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…