Chicken Pox Is Not Just Itchy
When I was 9, waaaaay back in 1974, my brother and his friend next door came down with chicken pox. They had the "traditional" mild case of itchy blisters and were home for a week from school. They thought it was great and watched cartoons while being dabbed with calamine lotion for the itchy spots. This is how many people view chicken pox, as a "not dangerous, tolerable illness". How wrong they are!
Then the middle sister next door came down with it the next week, and was a bit more sick, with lots more blisters. She had the oatmeal baths to help bring down her fever and help with the increased itching...she was four. We didn't have tylenol and advil...it was orange flavored baby aspirin tablets (we know now NOT to give aspirin to kids under 18 due to the risk of Reye's syndrome)
Lastly, myself and the baby next door got chicken pox at the end of the second week. I think she was pretty sick, and had over 300 spots but she was small and looked like her whole body was covered. I remember lying in bed wanting to "die" as the itching was unbearable and it was also painful. I remember thinking I was one giant blister because I had so many that they all ran together almost. I couldn't stand to have even a sheet touch my skin. I had the pox in every part of my body, in my eyes, ears, nose, throat, genitalia...it hurt to drink, to swallow food, to pee or just to lie there. I had the oatmeal baths, to help with the fever and itching, was dabbed in the pink calamine lotion, and don't recall much else except wishing it was over. I probably avoided the secondary infections associated with such a bad case, as I couldn't go anywhere and was too sick to have visitors. Chicken pox usually went through our school classes like clockwork, so at any given time there were several kids per class home with it, and if they had siblings, that class was likely to be next in the outbreak line! I was out of school for two weeks.
My poor mom having to deal with weeks of sick kids at home! So as soon as the varicella vaccine came on the market, when my twins were almost three, I bought the vaccine and had the travel doctor give it, as it wasn't available through public health for free. It was $160 for the two of them. At the time it was only a one dose vaccine.
Now, it is provided for free for all our children and has increased to a two dose series to provide longer immunity. At 33, I had shingles. OW! You can be sure I plan to buy the vaccine when I qualify for the product at the required age.