I’m considering painting a large red X on the front door, as people did in the days of plague to warn that the household was infected. Except that what our house contains is far worse, words to strike fear into the heart of any parent. Chicken pox.
3 year old DD had it first, the week before last. We were expecting it because there had been a couple of cases at her preschool and we were fairly laidback about it. The children have to be exposed to these diseases at some point in order to build immunity, it may as well be while they’re young. DD had a week or so of feeling a bit rubbish; she had about 30 or so spots and was mildly itchy. We treated her with calamine, bicarb baths and the occasional dose of piriton and all was well.
We expected 13 month old DS to get it as well but the days passed and he remained well. Until this weekend. He had a couple of spots when he went to bed Friday night; Saturday morning he had lots. By Sunday there was barely an inch of skin anywhere on his body that wasn’t covered with blistery spots. He even has them in his ears and tummy button.
The poor mite is suffering so much. He has temperatures, he itches, he screams, he hardly sleeps. He doesn’t understand what’s wrong and why we can’t make it go away. His sad, blister-rimmed eyes gaze at me accusingly as I try to comfort him. He can only have 2 doses of piriton in 24 hours – not much when the effects only last an hour or so. As soon as I put him in a bicarb bath he was scratching furiously and had to be pulled from the water wailing like a small polka dotted banshee. Calamine and aloe vera work only fleetingly. Even nursing brings him little comfort.
Today is day 4. Hopefully this is the peak of the pox – hopefully tomorrow will be a better day and DS will begin to feel less itchy and unwell. I just hope he doesn’t reinfect his sister, otherwise I shall have to look out that red paint after all.