Greetings from Day 8 of my chickenpoxalypse.
At first I thought it was just man flu (stomach cramps, thumping headaches, fever, whole body aches), but on Day 3 the spots started coming, and on Day 4 my GP confirmed I had varicella, which is the proper name for that disease you associate most vividly with spotty, contagious children: chickenpox.
Treatment: rest + over-the-counter painkillers & antihistamines + soap-free cleansing products.
The fever and aches continued while the spots multiplied. I’ve been lucky; I haven’t had to deal with much full-body itching, but my scalp felt like it was on fire for several days. It got worse when I tried to put my head against a pillow (HELLO INSOMNIA). Now, on Day 8, I can finally declare that no new spots have appeared for 24 hours, that the other symptoms have mostly cleared, and that I’m mere days away from being Not Contagious.
Then I’ll just have to wait for the spots to clear enough to look a little less repulsive.
I do not relate this for sympathy or the joy of storytelling, but to suggest you:
- Find out if you had chickenpox as a child;
- Find out if you’ve been vaccinated for chickenpox (in Australia this was scheduled for kids in 2005);
- If neither are true, GET YOURSELF VACCINATED FOR CHICKENPOX.
I’m looking at 10 days minimum of lost productivity (not just mine) and a LOT of unnecessary pain (not just mine). If I’d been pro-active about getting appropriate vaccinations for myself as an adult, it could all have been avoided.
As a passionate advocate for vaccinating children on the recommended schedule, this has been an embarrassing moment for me.
Don’t be like Luke. Vaccinate yourself! (Or, you know, consult with your GP and get them to do it.)