Chicken Pox: A Tale of Two Children
Anyone that follows me on Instagram will know that The Bobsy has had chicken pox for the last week or so. You may also know that The Boy had them for a few weeks before. I wanted to write about our experience because I hugely underestimated how horrible it would be and I’d like to warn others of the same. I’d sort of thought chicken pox was something that would make them slightly ill with cold-like symptoms and itch like crazy. I also thought within a small variation it would affect most children pretty much the same. How wrong I was.
I obviously knew of chicken pox, but The Boy up until now has displayed a remarkable immunity. All his friends at the childminders had it, I never tried particularly hard to keep him away from it. Once he started school we had frequent warnings about chicken pox outbreaks as to start with I was pregnant and then we had a young baby. Still, I didn’t protect him, still, he didn’t catch it. Although, he’s never poorly really. So perhaps this shouldn’t have been a surprise.
The Boy’s Story
A few weeks ago, The Boy’s dad warned me that his cousin (stepmom’s niece) had chicken pox and The Boy had been in contact. His dad was quite worried, but I said things like “don’t worry he’s been exposed loads of times” and “if he does get it, it’s best to get it out of the way”. It would be fine.
About two weeks later he got his first spot. He was at his Dads who rang to tell me. He wasn’t certain, it was chicken pox, but as he’s been exposed we decided to keep him off school. His Dad brought him home the next day by which time it was clearly chicken pox.
The never itched. At all. He probably ended up with around 50 spots, some quite large but others tiny. There were two days when he went for an afternoon nap but apart from that, he seemed totally normal. Not scratching, eating normally, happy and playful. After about a week they were all scabbed over and he went back to school. A total non-event. I found myself saying “maybe it’s a non-itchy strain. I hope Bobsy gets it too so it’s done”. But now, thinking about it, perhaps The Boy did have some immunity which helped him to fight off the worst of it.
The Bobsy’s Story
Poor Bobsy. Her chicken pox were not quite the same. When everyone says, “it’s best if they get it young” what they actually mean is “it’s best when they get it young. But not before they can understand or tell you what they want”. It’s been awful. I should say that generally The Bobsy also has a great immune system. She had a nasty cough as a baby and some post immunisation grumpiness but that’s really it.
I noticed her first spot on a Wednesday night. It was absolutely tiny and husband said, “well she’s tiny so her spots will be too” Hahaha!
By Thursday, she’s got a few more but wasn’t bothered. Friday, even more, she’d stopped eating and the morning nap had returned. Friday night she did not sleep at all. She now had that many spots they had started to join up so big chunks of her body were red and blistered. Even the single ones were huge.
I reached out to all my online friends for advice and was overwhelmed with recommendations. None of them worked. She was so upset and in so much pain. But unable to tell me what she wanted. She’d point at things crying, but then when I’d give them to her she’d shout “no” and cry some more. I hadn’t got a clue what she wanted.
By Sunday her fever was high and she still wouldn’t eat. Somehow, there were even more spots. She didn’t eat or sleep for two days. We were exhausted and taking it in turns to sit and watch Peppa Pig with her.
On Monday things started to look up slightly. She slept. A lot. Napping every hour or so all day. Drinking more but still not interested in food. The spots were starting to scab over, but new ones were still appearing on her legs and arms.
She’s slowly got better as the week has gone on. She’s now eating and sleeping normally and for the most part scabbed over. A few of the last to appear are still blisters and she’s a little itchy when she’s hot, but nowhere near as bad as it was a few days ago.
Hopefully, this is the end of it. With them both having it one after the other, I’ve barely left the house for a month! I went to the park yesterday and literally refused to come in!