Doctor’s diagnosis: It’s her double chin
Seven months into this parenthood thing and it’s been relatively smooth sailing. Aside from the stomach scare when we left hospital, followed by the significantly more routine injections in the early months, there’s been no need to see any doctors.
Ahead of Christmas, I myself was on a crucial mission to avoid falling ill, so that I could indulge to the maximum over the festive period and appreciate the taste of cider and meat without my senses coming under attack.
With people throughout the office and public transport coughing and sneezing wildly, I felt as though I were a lone survivor on an episode of The Walking Dead, desperately trying to avoid infection.
Roma was not so fortunate.
The weekend before Christmas, it sounded as though she had a cough on the way, which quickly developed into a runny nose and what appeared to be a full-on cold. It’s only the second she’s had though – I’m told some poor babies are relentlessly struck down with sniffles – so I have to be thankful for that.
We still had Calpol on standby from her jabs, so begun administering it in what felt like an episode of Get Your Own Back, with us ending up dunked in the sticky medicinal gunge, rather than it going smoothly down her throat.
After a few days of this, I took to Facebook and Instagram for some pearls of wisdom. Several saviours happily responded and recommended simply inserting the Calpol syringe into a bottle teat. Boom! It worked wonders.
It was certainly a smarter idea than the one I had, which was to tape the syringe to a remote control or tissue – two favoured items she insists on shoving in her mouth where possible.
In addition to the Calpol, Sudocrem also became part of our routine to combat a red rash around her chest and chin. As it does with nappy rash, the ointment did a fantastic job of calming down the skin, though some pinkness lingered.
With a resistance to medicine and a depleted appetite, as she went back to preferring milk rather than solids, Jenna and I came to the conclusion that was a combination of the Calpol stickiness, milk spillage and drool that had caused the skin irritation.
This photo melts my heart; Gummy has been really under the weather this week and I’d have hated it if I had to leave her each day while she’s looking and feeling so fragile and forlorn, so I’m just thankful for the timing since I’ve been off for the Christmas period and able to deep dive into daddy duties. Comforts from Auntie @robynshilston and @lb_yng are helping her stay cosy though Anyone got any hacks to make sure she doesn’t resist Calpol so much?! The minute the syringe comes out, the shutters come down If only the syringe was the shape of the TV remote, she’d have no trouble eating it #DADultLife #DaddyDuties
Eventually I ended up getting hit by Roma’s illness before New Year rolled around, which left us both feeling sorry for ourselves, though I’ve mentally stored the moment away for a suitable punishment when she’s older.
“You’re grounded.” “What for?” “For giving me a cold back on 29th December 2017.”
Firm, but fair.
When the surgery finally reopened post-Christmas, we thought it best to get her a doctor’s appointment to be on the safe side, while I also had questions for the nose blockage and chesty cough that had pitched up within me.
The doctor did the necessary checks on ears, breathing and heart rate, all of which Roma was perfectly calm for, which helped him make his conclusion.
It’s a perfectly normal viral infection and nothing to worry about. If it were anything more serious, she wouldn’t have laid still or been so relaxed, he told us, adding that it’s common for babies to scream tirelessly if it’s more than a cold troubling them. Indeed, although sometimes aggy, understandably, she’s been in good spirits, still happy to laugh and smile.
He also added that unless a temperature arises, there’s no need to give her the Calpol, noting that the infection will ultimately clear up in its own time, which could be three-four weeks, helping her immune system to develop.
I was told a similar thing, that there’s also not really much point in me taking any antibiotics, just to let it run its course.
There was just one thing left to ask him – what’s the cause of her rash?
“It’s her double chin,” he pointed out.
I can safely say that’s not the medical diagnosis that we were expecting! Still, it lightened the mood and relieved the pair of us. Apparently, with such little space between chin(s) and chest, it’s resulting in a friction burn!
Thankfully, unlike the viral infection, there is a preventative measure that can be taken – he recommended Metanium, a nappy rash ointment slightly stronger than Sudocrem.
With the medical mystery solved, there’s just one job left for me to do. Deduce who was in contact with Roma in the days before she was struck down ill to find out who the carrier was and give them fair warning: