The Day Two Worlds Were Created: Rin Hoang

There is something to be said about a second child that maybe no one really talks about… Or maybe they do, and I just never bothered paying any attention. When we had Aria – she was our life, our world, and everything else in-between. There was very little, if anything, that we could imagine being better than having her. Time goes on and before you know it, the decision to have another rascal running around comes up. It’s just something that we knew we wanted – so that Aria could have a sibling to play with, so she would have a friend growing up, to have a bigger and happier family – you know, the things you always read and hear about. It’s true though – it’s everything you read and hear about and more – don’t get me wrong.

When Diana was pregnant, it never really sinks in that you’re going to have another kid and maybe that’s because you’ve been through the motions already. You know what it’s like to be pregnant (or to have a pregnant wife), you know what to generally expect and you know each and every appointment you have to go to and what you’re going to be told. All you want is the kid to come out so that you can be a happy family of 4. The one thing you will never be able to imagine is: how could you love another baby more than you love your first? How do you go from having one world to two? What will it be like? And how do you share all of that love you’ve been showering one with, with another? That’s the question Diana and I asked ourselves plenty of times throughout her pregnancy and it was exciting, and we were nervous and anxious because you really don’t know how much more love you can give when you’ve been giving it 110% this whole time.

I’ll tell you.

The day Rin was born was another addition to one of the best days of my life (you can have more than one). You replay the feeling all over again because after 9 long months, you really are ready to just meet her. You want to hold her and protect her and give her everything that she needs to grow up and have all the things your strength can give her. That’s what that moment is like. You’re tired, but you don’t feel it anymore. You need sleep, but watching her sleep is rejuvenating. To relive that moment is something I would give anything for anytime.

That night, after Diana and Rin were settled – Aria came to the hospital – and we were nervous about how she would react. She knew there was a baby in Mom’s belly this whole time, and she knew she was going to be a big sister… But did she “know” this was a lifelong commitment? I don’t think so. See, the thing about deciding to have another kid is your decision as parents, but very rarely do the “existing” kids have any input. You’re thrusting them into a role they didn’t ask for or know they wanted… And that’s OK. It’s OK because while we’ve spent the last 30 years of our lives learning what love is and what it means – we still don’t always understand it fully no matter how  much we think we do. While Aria and Rin – a two-and-a-half year old and a one-day old – can’t even begin to fathom what it means; but now they’re going to be able to show each other and over time, you hope that as parents, you’re able to help foster and nurture the love, the sadness, the anger, the late nights, the fighting, the jealousy, and everything in-between into one big ball of co-existence between them. This is our job now and it’s something you learn to embrace very quickly. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.

You know those questions Diana and I asked ourselves before Rin arrived? The ones we were so nervous and anxious about? The whole time, we were expecting to be able to split our love somehow or to imagine the light of our world being split into two and that is the wrong way to think about it, in retrospect. What we had currently didn’t need to be divided because when Rin arrived, what we had doubled – and this is the best way to describe it. Two worlds is not impossible because we’re living in them now. You don’t think that you can give more than 110% because it feels like you’re in overdrive already, but you can. It feels like Diana and I have been operating at 300% lately and there have been times where it feels like things are overheating and something is about to break but kids are like your cool-down button as much as they are your “push your buttons” button. They are your reason – not for anything in particular – but for everything.

Aria is our first and she will always have a special place in our hearts as our baby, no matter how big she is. Those times when it was just the three of us were special and we’ve cherished them as much as we possibly could. Rin has opened up another chapter in our lives and it’s just as special because we can’t imagine a life without her anymore. She’s one month old now and while they’re both still learning to love and live with each other between the jealousy and the crying, I don’ think we’d have it any other way (even though maybe they would).

Happy 2nd Birthday, Aria! An Entry That’s Not About Aria.

… OK, maybe it’s a little bit about Aria but I’m going to take a different approach this year and instead of writing a letter to her, I’m going to write a letter about me. I figured that by the time Aria gets to the age that she’ll be able to read and understand what I’ve written, this blog will be long gone and forgotten. Don’t get me wrong, Aria’s birthday is everything to me but it’s also a good time to look back and reflect on the last 2 years. I think that’s what parents do on their kids birthdays – they celebrate them and then think about the year that just flew by. I just didn’t want to write the same type of blog every other parent blogger does because it’ll be the same “you’re so sassy like me” or “you’re so smart for your age” entry. Not this year, folks.

