When chicken pox strikes hard…

16 Jan

And so the next day, crying in pain, I took Lea to the emergency rooms. If that was the beginning of the book, it would be gripping!!

It’s less gripping and much more scary when it’s your own daughter! The emergency rooms proved to be a waste f time and money since after a scan and a blood test, they couldn’t figure out why her back was so sore. So we went home with an appointment with the paediatrician for the next day in case she didn’t get better. And she didn’t get better.

The next morning, we found ourselves in the doctor’s room, with a doctor with a confused attitude over Lea, still crying in pain. I think this must have been the most frightful moment, the moment where the doctor doesn’t seem to know what is wrong with your child. But then he noticed a few blisters next to her eye and mentioned ‘herpes’. Where is my internet when I need it! Where is Google and Wikipedia to tell me everything I want to know about ‘herpes’. After the dermatologist came down and confirmed that these blisters were DEFINITELY herpes, he admitted her straight away to hospital to treat her with an antiviral, to avoid that the herpes reaches the brain and become encephalitis – My paediatrician is well known to give the worst case scenario! Herpes is in the same family as chicken pox and shingles but the symptoms were all too confusing, nothing matched and nothing made sense. But somehow, already I felt a bit better, I could rule out cancer – double checked with my doctor who, with a smile on his face, reassured me that it is not cancer!! – or other fatal diseases.

From there on, as painful as it was for Lea and as stressful as it was for us, the stay at the hospital was pretty chilled. The next day, Saturday, another doctor came to see her in hospital. She had then developed quite a few more blisters and her herpes seemed to have turned out to be ‘just’ a chicken pox. Her back pain only resolved on the Sunday and she could walk again, very feebly on the Monday. I’m always amazed at how quickly children can recover. From the Friday where she was very sick and looked like it was the end, to the Monday she was up and about… it’s only 3 days!!

Those are the blisters that she started with on her face, the ‘herpes’ ones,


That is her on the Monday, when she felt MUCH better but was itching miserably, especially down there!!



That is the way to recovery, ice-cream and all!


Our doctor also told us of another worse-case scenario story about chicken pox, actually called black chicken pox. A little child was covered with spots, black chicken pox spots, so much so that his skin was burned and needed reconstruction surgery because the skin died. Chicken pox, in 90% of the cases is a non-event. Some fever, some spots and voila… but sometimes, it can be pretty bad. To vaccinate or not to vaccinate??

In our case, we were meant to go on holiday a week later, in the Karoo, in the middle of nowhere with the nearest hospital at 2 hours drive. So to avoid any complications, I tried to find some chicken pox vaccines for the boys but, of course, the whole country was out of stock! So the boys got an immune system booster shot – a traumatic one – so that if they did get chicken pox during that time, it would be mild.

However during all this time, I felt God’s presence, I felt His comforting words and His reassuring hand. Friends were all praying for her and us and in His grace, we even had Ouma here with us to help with the roster to stay at the hospital and to give all the patience in the world to comfort a little girl in pain. The Lord is gracious and near, in times of joys and in times of pain.

An interesting pre-Christmas time it was!!!


2 Responses to “When chicken pox strikes hard…”

  1. Marraine January 17, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    effectivement d’après ton récit, vous avez dû avoir bien peur. Enfin j’ai vu les précédentes photos, elle avait l’air bien.


  2. Coppa January 16, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

    en lisant ton message, j’ai eu des frissons.Cela m’a rappelé l’hospitalisation de Killian.Que de mauvais moments vs avezpassés.Heureusement et merci mon Dieu, Cléone était près de vous.
    Enfin, la varicelle est passée.Léa a-t-elle gardé des marques?
    Et les garçons as-pu les faire vacciner après vos vacances?

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