We Survived Chickenpox!

Oh man, what a few weeks it’s been. It started with me in Las Vegas, speaking at a conference and having Linda tell me on the phone that “Oh! G- has the chickenpox.” Now, unto itself, that was actually good news: since we’re not proponents of vaccination, we were glad to know that a common, relatively harmless childhood disease was going to run through our children while they’re still young and more easily able to pass through it.
But what I didn’t realize was that rather than efficiently have it all in parallel, the kids would have it by taking turns with the virus. And so we’ve had three weeks of spotty kids, oatmeal baths and incessant “don’t scratch!” reminders wafting through the air.

As I expected, the oldest had it the worst, with two days of just utter misery, whining, crying and great discomfort. One night she basically didn’t sleep at all and I stayed up with her watching stupid movies on TV (including an old favorite, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World) to take her mind off the pox covering her entire body, head to foot.
At times it made me itchy, and I had chickenpox when I was 9 months old so knew I couldn’t get it again (and thank goodness!)
What’s interesting when you have a disease like chickenpox running rampant in your family is the reaction of the local community. We had one person accuse us of child abuse because we actually wanted our children to get the disease and be done with it, but that was true to form for this woman, so we weren’t too bothered by their typically allopathic pro-big pharma sort of bias.
By contrast, at least twenty other children paraded through our house, lead by parents hoping to get them infected so they too could “get through” the pox while they were also young. So far, I know of two of these children who are slammin’ through the pox. It’s one of those “they won’t thank us now, but they sure will later…” situations, I think.
More interestingly, lots of people shared their chickenpox stories with us, including many stories of people who got sick even though they had received the chickenpox vaccine, and adults who had gotten the pox when they were thirty or even older. Almost every time when chickenpox came around as an adult, they were in for one heck of a bad experience, and many ended up in the hospital with encephalitis, a common secondary infection that’s an “inflammation of the brain” (man, how’s that for a scary sounding illness??!?)
Anyway, today was the first day in almost three weeks that the kids were in school, so all I can do is take a deep breath and let the air out, slowly, glad we’ve gotten through it with no scars, no long-term emotional trauma, and everyone even in good spirits, ready for the onset of autumn and coming of winter.
So how about you? Have you had chickenpox? Have your kids? Tell us about it…

41 comments on “We Survived Chickenpox!

  1. I had them at age 16 and it was AWFUL. I missed my Driver’s Ed. class, I had icky scabs. And I was REALLY sick. Not fun. My kids have not been vaccinated. I keep hoping they will get them, but since most people around here do get the shot, it is hard to find the germs for them to catch. 🙂 When the youngest is 9 or 10, we will probably vaccinate them all at the same time so they can avoid what I went through. Right now they are 9, 7 and 5.

  2. I had the pox when I was about 8 or 9 – my younger brother and younger sister (who are twins) got them just after I did. I remember it was rough because my Dad was abroad (for military reasons) and it was just the four of us battling it out.
    Man did that suck. I bet you’re relieved!

  3. I never had chicken pox, but when I got pregnant the blood test showed a positive titer, so I have some immunity from somewhere. My kids aren’t being vaccinated, so it’s possible I could get pox when they do.
    I’ve read that it’s possible to have a “sub-clinical” infection, where you build up some immunity but don’t show the symptoms of the disease. And you can get it again because you didn’t develop full immunity. Yikes!

  4. Yup – what fun! I’ve never had the chicken pox so for me I avoid the situation if possible. Because I never had the pox, my family doctor recommended I have the children and myself vaccinated which I did. My oldest got the pox when he was 4 and his little sister one week later at 1 year of age. Luckily both had very mild cases. Meanwhile, I was on edge fearing I would get it as well. Luckily I didn’t. So, while we still were trapped in the house for 3 weeks the mild cases meant we had more fun than most families working through the pox.

