Aninita Guha Malik Rungta is our featured author. We love her story and carry her book I have Eczema So What which is an amazing book of inspiration for all families with a child that has eczema. Below she explains how she made the journey to author and Functional Medicine Health Coach.
Life forces us in many directions that we could have never envisioned and certainly not planned for. However, it is during such challenging times that we are forced to accept the reality of the situation and make changes. Changes that are initially more of survival tactics can end up being life altering. And if we can look deep inside ourselves and gather enough courage to keep an open mind amidst all the uncertainty and choose a path less travelled, transformation can happen.
My own personal journey over the past few years is certainly something I could have neither scripted nor planned. From playing the role of a mother, a wife at home and a finance professional for a decade, today I have taken on a completely different professional role as an author, blogger and a Functional Medicine certified Health Coach. It is through our family’s struggles of managing our daughter’s extremely severe medical condition that I have reached this point in my life.
Our journey with eczema began a long time ago when our daughter was born 12 years ago. She had very mild eczema (Atopic dermatitis) as a baby which was well under control till she was about 6 years old. Thereafter her eczema related issues intensified and her health went downhill inspite of the best medical interventions that we provided for her. That year, when she was just 6 years old she had to be put on strong medications like oral steroids and immunosuprressive medication to help us manage her condition on a daily basis. At this point in time, we had already had been dealing with endless sleepless, itchy and restless nights and had also exhausted other treatment modalities like topical applications, endless moisturisation, UV narrow band therapy to name a few. Nothing seemed to work, though things did improve somewhat after she was put on immunosuppressive medication. What we did not realise or know at that time that the medications were simply to help her manage her symptoms and would not actually help heal her eczema.
Things came to a head in the summer of 2013 after we had shown her to an experienced pediatric dermatologist in London who had prescribed for her yet another immunosuppressive medication. By the third week of June our daughter was hospitalised in the ICU with a life threatening infection as the medication had shut down her bone marrow as a result of one in a million drug reaction. We are extremely fortunate that she had a good medical team looking after her and that she somehow pulled through it all. She was finally considered “out of danger” the day of her 7th birthday on the 4th of July after 2 nerve wracking weeks. I had spent all that time mostly sitting next to her in the ICU while she was in isolation. That was a life-changing moment for me.
It changed my perspective of how I wanted my daughter to be cared for and healed. Determined to find some other way, I embarked upon a mission to find some safer way of healing her. I kept on with my research for most of 2014 till I stumbled across Functional Medicine. Once I was convinced of its merits, we took a chance and took her once again to London the next summer but this time to a Functional Medicine practitioner. As they say, the rest is history.
Her condition improved gradually as we healed her gut and her eczema disappeared. And after 5 years of starting oral medications, she went off all medications in October 2017.
I had already started a blog on eczema late 2013 called “eczema-anindianperspective.com” to share our experiences and our learnings so that other families could somehow benefit from it. My daughter’s dermatologist (and co author) planted the idea of putting together a book geared towards children suffering from eczema and my book “I have eczema...so what?” was born. This is a book which deals with the challenges of living with eczema from a child’s point of view and is based on our experiences over the difficult years. This book is as much about the struggles of a child and her family as it is about dealing with any kind of chronic condition with family support as well as a lot of love and determination.
In addition, I was determined to find a way to use my experience and knowledge to help others suffering from chronic conditions and came across my calling as Health Coach. Today I have a nascent practice as a my country’s first Functional Medicine certified Health Coachfrom the Chicago based Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. I know that a whole person, mind body approach that is a part of Functional Medicine and Health Coaching can help countless others who are suffering and I am grateful to be at the forefront of this movement in India.
As the 9 year old Maya says in my book, “Thank you for letting me share my story with you. My family and I have found ways to make our journey comfortable and even memorable along the way. I wish that you also find a way to make your own journey a pleasant one!”