Over the last 2 years, the question of “what’s it like to be a Dad, now?” has come up a lot and I only ever say “it’s good!” but it’s so much more than that. It’s literally the best thing that has ever happened to me and there are days that I think to myself “why didn’t we have Aria in our lives sooner?” because I can’t imagine a life now without her in it. They say having a child is the best way to test how strong of a person you can become and it’s true. It changes every single molecule in your being and it forces you to look at the world in a whole new light. You become more aware of someone other than yourself and selfishness starts to turn into selflessness quicker than you think. The days of “me, me, me” are long gone and you begin to prioritize something greater than yourself. It’s fulfilling in a way you wouldn’t know until you truly want to give every piece of your heart and energy to a little kid you’ve helped create.

From the second she was born, I’ve been proud to be her Dad and for every second thereafter, I have never fallen in love with such a small person over and over again as many times as I have. I find myself having conversations with a 2 year old randomly most days and more often than not, it’s about absolutely nothing but it means absolutely everything to me. There are car rides where we will spend half an hour talking about the clouds and what size they are or which of her fingers is which and I wish we could stop time for a moment so I could just cherish it a bit. Days go by so fast and I remember wishing we could talk with each other sooner, and now I’m wishing things would slow down because I’m afraid I can’t remember everything.

Being a parent splits you into two things: your former self and your new self. My former self slept late and woke up whenever he wanted. He spent all his money on materialistic things and on fads that would mean nothing in a year. He cared only about himself, and his way, and his things. His heart was caged and selfish. The new self – the Dad self – he has bags under his eyes, he’s tired and exhausted most days. He’s scared and anxious to make sure he’s raising his little girl perfectly. His time is more precious now.. But his heart – his heart is full and overflowing. He’s now fueled by love and not greed. The former self – I don’t miss him all that much, nor do I think about him anymore. He’s in the past and I think he belongs there because no matter how uncertain the new self’s future is, I think he’s a better version of me.

For the last 2 years, every day has been a learning experience and every time that I’ve made a mistake, I’ve learned from them quicker than I ever have before because I don’t want to fail her again. There are days where you’ll just want to quit – you’ll want to stay home from work, and not move from bed, and not pick up any toys, and not change any diapers, and not argue about eating food – nothing. But all I have to hear is “Daddy!” and I realize again what my motivation is and that I can’t quit, because quitting now means giving up on her. At the end of the day, when we put her down to sleep and we go back and let our weight fall into the bed with another day in the bag, I can’t help but wish she was still up so we could play some more. In an ironic and funny way, Aria has taught me a lot more about success than I’ve taught her, and even though we think it’s one-way – it’s very much both ways. Kids teach us so much more than our ignorant parent minds think they do – you just have to listen.

Aria is 2 today. She knows Daddy’s real name is Jason and Mommy’s real name is Diana. She knows yoga and that she has to say Namaste when she’s done. She knows when to stop and go at a traffic light. She knows how to manipulate people for more candy. She loves telling people the story about how she hit her head and had to put a bandaid on. She hates sand, but loves water. She decides which shoes to put on depending on where we’re going. She loves bubble tea and chicken nuggets. She’s terrible. She’s two. And I don’t think the “terrible *insert age here*” will ever go away from here on out, but that’s OK because we love her. Happy birthday, buttmunch!

To Have an Imagination Again…

Now that Aria is big enough to just do things on her own, I’m having a little more fun with being able to take pictures of her while she plays. I’m beginning to like taking pictures of people more than cars LOL.

One of the things that I’ve been wanting to do is just get some candid shots of Aria playing – not in a creepy way – but just to be able to illustrate how strong a child’s imagination is in a photo. With a little patience and some good timing, you can get some images that evoke a little imagination in yourself that you might have just overlooked if you were just watching. My goal yesterday was to do just that – I wanted to capture Aria in her own world and wonder. I essentially wanted to create the same fairy tale surrounding that children find themselves in – free of worry and the hustle and bustle of the things that burden adults. I think I was able to do a little bit of it, and I wanted to share it with everyone here. Lately, there’s been a little more than cars here at lifewithjson – I think everyone deserves to be a kid once in a while and what better way to do it than to watch and learn…

“Are you hiding something from me, Bun Bun?” Aria’s facial expressions can switch from sweet to menacing real quick. Here she questions Bun Bun on some mischief he might have gotten into”.