  5. Yeah, I’ve had Chicken pox, my eldest two children have too. Thanks to medical advances my youngest two kids haven’t had to face the torture as they have been vaccinated. Thank goodness for science! I can’t imagine how I would feel actually trying to get my kids infected with a potentially fatal illness. I suppose I would probably feel guilty and angry at myself. Apparently the dormant virus can also re-activate at a later stage and so you can have a second chicken pox episode. Check the CDC for the facts, http://www.cdc.gov/nip/diseases/varicella/SampleOpEdChickenpox.pdf

  6. The chicken pox vaccine really doesnt make sense to me, personally. Chicken pox is much worse in adults than it is in children, most children wont even remember having it. All the vaccine does is provide immunity during childhood that can wane in adulthood, leaving the adult more vulnerable to get the chicken pox. I think Ill let my children get it the natural way, sometimes science isnt all its cracked up to be.

  7. I got chicken pox from my son. He was 5, I was 21.
    I was SOOOOOOO sick. It was horrible! Damn pox were all over me, I was itchy, sick, I got scars.
    I was not allowed to go back to work until the pox were gone, because one woman that was pregnant was concerned that she might catch it and ruin her child. Huh??
    I, also was “paraded” around chicken pox- infected kids, when I was young…never got it. Oh well.

  8. I had chicken pox when I was 6 years old during a vacation to Florida. All I remember is being covered in “the pink stuff.” Now I work in pediatrics and administer all the vaccines, including the one for chickenpox. Even so, I personally believe that this vaccine should be optional for children.

  9. The pox must be going around because my daughter has it right now as well. She is 23 months old and seems to have a fairly mild case. A lot of congestion, but very few spots. I am also still breastfeeding, so maybe that is helping as well.
    We are throwing her a chicken pox party on Monday and it looks like we will have a good turnout! I think it’s a wonderful idea to expose your kids to it naturally. It is far better to get it at a young age than when they are older.
    Nigel: Actually the chicken pox is not a fatal disease. Here is an entire article quoted from Mercola.com explaining how modern medicine is actually the cause of chicken pox fatalities.
    Chicken pox can come back a second time if the first case was too mild and your body did not build up enough antibodies. But the second case is usually a much milder version of the first.
    What can come back around the second time is shingles, which is from the same Varicella-Zoster Virus as Chicken Pox, but it has entirely different symptoms. I had shingles when I was 26 and it was very mild. Shingles can be far more burdonsome if you get it in your senior years.
    Patty: The chicken pox can cause birth defects to an unborn child, so it is very important to stay away from pregnant women while contagious with the pox or shingles.

  10. In the UK there is no vaccination for chicken pox.
    I am a childminder and my youngest son caught it when he was nearly two, the two other toddlers I was looking after at the time also caught it, as did my older son (even though he had it when he was about two) and the mother of one of the childminded children caught it and she had also had it as a child. The little ones came off very lightly with only a few spots but my ten year old was absolutely covered as was the mother of one of the children I looked after.
    One definitely suffers more if chickenpox is caught at a more advanced age, but I would not advise anyone to deliberately infect their children with the pox as it can have some nasty (if rare) complications and they may catch it again later in life anyway.

  11. I am 19 and have the chickenpox really bad. I am so cold that I have to wear thermal underwear and fleece pajamas. so itchy, fever of 103 and chills.

  12. My wife, 32 year old has right now got Chiken pox in Manila. Stupid us, we should have taken the vaccine when we were coming to Manila from Mumbai.
    Im so worried. Praying for her speedy and safe recovery.
    Our four & half year old son has got the vaccine but still worried for him.
    Appreciaate any help interms of prayer and advise. Please pray for us.

  13. can eny1 help me ??
    i have had chicken pox since last thursday and it is now monday. its my birthday tomorrow which is a bit frustrating coz ill hav the pain to go through on my birthday. can eny1 tell me how long chicken pox can stay for because i really want to make a quick recovery so i can go out. some of my pox are starting to scab… does this mean im getting better???

