It was the Friday before Christmas and I was SO ready to enjoy a full day by myself. My holidays started 2 days before the kids were off from nursery so I was dreaming about all the different things I could do without them: a lovely bath, grocery shopping without the screaming, relaxing in front of the tv and preparing for my family’s arrival the week after.
Nope.. it did not happen.
Nursery phoned, I had to go and get Bee asap because she had chickenpox!
Aaarrrghhh what a lovely Christmas present!! Right on time when I needed and wanted some child free time. Bee was actually her usual self just with a few spots. The next two days she didn’t develop any temperature, she wasn’t particularly itchy, so I really considered myself lucky as the week went incredibly smooth. My family arrived, we spent a lovely Christmas and New Year together, everything was magic.. Until the day they left.. Leo woke up showing various spots on his skin..
I knew I could not stop him getting chickenpox from his sister but somehow I thought that if he got it as mild as Bee had, we would have sailed through the week.
Nope.. again.. it did not happen.
Leo had one of the worse cases of chickenpox. In less than 12 hours his skin was completely covered.
He was crying and moaning non stop, you could tell he was in so much pain he could not bear it.. poor little monkey.. it was heartbreaking watching him and although I did all I could to alleviate his pain he was still so unsettle.. day and night..
We did not sleep for 2 nights and I mean DID NOT . He was restless, angry , grumpy . He developed high temperature which was so difficult to take down and then his skin became infected. I took him to see a doctor who prescribed antibiotics for 5 days. We truly spent two days in hell. I can honestly say I’ve never seen one of my children suffering so much and it was awful.
Out of this experience I would like to share some tips that helped us relieving a little bit his pain and what has worked for us in terms of treatments for chickenpox.
First of all we found incredibly soothing, giving him a lukewarm bath in Aveeno. The warmer the skin, the more spots come out (especially in the nappy area). Somehow, playing in the water took his mind off the pain, a small break from all the crying. The Aveeno bath helped to keep the skin moisturized and at the same time helped to heal the spots. I bathed him even twice a day to give him relief.
We used two different creams for the spots: a gel one which was advised by the pharmacist, and the calamile lotion. We used sudocream for the nappy area although I was told to use Metatanium too, which we used very successfully in the past for bad nappy rashes. It’s really important to use a cream that creates a barrier and protect the skin covered in spots from the acidity of the wee.
Based on his age (20 months) we gave him one 2.5 spoon of antistaminic in the morning and one at night. It seemed to help a bit plus it made him a bit sleepy, which was brilliant as he could catch up some sleep.
I still breastfeed Leo ( yeah I know, I know) and that is what saved us from going completely mad. When he was screaming during the night I simply attached him and he quickly calmed down. Because chickenpox makes your child very dehydrated, it’s essential to make sure that he drinks plenty of fluids.
For the temperature the doctor advised us to give him paracetamol and if after two hours the temperature was not going down, we had to give him ibuprofen. As usual when in the past he had temperature. we stripped him down to the nappy to keep it cool and generally keep a close eye on him . I slept with him for the first 2 nights because he kept crying and was so inconsolable.
Now that he’s not itchy anymore we try to keep his skin moisturised using the Aveeno cream which I find it’s helping to heal the spots.
And the most important thing was giving him plenty of cuddles! I spent 48 hours literally holding him, kissing him, comforting him. He’s so little and he was probably pretty scared of what was happening to his body so he really needed to feel reassured that everything was going to be fine. After two days he started eating again and he had plenty of treats to make him feel better.
I can honestly say we had the worst 3 days I can remember and the relief of seeing Leo being himself again is the best feeling ever.