When you have kids, it comes with it's own set of barriers to keep you from training. One week out from the games and my eldest son who is 6 and in grade one, wakes up with spots all over his face and body. Immediately we recognise this as the dreaded chicken pox.
Alarm bells ring quite strong in my head as I have never contracted the virus before so I am suddenly open to exposure and a strong candidate for catching it from my poor little spotty son.
My first concern is for my son, who was doing very well until he was told he had chicken pox. Then it was a few tears until he forgot about them and straight onto the playstation game for distraction. Once I knew he was going to be alright, I get straight onto the phone to my mum to find out if I had ever had chicken pox. I was pretty sure I hadn't had it but mum's always remember better than the kids. Sure enough my mum advises me that I have not had chicken pox and if I was going to catch it, I probably will have already done so. The spots will appear up to 10 days later.
My first thought is I won't be able to go until the pox clears up. I figure my competition isn't until 17 days so maybe I can train in my own time by myself and join the team at a later date. I would still be able to compete.
I rang my coach, section manager and of course our Olympic doctor. Everyone was very helpful and I was advised to take jet and myself off to hospital to confirm Jet's chicken pox and find out my immunity to the disease. If I was immune, there wouldn't be much need for concern but if I wasn't then I would need to take some action.
Off we go to hospital, an almost two year old in one arm and a chicken pox boy in another. We arrive and are immediately seen by a doctor and they have already been filled in with my drama by our Olympic Doctor. It is quickly confirmed that Jet has chicken pox and blood is drawn from me to test my immunity. It is explained to me that the two days before Jet's spot came out is when he is the most contagious. So if I was going to get it, I already have it but since we have caught it early there is an injection they can give me to help fight it. This to me sounds like good news. I am then informed that as an athlete I cannot have the injection. Oh no!!
I am then told Jet must have two weeks off school and no public outings. Jet is celebrating with a big 'YES' but my mind is suddenly going straight to the thought of myself contracting the virus and wondering how I can stay out of the public for two weeks when I will be living in the athletes village and competing in 17 days.
Jet has suddenly got some energy back and is behaving like there is nothing wrong with him. I am starting to see the funny side to it all but only because I am actually starting to get a little more worried. The doctor tells me we need to wait and see how the test results are first before we worry. They will come back in hours so I request I take the kids home as they are starting to get hungry and I will return for my results.
While I am home contemplating the worst, I get a phone call from my section manager and he puts my mind at ease by telling me that I won't miss the games if I contract the chicken pox. I am also told by my doctor that there is a chance that I have been exposed to it and built up an immunity even though I have never had an outbreak of the spots. I like this possibility so I try and focus on that. Meanwhile Jet is milking the fact he is sick and uses it to play the playstation. He is not scratching to much at this stage and is still quite content with life.
Two weeks off school and I suddenly feel sorry for Grandma, she won't be able to go out very much and Ryder who is still quite healthy will feel a bit trapped in the home. Poor Grandma!
At least we will be home this week to help out before we leave. But then again, there could potentially be three of us by the end of the week who have it.
I go back to te hospital after the kids a fed, bathed and ready for bed. They explain to me that it is taking far longer than expected because it is the weekend but a special request has been put in.
Finally the test results come in and it looks like I have been exposed to the virus and I have built up my own immunity to it. Phew!! What a relief! The doctor still recommends the injection but as it is a blood product, I cannot use it. There is still a small chance I may get it but it is highly unlikely.
After 7 hours in the hospital, I can finally go home and get some rest and I will sleep a lot better knowing that I will be alright and the last year hasn't been a waste of time. I will still get to compete at the Olympics.
As for Jet, he is doing very well. he does look very spotty but a bath in calamine lotion and some playstation for distraction and he is in his element. Ryder is still ok at this stage but it's likely he will catch it too.