  14. HELP!!!!!!!
    ive had the chicken pox and i got
    the scars 2 prove it!
    i got them when i was 8 and ever sence
    then i got a bout 7 indents(scars)
    that are on my fore head.
    im sick of kids asking me what they are
    does any one no how 2
    treat them???
    please if u no anything.ANYTHING
    ill give it a try

  15. I’m a single mom of 3 kids, ages 7, 5, and 3. I had the older two break out within 2 days of each other. Thought they had the worst case I’ve ever heard of, they had sores in their mouths and inside their ears – EVERYWHERE! We actually had to give them a prescription to help the spreading to stop, usually given to kids with low immunity. They had the pox for two weeks and we were in the clear for a week with my youngest son, I actually thought maybe he wasn’t going to catch it. I had made sure he was cuddling up to the older siblings so we could get this ailment out of the way. Well, he finally did break out, and lucky for him he had them thick, but not as bad as the older two. But just be patient with them and keep them busy! It was extremely hard to have them all crying at the same time, the youngest cried because he didn’t know why his brother and sister were upset, so I pulled my heart strings as big as I could get them and stayed remarkably patient and understanding with them. I say that because 3 weeks was so much stress and money lost from missing work that the stress didn’t end just there. But sometimes you have to level like a child and not worry about the huge stuff just to get through a few days.

  16. Does anyone have suggestions on how to find a chicken pox party? I live in Columbia, SC and haven’t found any like-minded parents on the topic – I would like to expose my son to the wild virus rather than having him get the vaccine.

  17. I luv chickenpox parties and they luv me. I went to four chicken pox parties in my day but never got them. At one party the poxed person was my crush (3rd grade) and his mom had him kiss me. I loved it, and i still didn’t get sick!

  18. I too am looking for someone who is willing to have a chicken pox party for my six year old. I live in Brooklyn, NY.
    My family who are in medicine have told me that spring time is when the virus is most prominent.
    Most of the children are now vaccinated in our region, so I have found it very difficult to find
    a child with chicken pox.
    I am willing to travel at this point.
    Thank you.

  19. Hi .. I’m having chicken pox right now. I’m 30 years old. Anyone have any advice for me what to eat and what not to eat?

  20. Yes, I’ve read several articles that mention eating only raw fruit and vegetables for three days is very helpful for chickenpox. Coconut oil is also really beneficial. Good luck!

  21. My 2 daughters contracted chicken pox at ages 5 and 2 from a friend. I purposefully exposed them and am glad to have it over with. In turn, two other children came to our house and caught it from us. The important thing to remember is, if you have more than one child, to expose them AT THE SAME TIME if you are doing it on purpose. The severity of the pox is related to the exposure time to the infected individual. So, if both kids are exposed for a couple of hours to an infected child, they will both get the same dose of exposure (though symptoms tend to be worse the older the child in any case). But if a child is exposed to the infection via a sibling, there are hours and hours of exposure and the pox will be MUCH worse. The younger they get it the easier the ride. Good luck finding an exposure source – it isn’t easy.

  22. I at the age of 40 am goin through this horrible experience . I got it from my daughter . It started with bone piercing body ache and head ache , high fever and then eruption of scars on face . Soon they were all over the body . Inside the ears and perhaps the throat too. I ate healthy and nutritious food . Gulped Vitamin B and C . Took , anti viral and anti inflammatery drus on doc’s prescription . Applied anti septic and soothing solution and an anti bacterial ointment . I see signs of recovery now , and am probably not goin to get scars . ya , to avoid itching , Doc gave me anti allergic doses too. Tok bath with water having boiled with Neem leaves . Friends , it is an aweful disease for adults .

  23. Thanks Raene for your advice. For the first few days, I ate fresh fruits and vegetables. Drank lots of young coconut juice, vegetable juice (celery + cucumber + apple), milk, plain water. Ate white bread with honey.
    After a few days, I had the cravings for some meat. A friend told me that I could eat fish.
    So my housemate bought some salmon and tuna for me. Grilled the salmon and made tuna sandwiches.
    Made vegetable soup with fishballs.
    The 2nd week, I made a follow up visit to the doctor.. he advised me not to eat fish .. so it was back to only fruits, vege and white bread. Boring stuff.
    Food to stay away from:
    – Any kind of meat, especially seafood.
    – All soy products (soy sauce, soybeans, tofu etc).
    – Spicy/salty/sour food.
    Read somewhere that the pox virus lives on sugar and starch ..
    Sangeeta, I also bathed in boiled water with neem leaves soaked in it. It was the doctor’s advice. It’s supposed to relieve the itch.
    Anyway, now i’m recovering, and anxious to see whether the poxes will leave scars. Will probably get some scar serum (vitamin E) and hope for the best.

