"It was shortly after the kids went to bed when Patrick noticed the rash."
We left off from my last post talking about the quasi-successful day at Dollywood with the kids. It was hot, though not terribly hot. I'd say it was around 85 degrees. Ok, that's hot when you're toting around a 20+ lb baby.
Anyway, Patrick started noticing a rash developing on this legs when we got back to the hotel on Wednesday afternoon. It was more noticeable on Thursday morning, but still not too bad. He had gotten these rashes before when we had vacationed in the Caribbean back in '03 and '08. We had not yet determined the cause of the rash, though heat and humidity were both suspects. But, the '03 and '08 rashes were not fun - not fun at all: a red, itchy rash covering him from head to toe. So when we saw the beginning stages on Wednesday, I was concerned about Patrick and new what we would most likely be dealing with. He was concerned, but excited about trying Dollywood again. So, we pressed forward with our plan and left for D-ville.
We arrived at an earlier time and avoided the train like the plague. We took them right to the water area of Dollywood and let them get soaked. They ran around like banchies on Halloween, happy to be free of the heat and soothed by the cool waters. Mallory and Patrick went on the log flume ride while Ethan had a ball in the play area adjacent to the flumes. There were a few other children there, but he tromped around like he owned the joint.
And Evan just zonked.
I must say, a woman must have designed this little play area because it was adorned with huge fans blowing shaded air into the heat of the play area. It was refreshing and it helped ease the sweat drips that were trickling down my back.
We later took the kids to the kiddy rides and they had a blast. There were no lines and there were a few rides they could go on by themselves. We also took several turns on the carousel. All the while, I kept glancing at Patrick's arms and legs, noticing the redness spreading. He said he didn't feel it and was having a great time. Hmm. I didn't believe him.
I have to say that Dollywood had a very nice nursing room for moms like me who were a walking grocery store. Though I know a lot of moms who don't mind whipping out the milk section in public, I'm just not that kinda girl so I was very thankful for the privacy. The room was very small but had A/C and a comfy chair. I just tried not to think about how many sweaty bums and backs that have graced that chair...
After a great day at Dollywood, the kids were hot and tired and very excited to ride their most favorite ride of the day: the tram! Who woulda thought that the tram would be the best ride? At least they weren't fighting to leave. They like Dollywood, but the REALLY liked the hotel. But before we went back to Hotel Heaven, we stopped at the nearest pharmacy for some calamine lotion for that mystery rash that was now very, very evident on Patrick's body. When we got back to the hotel, there were naps all around then pool time. We decided not to take the kids out to dinner because we didn't want to spend a ton of money on food that the kids wouldn't eat. We decided to just pick up whatever they wanted and eat at the hotel. Mallory asked for a biscuit and Ethan asked for sausage so Bojangles it was. And they were happy. Like banchies on Halloween.
My husband still hadn't applied the calamine lotion and Patrick was redder than a ripe cherry. It was not a pretty site. I scratched my leg subconsciously.
After the kids went to bed and Patrick took a shower, we covered him in pink calamine lotion. He was itching to high heaven, though the calamine helped relieve some of his discomfort. Thankfully, he slept very well that night while I tossed and turned, dreaming about mosquitoes attacking my body and sweaty nursing chairs.
The next morning, we considered going back to Dollywood before heading home, but I insisted Patrick try to get an appointment with a doctor back home. It was a holiday weekend and I knew that he wouldn't be able to see someone until the following Tuesday. He said that he felt OK, but he was going to take a shower to see what his rash really looked like under the pink calamine hue. After the shower, he felt miserable.
He called the dermatologist, who was not able to see him. So then he called his usual doctor, who was able to fit him in at 2pm. We packed up the hotel room, snapped a few pictures of this beloved little space and headed home. I drove while Patrick itched. And itched. And itched some more. I scratched my chin subconsciously.
The doctor told Patrick that he had some kind of reaction to the sun and the rash would linger for a week. She gave him a shot in the bum of some steroids, which helped alleviate his misery to just being uncomfortable. In our talking, pondering, questioning and wondering about this rash, we think it's a combination of cheap hotel soap and the sun. He takes the same care of his skin at home like he does on vacation and it's not like we live in a cool climate (though cooler than some) so it can't be JUST heat. The biggest difference between home life and vacation life is the soap. That's my theory, at least.
Anyway, we had a great time despite the rash. We're planning another trip in August/September and I know that I have to take great care in choosing the location since our kids LOVED the hotel. There is no sense in spending tons of money on the other thrills of vacationland since our kids would just be content in a hotel room.
Vacation #1 down and a whole lifetime of more to come!!!
I'll just remember to bring our own soap.