves pouring the oatmeal bath powder in the tub and turning on the jets to watch it swirl around.  Afterwards, I will go over his body inch by inch to ensure I’ve applied the Desonide to all affected areas…the joys of parenthood and my Friday night!

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