  24. Hello all! I am a mom looking for a chicken pox party. I have three chlidren and would like them to develop natural immunity as opposed to having them vaccinated. I live in New Jersey, but am willing to travel. Please help!! Thank you!!

  25. i have chicken pox now and i’m 31yrs old I have 7 month old who doesnt seem to have it yet at least. Its not too bad I dont have a fever or any thing some are ichier than others and I am not too covered with them. Its just a bummer for now but I thank God cause from what some people are saying it could be much worse

  26. My husband and I have had chicken pox, I had them when I was 14, it was horrible…My son is 2 and 3 months and he’s just finished with the pox… I have NO IDEA where he got it from either! There are no other cases around that I know of. 2 months before he broke out there was pox at his kindy, but not in his class, the child that had them played with my daughter in her class… now 12 days after my son had the pox my daughter now has them… a much worse case then my son, my daughter is almost 5. My son had them spread out and not many on his arms and none on his legs, but my poor daughter has them EVERYWHERE!! There’s not much space between the spots on her back or her tummy, and today they seem to have spread down her legs… we’ve been praying that she’ll recover quickly… my son had it from wednesday and by Sunday was fine.. and my daughter’s came out yesterday and today more have come out… we hope she’ll be well on her way to recovery as we’re traveling by car this Saturday… so surely 4 more days will see her almost fully recovered…

  27. I’m from Australia so sadly those who are looking for a pox party would miss it by the time they got here… haha…
    My husband and I have had chicken pox, I had them when I was 14, it was horrible…My son is 2 and 3 months and he’s just finished with the pox… I have NO IDEA where he got it from either! There are no other cases around that I know of. 2 months before he broke out there was pox at his kindy, but not in his class, the child that had them played with my daughter in her class… now 12 days after my son had the pox my daughter now has them… a much worse case then my son, my daughter is almost 5. My son had them spread out and not many on his arms and none on his legs, but my poor daughter has them EVERYWHERE!! There’s not much space between the spots on her back or her tummy, and today they seem to have spread down her legs… we’ve been praying that she’ll recover quickly… my son had it from wednesday and by Sunday was fine.. and my daughter’s came out yesterday and today more have come out… we hope she’ll be well on her way to recovery as we’re traveling by car this Saturday… so surely 4 more days will see her almost fully recovered…
    I’m thankful that they have both had it now especially my daughter as she starts prep school in January….

  28. Well I just exposed my 6 year old and 3 year old to a kid with chicken pox today so I am reading up on what to expect if they come down with it. I am in central Texas and would be willing to host a pox party in 2 weeks if my kiddos get it.
    Still crossing my fingers at this point!

  29. This has been a fascinating read. My two oldest children had chicken pox before my last two were born, and the last two have never had it. They are now 26 and 24, and I’m really anxious about them getting it at their ages….but I’m very anxious about the vaccination, as well. 🙁 I really don’t know what to do. I was listening to a radio program years ago…it was about a guy that used the pus from the chickenpox sores to immunize a boy. (He scratched the skin and applied the chickenpox pus. Gross, for sure.) The boy got an extremely mild form of chickenpox, with very few blisters….and very little scarring. The man tried this more than once, with the same results every time. I’ve looked online for more information about this and haven’t been able to find it. I believe it took place sometime in the 1800’s. I would seriously consider this technique, if I could find more information about it.

