Cuddles and Calamine.
Sometime in March (I lose track of the days as they merge into one hellish indoor quarantine)
Dear mummy, I wouldn’t wish this on my worse enemy. Why, oh why, did I have to get this pox of the chicken. As I write this I am in iching agony. It’s day three of the pox and as opposed to it getting better it seems to be getting worse.
So, how did it start? I must have caught it the week before at nursery, apparently, through Dr Google, mummy found out it takes between 7 and 21 days (most commonly 10-14 days) to develop symptoms after catching the virus (the incubation period).
Also during the first couple of days before the spots start to appear it is very contagious as well! Which is helpful when mummy and daddy have no idea I am carrying the virus. I wonder how many people I infected before we realised. Oops.
Day Zero: (before we knew I had Chickenpox) Mummy starts to notice small spots on my scalp right in my hairline, only three and they look like a mixture of cradle cap little blisters filled with clear liquid. She thought they were blocked follicles.
I kinda feel funny and not as stable on my feet as I walk around the garden, stopping for cuddles and to sit of mummy’s lap for a breather. I sleep through the night and drink my full bottle. Ace. My appetite is normal.
Day One: I start to get spots on my back, neck and forehead. Mummy consults our GP and HantsDoc for advice. They don’t want to see me 😦 they don’t want me anywhere near the doctors surgery incase I infect people. Mummy hopes they are right with the diagnosis.
So now that we THINK I have Chickenpox we call my nursery and tell them. Funny, as they don’t seem surprised, we later find out through other parents and the office that there have been cases of chickenpox at my nursery, we just didn’t see the posters up on the walls.
So here we go…on the Chickpox rollarcoaster! Mummy and Daddy scoff at the fact that I haven’t got many, mummy thinks that we have got off lightly, how wrong she was. During that night I toss and turn waking every two to three hours.
Day Two: By the time morning hits of day two I am covered in large red itchy spots. Oh dear mummy, I haven’t got off lightly at all!! The first crop of blisters hit over my torso and back, under my dribbly chin and under my arms. “What do we do?” My mummy panics and calls grandma for advice, we look on forums and ask Dr Google. There are lots of websites to check for natural remedies and the NHS website was also useful. This is what we tried:
Bicarb of Soda mixed into my tepid bath water to help sooth and ease the itching.
Some cut off tights knotted and filled with porridge oats in my bath.
Poxclin mousse from Boots (but do it at day 4 and afterwards as I screamed when mummy tried to put it on day 2)
Calamine lotion (Some people prefer cream but I got on alright with the lotion)
Piriton (Tried once but abandoned due to me not liking the taste! Mummy did try though!)
Calpol to keep my temperature down.
I’m running a temperature of 102 and mummy gives me some Calpol and we sit down to watch some Baby TV. Mummy hasn’t even got dressed today and we both have a PJ day. It’s not till the afternoon that I start to act funny, my little body goes limp and I have no energy. I doze on mummy’s chest and she takes my temperature and notices that I’m running another one. She strips me down to my nappy, administers some more Calpol and I go to sleep while she watches TV.
Two hours later, mummy is pinned to the sofa with me on top of her, she gets concerned as my temperature hasn’t gone down and I am very dopey. Every time I doze off I shake uncontrollably like I’m having a convulsion. My mummy is VERY worried! She calls Hants Doc (NHS number) to get them to double check I’m ok.
At this point I’m shivering with a temperature of 104!! The doctor on the phone calls for help and an ambulance crew turn up to take my temperature again and look me over. They check my rash, skin, my eyes and responses. They were very nice men and they decided I should be taken to A&E for observation incase I have another convulsion.
I get a ambulance ride while sat on top of daddy. The paramedics are trying to make me laugh and shine little lights to get me to follow them with my eyes. But at this point I’m fed up, tired, hot and can’t raise a smile or even be bothered to look at them. As I have full blown chickenpox I’m segregated from the rest if A&E and put in my own room. We are there for two hours. I lie on daddy’s chest not wanting to let go. I’m so tired. The nurse comes in and checks my vitals then gives me a big dose of Ibuprofen (I have never taken this before…and it’s good stuff!) within 45mins I’m a different baby! Much more perky and I can lift my head and sit up unaided. I’m still sore to the touch but more with it.
