So, um, it turns out that my daughter has a highly contagious skin virus called Molloscum Contagiosum. She did not appreciate the various jokes I cracked, asking her when she’d become a marine invertebrate, so I switched to shouting “MOLLOSCUM CONTAGIOSUM!” at her with a flourish of my invisible wand, and then asking her why she had failed to levitate.
For some reason, Chickadee spent a lot of time rolling her eyes at me, yesterday. I cannot IMAGINE why.
But I had to make light, you know, because otherwise I would’ve had to cry. Molloscum isn’t serious—she’s not sick or anything, and although she’s itchy we’ve now got a good cream to use—but it’s extremely contagious.
EXTREMELY contagious. But it’s a poxvirus, so it has a long incubation period. It could be up to 6 weeks before we know if anyone else has caught it from her.
So, um, our apologies to everyone who swam in the city pool in her grandmother’s home town last week.
And to everyone who swam in our pool THIS week.
And to everyone at VBS yesterday (oops).
And, um, to my handsome and wonderful and patient and FORGIVING husband, because the first night the kids were home when he was not, I let Miss Chickie sleep on his side of our bed because she was so miserable.
I’d just washed the sheets, you know. Nice, clean sheets… which I then allowed my wart-covered daughter to roll around on.
(We washed the sheets again yesterday. I pointed out that we were probably already contaminated but whatever.)
I took her to the doctor, which is always an adventure because no matter when we go or what we’re there for, we have to wait an hour. It is MADDENING. Especially because our doctor’s office is tiny and is never busy. I strongly suspect him of having a House-esque addiction to soap operas, or something, and that we’re merely waiting for him to finish watching “his stories” before coming in to see us.
So we waited and waited and the nurse finally took us back and weighed Chickadee and measured her and took her temperature (lord knows you cannot diagnose an outbreak of warts without a proper blood pressure reading) and then we sat there some more, waiting for the doctor.
The doctor came in and looked at her and then turned to his computer. And surfed over to the Mayo Clinic site and started looking things up.
“Ummmm… you know, I could’ve stayed at home and saved myself $15 by just consulting Dr. Google, if that’s all you’re gonna do!” I joked.
He didn’t laugh.
He found the page on Molloscum and instructed the nurse to print it out for us. (We’ll take one serving of grody warts and several dead trees, to go.) He said that the itching and redness is actually a secondary infection, not uncommon, but that the warts themselves are ugly but harmless. Then he started explaining to me what it is and how it’s very contagious and how she can’t go swimming for at least a month but maybe as long as six months and—
“Wait wait wait! Back up. She can’t go swimming? For a MONTH??”
“Right. She’s contagious. No swimming.”
No swimming, for a month. In the summer. In Georgia. When we have a pool out back.
In one moment Molloscum was upgraded from a minor unsightly annoyance to a complete and utter bitch.
To her credit, Chickadee handled it better than I did, I think. I was (am) really upset about it; everything I’ve read indicates that there’s no strong science to support spread through chlorinated water, but “standard protocol” is to stay out of the pool. I also read that the lesions need to be covered with clothing or “water-tight bandages” to prevent spread when out and around other people, so I attempted to bandage her up this morning before VBS.
Know where she has the biggest outbreak? On her elbows.
Know how easy it is to put any sort of conventional bandage on an elbow? About as easy as putting an octopus into a string bag.
By the time I was done she looked like she’d been in a horrible accident, and five minutes later all of the tape (put over the bandages in an attempt to keep them on) was starting to uncurl and fall off, making her look like a bargain-basement mummy.
But I’m sure there’s nothing more comfortable than having to wear long pants and having your elbows bandaged in Georgia in June when you can’t go swimming! Right? Right! Yay!
So, um, this afternoon we’re planning an action-packed trip to the library. Yes, summer is truly turning out to be a magical time for my children.
All that’s left is for Monkey to break a bone! I am not saying anything else. Nope. The end.