“I’m your captain now” as she commands the fighter jet.

It doesn’t matter how many times she reads this book, it’s like she’s seeing it for the first time, every time.

“Do you like the book, Bun Bun?” Aria often checks on her stuffed toys to make sure they’re OK and doing what she asks.

And occasionally, she’ll give them hugs for being there for her.

If they’re lucky, they’ll get french kisses too.

And sometimes she just likes to relax and rest in between all the running and jumping around.

They were having a conversation of some sort – not in any language that I knew, but they all understood each other well. Must be talking about what to play with tomorrow.

And one last photo with a slightly different edit to it. I typically like the cooler tones in pictures, but the setting in these photos called for a warmer, vintage look. The sun coming through at sunset was perfect and the blinds helped create a nice effect on her and everything around her.

There’s something about these photos that invokes a sense of calm in me and I’m not sure if that’s because it’s Aria or because it really does capture some sort of peace that I’ve been missing lately. Either way – pretty happy with how the photos turned out – what do you guys think?

We’ll be installing JC’s new coilovers on Sunday and I’ll likely have some pics from that but then I’ll be in Chicago all of next week, so probably no content after that until I get back!

Aria’s Battle with Eczema and How We Helped Her!

EDIT – September 6, 2018

I’ve recently been made aware of a recall by Health Canada on Jian Pai thanks to a fellow reader – Lydia. I’ve posted the links below for your reference and your personal judgement on the use of this cream. Again, I’m not affiliated with this company or cream nor am I a doctor or healthcare specialist. As a desperate parent that stumbled upon this a year ago, we tried this and it worked magically. In fact, we still haven’t finished the first bottle as that’s how little we’ve actually had to use it. 

Whether you continue to decide to keep using it is up to you and any harmful effects or issues is your responsibility. From my personal perspective, this still outweighs many options given by doctors such as Elidel – which is known to cause cancer and other irritating Steroid creams. Read on at your own leisure and please do your own research in order to inform your decisions about the cream and any other medical product you choose to use.

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/advisory—jian-pai-natural-skin-care-cream-contains-antifungal-drugs-not-listed-on-the-label-which-may-pose-serious-health-risks-689919081.html

http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2018/67526r-eng.php

~END UPDATE~

It’s been almost 15 months with Aria and it’s definitely been a journey of surprises and unexpectedly  great things. Like every good thing in life, there are also some bad things that sit shotgun with them. Most of the time, parents only ever talk about the good because that’s really all we want you to know. Very rarely will we talk about the bad – for many legitimate reasons too – perhaps to hide the fact that your baby isn’t perfect or that you could be doing something wrong. I get it, because if something is “wrong” with your kid, then the parent must be doing something “wrong” too, right? Babies are perfect and they can’t be anything but perfect. Unfortunately, that’s not the case all the time…

In Aria’s case, she’s been battling eczema for the last 8 months of her life. Not an uncommon thing to be fighting, but definitely not perfect. Ever since Aria’s been born, she’s had a case of mild eczema – I say mild because it’s been mainly red cheeks, and some redness on her ankles, wrists and inside of her arms and legs. It’s not terrible, but it’s unsightly and it causes us more grief than it does for her. But as a parent – you want your baby to be perfect, and look good and feel good – even if they don’t know it. You can’t blame us, right? You would want the same for your kid.

Anyway, the reason for this post is more for information and a look into the eczema battle from our point of view. I know from the moment we knew Aria had eczema, Diana and I were always looking for others online for guidance, for information, for treatment that “worked” and you always end up with the same thing: steroids, paid bloggers writing about some OTC product that “magically” worked, and in some cases – the eczema just also “magically” went away. Our case for the last 7 months has been steroids and other creams that I’ll talk about, and the latter two “magical” options never graced us… So we had to look at other options. Those of you that do have eczema/kids with eczema can breathe a sigh of relief – I’m not being paid. I’m writing this because there isn’t enough true and real-life information out there and maybe this will help ease your minds. So if you’re in the same boat as us – read on. I hope that this will provide a solution or another option. For those of you who are used to my car stuff – sorry. I felt that this was important enough to share publicly.

I wanted to share some pictures of Aria with her eczema when it flared up starting from when she was smaller. At the time, it didn’t look “that bad”. When we look back now, my heart breaks that it actually did look “that bad”. Like I said before, it probably caused us more discomfort than it did her. She never really scratched and it never seemed to bother her – but it was unsightly. We used creams and lotioned her well but it would come and go – never completely, though.

