National Jewish Health, Day 1

Bella's First Airplane Ride. Notice her collar is stretched out from running her hand along it to scratch between her fingers.

If you are new here you might want to read Our Personal Story Part 1 and Part 2 to get you up to date.

After a very long day of traveling Sunday, we arrived safely in Denver and checked into the Ronald McDonald House.  Volunteers had dinner waiting for us when we got there.

Bella slept pretty well for her, only waking 2 or 3 times to scratch.  Amazingly, there were no night terrors.

She normally wakes up in a wonderful mood, but this morning was different.  She didn’t want to get dressed.  She was hungry.  She was too sleepy.  She couldn’t go to the hospital.  She was stalling.

She has really developed some serious anxiety to doctors and medical procedures.  After a few tears, I got her dressed and promised to carry her to the car.

We arrived at the hospital at 8:00 AM.  After filling out some paperwork, a nurse tried to take Bella’s weight, height, temperature and blood pressure.  She was hysterical.  With the nurse standing on the other side of the room, I weighed and measured her.  They postponed getting a temperature and pulse.  When they took them later her pulse was so high they gave up on getting her blood pressure.

Once in her room, nurses and doctors came in and interviewed us.  Bella cried off and on for three hours insisting that she had to leave.  She said the doctors made her belly hurt.

I prayed with her and then on my personal Facebook page I asked my friends to pray for Bella to have peace.  A little bit later, we walked to the kitchen area to get something to drink.  We found a little girl a year or two older than her.  This was her second week here.  She and Bella played together and then some doctors sat down with them.  The doctors asked the other little girl to tell Bella all about her week.  Did anything hurt?  Was everyone nice?  Did she feel better?

Bella’s attitude completely changed.  She walked off with the doctors for a physical exam and was extremely cooperative and cheerful.  I haven’t seen her that way with doctors in a long time.  I am so thankful that God answers prayers.

We were asked to be a part of a study.  I was more than happy to help if it didn’t require anything invasive that would increase my babies anxiety.  It only required some swabs of the skin and some blood work.  They would wait until tomorrow and collect the blood when they collect blood for other things – no extra needles.

There were more interviews, more doctors and more physical exams.

Wet towels keep the whole body moist while soaking in the tub. Water is constantly poured over her and her face is dabbed by a wet washcloth.


Bella had two baths followed by wet wraps today.  Wet wraps are used to rescue the skin.  They eliminate inflammation and infection and force moisture into the skin.  We expect to be doing them three times a day for the next three days.

The wet wraps are really simple.  She soaks in a bath for 20 minutes and then gently pats dry.  The flare-ups (currently her whole body except her stomach) are covered with a thick coating of steroid ointments and the other parts are covered with a non steroidal cream called Vanicream.  Then a layer of warm wet pajamas and men’s tube socks over the hands and feet are worn.  A layer of dry sweat clothes and tube socks go on top to keep the child warm.  The face and head are wrapped in wet gauze if needed.  All of this is worn for 2 hours.  Once her skin is completely healed, she will “soak and seal” without the wet wraps.

Next: National Jewish Health, Day 2

You can read all of the posts in the Overcoming Severe Eczema, Food Allergies and Night Terrors series here.

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21 Responses to “National Jewish Health, Day 1”

  1. daisy says:

    I’m so glad you both had a great experience. I am so grateful that God sent angels to watch over you both. Continued blessings…Keep us posted.

  2. Looks like she’s enjoying the wet wrap treatment:)

    • Nancy says:

      I don’t know about enjoying. She smiled for the picture but she is really just tolerating. Thankfully, she is down to just wrapping her hands and feet. That is much more comfortable.

  3. Sooooo proud of Bella for getting through yesterday, and God knew to send that little girl to you! I was just going to call but was so glad to see you’d updated things here ~ she looks great and I can’t wait to read the next step!

  4. Amanda Strain says:

    What peace:) You are an amazing mom and serve an amazing GOD!! Love you

  5. April says:

    I can’t help but tear up. How wonderful God is. I might have to try that wet wrap thing on my itchy girls today.

    • Nancy says:

      Hi April, Let me know if you have any questions about the wet wraps. They take some getting used to.

      • Unique Arce says:

        Hi Nancy.
        I have a question on the wraps. Today is day 1 for my son (we’re doing them at home). When we wrap his face with gauss… is it just the gauss or do we need to put a wet towel on it first then the gauss?

        Thanks in advance! 😀

        • Nancy says:

          Hi Unique, Ideally you want to soak the skin first. The face is kind of tricky though and I don’t have a lot of experience wet wrapping faces. I saw your blog post and I think what you did is the best way to handle it. Just cover his face in wet wash clothes. When he is older he can stand or sit under a shower or “swim” in the bathtub. After visiting your blog, I highly recommend you go to National Jewish. It will change your life!

  6. Anna says:

    I am enjoying reading this-I pray we will soon get to Denver ourselves w/ our daughter…

  7. Anna says:

    I read the beginning of your story-It is almost identical to ours-I have never met another mother who has a child with as many food allergies and with skin as torn-up as our Riley’s is…Riley is almost 5 and I just can’t believe how much this has turned our lives upside down…I will be following your story…thank you for letting me know that there are truly other families who have faced this situation and can relate : )

    • Nancy says:

      You are welcome Anna! I thought we were the only ones until I found some people online. There is a small Facebook group called eczema parents that is great support. I cannot tell you how awesome NJH is. We just finished week one and already our life has changed. Please do everything you can to get here. You won’t regret it.

  8. Jerri Lynn fleenor says:

    I took my son to NJH in Jan…a true miracle! He just celebrated 100 dayz of itchfree! You’re in the best care! Tell them hi from us.

    Keagan’s mom

  9. melissa crady says:

    my thoughts are with you and bella… hope she’s feeling relief soon!

  10. Renie says:

    I thank God for coming across your site. I too have a child with severe eczema, allergies and asthma. She has been hospitalized twice for her eczema and rushed to the hospital each night in Hurricane Sandy for asthma attacks as well. Yes I know all about the night terrors, wraps, bloody clothes and hiding to scratch. What I have found is that the 8 allergens that people are becoming allergic to are linked to the pesticides in foods and also the GMO’s they are using. I noticed once I started feeding her organic foods and added vitamin D and Cod Liver Oil, it has helped tremendously. Juicing (green and fruits) are extremely helpful as well as raw foods at each meal. Also foot soaks in epsom salt by first preparing them with steroid cream days before. My daughter have been tested for a lot of foods and she is allergic to all of them on one level or another. She is anaphalaxis level ot eggs nuts, milk, and shellfish. So I also have an Epi-Pen. I have joined seveal networks on facebook and found there are so many kids like ours. I am thankful that we can pass along information to help one another on this journey.

  11. Ashley Sears says:

    Thank you so much for writing this series. My daughter was recently hospitalized with severe eczema at the Mayo Clinic here in Minnesota. I was searching for more allergy friendly recipes, and came across your site. I could’ve written this series, it’s as if it was about my daughter as well.

    If you daughter would be interested, mine is always looking for email pen pals that have conditions like hers. She is 10 years old 🙂

  12. […] National Jewish Health was a true answer to our prayers!  Through the miracle of wet wraps, Bella’s skin was 99% clear within three days!  You can read a daily log of our experience here. […]