If you follow my posts, you will know that Ethan is not a good patient.
With that in mind, I have been dreading him getting chicken pox – thanks to a combination of his lack of resilience and my anxiety, the thought of it sends me into a cold sweat.
I have been debating getting him vaccinated – but like so many other things in my life, I think about it, file it away in my brain in the ‘to do’ category, and then swiftly move on to the other million and one other things I want to achieve.
So, you can imagine my horror when I was getting him ready for bed the other night and I noticed red spots around his groin, bottom and thighs.
I called Mr S in for a second opinion and he confirmed my suspicions – it was the start of the dreaded chicken pox.
“I should have got him vaccinated,” I said, my mind racing at how we would cope with a cranky, itchy toddler, whose moods can be difficult to navigate even at the best of times.
As I settled down in bed later on, I reread an earlier post I had written on chicken pox, searching for some miracle cure, or at least some advice on how we would ease Ethan’s discomfort.
And in the morning, Mr S was dispatched to the chemist to buy every chicken pox remedy known to the pharmacist as the rash was quickly spreading.
That night, Ethan was thrown into an oatmeal bath, lathered to within an inch of his life with calamine lotion and given antihistamine medicine before bed.
The following day, we kept him dosed up on medication to relieve the itching and he was cuddled and cajoled – his foul temper endured by everyone, including Grace, who had graciously announced she would turn a blind eye to his tantrums as he was sick.
It was when I was getting him into his pyjamas that night, however, that I began to realise this might not be chicken pox after all.
He was obviously itchy and was covered head to toe, but it was more of a mottled rash and no blisters were forming.
But if it wasn’t chicken pox, then what was it?
I did the one thing we’re advised never to do and began to trawl images of various different rashes on the internet looking for answers.
I still wasn’t sure what was wrong – I had checked and the rash faded when I pressed a glass to it, so I had ruled out the most sinister explanation, but I still wanted some reassurance.
I should point out that I have been haunted about my nonchalance over health matters in the past, including when I rang the GP when my husband had a stroke and the time when I let Ethan go weeks with a cough that turned into a serious chest infection.
At the same time, I’m mindful of how busy the GP can be, so I decided we would get him checked out by a doctor at Kingsbridge Private Hospital instead.
I rang first thing the following morning and was able to make an appointment with one of the GPs that afternoon.
When we arrived, we sat in the waiting room for a maximum of five minutes before being called in by Dr Lisa Nelligan.
She was fantastic.
Of course, our own GP is great, but Dr Nelligan was able to devote time that isn’t always possible in a busy GP surgery.
She examined Ethan all over, listened to his chest, checked his ears, mouth and throat, before taking his temperature.
By some miracle, Ethan sat happily while all this was going on – why is he never so cherubic when it’s just me?!
After taking his medical history, she was able to diagnose a viral rash – that wasn’t chicken pox – before giving me a healthy dose of reassurance that I didn’t need to worry.
She did warn me that it might take several weeks to clear up and that we should continue on with the antihistamine to control the itching.
Quite remarkably, however, when Ethan got up the following morning, his full body rash had completely disappeared and he resumed normal service – chasing the dogs around the kitchen on his balance bike while roaring like a dragonasaurus (his word, not mine).
I, meanwhile, breathed a sigh of relief that my little imp was back to normal, while my intention to have Ethan vaccinated for chicken pox is back near the top of my ‘to do’ list.
After all, it’s only a matter of time before it strikes.
* Dr Nelligan kindly waived her fee for the consultation with Ethan, however, she had no input into this review.