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Sleep is for the Weak

Since Jensen’s diagnosis of severe Atopic Dermatitis, Fiddledaddy and I have become something like Sherlock Holmes and his faithful sidekick, Watson.  Trying to determine what sets the little guy off into an itching frenzy and all.

Besides all the LACK OF MOISTURE IN THE AIR.  I thought this was Florida.  The land of balmy armpits and larger than life hair.

We’ve had no measurable rainfall in something like 254 years, or days, I’ve lost count.

All I know is that I’m considering slathering lard on my face to ease the tension since my normal moisturizing routine is woefully insufficient.

The worse recipient of this intrusion of dry stale air is my boy.  The last time I discussed Atopic Dermatitis on this blog, you all BROUGHT IT as far as recommendations.  And believe me, I listened.  And took copious notes.

During the most desperate of times we have had to put Jensen in a “wet suit” to stop his itching.  That is, moisturize him like mad, put a pair of wet pajamas, wet socks for his hands and feet, and then finally a dry layer of clothes.  And sometimes a little duct tape to keep everything in place.

Which almost always ends with, “Um, Mom, I need to go pee-pee.”

Also, we should own stock in Aquaphor.  A tub of the stuff sells for $15.00 at Wal•Mart.  FIFTEEN DOLLARS for fancy Vaseline.  And I’m not kidding when I tell you that I blow through a jar a week.  The large economy one.

Today I purchased a large tub of Vaseline for $4.00.  Because we like to have disposable income for things like food.  And electricity. And an occasional Girl Scout cookie.

Nights are the worst.  Fiddledaddy and I take turns with him.  Last night the little guy had a more horrible than usual bout with itching, and if Fiddledaddy got 10 minutes of sleep, I’m surprised.

Bleary eyed we looked at each other this morning, “This must be the worse part of the ‘for better or worse’ clause.”  Then we drank a pot of coffee.  Each.

We’ve deduced that since he spent time on the back porch yesterday, he may be allergic to something that the nature preserve (which backs up to our house) must have coughed up.

“Nature preserve” is just a fancy way of saying scary overgrowth that harbors rats and snakes and jacks up the price of your house if you’re a new homebuilder who doesn’t know any better.

My small boy is doing a little better now. He’s actually sleeping. And he’ll be going to the doctor tomorrow.

On a bright note, we decided on flooring for his room and will commence with operation carpet rip up this weekend.  If you’ll recall, we had wanted to do the same peel-and-stick that we used in the master bedroom.  It’s very beautiful and I love it, but just one problem.

It’s a little slick.  We’ve all nearly suffered concussions from falling down in there.  So we were back to square one with do-it-yourself flooring.

I still say rip up the carpet and install drains in the cement slab.

This is what we found. We’ll have to do it one room at a time as we can afford it.  It may take 20 years, but it will be worth it.

I’m praying for a miraculous healing for my boy.  But I’m also thanking God that his affliction is not life threatening.

And really, as far as the parents go, has anyone ever died from sleep deprivation?


Oh!  I start my new job on Wednesday.  I’ll tell you all about it later in the week.  It will require an entire post to explain.  But, I’m excited.


But excited.


22 Responses to Sleep is for the Weak

  • that’s really sad about your boy. i had some itching after my c section and it was miserable. i can’t imagine what he goes through all the time.

  • Have you thought about ordering the Aquaphor online? I see two-packs for $26.99 and $27.34 depending on type at Amazon. (14 oz. jars, not sure what’s at Wally World.) That price would also ship free.

    I’m sure several online places carry it. Amazon would have an advantage if you have an Amazon affiliateship, or other means of earning GCs, like SwagBucks or other points programs.

  • My kids have needed the Aquaphor in a jar off and on (nothing like your son). I like how it smells like band-aids. I had to buy a new jar this past week — and fortunately, my wally world had the generic jar stocked — for about $4-5. That $15 is a killer, no?

  • Awww, I’m sorry to hear about your little one. I hope he starts getting a little bit of comfort (in the form of rain?) soon.

    I have learned thing or two about sleep deprivation in the last 9 months during my “blog sabbatical” and while I am happy to report that it has yet to kill me, it has certainly taken it’s toll. I feel for you and Fiddle Daddy, and hope things start getting back to normal for you guys too.

    I’ve managed to start blogging again, so it can be done!

    • I’m up at 5 am with a little boy with itchy feet and hands. The vasaline is actually doing a pretty good job, and I didn’t have to wet his Little Einstein pjs down, just hand and feet socks. I will look into aquaphor online. THANK YOU. You all make me smile. Hard to do at dark thirty. 🙂

  • Check out this site,


    it is a chat board for people with icthyosis, which is not the same as Atopic Dermatitis but does have some of the same qualities. I know a lot of the people on there have has issues with itching and you may be able to find some other suggestions.

    If you go into the general comments section, the very first comment is about a free aquaphore program.

    My son has icthyosis, so I know first hand how expensive lotions can be.

    As for the sleep, my two year old hasn’t slept through the night once in her short two years, so I am right there with you on the sleep deprivation.

