Yesterday morning, I noticed some red bumps on Ali.

Due to where they were, I assumed that it was a heat rash due to our hour and a half of blueberry picking in the extraordinarily hot Alabama sun the day before, but decided to keep an eye on them.

By last night, they had quite rudely spread further, and were starting to look raised. Being this this morning was Church, and other parents, in general, frown upon bringing children to Sunday School with communicable diseases, I mentally noted to do a full body scan again before we went to church.

This morning, it was a definite diagnosis of no Sunday School. Now some of them were raised and had yellowish pus in them and very suspiciously looked like….The Pox.

Chicken Pox, that is.

Ali had gotten the vaccine for that unmentionable disease, but I knew it wasn’t foolproof. I called several “experts” (i.e. my Mom and my nurse friend Lydia), and everyone agreed that it did indeed sound like The Dreaded CP.

I called in to the nurse on call, and she also, much to my chagrin, agreed.

Normally, I wouldn’t mind a case of the Chicken Pox. I mean, it’s not something I look forward to, but it’s workable, and somewhat of a rite of passage of childhood (and parenthood).

BUT. We’re supposed to go on vacation at the end of this week. With another family. With small children. And swim in pools. With even more people. People that, I’m sure, frown on seeing communicable diseasy rashes on other kids swimming in the pool with them.

So the Chicken Pox would mean certain Vacastrophe.

AND, I’m pregnant, and although I got a (very nasty) case of the CP when I was a kid, I have some itchy bumps myself that I thought were something else but if they weren’t…it’s quite dangerous to mix Pregnancy and Chicken Pox.

So the Chicken Pox could mean potential Pregastrophe.

SO, with these concerns and the confirmation of all of the experts and the fact that our doctor’s office will be closed Monday for the holiday, we decided to do the ultimate: take Ali to the after-hours clinic. On a Holiday.

We called to make our appointment, and you would have thought I had said “Swine Flu” – or “bomb” in an airport. They told us to call when we arrived BEFORE we came inside, and they would take us through the side entrance so as not to darken the door of the waiting room. Which meant no wait – on a holiday weekend! Who knew? Communicable diseases equals the number one spot in line!

Sure enough, they sent an escort to meet us, who whisked us away.

THEN, to really drive home the point that we were potentially carrying a Biological Weapon disguised as a three year old, they made Ali wear a mask.

And when I say “made”, let’s just say I’m glad Chris was with me, or it wouldn’t have happened.

After he wrestled it onto her, she wouldn’t look up, she wouldn’t talk – her spirit was broken.IMG_9719

You would have thought we’d just put her in the cone of shame.Cone of Shame

(And no, I didn’t take that photo of her for this blog out of the cruelty of my heart – I took it trying to cheer her up and show her how she looked like Daffy Duck.)

(It didn’t work. Nothing could overcome The Mask of Shame.)

The nurse agreed that it definitely looked like The Dreaded CP, warned me that I needed to call my Obstetrician the SECOND Ali was diagnosed to prevent Pregastrophe.

When the doctor arrived, she very kindly examined Ali, talked through everything, and decisively diagnosed her (and, therefore me)…

With Chiggers.Chigger 1
…from the aforementioned blueberry picking.

I had actually suspected my itchy bumps were chiggers, as I’ve been the feast of Chiggers before (55 of them to be exact, while being a camp counselor for our Church Junior High group, which to smother them and prevent them from further boring into my epidermis, I covered all of my bites with bright pink Junior High fingernail polish, thereby making myself look like a prime candidate for a girlfriend for someone in the Blue Man Group), but Ali’s sores looked COMPLETELY different.

Luckily, the doctor was an expert.

Apparently, children’s chigger bites look totally different than adult’s – eerily like the Chicken Pox, in fact.

So, for the first time in my life, I was thrilled to hear the word “Chigger”.

Yes, they itch like crazy. Yes, it’s disgusting that bright red arachnids are still boring into our skin. But it’s not the Chicken Pox, so life can go on. It may be a bright pink fingernail polish covered life, but it’s our life.

29 thoughts on “Bumptastrophe.

  1. I'm itching just thinking about it!

    p.s. I nearly ran screaming from this post when you mentioned the Bird Affliction. I've never had it, and it scares me badly!

  2. For the sake of your fun, I am glad it was chiggers. But awww, poor baby! Chiggers are a BUMMER! Hope it all clears up and you enjoy your vacation!

  3. OMG you sure have had your share of weird things with your pregnancy….hope you both are better soon.

    Oh, the sweet rolls are good but I made the mistake of baking all of them, frosting them and then freezing them. I think I should have froze them and not baked them until we were ready for them (the frosting all seeped into the rolls, it doesn't look like there is any on them), but they are still good and with all that trouble I went through, yes, they will be eaten by someone.

  4. My oldest managed to get the dreaded pox a few months before she was due for the vaccine, and other than being locked in the house with a miserable polkadoted toddler it actually wasn't all that bad.

