Monday, 22 August 2011

Diary: Chickenpox


Eric has chickenpox! Uh oh! I noticed one or two tiny, flat, pink spots on his body on Friday night, and he had an upset tummy, and woke up in the night screaming from 2:30am-4am.  I checked the spots on Saturday morning and he still had 2 or 3 little spots, but was fine and happy all day, apart from diarrhoea, and he slept well Saturday night.  I checked him again on Sunday morning at about 8am, and he had 6 spots.  He didn't have a temperature, but still had messy language, so I wasn't really sure! I rang our local out of hours GP service, and by the time the nurse practitioner rang back at 11am he had 12 spots and one had filled with fluid.  The nurse practitioner said it definitely sounded like chickenpox, so to apply calamine lotion, give paracetamol if his temperature went up, and go to the doctors if we noticed any spots in his mouth.  He was completely unperturbed all of Sunday, he seemed right as rain except that he screamed when we put him down for a nap or to change his nappy.  We gave Eric a cool bath and applied calamine cream to the spots, but last night was awful! Eric woke at 2am again and was inconsolably screaming until 4am, he had started to get itchy and was wriggling and writhing around and scratching himself.  It was really upsetting.  I took him out of his sleeping bag and put him in bed with me, and told Alex to go and sleep on the sofa so at least one of us could get a good night's sleep (he still didn't though!) Eric and I ended up getting a couple of hours of restless sleep, so we've both been tired today.  Today the spots are all raised and blistery, and Eric has at least 20, with lots around his bottom and willy, and around the edge of his nappy, which have got rubbed.  Poor little guy! He's been very tired and had 2 naps today rather than his usual 1.  We've just been slapping on loads of calamine cream with every nappy change, and he's managed to go to sleep this evening, so fingers crossed for a better night tonight! 

What to look out for:
  • feeling sick or generally unwell
  • a high temperature
  • aches and pains (hard to know with babies!)
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • small, itchy, red spots that develop into really itchy blisters

Chickenpox is contagious for 4 days before the spots appear and until the last spot has crusted over, so I hope none of Eric's friends have caught it, and we will have to be in quarantine for about 2 weeks, which I'm not looking forward to.  


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