Parenting a child with a life-threatening condition teaches you that life is precious. Life needs to be lived one day at a time. If I learned to smile despite the yearning to cry, it’s because my new “normal” was to make him smile. I am done being told what to believe, what to be afraid of, who to trust, what to think and who to hate. Why is RDEB medically fragile? Mostly because of the open wounds and the consequences of having non-healing 2nd degree burn-like wounds, which can vary and can be extremely damaging, even lethal. The skin, after all, is the largest organ of the body and it affects everything he does. I realize that even people we know and love struggle to fully comprehend what Nicky’s medical fragility truly means. I regularly receive well-intentioned questions about whether Nicky will ever get better. The short answer is no.Read More →

The other night I was changing the bandages of Nicky’s lower back and to my dismay, in the attempt of healing the area, the opposite happened. It’s now worse than it’s ever been. The whole area is a BIG open wound. Ugh. It’s always a shock to me that I can even do this. Before Nicky was born I was an absolute wimp, who could not watch my own blood being drawn. Amazing what we learn to do out of love for our children. WIth his lower back now a bloody wound, my heart sank. Because of that, I resolved to make sure to use my concoction on it as well-I haven’t because this is an area very difficult to bandage and using the cream makes the bandage slip around quite a bit and Nicky hates that. It’s one thing to use the cream on areas where we can bandageRead More →

Nicky’s inner strength is something I deeply admire. There are times that he still surprises me with his wit, the way he thinks and the way he handles things. He’s such a loving, deeply interesting boy for those that care enough and are lucky enough to get to know him. He suffers greatly as well though, and that fact can never be ignored. I took the following pictures this past month to give everyone a small glimpse of what his skin looks like under the bandages. He’s part of the SD -101 cream trial (http://ebstudy.com/) so if you think his wounds look better, it’s because they do. This is his right arm. It’s looking fantastic. I know, I know, it still looks painful, but considering how it looked like before, say a year ago, there is a big difference. This is his lower back. This area is harder to wrap becauseRead More →

I cling to the hope that someday in the not so distant future I will know what it means to see my son being free from the daily suffering he endures. In the meantime the only thing I can do is continue to spread awareness. I am not a millionaire nor a scientist. I can’t donate oodles of money for research and I also do not have either the skill nor the expertise to research how to actually find a cure for EB, so I must support those that do and continue my quest in getting this disorder known. The truth of the matter is that with enough money a cure will be found. There are now enough scientists that are trying all sorts of ways to treat EB if not cure it, and every parent of a child with his awful condition wants to be the first to getRead More →

As I posted yesterday, wound pics generate a barrage of negative comments on Facebook, they usually end up being reported and deleted, which is why I don’t post them there anymore. It’s just not worth getting banned over them when I can just post them here. This is EB-more specifically, Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa-Severe Generalized subtype. This is what my son has. I know very well how upsetting these photos are. They upset me greatly. However, what other way is there to fully explain the condition? I haven’t found another one that is this eloquent. There are no real need for words. I have some photos of his arms that are even more disturbing to me than these, but I want to take some new photos of those in a couple of months then I will post them. The truth is that I don’t like posting photos too often. EBRead More →

One would think that after 18+ years, nothing about EB would surprise me anymore. Well, it does. EB still manages to shock us at what it can do and how it manifests itself. Last night as I was taking off a bandage from Nicky’s upper left arm, it looked as if an infection (pus) was setting in a wound-but not in the usual way. Normally the pus (I know, yuk, but EB can be just majorly yucky) fills up a blister, or it colonizes a wound, but this time it was different. It looked like it managed to infiltrate itself way under the skin somewhere, so the pus had to be “squeezed out” of this little hole. WTF? Nicky wasn’t even phased. It hurt, yes, but he reminded me how it’s the same way on his left foot. What’s happening there is also quite bizarre. It’s hard to see inRead More →

I updated my Caringbridge Blog today (here’s the link–> http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/nickyz/journal/view/id/554ba814f02065dc3614f506) and I also posted a photo on my Butterfly Child Book Facebook Page and I talk about the pain and suffering that Nicky endures. It’s not easy. EB sucks. It’s been two years now since I had to start giving Nicky pain meds basically 24/7 and to me it’s a shock he didn’t need them all day before. He always needed them for bandage changes, but never at any other time. I always asked him what was his pain threshold, and as I write in the book, sometimes I am convinced his body is reacting differently about pain than a regular person, simply because his body is so used to it and has dealt with it since birth. Even when his body wasn’t so ravaged, if I had had the wounds he had, I would have been in hell. Now? IRead More →

On our first trip to Stanford, back in August 1997, Dr. McGuire told us something that would forever be etched in my mind. He told us that the #1 enemy and the #1 reason for the demise for children with RDEB was infections. To say he scared me to death in one sentence it’s the understatement of the year. Not only he confirmed his RDEB diagnosis, but also mentioned the word ‘death’ and ‘infections’ in it. Fantastic. This was about 17.5 years ago, at a time where the only information I could get about RDEB was from books, and they were vague. Children with RDEB were (and still are!) rare, and any Doctor I saw back then treated Nicky as if he was the long lost Unicorn, rumored to exist, but nobody had actually seen it. But Stanford was seeing them, just one day per month at that, and theseRead More →

Here’s the photos I promised yesterday when I updated Nicky’s CaringBridge Blog. Once again, I don’t post these lightly. I cringe a little. But there is truly no other way to show people what EB is. To understand EB. I want people to understand why Nicky is in so much pain. Photos is the only way to show the cruelty of of his condition… Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. What you see here is his left foot. His ankle (not shown) was one of the areas that was hurt as a baby and it’s basically always raw. The top of the foot here is very prone to being scratched and is almost always an open wound. The ‘white’ residue you see is what remains from our ‘concoction’ we use on his wounds to speed up optimum healing, made of a mixture of Desitin (or any 40% zinc diaper rash cream), DermaGran, Argan Oil,Read More →