Another of it on her face. When she was younger, the eczema was mainly on her face and less on her body.

As she got older though, the eczema started to move from her face to her ankles and wrists. You can see here, this was almost at the most stressful and frustrating time for us. The eczema would flare up on her wrists and she would just scratch. She would scratch until it bled and opened up her skin and we couldn’t do a thing about it. Diana and I were at the point where we were on her like hawks – always waiting for the moment for her to scratch only to stop her as quick as we could. You know how you never want to be a helicopter parent? Eczema forced us to be – for all the wrong reasons.

There were times where we were unable to do this. In the car – you would see her just go at her wrists and you can’t do anything while driving besides try and reach back and grab her hand away while also trying to drive safely only to have her back to scratching the moment you got your hands on the wheel again. At night when she’s sleeping, and she scratches while asleep and you don’t even know that it’s happening. It’s times like this where you’re helpless and you’re at a loss because there’s literally nothing you can do. This is the frustrating part because we would spend every waking second making sure she wasn’t scratching her wrists open only to have her open them up again when we couldn’t do anything.

Of course, as a baby – she didn’t know any better. Aria was good that way because she would scratch to relieve an itch and she didn’t know it was bleeding. Hell, I don’t even think she knew it hurt. She never cried over it, she never showed pain… It’s just extremely sad to see because if my wrists were like that, I would be crying. One of the toughest parts about dealing with eczema in a baby is that they don’t know what’s wrong and what not to do to it… You have to know for them.

Our next step was to try and protect her wrists. They would go from healed to opened again every few days and that’s what was frustrating. We couldn’t blame Aria because all she knew was that she was itchy. There really was no one to blame and in times like this, you really wish there was. Maybe the doctor for not prescribing the perfect medicine? No, because medicine can only do so much.

We decided to get some polysporin and gauze to cover them up and heal up the opened wounds. It worked for the most part but Aria got smart and was able to start scratching underneath the gauze and we were back to square one again.

Anyway, we got to the point where we were desperate. We were willing to do literally anything to stop her from scratching her wrists. I came up with the idea of cutting up one of her onesies, and sewing socks onto the ends of it so that we could put it on her when we couldn’t do anything about it. So we did just that – I cut up her onesie and Diana sewed on some socks. The above is the result and I’ll tell you – this was one of the silliest, yet smartest things we wished we had done sooner. It stopped her from scratching up her wrists but it didn’t “fix” the problem. We were just trying to find band-aid methods until we found a solution. At this point, we were at a loss and pretty much out of hope to find any solution at all. It got to the point (after months of putting this contraption on her) that she was used to the routine. It’s kind of cute that she knows “alright, I have to put this jacket on now before we go out or before I go to sleep” and she just sorta expected it.

You might be saying to yourself now – “maybe they didn’t do this” or “maybe they didn’t do that”. Here’s what I’ll do, I’ll tell you EVERYTHING that we did do… Just so we’re all on the same page and so that we can align on how desperate Diana and I got on trying to make this go away. Sure, maybe there is something we missed, but I felt like we did what we could and knew.

I’ll go through the routine and the products we used will follow after. The routine stayed pretty much the same over the course of the last 8 months but the products we used changed.

  • We bathed her everyday and put lotion on her immediately after to keep moisture in.
  • We tried not bathing her everyday (as per recommendations) thinking bathing often was irritating her skin. Turns out, not bathing everyday made it worse.
  • We wash her face and hands after every meal – if food stayed on, it made her eczema worse.
  • We lotioned her up religiously… And I mean RELIGIOUSLY. Every chance we got, we were putting cream on her skin so it wouldn’t itch and get dry.
  • We watched what she was eating carefully – fruits like Kiwi would make her itch even though she loved them. We would test new foods over the course of a few days just to make sure it wouldn’t cause an flare up.
  • We put a humidifier in her room to moisten the air and keep her skin from drying. (didn’t help).

Here’s a list of the products we used, what worked, and what didn’t work. I’m not saying it won’t work for you/your kid, but it didn’t do anything for Aria.

