Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cicer, the Latin word for chickpeas

or chicken pox.

Yes. Oliver has it. His behavior all week has been the sort that drives the best of us completely batshit crazy. Yesterday, he got into the car with a litany of complaints that included bumps on his head, a sore throat and now a bump on his back. I rolled my eyes (inwardly) and told him to climb up front so that I could take a look while we waited in the carpool line for Henry. When I lifted up his shirt, I literally gasped and then he burst out crying, sore afraid, as they say in the good book. When I told him that it looked like chicken pox, he cried harder until I told him to calm down and we'd call the doctor.

I called the doctor and then raced through rush-hour traffic on a Friday in Los Angeles so that I could get there before it closed where we stood on the grass outside the office in the shiny sun while a couple of sweet nurses came outside and took a look so as not to spread the pox in the office.

Then came the throat swab to rule out strep. Or perhaps I should say that then came the electro-shock therapy to the genitals such was the drama that ensued. My boys literally go to the pediatrician for well-child check-ups every other year and thus are completely and utterly oblivious to the goings-on at the doctor's. They are not vaccinated because of a family history of neurological complications and are treated by a homeopath and an osteopath (in addition to said pediatrician) when they need what I call "tune-ups." I should probably add in here in case you're a new reader that I am not averse to vaccinations but after careful and sometimes agonized consideration, we decided that we couldn't risk the seizure factor and received full support from our pediatrician. But I digress --

Oliver freaked out when the nurse inserted the swab. If I told you that he screamed and cried and shouted I am going to die and punched the nurse and kicked her shins, I would only be telling you the half of it. Now I'm going to tuck it into the tiny recesses of my long-term memory.

The strep test was negative, but Oliver does have a raging case of chicken pox. My immediate thought (beyond sympathy for the Big O and not a little guilt at being so aggravated by his recent grumpiness) was, of course, what about Sophie? Chicken pox is a disease of the central nervous system and the potential for complications and/or extreme discomfort for Sophie weighs heavy on my mind. The pediatrician said that we would start her on a cycle of acyclovir if we noticed anything at all. Please God, let her already have been exposed in her life and have developed antibodies.

If you pray, pray for that. If you don't pray, send that thought to the universe. If you don't believe in anything, cross your fingers and will it.

My next thought was how short-tempered I'd been all week with Oliver, whom I'd believed to be batshit crazy and not actually suffering from a cruel and uncomfortable central nervous system virus. I told Oliver that I was so sorry -- so, so sorry. Who knew?

My next stop was our beloved naturopathic physician who just happened to be in the office and who wrote down a list of supplements and immune-enhancements for each child to begin taking immediately. That's the photo you see above. Dr. C also prescribed a remedy for Oliver and calmed me down with his gentle voice and confidence.

Parenting isn't for the faint of heart -- but you already knew that. When the going gets tough, I pour a shot of frozen lemon vodka and call it a day.


  1. Somebody else I know likes vodka from the freezer. I think I need to get me some. Good luck...sending the lovely Sophie only healthy thoughts.

  2. You know- it's usually the SECOND case of chicken pox in the house which is so raging. Is it possible that one of the kids already had it but such a light case that it seemed like nothing much at all? This is the way it happened to me when I was a child. I got like one pox and the doctor told my mother that if my brother broke out then yes, it had been chicken pox and he did- horribly. Poor thing.
    So maybe one of the other children has already had it.
    I hope so.
    I'm sending BIG thoughts out to the universe and honey, you did all the right things and now quit feeling guilty.

  3. Oh no! Sending up prayers and good thoughts and crossing my fingers! One should work...
    Don't feel bad, we do the best we can with the info we've got. There's no way you could have possibly known chicken pox was brewing... I did something really similar pre-flu here this year. Ugh.
    Hope it's a quick run and he doesn't share with anyone!

  4. My sister, a mother of six, gave me the best when my daughters got the chickenpox. Cut their fingernails - as short as possible.

  5. sorry, left out a key word there - advice, she gave me the best advice

  6. Poor little dude. You did not know so let this guilt go. As mothers we can know when our kids are stealing cookies but don't know that they are getting sick. Go figure!

    This too shall pass. I have prayed and send positive messages your way.


  7. praying for you Elizabeth! and poor Oliver. i had CP at 14 and was miserable for a week, itching and sore and tired. i had them on the bottom of my feet! ew.

  8. Claire -- Coffee and vodka!

    Ms. Moon -- Interesting -- and Henry did have a weird, mild two day cold a bit more than a week ago, as did Sophie. Hmmmmmm....

    Katie - Thanks for the prayers and wishes!

    Noan -- Done!

    Birdie - Thanks for your support --

    Maggie May - You always give me comfort -- thank you.

  9. So you know I have already told you that Joe and Oliver were so separated at birth,this pretty much confirms it.From the behavior to the drama to the tears and beyond.I learned after shouldering the guilt thing a few times,that when Joe's behavior has reached epic proportions,that something medical is usually brewing.Infact,we usually wage a bet with the adults in the house what and when the "something" will appear.

    Hoping he weathers it well and praying,vibing and crossing fingers and toes over here, that sweet Sophie misses it all.

  10. You mean like Limoncello? Count me in!
    I'm so sorry about this. It's one of those illnesses that most people got in tiny childhood (not me - I got it right after Gregg & I returned from our HONEYMOON), and most folks don't remember having it. Heck, some of our PARENTS don't remember whether or not we had it.

