Sunday, February 21, 2016

Meeting Dr Aron - A Dream Come True

For over a year we have used a medication on our young child, from a Dermatologist whom we had never met. Crazy huh? To be honest, when we started this treatment on our daughter, my husband and I told very few people. We only told our "inner circle." These are the people who had walked the long road of severe Atopic Dermatitis with us and had seen the way it destroyed relationships, family cohesion and eroded our child's self-esteem. The non-judgemental people who realised that we were desperate, sleep-deprived and had tried everything possible to save our little girl from her life of hell and understood why we were reluctantly putting our trust in a specialist who we had discovered on the Internet. Well it wasn't long before I was shouting it from the rooftops! We had found relief! It wasn't a cure but it was the start of the first "normal" year of my family's life! "Quality of life" now has new meaning to our family.

My mom passed away in September and as Christmas drew closer, I knew that I couldn't stay home and have Christmas in the same way I had done since my childhood, it would be too sad without my mom. I kept thinking of a song she liked from Joseph and His Technicolour Dream Coat with the lyrics "There's one less place at our table, there's one more tear in my eye" and I knew I couldn't handle that empty chair. So we decided on the spur of the moment to go away. Hubby and I asked the kids where they wanted to go on holiday and they all agreed on one place. Since her skin had healed many months before,Tomato had asked begged almost daily, to fly to Cape Town to meet the doctor who had helped her. After being put through the trauma of visiting doctor after doctor and applying cream after burning cream for five and a half years, it was amazing that this invisible doctor on the other side of an email, had achieved what no other could. It just didn't seem real. Tomato and I loved this man whom we had never met and only seen on an Internet video. I agreed with her, we had to go meet and thank this man.
Tomato with her hero

We compromised on the flying, borrowed Grampa's car (with TVs in the back - thanks Grampa!) and drove down to Cape Town. The trip was pretty amazing with 3 little noses glued to a screen! Our family has a "no screens during the week" policy, so they couldn't believe their luck at being able to watch movie after movie on an eighteen hour trip.

"What did you just say?"
Before we left I contacted Dr Aron's lovely wife Kate and asked if we could pop in for a visit. The Arons were on holiday but went out of their way to make a plan for Tomato to meet her hero at their holiday home, three days before Christmas. We drove the extra distance and all five of us descended on the Aron family! Tomato is a very sensitive child, so she began getting nervous as we got closer and I was reminded of how she used to tear her skin apart when she was nervous before. I have always watched TV shows with interest as people eventually meet their hero, usually a pop icon or actor. I have never been star-struck with any star, even my favourites, so I could imagine the excitement but I never felt it, until that day! Even I had started to become a bit nervous and excited as I was about to meet the man who had put his hand out to pull us all out of the black hole, where many others had purely dangled the carrot of hope without follow-through. 
Sharing a joke with Dr A

The poor man was attacked by us as he walked out his front door! After a year, we eventually got to meet, hug and thank the man who gave us back our daughter and allowed our lives to have some semblance of normality! It was surreal. He was human, with a great sense of humour too. We had a lovely afternoon with Dr A and Kate and the kids loved playing with the dogs and meeting Dr A's daughters and grandson. I think I was a bit gushy so eventually Dr A dryly stated that he would be at their holiday home for a few weeks and proposed that I come through each day between 2 and 4pm for hug-time haha! Little did he know that if he had been closer to where we were staying, I would have taken him up on that offer!!

Many patients had travelled to meet Dr Aron in Chicago where he presented his Aron Regime, and I think Tomato felt a bit left out that other children were meeting her hero but she hadn't. As we were leaving Tomato whispered to me "I think I'm the only special one who has been to Dr Aron's holiday house" and she was on cloud nine! After having one two more hugs and thanking the Arons for their hospitality, we started the two hour drive back to where we were staying, along the beautiful Cape coastline. It slowly dawned on me that both Tomato and I could tick one more item off our bucket lists. 

Thank you Dr Aron and Kate.

Tomato, Me, Kate and Dr Aron

Links to other blogs I have written about the Aron Regime and our journey with Atopic Eczema:

Skin Deep
The Eczema Chronicles
Is Avene the miracle we've been waiting for?
The Day I Found Dr Richard Aron and our Healing Journey Began
What is TSA and RSS?
Three Months After Starting with Dr Richard Aron
Nine Months Later with Dr Richard Aron