Friday, 30 March 2012

Chicken Pox

I’ve struggled a bit recently. My youngest has Chicken Pox. Of course, it would be no big deal in the general run of things. OK it seemed a little unfair as it was her second bout – the last was ten years ago when she was just five years old – but it was just Chicken Pox. No big deal. All kids get it don’t they.

Except that I know it can kill. I know of a little girl whose mum grieves for her because of Chicken Pox. I have read of the pain that she lives with every day. And it really doesn’t matter how you lost your child – it hurts.
But it matters that I know that it is possible to die from Chicken Pox. Oh I know the statistical chance of my child dying from it is pretty slim. I know that she’s unlikely to develop any complications. Hmm, who am I kidding! I’ve spent the past few days trawling the web for info about what signs to look for. I now know that it seems to be worse the older you are – and she has suffered a lot more this time. She’s had flu like symptoms as well as the infernal itching. She’s fifteen so it’s timed beautifully for the middle of GCSE preparation – that’s her biggest worry. I’ve nursed her and nagged her about keeping cool enough and I’ve forced myself to work each day because I couldn’t allow her to see the gibbering wreck I was. I rang her a couple of times each day and she became increasingly frustrated with me. “Yes Mum I’m fine - I was watching telly until you interrupted.”  Losing her brother was bad enough; I don’t need to pass on my fears as well.

The spots are almost finished now and in a couple of days she’ll no longer be contagious and it will all be over. It pretty much is for her now. She’s had a few days to skive off school, watch daytime telly, read trashy teenage mags, and moan that it won’t be her fault if she doesn’t perform as well in exams as she could have done. It’s been a minor inconvenience for her. And that’s as it should be I guess.
I know the theory. I know the stats. I know it’s unlikely to happen. But then if someone had given me the odds on whether I’d lose one of my three children when he crossed the road, I would have dismissed that as highly unlikely too.

He is gone. And everything takes on a new meaning. Stats (once my refuge – my degree was in Psychology – a statistician’s dream) have become meaningless. What I would once have considered a blip became so hard to manage.
And now I look at her and am relieved she’s OK . And I think of Susan and Catherine - who weren’t. And I wish ...

1 comment:

  1. Glad she is on the mend. Unfortunately we are both afflicted by Terrified Bereaved Parent Syndrome. I hope it eases for us both. xx