Monday, 23 November 2015

Our Week with Chickenpox: What I Have Realised

As a parent, there will be many times when your child is ill. At 19 months old Jack, alongside the usual coughs and colds has also had bronchiolitis and suspected seizures (they thankfully weren't.) The past week he has had another common childhood illness to contend with - Chickenpox.

Late on Monday evening I noticed several spots on Jack's back. He had been suffering with a temperature that day so I automatically thought it may be heat rash. After waking up on Tuesday and looking at them again, they evidently were not, so I booked him into the doctors. A few hours later the doctor told us as they had not yet blistered, it was most likely a viral rash but if we were to see blisters, it would be chickenpox. Sure enough on Wednesday the blisters appeared. We are now onto Day 7 of our week with Chickenpox and they are finally scabbing. He has spots pretty much everywhere with his face, fingers and ears looking the worst.

It has been quite a difficult week. He is only 19 months old so has no real understanding why we can't do what we usually do. It's such a common illness. 90% of adults are deemed immune as they have had the illness as a child. Unfortunately I'm not in that 90% so I could be getting it too. Fingers crossed I don't as the thought of being that unwell and looking after Jack too makes me want to lie down.

Here are some of the things that I realised:

1. If they have spots on their genitals they will itch them consistently. - Jack has spent half the week bent forward pulling at his privates. Trying to keep his hands off that spotty situation has proved impossible. 

2. Keeping a toddler indoors is difficult - I have realised this week how much Jack loves being outside. He has spent half the week pointing at the front door fetching me his coat and shoes. He has spent the other half of the week screaming because I won't take him outside.

3. He has noticed a change in his routine - I didn't realise how much a change in his routine would affect him. Jack is aware that we go outside and play and that we go to baby classes. This week when we have been housebound, he has known that things are different but doesn't know why.

4. You feel like the spots are never going to go - Day 7 and they are still going strong. I feel like I'm stuck in an endless loop of spots and calamine   lotion. I'm really hoping they don't scar.

5. Keeping his nails short will help - Your child will want to scratch at their spots and once they have started its hard to get them to stop. Make this more difficult by cutting your child's nails short. Keeping them clean is also important as it will minimise the risk of infecting the spots. I won't lie, cutting them was difficult.

6. Calamine lotion was our saviour - It may have had him looking like Caspar the friendly ghost but calamine  lotion really helped prevent the itching. You can apply it when needed and it generally worked a treat.

7. Nights are horrendous - If you think days are difficult with Chickenpox, nights with Jack have been awful. Just as he is dropping off to sleep he gets an alrighty urge to itch. This urge went on for 9 hours until 3am on Tuesday. It goes without saying that the next morning we were all a little tired and grumpy.

8. You may not have anything wrong with you (yet!) but that doesn't stop you from scratching - Just talking about Jack's spots sets me off. I have scratched my arm that much that I have given myself a rash. Talk about setting an example.


Has your little one had Chickenpox? What did you do to survive? Tips welcome. Feel free to leave a comment below.


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