Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chicken Pox?

We just returned from a lovely trip up the California coast. The second one in as many weeks. The weather was heating up and I decided to take the kids on a road trip to see my folks. This is never a difficult decision for me, as I am happiest when I am "home". And as the kids get older, it is getting easier to travel with them. That, plus a minivan that has a DVD player. We have a membership to the Santa Barbara Zoo and almost every time we head north we stop there. (Santa Barbara is half-way between LA and San Luis Obispo.) Lately, the kids have been begging me to go to the beach. So we passed on the zoo and heading straight for the ocean. It was a blissful way to spend the day. There was a playground on the sand, the water was not a huge walk, restrooms, and a grill that offered all kinds of kid friendly fare. I was able to manage both children by myself... no one drowned, broke anything or was stung by a jelly fish. In my world, this was a major triumph. We got back on the road, both kids napped, and arrived at my Mom's house in record time.

We had loads of fun over the course of two days. Our plan was to hit the local Renaissance Fair on Saturday. (Normally, this is not my "thing" but I thought that Ella would love seeing people dressed in costume, acting wacky.) As I was putting her into her princess dress (the closest thing we had) I noticed a bunch of bumps all over her back. They looked a lot like acne... or worse, chicken pox. Because I am a mother who can deal with all things in a calm, rational way, UNLESS we are talking about questionable skin rashes or vomit... I panicked. I decided to cancel our plans. My Mom was working at a scrapbooking clinic and as luck would have it, there was a nurse there. So we had her look at Ella's back and she thought that the bumps were without question, chicken pox. Ella has been vaccinated against CP, as has Milo. Since I am always on Facebook, I had not heard any rumblings of an outbreak in our area. I was perplexed but figured that she was experiencing a minor reaction due to the immunization. The spots were primarily on her back and sides, with a few scattered onto her legs and arms. We called the doctor who was skeptical but told us to use anti-itch cream for the spots and to "up" her allergy meds to help her with the discomfort. After a day or so, the bumps were still there but no more had appeared. She also did not have a fever.

Before we alerted (and freaked out) our entire circle of friends, we wanted confirmation that what she had was indeed chicken pox. So I packed the kids up and headed back to LA. The morning we were supposed to see the the doctor, Milo started vomiting and developed a 103 fever. (Oh how when it rains, it pours.) So I took BOTH kids in.

Milo has a stomach bug which will hopefully go away in a day or two. The doctor was a little uncertain about Ella's rash. She was absolutely positive that it is not chicken pox. Her theory is that she as bitten en masse by a bunch of Santa Barbara sand fleas. Ewwwww. The odd thing about that, if that IS the source is that it took a day and a half for Ella to have a reaction to the bites. Our doctor said that she, herself, is dreadfully allergic to mosquito bites and it often takes 48 hours for their bites to show up on her. So maybe it was the fleas. She also theorized that Ella might be allergic to my Mom's dogs. But she has been around them her entire life and has never gotten so much as a hive from them. (They are Bichon Frise, which do not shed. My Mom says they are "hypoallergenic" but my sister swears that she is allergic to them). So who knows?

It has now been 4 days, and the bumps are still present on my darling daughter's back. They have not spread. Many of them have formed scabs but are still itchy. Poor kid. Thankfully, Milo and I are bump free. But since Milo is still sick with the stomach flu, I am guessing he would rather have those spots right about now.

Ah, the joys of parenting...

1 comment:

Robert Boyle said...

Wow !!!!!! This is really traumatic since you don't know the cause. As allergic Ella is to many things, I don't think that they were fleas or mosquitos. The reaction is immediate to anyone of those. I think it would be possible that she and maybe Milo ingested something that broke her out but because of her age she did not get sick like Milo...... Scary, glad it is in the past..
Love to all.........dad