As you’ve probably guessed by the title, this post is all about Chickenpox. I have wanted my girls to catch the highly contagious disease since they were very younger, like under a year if I’m honest. That may make me seem mean but I just wanted it over and done with.
P1 supposedly caught it when she was about two or three years old, it was literally four spots that barely caused her any fuss and that was it. The doctors confirmed it but I’ve always been quite aware that she had the potential to get it again.
I’d hoped that P2 and P3 would follow suit in getting it during their baby or toddler years but that stage zoomed past. I’d heard of friends or nursery children getting it and lay hoping. Nothing ever happened.
Then finally last week P2 caught the disease and I now regret all the hoping for chickenpox. It was a nightmare, not because of the actual disease but more the effects surrounding it. This isn’t a post about my top tips because quite frankly I have none, I don’t think we coped too well mentally if I’m honest.
It started on the Saturday, with about three spots on her back that I assumed were gnat bites or similar. It was on the tail end of the mini heatwave we experienced here in the UK and we’d been spending a lot of time in our garden or on days out. Then by the evening P2’s back was dotted with raised pimples, a few on her tummy and one on her face. She also had a mild fever.
I gave her calpol, sent her to bed, scared the life out of her as I explained what chickenpox was and what would happen to her body. I then took myself to bed and consulted Dr Google ferociously on everything about chickenpox and how to cope with them. Aren’t Google images just delightful sometimes?! We had a pretty unsettled night as expected. She was itchy, the room was hotter than normal due to the weather and it was just a bad night.
By the following day it felt like every time I looked at my precious middle daughter, she was growing a new spot to her collection. I kept drumming it into her about the importance of not scratching. The poor thing was itchy though so I ran her an oat bath which was one of the top things to be recommended. You can find out how we did this by watching my chickenpox diary video below.
It really helped to soothe her skin. It wasn’t going to be enough though so I headed to our local Sainsbury’s to grab some calamine lotion. It’s highly recommended for itchy skin and chickenpox. I remember reaping the benefits of it when I was actually pregnant with P2 and had the most awful itchy belly.
Being the child that P2 is, who has to be forced to have calpol (who does that?! Calpol is yummy!) or even to put a plaster over a dripping with blood graze or cut, it took a while to persuade her to have the calamine applied. I’m always very honest with my girls about pretty much everything, so I did explain that if she itches her spot they could become infected or cause scarring. This helped and she agreed to let us apply the calamine to just the ones that itched her most.
Sunday and Monday were the worst days for itching symptoms. She no longer had a temperature and was still eating food. Loss of appetite can be a symptom or side effect of chickenpox, along with nausea. Luckily she didn’t experience any of those. She would obviously need to be off school for goodness only knows how long.
Seeing as I was dropping P1 to school, I didn’t need to email about P2’s absence, instead I spoke directly to the office who sent their love. Chickenpox is highly contagious around two days before the spots appear. We would have had no clue she was getting them. The school decided not to issue a warning letter/email which I thought was odd and I was glad I’d sent a little message to P2’s class parents the night before.
Adjusting to home life and not being able to go outside was tough for P2. She’s on the go and super energetic all of the time, to be confined to one house and garden was tough. To keep her occupied on that very first day off school she helped Hubby to clean the car, we had an exciting blog package arrive and then we did some painting. She spent some time in and out of the paddling pool to cool down her skin and help to prevent any itchiness.
Her demands were never ending. It was one thing after another; good, games, activities, to go out. By the end of the first day I was exhausted and dreading the days we had to follow. Normal weekends are much calmer than this was panning out to be. She was being brilliant about not itching though and we applied the calamine only a few times that day.
By Tuesday, her spots had stopped appearing and a lot of them had even started to scab over and begin the heeling process. There are three different stages to the spots; firstly they appear as raised red or pink bumps, secondly the bumps turn into fluid-filled blisters that break and leak over about a day or so, finally they crust and scab over then take a few more days to heal. You are no longer contagious once the very last spot has crusted or scabbed over….. Let’s all go and vomit a second!
Wednesday absolutely broke me. I had both P2 and P3 at home. It was torture for us all I think. We were rapidly running out of activities, we’d baked loads and the demands for food was endless. They both drained me and I honestly thought I was losing my mind by the end of it.
Things then got a little easier. All of P2’s spots were scabbed over on the Thursday and some were really healing well. She was no longer itchy. We popped out to do a tiny food shop at Lidl, it felt good for P2 to be in fresh air and to stretch her legs. P2 probably could have gone back to school on the Friday but it felt a little silly. I also wanted her spots to heal a little more too.
Chickenpox was much more torturous for me rather than P2. I was actually so surprised at how well P2 coped with no itching and only occasionally having the calamine lotion. I however felt like I was going slightly insane meeting her demands that were constant. We are now on a waiting game for P3 catching it and P1 still having the potential to catch it too. Wish us luck!