Almost 2months ago, we were “blessed” with the experience of having a small child sick with one of the so called “childhood illnesses”, which include mumps, measles, chicken pox, Rubella, scarlet fever, etc…
One particular Tuesday, I woke up at 6am to our 17month olds normal morning cries and went into her room to take her out of her pajama’s & sleeping bag and get her dressed for the day – when I noticed a small pink dot which was quite prominent on her chin… thinking “Surely, she is too young to get pimples??”, I didn’t really give it much more thought.
After I had showered and got dressed and was feeding her breakfast, I noticed that she had a few more spots appearing on her neck and arms, so HIM & I made the executive decision not to take her to crèche but to rather keep her at home & monitor her to see if anything further bumps developed. At this stage, she didn’t have a fever but she was a bit grumpy about eating (something that definitely isn’t new in our house).
Guess what… it went from about 2 spots at 6am to about 5 spots at 7am and around 30 spots by 10.30am, which is when we were sitting in the Doctors rooms. The Doc confirmed what I had guessed… “Chicken Pox”. Thankfully, both HIM and I had had chicken pox as children, so were essentially immune to catching it again.
We were lucky as Monkey only developed a fever later that day and it was a mild one at that. However that first night was pure hell – as she was SO uncomfortable that sleeping was almost impossible. I had done the normal bedtime routine of bath/bottle & bed around 7pm… she slept until 10.30pm (which incidentally was JUST when I had turned my own bedside lamp off) and was then inconsolable. She would only settle if she was in my arms being rocked and having her back lightly stroked. She eventually fell asleep (without being attached to me) at 1.30am until 3am. A short lived relief for us all. HIM, I and Monkey spent the Wednesday in a sleep deprived fog. Of our entire 17months with her – this was by far the worst evening of “no” sleep that I had encountered.
In terms of treatment: We used the *Diaseptyl” spray to start (a disinfectant spray used twice a day), and after the bumps starting to change and fill with fluid, we used *cytelium* spray to dry the spots out (again – only twice a day). Along with this, we were prescribed anti-histamine drops called *Fenistil* (10 drops 3 times a day) and to be honest, I do believe that these helped a lot! Plus paracetemol usage… Over and above this, one of our Mommy friends kindly dropped off *Calamine Lotion* which is what I remember having as a child. So we were definitely well-armed to handle this as best as we could.
There were ongoing debates about bathing – a fair number of articles that I had read indicated that warm baths could aid in the relief of itching, while one of my Mommy friends advised that this could prolong the process of drying any open blisters which could easily get infected (especially if drying with a towel was too “rough”). We opted for a combination – not our normal routine of a daily bath before bed – but rather each alternate day.
Another recommendation was putting socks on her hands while she slept – but this just made me laugh…and laugh…and laugh. The Monkey is unable to keep anything on her head for more than 2seconds… and I have tried winter gloves only once with her before realizing that she gets quite agitated and this is something I can live without.
We did keep her clothing loose and routinely checked the status of her bumps/lumps/scabs… but we were lucky! She was as happy as could be during the day and somewhat more unhappy than usual at night – but within a week, she was back at crèche with the last of the dots as dry mini scabs and her demeanor unchanged.
The upside of her getting this at the age of 17months old is that she should (?) now be immune to the same virus and not get chicken pox again, plus the younger they contract it, the easier it is for them (so they say!).