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Oh Chicken Pox is that it?

We had a good run, a brief spell in our house where no one was ill. It was brilliant, it was magical, I don’t think I had brought Calpol in nearly two months. I am 90% sure their stocks may have dropped in this time. But alas, our luck was out and once again the toddler germs have invaded. Does everyone agree as soon as you become a parent you become so ill? I have never been so ill in my life! So often! Always at really inappropriate times, we all came down with the flu the week of my birthday. Greg became ill when he was on a weekend away, and I was struck down in London this week when I went to the Aden and Anais Disney launch.
When you feel poorly and fall asleep sitting up
Considering Elijah had a congenital heart defect and was awaiting surgery (click here to read the longest wait for surgery), he was rarely ill. Other than the odd cold and a bout of bronchiolitis he was a very healthy. When you have a baby who has been in NICU (click here to read Elijah's admission to NICU) and who has had surgery you tend to slightly, okay majorly over react at every little thing. Every time he had the tiniest bit of snot, he was thrown into the pram and taken to the doctors. I could never just go to the health visitors and sometimes the GP’s didn’t want to be responsible for a diagnosis so we always got sent to the hospital even if it was just a cold. I am glad they did this, but we are now experts in hospital etiquette. I can also pack an overnight bag in 5 minutes flat.
After surgery, this continued as there are so many dangers such as infections etc. One raised temperature, one sneeze I got him in to see someone within an hour. A really kind GP could see my panic induced dishevelled look as I verbally regurgitated at high speed all of Elijah’s symptoms that I was a very nervous mother. She looked at his file and it became slightly clearer to her. She sat me down and said I would get my confidence back. I would be okay, as time goes on I will get my confidence back in that gut sure mothering instinct you have when your child is ill.
Elijah's friends making him feel better
It was taken away from me when Elijah had his surgery as I couldn’t do anything to help. I couldn’t just give him some Nurofen to make him better. Some Snufflebabe was not going to fix it. When the surgery did ‘fix’ him they threw some many cautions that we had to watch for, so many numbers to call if we saw anything unusual I was overwhelmed. I remember Greg freaking out one day that Elijah’s chest didn’t look right so we took photos and sent them to the ward!
When we went to the care plan at Elijah’s nursery they mentioned that as kids spread germs between themselves that Elijah will pick up things and they advise you to stock up on Calpol. I FREAKED OUT. I asked them to warn us so I could make the decision whether to send him or not. Yep, I am that mum but hay I paid my dues I earned that right. That GP, was right as time went on my confidence came back, I began to deal with it when Elijah became ill. I didn’t take him to the doctor’s every time he was slightly under the weather.
Elijah has been at nursery and experiencing the world of soft play, toddler classes etc. for quite some time. The worst we have had in the house is probably flu, oh and when he ate a dodgy yogurt. That was not pretty and resulted me in catching sick in my hands at 3am. There is a board outside the nursery doors to say if there is anything serious going around and so far we have avoided them! Even the head lice which I am pretty chuffed as if they come in our house I don’t think they are leaving. I no longer worry if things do go around, or if stuff goes on the board as at the end of the day he will have to get these things eventually if not he won’t build an immunity. That and I have seen him willingly eat dirt. (Click here to read toddlers are like living with wild animals).
Hospital cuddles post surgery
Whereas once I would dread and worry Elijah getting ill as I didn’t know the effect it would have on him. Now it’s just one of those tiresome parenting things, like Mr Tumble repeats and sleepless nights. I strangely come into my own when Elijah is ill, like a crazy mother hen. Seriously crazy, I have every type of toddler medicine you can think of. I have an endless supply of vapour rub, something which I swear solves everything. I guess it’s when Elijah does get ill and that I am not excessively worrying that I should actually be grateful. That I know he is healthy, he is strong and he can fight this off. No matter how many sleepless nights we may have, how he doesn’t want to stop holding my hand and that he still needs me.
I used to resent people when they moaned about the smallest of things like a rash, or a cough. When I had to fear if this chest infection could be fatal to my baby. That my baby’s heart may not be able to keep him strong enough to fight of a cold. Now, since the surgery I have a strange kind of resilience to it. Like when he falls over and bumps his head (this happens a lot) I am like hell no kid you have had heart surgery. Cold? Iffy tummy? Suck it up kid you’ve been opened up and operated on. I am also very sympathetic and will smoosh him rotten but I have to admit I feel like I am slightly numb to it all now. Watching your child come up from theatre with a chest drain does that to you. I think these are the conflicting emotions of being a heart mama.
Is that a spot? Is it a bite? AHHHH!
This week we are playing the is it or isn’t it chicken pots game. There have been a few cases go around at nursery and Elijah has been quite poorly. Probably the worse he has been in a while. We (and poor Nana) have had sleepless nights since Tuesday. So far no spots, until yesterday when the tiniest of little spots appeared. Hmm have they always been there? Why are they on the bottom of his feet? I counted them and made a tally! Waking up today (at the illegal time of 5am) he has not developed anymore. So once again we are playing the is it or isn’t it card? Fun times but it does mean we are watching an endless supply of Disney’s and eating sweets. Mother hen is in full force once again, but I keep thinking chicken pots? Is that it? Come on, we are a heart warrior family, chicken pots? You stand no chance, now where is my magnifying glass and spot tally?!
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