  30. My 3 year old son has just had chickenpox and recovered quite well. However, at the age of 42 I have now got it. I feel terrible – spent the last 3 days sleeping. Have no energy, not eaten and the spots haven’t started itching yet.
    Someone please tell me it will pass quickly……

  31. We are looking for some chicken pox in Michigan, please contact me if we can come over an get the pox.

  32. No vaccines for my kids. As much of a pain it is to deal with, I’d much rather they have it naturally. I’d hate for the vaccine to wear off in adulthood and have them get the pox when their own kids do – how miserable!
    My 2.5 year old is recovering from chicken pox right now. He’s been back at daycare for a week, after missing a full week. And today, my 7 month old is breaking out in spots. Yay!
    We hosted several pox parties when my oldest was covered in spots. Typical incubation is 10-21 days, with the average being 14 days from exposure to spots. Contagion is at it’s worst 2 days before the spots appear, and lasts until all the blisters have dried up. (Usually 5-7 days) They dry then scab over and fall off, leaving pink spots that fade after a week or so. We’re in that fading stage now.
    We did oatmeal baths several times per day: raw oatmeal tied up in a bit of old pantyhose and tossed in the tub. My son would squeeze the oatmeal ball and rub it all over his skin. He loved it! We also used an oatmeal soap/shampoo and then an oatmeal-based moisturizer when the scabs started to form.
    Hope this info helps someone! For those wondering how to find a pox party – you might try posting a free ad on kijiji or craigslist or something like that. Be prepared for a backlash of angry responses, though. Some people find them terribly offensive and will accuse you of negligent parenting.

  33. Hi we may be due for the c. pox in 10-21 days. Is there anything you would recommend doing in preparation for the big outbreak?

  34. When I was a young kid, my mother had us (my brothers and I) spend time with some neighbor kids with chicken pox. I was pretty young but I just remember getting some spots for a couple of days that itched a little and then it was gone.
    Does that mean I was exposed and my body just fought it off quick? I would really like to know because I’m 25 now and not really sure if I could still get chicken pox.

  35. Mr. Robert im 26 years old and i have my chickenpox right now and very worried with my 1 year old baby i did have a pox bfore but not this much.. Thats why it means that if you didnt got it that much at first its still goin to come back sooner or later. 🙁

  36. I too have suffered severe chicken pox. In some cases mild, other cases dangerous… let me tell you! I actually wrote a book on it and have been fortunate to help others – kid and adults.
    It’s a great blog you have here and it’s cool there’s a lot of discussion about this topic!

  37. I’m in my late 30s and am having chicken pox 🙁 It’s the 5th day today and it has been very unpleasant from day 1. I got it from my 2.1/2-year-old daughter who suffered from it two weeks ago. Not sure if I got the CP when I was young, but this time the CP is severe. My face and body (front & back) are badly affected; honestly, I feel disgusted looking at my face in the mirror with all the spots on it. Right now, there are white spots and it’s ugly, I have to say.
    I’ve read on the internet that CP on adults is worse than it is with children…and it is TRUE!
    I just wonder if anyone can advise on taking care of the spots on the face coz I’m kinda worried now. Currently, I’m just dabbing my face with lukewarm water every day to cleanse it. Also, any other advice on the healing process is greatly appreciated.

  38. May everyone get through this horrible time with adult chicken pox.
    I’m 24 and got the antiviral too late. (A week after). The doctors didn’t know what I had (which made me more frustrated). I went to 2 doctors and they didn’t even do any test. Until I kept calling their office to confirm because my body was filled with infected spots (all the pus broke). I’m in horrible shape and am going through depression. This is my 3rd week, in 2 days going on my 4th week and to me its not healing too well. My family’s really supportive but how much longer can I do this? I hear some people go through chicken pox for 3 weeks but no longer.
    Can someone please explain why (cause the docs can’t!)

  39. Hi Lisa. Im 29 and have been fighting the chicken pox since the first of the year. Im on week 5 now and i know your pain. From what im gathering from this blog diet directly effects the healing process. Seems that raw veggies and fruits help alot.

  40. my kid had chicken pox. took the viral medicine. continuous splash of calamine lotion, and only have watery rice with lean pork. only salt is allowed and lots of water. He had only slight fever on day 2 and no more. Very little itchiness and the calamine lotion helps stop it growing bigger as we apply initially every two hours. day 6 we have the letter to go back to school. very mild case and we are very happy that it is not traumatic

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