READER ALERT: My painful eczema was on my feet. This blog discusses the sores and the pain associated with it. If you don’t like any form of this talk (just discussed briefly), skip over the third and fourth paragraphs, and skip the section, “Pain Taking Off Socks.”
(A flare up of eczema that happened a few years ago. My hands sometimes experience eczema as well. Symptoms were similar to when I was younger, but not as bad. Balm is coconut oil and a few drops of tea tree.)
How My Eczema Started
Let me introduce you to my eczema. Itchy and burning skin continuously day and night. This was the most physical painful part of my life for about five years. The first three (6yrs-9yrs) being the absolute worst.
Eczema hit me hard. Starting off as an itching sensation all over my feet till scratching hurt because my socks were rubbing against raw flesh. (I actually forgot about the bloodstained socks till now.)
Yes, even then, I struggled not scratching raw skin. It was painful, but it was also painful to endure the itching. And nothing helped.
Searching For A Cure
There was no cure. My doctor tried several ointments for my parents to torture me with. Not because my parents were cruel of course, but because they didn’t know what else to do.
Did the menacing ointments work?
Air Was An Enemy
All they did was burn my skin.
Walking hurt because of air.
Pain Taking Off Socks
My parents had to force me to take off my socks.
Force? It wasn’t something I enjoyed doing.
The wounds attached themselves to the sock because the blood, etc had soaked the sock. As it would dry, it would stick. So when my parents forced me to dry my bare feet, I would have to pull off the sock, which would tear off skin. This took a few minutes to several, as I slowly had to peel the sock away from my skin.
And when my feet had dried from being in sweaty socks. The skin would crack and bleed. Walking, therefore, became painful. To ease the pain a little, I mainly walked on my heels.
Water Was An Enemy
When I went to school, the receptionist, who had watched all of the kids walk in, would notice me constantly limping. I was embarrassed to take off my shoes because of the smell and I feared the pain associated with my socks being slowly dried from the open air.
But that doesn’t compare to most dreaded part of this experience. No. What once was something I could enjoy with no pain now caused fear. Walking barefoot I couldn’t do. But the thought of walking barefoot through dew covered grass was worse.
Water hurt worse than air.
Water was the worst.
But water is exactly why I thought I’d share this story with you. As you know, water is a great way to clean wounds. Not discussing the burning chlorine water from swimming lessons. (If your children have bad eczema, please spare them. I couldn’t stop screaming and crying.)
Just plain simple water.
Water was my nemesis.
Even without chemicals, it burned. Constant torture even after touching the water. Moving my feet in the water made it burn more. Getting my feet wet accidentally was also torture.
Vacations, I had to stop going on water rides. Shoes soaked, socks soaked, and consecutive pain. It wasn’t fun.
I struggled even remembering what it was like to walk barefoot without feeling pain. To get feet wet, without pain.
Looking To Christ For Comfort
I was eight and I’m not sure when the first time happened exactly. But I know, despite my young age, I was the one to suggest the thought to myself.
It was frustrating to me because no one could fully understand the pain. I thought if people truly understood the pain, then maybe I wouldn’t have to feel as much pain. (Though, those thoughts did go against the healing process. Sometimes healing involves pain…even a lot of pain.)
There was at least one person who would’ve understood my pain.
And that was Jesus Christ.
He didn’t deserve to be tortured. He didn’t deserve to die on a cross.
But He did.
I remember sitting near the edge of the bathtub. Looking towards the ceiling, and telling myself, “If He went through it, you can go through this.”
I know the fear fighting within me. Knowing the pain that would come in simply touching water.
Holding my leg over the water and slowly letting it sink into the tub. Pain shooting through and escalating the more water touched me.
Tears often fell down my cheeks. The process was never easy.
But I wasn’t alone in the moment. Just like when I was four and came to Him, I was coming to Him again.
“If Jesus did it, so can I.”
A year later, when I was nine, the pastor at my church met with my parents. They had requested he anoint me with oil.
Anointed With Oil
Which, if you aren’t familiar, the Nazarene church believes in the anointing of oil from the scripture in James.
(NIV) James 5:14″Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.”
There is nothing special in the oil. The oil itself is not healing. It’s symbolic. God is the One who heals.
The congregation came together. Hands on me, praying to God to lift the illness. And Pastor Joe anointed me in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Healing Came From Jesus
A few months afterward, Pastor Joe was killed in an accident. I was one of the last people, if not the last, that he anointed. He was and is greatly missed by many. I am forever thankful for his time God allowed.
A few months after the accident, my eczema slowly started to heal. I remember one of the first times I had slept with no socks on because the next morning I whipped the blankets off of me and my feet hardly had any sores. It wasn’t painful.
Jesus Became My Light
Still took a few years for the eczema to completely calm down, but it was much more bearable. To this day, I still have some flare ups, but never as harsh as before my anointing.
I believe Jesus heard me. He made things easier by comforting me with His courage. Above all, He heard and answered the cry of my church. He kept His word.
Some might think it’s funny that I looked at Christ’s crucification as a way to push myself to go through with pain. But I can promise you, it isn’t and wasn’t funny to me.
Even now when I struggle, I think of what He went through.
I remind myself if He went through so much, then surely, I can get through this.
You are never alone.
(Eczema on fingers is mine. Rest of pictures used are from Pixabay)