Counting my Blessings

Last Friday we traveled home from Northern Ireland.  We left at around seven Friday morning and arrived home at about 1230 Saturday morning.  It was a long day.  Somewhere along the line, most probably on the ferry, my littlest caught Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.  As the symptoms take 3-5 days to appear, we were not aware anything was wrong until Monday when she was complaining of feeling unwell.  When the very very itchy rash appeared on her hand on Wednesday we were certain something wasn’t right.  Because the itching was almost more than she could bear we went to the doctors.  She gave us an antihistamine which could be taken with Piriton (another antihistamine).  This was supposed to stop the itching and knock her out so she was able to sleep.

We knew almost from the start of the night that it was going to be a loooooong one.  B5 did not stay in bed for longer than ten minute stretches.  The medicine had neither stopped the itching or helped her to sleep!  In the end she spent the night in bed with me, whilst Gary slept uninterrupted on the sofa (he had to be in work at 6 the next morning).  She was awake the whole night scratching.  We tried everything from bowls of cold water, cotton gloves, Sudo crem and calamine lotion.  Nothing worked.  By the morning her feet were also itching.


And as I lay there with her, gently rubbing her hands to relieve her itching without breaking the skin, and watching each hour pass by, I reflected over just how blessed I was.  Yes, I was losing sleep but it didn’t really matter for I would be able to rest the next day.  I did not have to get up for work.  I did not need to find someone to child-mind my daughter for me.  In fact, I did not have to worry about anything but being with my sick daughter.  And Gary, who needed to be up so early, was able to have the rest he needed.

The next morning, groggy from a terrible night of trying but failing to help my youngest cope with her itching, my eight year old clambered into bed with me.  Her newly sick body hurting and incredibly hot.  Yes, it seemed she was coming down with it too.  No spots yet, and no itchiness, but it was clear she felt very unwell.  And again I reflected on just how good life was.  I thanked God that I could be here snuggled up to my two girls, with nothing more important in my life needing my time or attention.

My older twin took control, making me a coffee (yay!!) and making little cocoons in the living room for her younger sisters.  Both twins covered all the chores without complaint whilst Thomas went shopping for Ribena and fizzy water for the sore throats and Calamine lotion for the itching.


There is sickness in this house but there is something much bigger than that.  Team work; selflessness; a focus on caring for those who are sick; and between it all a little bit of school work for the older ones and some review writing for me.  Very soon I will be making some nourishing homemade soup and tucking myself and my little ones into bed for a nap.  Yes, we are utterly blessed.  There is no rushing, no worrying, just lots and lots of nurturing love.


  1. It is such a blessing to be able to take care of your family without worrying about other obligations! Naomi is in hospital again (thankfully much, much less unwell than previous admissions) and although I did have to cancel a tutoring lesson yesterday, I’m far better placed to drop everything and support her than I was when I was trying to work full time.

    Hand foot and mouth sounds utterly miserable, your poor girls. I really hope they start to recover quickly soon. Your family is such a great team, how lovely to have three extra adults to rely on in situations like this.

    Have you tried aloe vera gel or cream for the itching? I use the gel when I get trichotillamanic itching on my eyebrows, and Naomi uses the cream for contact allergy from surgical tape. The gel is nice and cooling which helps a lot.

  2. I know exactly how you feel! I have tried to explain on many occasions how very blessed I am and I feel despite all hardships and I am often not understood. I is nice to find someone of like mind. I hope that they feel better soon and that no one else comes down with it!

  3. Aw, that is so very sweet! Hope they’re up and feeling better REAL soon. But it sounds like they are in great hands.

  4. Oh Claire, what an absolutely beautiful post. Your (post-N Ireland?) wellbeing shines through your words like a beacon of inspiration! I do hope your little ones are feeling better soon, and that your feeling of blessedness continues. 😍

    1. Thanks Lucinda. I do feel very energetic and relaxed at the moment (if that isn’t too much of an oxymoron?) Littles are feeling much better, thank you x

  5. Thank you for this. It mirrors my sentiments exactly, yet reading them from someone else helps remind me that I am doing what I want and need to do for my family and myself.

  6. You made me smile. I needed the reminder to count my blessings. I’m praying that your little ones feel better soon and that no one else gets sick.

    1. Thank you Kris. No one else seems to have got it. Thank goodness. Gary said he might very well have left me if he had to deal with me itching (and moaning about it) for 24 hours!

  7. ((hugs)) and yes, this is the writings of gratitude and the heart centered around being able to find the blessings among the trial. ~praying~ that your sweet family recovers quickly.

  8. Awww, I’m reading this almost a week later, but I hope everyone is feeling better now. Our go to for itchy rashes is a baking soda bath.
    And you so perfectly captured my thoughts, or the thoughts I try to have when cuddling a sick kiddo, and remembering how much of a blessing those children are.

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