That night I wake every 30mins screaming in agony as the spots on my bum rub in my nappy and the ones in my mouth hurt. They are up my nose and on my eyelids, under my arms and behind my knees 😦 mummy rocks me back to sleep and I quiver with fever and pain. Nothing makes me happy or puts a smile on my face and I cry at the littlest thing.
Day Three: I can’t believe there are new spots appearing!?! Surely there is nowhere left in my body to cover? All day I sit in mummy’s lap and watch TV, too weak to move. Mummy tries to feed me but I button up my bottom lip and refuse food. I occasionally like to chew on my arm, which mummy hastly takes away from me. Even my favourite Wotists aren’t cutting it today. Eventually I take some of my bottle and mummy breaths a sigh of relief. That night I manage to get an hour of unbroken sleep, mummy and daddy on the other hand are up pacing the floor worrying about me, every time they lift me out of my cot I scream in agony. It’s a long night for all of us.
Day Four: Mummy puts Poxclin on me in the morning and gently massages my little body, I was soooo tired I actually fell asleep on my changing mat! I’m still quarantined indoors and the large blisters are starting to crust while new ones appear.
I sleep through the night in just my nappy with the heating on in the house and window open in my room for fresh air. In the crouch position which mummy finds strange. I stay like that all night, it’s comfortable for me as I’m not lying on my painful back.
Mummy and daddy get there first proper sleep for days and are both refreshed and clear headed for the next day.
Day Five: No more new spots and all the blisters are starting to scab over! Yippeeee I can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. Grandma takes me on a walk in the buggy, even though I am very weak I enjoy the wind on my face and the sunshine. At home, I get figity on people’s laps and want to walk, but don’t have the energy on my own, so mummy and daddy hold my hands and walk with me.
My head is itchy so I invent new ways to scratch it without mummy and daddy knowing, I particularly like daddy’s beard. My bounce is coming back hopefully. My temperature has been normal all day, so daddy decides to put me in a 1 tog sleepbag and nappy for the night to see how I get on. The window is open to let fresh air in and mummy has even put some daffodils in my room to make it smell nice. My cot sheets have been cleaned and replaced with new soft ones and all my toys in my cot are turned to face me with their friendly faces shining in my blue nightlight glow. No twitter for me as I’m still too poorly. I let mummy monitor it instead.
Day Six: Is it never ending? I sleep through the night and my morning nap turns into a 3hr nap!! The weather is bright and sunny so we decide to go for a walk. However best laid plans are rained off, as soon as we are out the door the heavens open. Once again we are relegated to the house and my mummy is climbing the walls. That night mummy puts me in a baby grow and my sleep bag as the temperature drops and hailstones bounce off the windowsills. I go down at 7pm but wake at 11pm for some more food, it seems my appetite is back at last. Thankfully for us all, I sleep until 7am the next day.
Day Seven: At last most of my spots are crusty and healing, I’m free at last, to go and explore and talk to people!! I’m bored of seeing mummys face. Luckily I have been on twitter recently and spot (no pun intended) Mothers In the Know Basingstoke (MITK) have tweeted an event that is happening today. Daffodil picking at Wootton House. So we head there and have a fantastic time picking daffodils for charity. Back home I doze in the car and have a small afternoon nap, but I don’t sleep for long as I’m desperate to talk to my little friends in my cot as I haven’t spoken to them in nearly a week and I have to tell them all about my illness. I chat to them for half an hour while mummy and daddy have a late lunch. Bathtime was less stressful tonight, the warm water isn’t hurting as much and some of the scabs fall off in the bath, my complexion is looking good today and I truly feel a bit better 🙂
So who knows what will happen next week? Will they let me back in nursery? Will Turtle and I be friends again, will I be left with marks? Watch this space. My advice to babies going through Chickenpox…get your mummy and daddy to check with a doctor via phone about your symptoms, keep cool, get well stocked on Calpol and Ibuprofen if you have a temperature and lots of cuddles and love.