Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Chicken Pox Survival Guide - According to Me

I am hoping and praying (as I'm sure you are!) that this will be my last EVER post on chicken pox!  The past 20 days has taught me soooo much about the pox I thought I should share.  If you ever have the joyful absolutely painful task of dealing with THREE poxy children in as many weeks, you too will write your own survival guide - if in fact you survive!  So here goes:

1. When your child shows you a spot, and another one the next day - don't dismiss them as sand fly bites.
2.  Plan your chicken pox outbreak AROUND public holidays.  New Years Day in rural Tasmania is not the perfect timing for medicinal needs.
3.  Keep note of the date your first child comes out in pox.  Then mark on your calendar precisely two weeks from that date.  Put an alert in your phone, something along the lines of "MASS POX HYSTERIA" to remind you that the remaining children will ALL come out in pox that day.
4.  Keep all supplies from the first child's pox episode.  You will need them - and more.
5.  Buy shares in all late night pharmacies NOW.
6.  Make friends with your local Naturopathic/Health Food store.
7.  Don't make the mistake of thinking because your child has been immunised, that they are immune!

In all seriousness though, here are the products and procedures we used that benefitted the kids the most:

* Pinetarsol - It's bright green and has a most peculiar smell that lingers weeks after use.  BUT it's quite effective in warding off the itches.  It now comes in a host of different forms, but we bought (thankfully) a decent sized pump pack of Gel.  Just work into a lather and cover poxy child in it, leave a couple of minutes and rinse off.  Can be used to wash their hair and soothe poxy scalps too.


*  Solosite Gel - Comes in a tube from the pharmacy and was recommended to lessen the scarring caused by pox.  Tubes are not big enough for masses of pox - so buy a few!  It is a little annoying for the patient as it gets flakey as it dries, but seems to be working well so far.

*  Calendula Tea - This mix of dried flowers can be made up as a brewed tea.  Soak face washers in cooled tea to use as cold compresses.  Reduces redness, heat, itchiness and swelling.  Can also use in the bath for soaking in.

*  Chickweed Gel - When the pox have dried out completely and the itching is driving them crazy, the Chickweed Gel worked quite well!  It has Aloe Vera and Tea Tree oil in it, so smells yummy!

*  PHENERGAN - This is THE MOST essential item on the list!  Get a bottle (or two/three depending how many kids you've got) for the kids, and the tablet form for yourself!  You can use the lowest dose during the day to help with the itchiness, and the highest sedative dose at night to help the kids sleep.  My sleep cycle was completely thrown out, so the tablets over three nights got me back in to gear!
*  The Ocean - If you are within walking or driving distance to a beach, make the trip there once the pox have dried up and are no longer contagious.  Whilst in Tassie we were a walk away, and it made a huge difference to Cadyn's sores.  And I took the girls last week two days in a row, and saw a HUGE improvement!  Salt water is a great, natural antibiotic and healing tool.

*  But the best thing possible to get through Chicken Pox?  Patience and a sense of humour.  If you don't laugh - you will definitely cry!  I can honestly say I have never been as cool, calm and collected as I have the past 20 days.  For some unknown and crazy reason, I just accepted that there was nothing AT ALL that could change the situation I was in, and I had to let go of ALL control.  Which, if you know me well, you would realise is a very hard thing for me to do!

All six of us have survived, with smiles intact.  I came home from work today to find that my nine year old Chelsea (who copped THE worst case of all) had returned in all her whinging, whining, sooking glory!  She's back!  Fingers crossed this is the end and we can all return to our regular routines.

Post Beach Happiness!
Have you had to deal with a trail of Pox?  How did you manage?

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