    Good Luck

  • I have had atopic dermatitis all my life at times, and my daughter sufferred from it. Not fun. Never figured out what it was. But relief was lots of Eucerin and Benadryl. My daughter took cortisone but honestly I didn’t like that as it became a frequent thing. I hope you get to sleep soon. It does pass.

  • Hope Jensen feels better soon and you both get some much needed sleep. JOB??? What job??? Can’t wait to hear. Congrats!

  • I hope the wet wraps helped. I know they were a lifesaver for us. Our doctor also added benedryl to his nighttime routine to help our little guy sleep. He has severe allergies, so benedryl really didn’t do much for control of his allergies, but in combination with his Allegra, it did wonders to help him relax and sleep.

  • Cortaid? I mean, my word! I had no idea it was that severe or I would never have recommended the aquaphor. Now I’m wallowing in guilt for taking food out of y’all’s mouths or something.

    So sorry!!! Hope you find the cause. Something has to trigger that!! (?)

  • Emu oil. it’s expensive, but a little goes a long way. Amazing stuff, google it in the wee hours. coconut oil is good too. both absorb quickly, and have healthy side benefits.

  • Poor little guy! Good luck getting sleep – I totally know how you feel.

  • Bless his heart.

    I would give anything to live back in Florida! It hasn’t rained her since October. Not even kidding.

    It is so dry now that we set the smoke alarms off when we get a shower. I have to turn on the fan and keep the bathroom door closed. The steam turns to straight heat.

  • Hey Big Mama had a blog post about mixing olive oil and castor oil a while back. I’ve mixed it up and used it for all kinds of stuff. This stuff has been a miracle oil because it has been clearing up all kinds of skin issues. I think it said 80% olive oil and 20% castor oil. Might be worth it to mix up a little and see what it does.

  • I don’t have any remedy to recommend, but I’ll pray for miraculous healing along with you.

    I want those floors in my house too!

  • DeeDee I don’t remember if I sent this to you or not but believe me…try this site. I know the owner personally…I got to church with her. Even the biggest skeptics have tried her just sure her stuff would not work however they were all turned into believers.:) http://www.my-mamas-love.com/

    Granted she runs the company here in Wa state but she has customers all over. She came up with her initial solution due to red rash on her poor little girls cheeks and some severe allergies she had. I don’t know what your price range is but then personally if it helps you keep your sanity and keep sweet Jensen happy I say it is worth it lol. Let me know if you do try it and how it goes. read through her whole site. especially her history and her resources link. 🙂

  • You are such a trooper. Praying for sleep tonight for all of you, and for relief and HEALING for Jensen. xoxox

  • Hi DeeDee, I’m so sorry. It’s so hard to see our little ones having trouble. Praying for you all. Thank you so much for all your uplifting and thoughtful posts!

  • I’ll pray your little guy gets better quickly.

    The flooring is lovely!

  • DeeDee,
    I have never commented on your blog, but I LOVE to read your stuff!!! You make me laugh nearly daily! Only because I can relate to alot of what you say! All that to say that I have discovered something that you may be very interested in/or not! Either way I feel as though you should be shared with! Here is the website if you are interested: http://www.coconutdiet.com/skin_health.htm
    I have read testimonies of people with tremendous skin issues that have had awesome results from using this. God bless and I will be praying for you and your precious family!

  • I just said a prayer for your little boy. I’m sorry that he (and you two) have to suffer like this. I was born with severe excema on my legs and spent many nights awake (with my mother) wishing that the itching and the pain would stop. And then there was the asthma. And the severe seasonal allergies. And the chemical sensitivities. Long story short, I spent a lot of time in the bathtub with some Aveeno, a bar of Cuticura soap and an inhaler :).

    So the following comes under the heading of unsolicited advice (sorry) but has your pediatrician mentioned anything about probiotics? They are the beneficial bacteria that lives in our guts and can do a lot to support the immune system, including ones that are out of whack and having major allergic reactions. My friend, who is also a pharmacist, recommended them to me because so many of her clients were on them and talking about how much better they felt. While I can’t say that I am allergy and itch free, I have noticed a big reduction in my symptoms since I have started taking them. It takes a while to work, but I definitely notice the difference.

    My pediatrician said there is no unsafe dose for children (still, I would check with yours) and that she prescribes them herself. I have one itchy child and one who seems to have escaped the curse. I have no problems using them with my own kids.

    If it helps at all, the older I got, the more my immune system matured and I did grow out of much of my itchiness (and need for a bucketful of medications!) but what remained was an empathy for people who suffer and a willingness to be present for them (without getting seriously creeped out). I know that I do it imperfectly and not as much as I should, but I just wanted to give you a sense that empathy for others may be one of the hidden blessings that Jensen gains out of this situation. He may grow up to have a tender heart for others because he knows what it feels like to be on the receiving end of so much tenderness (you and Fiddledaddy.)

    Anyway, take the free advice for what it’s worth and please know that there is one more mom out there who is praying for your family.

  • my son has eczema and we use olive oil as a moisturizer. it helps a lot and we’ve also used castor oil as a moisturizer. i’m going to look into the probiotics that amelia mentioned also.