I’m sorry if this upset anyone but all parents need to be aware of the possible complications of chicken pox!
Two weeks ago our 5-year-old had chicken pox, so it was no surprise when our 3-year-old started coming out in pox on Saturday morning. He had far less spots than his brother, was perfectly well in himself and we thought he’d just have a mild case.
At 4am on Monday morning he woke up vomiting with a fever of 39.5c. I gave him some calpol and he went back to sleep. At 7am he vomited again and his temperature had only come down slightly to 38.5 despite the paracetamol. He was clammy, had freezing cold hands and feet, his heart was racing, his breathing fast, he was drowsy and howling if you so much as touched him. I also noticed one of his chicken pox had developed a red ring around about the size of a 50p.
After Arlo’s many misadventures with sepsis I knew Rowan’s symptoms weren’t ones to ignore so I took him straight to A&E and he was seen immediately. By the time we got there he’d started to develop a separate large red area under his left arm. He was eventually admitted to the children’s ward in a terrible state, he began fluid replacement and IV antibiotic treatment for suspected bacterial cellulitis, an infection of his soft tissue and lymph nodes secondary to infected chicken pox.
The first antibiotic made no difference so he started a second yesterday. Unfortunately the infection has continued to spread over night so he’s started a third IV antibiotic this morning and today he’s to have an mri scan and the surgeons are coming to review him to see if they need to insert a drain or remove some of the infected tissue.
To say we’re heartbroken for him would be an understatement. Seeing our usually bouncing, laughing, bonkers baby boy in so much pain, hooked up to a drip and unable to move his arms is horrendous.
Chicken pox is generally a mild illness without complications but sometimes it isn’t and as terrifying as things are right now, if I didn’t know the symptoms of sepsis as well as I do (2 years ago, before Arlo, I wouldn’t have had a clue!) who knows where we’d be now, it just doesn’t bear thinking about. We just have keep everything crossed that today will provide some answers and the Dr’s can get him sorted. Please keep him in your thoughts
And please, if your little ones develop chicken pox keep a close eye on their symptoms, make yourself aware of the symptoms of sepsis and if you’re even slightly concerned that something isn’t quite right then get them seem by a Dr.
Early warning signs for Sepsis can be:
Fever and chills.
Very low body temperature.
Passing urine less than normal.
Nausea and vomiting.
*for those asking why we didn’t vaccinate. Chicken pox vaccine is not routinely offered in the UK. The advice from the NHS is that it is generally a common mild childhood illness. Of course with hindsight etc etc… We are absolutely not anti-vaccinations and all 3 of our children are fully up to date on their immunisation.