Our first year of becoming new parents was a real roller coaster, as it is for many parents. We were blessed with a healthy, beautiful baby boy and could not be happier. Within a few months our lives drastically changed. Luca was admitted to hospital twice with severe eczema. I had no idea eczema could be this bad. It looked as though he had been burnt from head to toe, his skin was weeping and bleeding. During that time, he was also diagnosed with multiple allergies.
Luca’s first year was tough. We desperately wanted to make his time as happy and joyful as possible but in reality I was struggling. Over time, we have made significant changes and adapted well to an allergy free life. Although it has been challenging, I am grateful for the learning opportunity that my son’s health condition and allergies have led us toward. Luca continues to shine a light in guiding us on this journey, and I hope that our story and what we have learned, will also serve to help others who may be experiencing similar challenges.
More To Education Than Academic Performance
As a Primary School Teacher and Leader, I planned to return to school after maternity leave and continue with the job I loved. Things changed. Instead of focusing on teaching children Mathematics and English, I realised that without health and happiness, Maths and English were definitely not a priority. My education broadened, my teaching expanded and this was the path that I needed to take with my family.
I remember sitting beside Luca’s hospital bed looking at the packet of rice cakes (the only food I felt comfortable eating at that point). I needed answers, answers nobody could give me. So, I started reading, studying and researching, and have not stopped since. I began learning in more depth about child development, education and psychology. I completed various courses in nutrition, became a certified Children’s Yoga Teacher and am currently in the process of completing a course in Art Therapy. I want to use this experience to help heal my son, and help other children and families along the way.
Making the Best of a Bad Situation
As I absorbed and accepted Luca’s diagnosis of severe eczema and multiple allergies, I came across a statistic that completely changed my perspective. I read that 89% of parents with children who have Atopic Dermatitis experience depression. A completely understandable statistic. This immediately struck a nerve within me, and then I realised that I had two options. I could either continue feeling depressed or I could channel this energy into learning how I could help heal my son and also help others. I chose to opt for the latter and I have not looked back since.
Since embarking on our personal journey, I am thankful to say that we are steadily making progress with the eczema and allergies. Luca’s eczema is no longer severe and our best moment of 2021 was being told by Health Care Professionals that Luca had grown out of his peanut allergy, after triumphantly passing his 3rd peanut challenge!
I am so please that since launching Happy Healthy Juniors in 2018, we have provided many families with a wide range or wellbeing resources, to support them in a world of increasing challenges and epidemics.
I have created a Wellbeing Library that everyone can access for FREE as a way of supporting families. A creative tool that can empower families and can be incorporated into their own daily routine. I hope that these resources with help to benefit others in the same way it has helped my family, and many other families that I have worked with.
Sending lots of love from my family to yours,