Thursday, June 30, 2011

How to survive chickenpox with a toddler


Just before the end of term, I changed Jacob's nappy in the morning before taking him to nursery, and noticed he looked a bit sore around his bottom. He often blisters when he has nappy rash, so I thought nothing of it, slapped on some Metanium and deposited him at nursery.

Less than 2 hours later, I was called to pick him up, as he was breaking out in The Pox.

A couple of days later, and my poor boy was covered in them. In his mouth. In his hair. In his ears. On his boy bits. And the poor love was so so grumpy and just didn't know what to do with himself. And I didn't know what to do with him. He wanted to go in the garden but by the time we got to the backdoor, he didn't want to go in the garden. He wanted to watch Peppa Pig, but then again he also didn't want to watch Peppa Pig. He wanted a cuddle, but equally, he didn't want me anywhere near him. But woe betide if I tried to leave the room to get dressed or put a load of washing on.

Mostly, I just felt so so sorry for him. He kept saying "Jacob sad" and grabbing his nappy area and shouting "owwwww!". Poor love.


I managed to persuade him into the garden, and we spent most of the following days covering every inch of the patio in chalk, and then scrubbing it off with a washing up scrubby brush and a bowl of bubbly water. He was in 7th heaven, it was great. Then he went on a tiger hunt and found a tiger hiding in the bushes, introduced himself as "Jacob big boy!" and had fun feeding the tiger stones.


But oh, the itching. He hadn't quite figured out how to scratch, so just kept frantically scrubbing at himself, grabbing his nappy and screaming and rubbingrubbingrubbing his head, and the combination of this and liberal applications of calamine in his hair meant he soon resembled some sort of nutty professor.


We found Calpol, Piriton and aqueous cream with calamine were the most effective. Apparently, calamine lotion gives immediate relief but as it dries, the itching becomes worse - the aqueous cream counteracts this (you can buy aqueous cream with calamine from pharmacies, I found it in the dry skin section and it cost less than a couple of pounds. We went through 2 tubs!).

On one night, the itching was so bad that Jacob didn't go to bed til 5am. He was quite happy, he just couldn't drop off as every time he lay down, he'd start trying to scratch again.

Not sleeping on his blow up bed in the living room.

We googled for help and found oaty baths are recommended, so each day from then on he sat in the bath for 1-2 hours while I gently wiped him with a leg from a pair of tights stuffed with oats.




This was easy enough to make - just cut a leg off, put it over a big cup or something to hold it open, fill with oats, then tie. I made a loop and hung it over the tap so the water ran over it while the bath filled, then kept squeezing it to let more of the oaty goodness out. It felt so silky and lovely, and whilst he didn't like it being near him, if I could get it behind him without him seeing what it was, I could gently wipe him all over with the oats-in-tights and he went into a kind of happy daze.


In the end, it took about 10 days before he suddenly felt loads better, his temperature came down and he was back to his usual energy-filled self.


The spots in his nappy area never scabbed over, but nursery said this often happens and were happy to take him back after a week off as all the other were scabby. Funnily enough, only 2 others at nursery came down with it, both babies who he doesn't socialise with. Then again, he's survived 3 previous CP bouts at nursery without catching it in the past.

I'm so glad it's over now, and hoping the scars will fade in time. Bless him.

1 comment:

Rach said...

Poor Jacob (and you!). I have noted your useful advice for when my time comes. Which no doubt will be soon ;) Oh joy I can't wait!

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