A long time ago, a little boy was born. He was perfect. Healthy. Happy. Content. He spit up a lot, but he was a 'happy spitter' so it was of no concern. At a couple months old, he got a rash. It started small, then it covered his torso. We were given a prescription for a cream to apply once a day. We did. His rash went away. He was still happy, growing, slept most the night. Life was good.

At 9 months, he had impetigo. He took antibiotics to kill it; it did. We didn't know about probiotics or antifungals, so he didn't take any of those. He had pizza and cake on his first birthday. He enjoyed every bite. There were no reactions, no rashes, just smiles and laughter. His growth slowed down at 1. That was our first alarm. Another month passed, he put on a pound. He didn't put on another pound for 8 months.

We made him scrambled eggs, but his hands developed a rash. His skin started to feel rough. Another torso rash started to develop around 15 months, in the spring. It was always in the spring. We took him to the doctors. We were told it wasn't eczema, it wasn't allergies. His skin got worse. We asked for an allergy test. We were told it wasn't necessary. At 16 months, his skin was awful- rough, dry, rashy...at 17 months he was waking up at night itching himself. We eliminated eggs and dairy. At 18 months, he developed a staph-infection and was hospitalized for 3 days on broad-spectrum antibiotics. He also received an allergy test, only milk and eggs showed up, which we already suspected. At 19 months, he had another infection and was put on oral antibiotics again.

This little boy that was once so healthy and happy was still in pretty good spirits, but his health was not. We couldn't figure out the problem.

We went to the allergist at 20 months, in addition to dairy and eggs, he now had a peanut allergy. That didn't help us much, so we decided to do the patch test. Bingo! Seven intolerances (type IV or IgG) showed up- corn, peas, beef, wheat, oats, dairy and potato. On the one hand, our world was shaken upside down, on the other, we were so relieved to finally have some answers.

We changed his diet, his skin cleared in just a few days. It continued to get better for a few weeks, we thought we were headed toward good health. I got pregnant again. Then his skin started to get worse again, slowly. As we moved into winter, his eczema moved towards his face. It reached his forehead for the first time ever. He didn't sleep much before. Now he wasn't sleeping at all. He itched all night long. We tried an elimination diet. We tried every topical cream someone said helped their eczema. We kept all of his intolerances and allergens out of his diet, and more. If we saw a reaction, we pulled the food.

We started sitting on the couch, a lot. We watched a lot of T.V. Cartoons filled our days, when we swore he wouldn't be plugged in. There wasn't an option. It was the only thing that briefly distracted him. We went to the store- people stared at his tiny face. He looked sick, but his smile was contagious. It just didn't appear as often as it was supposed to. Nothing was as it was supposed to. Life was exhausting. No one had answers. Our little boy was sick.

Then I read Dr. Kenneth Bock's book, "Healing the New Childhood Epidemics." I realized he had a yeast problem. Our second son was born. For two brief days, he was so enthralled with his new baby brother, he didn't itch. Then it was back, just as strong as ever. We found a doctor we had to travel to, but we liked his philosophy. He diagnosed him with yeast overgrowth in the first five minutes he saw him. He was given a prescription for antifungals, which started to slowly clear his skin. We changed his diet, to follow the Anti-Candida Diet (ACD). Then we started Low Dose Allergy Immunotheraphy (LDA). It had a slow, positive effect. The eczema on the bottoms of his feet, the fronts of his legs, his arms, it all started to go away, slowly. We had more allergy testing, more allergens and intolerances showed up. We continued LDA for a year, watching him finally start to improve. He still wasn't 100%- the sleep was still not good, his wrists and ankles were still cracked open. Something was still missing.

I found a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctor in an online discussion board, a parent was raving that she cured their child's severe eczema. I was interested. Skeptical, I emailed the clinic. The doctor responded. I called them. I was very excited and hopeful. It was a different kind of hope. There were so many times I wondered if the next thing we tried would finally be 'it,' usually disappointed. I had a strong intuition to go to Los Angeles to this TCM doctor, it just felt right. It was right. She changed our lives. He received acupuncture, massage, herbal ointment and herbs mixed with juice twice a day. A few days after his first appointment, his skin was clear. He was sleeping the entire night. We were walking down the street, I was holding his hand, and it was so soft. It hadn't felt like that since he was a baby. I almost started crying. It was unreal.

It has been over five years since his first appointment with Dr. Jing. He has gotten a lot of foods back. He feels healthy. He looks healthy. He is happy. Wild, full of energy, excited & smiling, a lot. He still gets mild eczema flare-ups from time-to-time. We typically deal with those with the peppermint cream from Dr. Jing. It works like magic. The asthma is the worst of it now. We've tried environmental allergy shots without success. He used to be on a routine of singulair, qvar and daily antihistamine throughout the summer, but we've tried to change that through diet. He's also on LDA again, which seems to help the environmental allergens more than anything. The nettipot also helps, a lot.

This blog is a place I chronicle our adventures, as well as recipes and random tidbits on life. His diet, based on allergy testing, is dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, yeast-free, sunflower-free & some shellfish-& some seafood-free, but as a family, we also eliminate other foods, including gluten. We've successfully reintroduced foods & overall, come a long way. Cooking for him, preparing for parties and holidays, reading ingredient labels, all of this has become part of our routine. We've been doing it for years now and while I know there's always things to learn, it's just part of our allergic adventures.