What worked:

  • Aveeno Eczema Night Balm – this was a thick cream we used at night that kept her skin moisturized nicely. We ended up using this throughout the day.
  • Aveeno Eczema Wash – probably still the best wash we’ve tried. It keeps her skin moisturized and doesn’t strip it dry – even with soft water.
  • Aveeno Lightly Scented Moisturizer – another good moisturizer. We ended up putting this on first with the night balm layered on top of it with good results.
  • Burt’s Bee’s Baby Bee Ointment – we tried this out in the later stages of her eczema and it worked well. The smell was not great but it seemed to keep her flare ups at bay very well, provided that we use it often during the day and at night.
  • Aquaphor Ointment – this worked well for a short amount of time to keep the moisture in at night. It’s greasy like Vaseline so it wasn’t ideal all day.
  • Vaseline Petroleum Jelly – another basic product that worked well but still not ideal.
  • **Steroid – I put asterisks here because this will inevitably come up. I’ll talk more about it later, but it was a product we used for about 7 months. It never healed it or made it go away, but it kept flare ups down. Not the best thing we wanted to use for that long (despite what doctors tell us).
  • **Jian Pai. This is the magic cream. I’ll talk more about this below.

What didn’t work:

  • Cetaphil baby wash – this was terrible. It looked like it burned her skin. It turned it all red and she flared up.
  • Cetaphil baby lotion – same as above.
    • I’d note that we only tried this because a “paid blog” said this was amazing. For Aria, it was nothing short of terrible.
  • Live Clean Baby wash – dried out her skin, flare ups happened immediately after bath.
  • Live Clean Baby lotion – not moisturizing enough. Scented products don’t typically work well with Aria’s eczema.
  • Dove Baby Rich Moisture – despite the name – not very moisturizing. Didn’t do anything for Aria.
  • Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Wash – surprisingly this was not a good product either compared to Aveeno’s Eczema cream wash. Did nothing.
  • Skin Fix – a cream I was undecided on where to put. I’m putting it on the “did not work” section because while we used it for a long time, it never cleared anything up nor stop flare ups. It might have only helped the itch for a short amount of time.
  • **Elidel – if you’ve had eczema, at one point or another – your doctor will prescribe you Elidel. It’s a cream not meant to be used on kids under 2 and there is a risk that this cream causes cancer. Well, we used it as per the doctors recommendation and it did absolutely nothing. We used it for a period of 2 weeks but to no avail. We stopped use of this cream immediately after.
  • **Stronger steroid cream – we got prescribed stronger steroids for short-term use as well which did maybe a little better than the low strength one, but we stopped using that too pretty quickly as it didn’t appear to help much more.

Now, there’s tons more products out there and if we didn’t come across Jian Pai (as mentioned above), you can bet your asses we would’ve kept trying. We’ve probably spent nearly $200 on different products, methods, and items to try and help Aria out and each time, you hope that this next product was the magical answer only to find out it made the eczema worse or didn’t do anything at all…

Now, I want to show you what I mean by us being “desperate” is and just how bad it got. I’m not joking when we say it’s been the most frustrating and stressful thing we’ve had to deal with for Aria – and even looking at this picture today makes my stomach turn. This was when she was in the car and just scratched away. We took her to the hospital immediately after and all we got was more head-scratching doctors and we ended up leaving with a stronger prescription. My problem with this is that after all these months, the only thing doctors have thrown at us has been steroids, stronger steroids, creams that can cause cancer, and nothing helps. In their defense, they can only prescribe what they know and if the first thing doesn’t work, something stronger must be better right? Is it safe? I don’t know but as I keep mentioning – you get desperate and do anything to help your kid out.

Let’s just get to what you’ve been waiting for – if you’re still reading, you’re probably wondering what this magic cream is and maybe it’ll help you. The cream is called Jian Pai – it’s an Asian cream that’s free of steroids. (I’m going to start to sound like a paid blogger now, but believe me – I’m not. I’ll even pay this company more money for what it’s done to help Aria). Here’s a picture for reference.

I like to say that this is where the stars aligned for us and Aria because we only stumbled across this cream by chance. 4 months ago, when Aria’s hand was as bad as that picture above, our doctor referred us to a skin specialist. That appointment was just last week – that means we had to wait 4 MONTHS to see a doctor all the while her wrist was open. I get it, specialists are busy and we’re not the only people with problems in the world – so we bit our tongues and sucked it up until our appointment… Which I’ll talk about again at the end of all this. A few weeks before this specialist appointment, Diana was mentioning to her boss that she needed the day off for Aria. Her boss asked her what it was for, and she casually mentioned that Aria has been battling eczema for a while and we’re hoping to get some answers. She told Diana about Jian Pai and how it was amazing for her own skin and her battle with eczema. She listed off all the same medications doctors prescribed her that Aria had been prescribed. At this point – we’re willing to try anything – so we tried this. I went out to the nearest T&T market with the herbal store we always walk by and picked this small bottle up for $40.