    (Like, no worse than being locked in the house with a contagious toddler for any other illness, and better than those involving vomit, if a little itchy)

    But still excellent news about it only being small flesh eating bugs!

  5. Seeing as how you and I survived the chigger attack while at the aforementioned junior high camp, I'm sure Ali will also. Besides, I'm sure she'd have a ball painting herself and mommy with bright pink nail polish!! ;)
    glad yall are ok!

  6. SO glad it isn't The Pox! Chiggers are dreadful though. I fondly recall getting covered with them in the region, ahem, below my belly button while at my grandparent's. During church the next morning, I excused myself about 8 times to go to the bathroom, yank down my pantyhose, and claw at myself in an effort to forcibly rip the little demons from my skin. Grandmother didn't wear nail polish…sigh.

  7. Glad it's not the pox, but poor baby! I got 4 chiggars a few weeks ago when we went camping (all in places it's impolite to scratch in public) and it was the itchiest thing I've ever experienced. They lasted nearly 2 weeks! They didn't seem to bother my 4-y-o as much, though. What was the doc's advice about treating them? Is the nail polish thing for real or just an old wives tale?

  8. Yay! It's only chiggers! I think we only say that in the South! Smother those buggies with a pretty color and have a great vacation.

  9. I'm glad that you're vacation plans were not messed up, but I hate that Ali has now been traumatized and had to wear the mask of shame over chiggers. :(

  10. So, so sorry. The last time I got them I went and snooped around some Indian graves. Never went back to say the least. Hope you both stop itching very, very soon.

  11. Terra-the doc said not to (she didn't say whether she thought it was bad or just ineffective) but my Mom (also attacked) said it helped greatly. I just applied a pretty shade of light pink. We'll see….

  12. Go with your mom's advice. The doc is probably from the North and doesn't know anything about chiggers.

    That picture of Ali is so pitiful. So glad it is not the CP though for vacation's sake.

  13. I think I almost teared up when I saw that pitiful pic of Ali.

    I hope the Chiggs are gone soon so you can enjoy your vacation!

  14. I was sweating reading that. My little niece got the "chicken pops" about a month ago. That was the first time I ever heard about an immunization for it. But anyhoo, hers cleared up in three days. THREE DAYS!!!! What's that all about?
    But I am very glad little Miss Ali doesn't have the "pops". But if she ever does just tell her that she got them because the Magic Chicken is testing her to see if she is a big girl by not scratching them. And hopefully she won't fail and be a little girl forever…it worked for my niece!

  15. Aww I'm sorry you had to stress over this! I've never even heard of chiggers – I'll have to look them up! Hope you guys are feeling better soon.
    Also, they treated you like that at the clinic because the evil CP can actually be spread through the air! And make a child very very sick in my experience working as a nurse in paeds :) Glad that's not what it was!!

  16. Congrats on the chiggers then! My son had pox when I was prego with his li'l sis and it was a grand time had by all. All though I must say that I'm glad he had them and now we are done with that virus. We were on vacation when he got them- luckily at my aunt and uncle- and flew home during the end stage with him despite a few dirty looks from those seated next to us! He was no longer contagious, and her was miserable enough that they just left us alone. Good choice.

  17. I feel Ali's pain (or itch)…literally. I've got 'em, too. Nasty little boogers. They are definitly NOT titterific!

  18. Poor Ali! Personally I'm skeptical that the masks are that effective at preventing the spread of disease. When Elizabeth was pretty sick back in Feb they made her wear one too. One-size-fits-all meant it really didn't fit well at all.

    Glad to hear that it wasn't chicken pox after all. Hope the nasty bugs are gone now (chiggers sound horrible!) and that you've done something especially delicious with the blueberries.

  19. Oh thank goodness! I mean, chiggers are horrific but better than the alternative in this case.

  20. Well I guess that is better than chicken pox. My son had chicken pox TWICE after having the vaccine. The first was extremely mild and the 2nd time was slightly worse, but on his face which then got infected. Thankfully nothing scarred. Hope you both feel better soon.

  21. Yikes! I've heard of chiggars but never had them. Sounds miserable! Glad it wasn't the pox though!

  22. Oh, those chiggers itch something awful. I particularly like the "Itch Stick" that Benadryl makes for keeping the itching at bay. The nail polish trick doesn't necessarily *stop* the itching, but it does keep clothing from brushing against the spots, which would make them tickle and itch.

  23. Fun times! I've never had chiggers, but oddly enough I started itching the minute I began reading your post!

    I hope you and Ali are chigger free soon!

  24. First time poster here – just wanted to point out that chiggers don't actually burrow into the skin and you don't need to apply nail polish – that can help with the itching, but you can just use some hydrocortisone cream instead – much more effective. Likely the chiggers themselves got washed away when you bathed her.

    I've been loving your blog by the way!

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