    So he is going to be uncomfortable for a few days. I pray it will not spread throughout the family. I hope you have lots of movies and ANYthing that is seriously distracting. The urge to scratch, and to look in the mirror, is tough to combat. I was HORRIFIED by my appearance, but fortunately, had practically no scarring afterward.

    Sending love and prayers for all of you.

  11. I had four suffer through them at once when they were little little including a tiny baby..
    and then Natalie when she was a toddler.
    I truly think it must be horrid to go through it for both child and parent at this age.
    Sending prayers for all of you.
    and special ones for Sophie.

  12. When my son was age 2(?) my Dr. wanted to give him the CP vaccine. I held off since my daughters had all had it and even though it wasn't fun for any of us we got through it. I just was unsure of a vaccine. I always thought it best to get it and get it over with it. In the end when he was three I did finally decide to give him the vaccine. Was I right? I don't know....guess time will tell.

    For you and your family..your explanation of vaccines would be a whole different ballpark! You have the great cooperation of your family Dr.s which so many don't or don't know how to find that support. Hoping that all goes well...take care because you are right....parenting is NOT for the faint of heart!

  13. I like the scenario that Sophie and Henry both had chickenpox-lite a week ago, and that having survived the throat swab, Oliver is already past the worst of the whole experience.
    Speedy recovery to him, and fingers crossed (both hands) for Sophie.

  14. Sending prayers. Sending them hard. And thinking of you with love.

  15. Hoping that Sophie stays well and pox free.

  16. Praying.

    Like Mrs. Moon said, the second case was worse. I had such a mild case when I was a kid that my mother swears I never had it. Blood tests have proved otherwise. So maybe Sophie has already had it.
    Hang in there.
    Just staying in the bathtub with the Aveeno Oatmeal Bath was the best thing for my kids.
    The Big O. will get wrinkly, but I remember it as quite a relief for my girls.

  17. Oh, that frozen lemon vodka sounds goooood.

    You and your sweet family are in my prayers, with a candle lit.

    Chicken pox went through our 5 daughters, one at a time, yes... every 21 days like clockwork. Your words struck a chord with me, as just before each child came down with it, they were bizarre as hell for a couple of days previous, and then, pox! Poor Babes!

    So you all will be in my prayers for some time. Know that I am cheering for you. xoxo

  18. I am praying that Sophie does not get chicken pox!! Will pray that Oliver recovers quickly and isn't too uncomfortable. I did have to smile a tiny bit at your description of electro shock to the genitals though!! One time at the eye doctor's my 2nd son freaked out and I literally had to chase him through the halls and tackle him before dragging him back to her office!! ARGH!!

    Carrie T.

  19. Indeed parenting is not for the faint of heart break out the chilled white wine sister. If it's any comfort, in the VAST majority of cases, chicken pox is mild and quickly tolerated. In fact while living in Switzerland, much to my initial horror children were encouraged to come to school to spread it to the others since it was better to experience it as a child rather than later in life. I have many a kids' birthday party picture with some child in the throes of it. Courage my friend!

  20. In this country, we don't inoculate against chicken pox. Sending healthy thoughts.

  21. Poor little guy. Poor mom. Poor nurse. : )

    I have my fingers crossed for Sophie.

  22. I hope he gets better soon! Chickenpox are the pits, although the younger you get them, the better. He can be thankful that he will build immunity to them now. I remember our parents having "chicken pox sleepovers" when we were kids, sending us to someone's house who had them so we would get infected and then immune.

  23. Praying Sophie escapes it .....

    And a very soft hairbrush brushed over his pajamas wher it itches is a gentle alternative to outright frenzied scratching.

  24. Sending thoughts.

    Dimitri had it when about 4 or 5, very mildly just a couple of blisters (actually caused less trouble than many a cold virus), hoping that Henry and Sophie have already got those antibodies working.

  25. Oh my word, poor Oliver and poor you.

    Have you and The Husband had chicken-pox? Be good to yourselves also.

    Hoping for Sophie and everyone.

  26. Sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers for Oliver's speedy recovery and Sophie's health.

  27. I give good prayer.

    Sending them out to you...


    p.s. Sophie will be fine

  28. Oh dear. So sorry for your boy, and for all your worries. I will be sending out those prayers. As I packed up your etsy package today, I found myself thinking of Sophie - a gentle star herself.

    My son had a sore on his toe for a week, which he complained about on and off. We went out of town to a bat mitzvah, and he complained all the way through dinner and while settling into the hotel. I kept telling him to stop making a big deal about a little blister. Well, when I took his sock off and saw the red streaks of cellulitis running up his leg from the toe, I felt so bad. I guess we do the best we can.

  29. When all three of my kids had chickenpox, my husband, who unbeknownst to him, had never had them, and came down with them, too. Awful experience as an adult.

    Love to you. And prayers.

  30. Definitely praying for a relatively light pox on your house! To echo several mothers here - my oldest is often given to incredibly dramatic behavior, mini meltdowns and the like just before she gets sick. When she's actually sick, she hunkers down and weathers it like a champ - hopefully Oliver will do the same.

  31. Poor Mr. Oliver. Poor you. Praying... and I recognize several things from your medicine shelf that are sitting on mine...

  32. I hope Oliver feels better soon--and, yes, prayers for Sophie!

    As children, all four of us had it together, after catching it from our cousins on a visit to Texas. My poor mother ...

    I will email you soon to try to catch up when you are in DC. I'm having trouble focusing (again).

  33. Oh no!!! I hope Sophie is spared and that Oliver is better soon. Paul (who had it as child) and Oscar (who had been vaccinated) both got it when I was pregnant with Ruby. So stressful.

    Sounds like a great time for frozen lemon vodka.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...