Brace yourselves. We tried it that night – you put it on twice a day – once in the morning and once at night. In three days… THREE. DAYS. her eczema had cleared up. Literally all the redness and bumps and scratching that had been tormenting Aria just… Magically. Went. Away. It’s been a few weeks now since we’ve been using this cream and her skin is back to it’s beautiful, smooth, eczema-free baby skin we once knew. This is how a baby’s skin should look, we thought. How, after all this time, have we not known about this? Why don’t more people know about this? Why don’t doctor’s know about this? We haven’t put Jian Pai on her for a couple days and she hasn’t had a flare up since… If we start to see it coming back, one application and it’s gone again. It hasn’t been long enough to gauge how well this works but it has been long enough to tell you that no other product or medication or steroid has “fixed” Aria’s eczema like this has.

I’m no believer in magic, and I sure as hell don’t believe in Asian beliefs about drinking tea to make pimples go away or eating root to make you live longer but I think I can stand behind this cream and I’m confident that if you or your kid had anything like Aria did, this would be better than any product you’re using now. The best thing about this cream is that it’s all natural – no steroids, no nothing. I’m not worried every time I put it on Aria that it’s doing something else other than just working the way it should.

Anyway, I wanted to end this post with the skin appointment we waited 4 months for. Months leading up to the appointment, we were anxious because we held all our hope that this specialist was going to solve our problems and was going to tell us finally what was wrong with her skin. After Jian Pai, (2 weeks before her appointment) we weren’t sure what to tell the specialist because she was all good. No sign of eczema, no sign of flare-ups, nothing. But we went anyway…

I’m not going to name the doctor, but if you put the pieces together, you can figure it out yourself if you care enough. We were referred to the Market Mall Dermatology – apparently one of the only specialists in Calgary that look at eczema issues in children. Prior to the appointment, we were told to bring everything that we are currently using, so we did just that. Finally, the day had come – we didn’t go in with much expectations since Aria had already been healed, but we were hoping for maybe some sympathy, some knowledge, or maybe some insight to what it could have been.

We walked into the waiting room… Anxiously waiting to show what was left of Aria’s eczema, the products, the pictures of what it had looked like. The doctor came in, stated that he heard Aria had eczema from our family doctor and began prescribing the steroid and Elidel we had already been prescribed. He was talking so fast that Diana had to interupt to tell him we’re already using that. He said “Oh”, and listed off another one and mentioned that it should only be used by children over 2 but that it’s perfectly safe. He looked at Aria and said “don’t worry, we’ll get you all cleared up”, turned to his assistant and told her to write up the prescription and left.

Wait a second. He didn’t look at Aria, he didn’t care to see what her eczema looked like, he didn’t look at the products we used, he didn’t even care to think if what he was prescribing us was what we were already using. The thing that really puts me off about it all is that he didn’t even care to see that Aria was actually all healed up. The point of the appointment (for us, anyway) was truly unnecessary – we didn’t need to be there, but we were because we had waited so long and clung onto some hope that he might tell us we were fighting something wrong all along. Instead, he prescribed creams and medicines to a perfectly fine and healthy little girl – not knowing anything else about her. This was the worst doctor I’ve ever met. I don’t know him, but that 1 minute appointment was enough to know that I would never recommend or go to him again for anything.

It’s been a week since that appointment and Aria is still better than ever. We still follow our routine because we’re not sure if changing it will make her skin flare up again, but she hasn’t scratched once in about a month. No redness, no open wounds… She’s just back to normal. I guess I’m writing all of this because I feel like we went through hell and we exhausted almost everything until we came across Jian Pai and if we hadn’t, we would’ve kept going until we found a way to help her. I’m writing because of how mad I am that a specialist – who we waited 4 months to see – didn’t care to actually treat his patient, but instead threw more drugs at the problem that wasn’t even there. I’m writing to hopefully help anyone else who is going through the same hell we did. I truly hope this helps… Feel free to email me or leave me comments if you have any questions!