Chicken pox, one word, nightmare!
I don’t like having a negative title to a blog post, but that is exactly what we’ve been enduring over the past 23 days, and what I can only describe as a nightmare. I thought that it would be best to capture our chicken pox story as it hasn’t been as simple as being quarantined at home like most people would have been.
Instead we were abroad on holiday, on a last minute holiday to escape the wet weather in the UK, and I really wish that we had stayed in the UK. Hindsight is a wonder, isn’t it?
Anyway we didn’t realise that chicken pox was brewing, we noticed the first spot on my daughter on the second day of our holiday. My husband and I were both in denial, it couldn’t be chicken pox, could it? Well that one spot on her back quickly become multiple spots all over that were beginning to blister. She became unwell from it, didn’t want to do anything, or eat anything, and spent two days pretty much on the sofa in our room or watching Peppa Pig on my phone consuming all my data allowance.
What we hadn’t banked on was my son coming down with it at the same time. We thought with the usual incubation he wouldn’t start to show signs for another two to three weeks, and we would be home by then. By the next day his arms and legs were covered in tiny pimples, he wasn’t as unwell as my daughter with it, but he was restless at night.
Once we realised that both children had chicken pox I was googling all the rules about flying with the virus, and I knew that we would be unable to fly home in 3 days time. We then saw a doctor the day before we were meant to fly home, who confirmed it was chicken pox and who gave us an Unfit to Fly certificate. So our 5 day holiday to Lanzarote was now becoming a nightmare and we had no idea when we would be able to go home, as we wouldn’t be able to book new flights until the doctor issued us with a Fit to Fly certificate and even then the airlines have their own rules for flying after the last spot has scabbed.
As my husband had only a week away from work he flew back on our original flight. As you can imagine this was awful for me, being alone in a foreign country with two sick kids, and not being able to use the hotel pool or restaurant was hard. I arranged for food to be delivered to our room in the evening, and we would quickly do a mad dash through the restaurant at breakfast to grab about 50 mini croissants.
We would then spend our days at the beach trying to keep away from people as much as possible. It was easy to hide the spots on my son as they were limited to his arms and legs, but trickier on my daughter as she had them on her face. I was so worried about being outside with them as some of the spots were still blisters, yet there was no way I could spend any more time cooped up in a hotel room.
The greatest blessing was my parents flying out to join us 3 days later, and I cannot thank them enough for that. It gave me an extra pair of hands, and the ability to eat dinner in the restaurant on the day that they arrived. Plus it was a welcome break after a very full-on week.
Fortunately the next day we were given the all clear to fly by the doctor who issued us with the Fit to Fly certificates. But instead of flying back straight away I decided to make a holiday out of it. My parents were there, and the last spots had only scabbed over a couple of days ago, so technically with the rules of the airlines we were still unfit to fly. British Airways have a 7 days since the last spot policy, and EasyJet is 6 day.
The sun, sea and sand definitely helped the spots dry up and clear faster, that is one blessing about having chicken pox abroad, and it was such a welcome relief to be able to use the pool again. I’m pretty sure that we scared a few people and I kept having to justify to people that my children were no longer contagious.
One of the highlights and small wins of the holiday was that I retained my All-Inclusive wristband for the additional week that we were away, even though we were now on a half-board basis. I think that the reception just forgot to take it off me. This meant that I had access to drinks and food whenever we needed. Win.
The flight home was nerve-wracking. We had our Fit to Fly certificates for both children, I knew that we were fine to fly, but I didn’t want any questions to be raised, which could end up with being rejected from the flight. No questions were asked and we landed back in the UK a week later on the flight we should have come home on originally.
You may be thinking that our chicken pox story ends here. It doesn’t. Since coming home my son has developed the virus again, but far more severely than the first outbreak. He’s still under it now, and the antibiotics are working to help bring his temperature down and to prevent the infection from some of his spots. The doctor we saw at the start of the week was concerned about his second round of chicken pox, first of all why he had it again, and why he had a high temperature for so long, so much so she put a call into the paediatric team at our local hospital. This was slightly worrying as I really didn’t want to take him to hospital, thankfully we didn’t have to, and he was prescribed a course of antibiotics.
We saw the doctor today and his temperature is now back to normal. It’s just the cough that we need to keep an eye on now, which is reaction to the infection, so more disgusting antibiotics for us.
Chicken pox has been a nightmare for us. It’s exhausting, it’s draining, it’s relentless and it’s worrying. I really hope that if you have been through the dreaded pox it was a whole lot easier than our experience, or if you’re still to go through it I’m sure it will be better and easier to manage that our chicken pox story.