Thursday, August 13, 2015
The Itchy and Scratchy Show starring Tricky and Bobbin
I was sitting in the car outside Tricky's school when I first saw it. I'd been using the time to draft a blog post in my head about how I'm so tired that as soon as the kids are in bed I'm either at the gym, tidying up, or in bed. It was all tiny violins, neglected blog, WOE IS ME bullshit. But these tiny red dots blew all that away.
We were half an hour early because the rigmarole involved in going home, struggling to get a toddler out of and then back in to the car after fifteen minutes just wasn't worth it. In those fifteen minutes Bobbin would be guaranteed to strip off or fall asleep or hurt herself, or all bloody three. Because shit happens at pick up time, it's Murphy's Law.
I had her in the front seat with me and she was playing with all the buttons (I still don't have my wipers back on the setting I like) when I noticed a few red dots on her hands that hadn't been there when we'd been having a late lunch an hour earlier.
She continued to play while I consulted Dr Google on the symptoms of Hand, Foot and Mouth. All the photos I could find were well established cases, I wanted to know what it looked like just when it was popping up.
A pregnant friend pulled up behind me and I freaked out, grabbed my phone and texted her.
"Don't come near us. Bobbin has some spots and I don't know what they are."
I kept Bobbin as distant from others as I could at pick up and we didn't stick around. At home I examined Tricks and the only blemish on his skin was a bite on his leg that had been there a few days. Checking Bobbin again, there were more spots. Shit.
I consulted Dr Google some more and got afternoon snacks ready. As I handed Tricky his plate, I saw dots...
Within the next hour they'd clustered on his hands, elbows, and knees. It was insane how fast they popped up. I made a doctor's appointment for the next morning and wondered what the protocol was for taking highly infectious children to the local shopping centre that houses the GP's surgery.
Tricky was up six times before midnight, which is a new record for him. The Trickster wakes between three and six times a night usually (and yes, we've tried almost everything, and we're waiting on some help right now), but he was so itchy he couldn't sleep. I'd bathed him in stinky pinetarsol and dotted calamine all over him, but he was still wanting to rip his skin off his ankles. I ended up holding my warm cup of tea on the itchy areas, and the heat seemed to work.
By morning Tricky had more spots, but still mainly clustered in the same areas, and Bobbin only had the ones on her hands still. Despite neither having spots on their feet or in their mouths (that I could see), I was still thinking HFM.
The doctor looked all over Tricks.
"Is he fully immunised?"
"Yep, they both are."
"I think it's Chicken Pox."
Part of me was all "OH FUCK" and then the other part of me was "HOORAY IT'S NOT HFM!". You can re-catch HFM from yourself over and over again if you're not careful (the virus sheds in fecal matter for up to 11 weeks after you've had it), and let's face it, kids are pretty feral sometimes, at least with Varicella you build an immunity.
She called in another doctor for a second opinion because of the unusual presentation. I wanted to tell them that it's always my bloody family that has atypical presentations (13 days in hospital for atypical pnuemonia anyone?), and to keep their minds open. Doctor two disagreed. He said it was something else. They had a fabulous debate with big medical words in it, and all the while gently looking over Tricks.
He stood there, silently, for fifteen minutes while the doctors tried to figure out exactly what was going on.
"You're doing so well, mate, you're being super brave" I said.
His little face crumpled and his lip quivered as he said "I don't want to be here any more."
My heart broke and I scooped him up in to a cuddle, while Bobbin stripped off her own clothes and played with the curtain, grabbed the stethoscope and declared "I a doctor, now!" to anyone who would listen.
We left with a diagnosis of "most likely Chicken Pox" with an unusual presentation because of the vaccine keeping it milder.
I think this is just the universe having a joke on me for complaining about being tired. It's telling me to shut up, stop whining, and get on with it. So that's what I'll do... mostly. I'll still complain a bit, yeah?