Eight days ago I felt very ill. I had a headache, a fever and no desire for food. I knew what was coming… three weeks before that my son had contracted chicken pox while at nursery, for him it was pretty mild as it is in most children, sadly for adults it’s severe.
The progress of chicken pox is small spot, large spot, fluid filled blisters, scabbed, or in medical terms:
On the Sunday I had a few small spots, the symptoms weren’t too bad in the morning but by the afternoon my joints all started to hurt and the fever took over. It was at this point I hit the Ibuprofen. People seem to think that the spots are itchy, the real problem is that they are painful. It’s like having your face tortured, I just wanted to remove my skin.
The worst problem was some spots that were infected in my scalp and on back of my neck. Following a phone call to my doctor I was giving anti-biotics, this cleared the pain and the infected spots very quickly. Before this having a shower was agony.
By the second day of the spots erupting I hadn’t eaten anything much for three days. This is because you lose your appetite and the spots develop inside your throat meaning it’s painful to eat. I ended up fainting and scaring the crap out of my wife who had to revive me.
By day 3 I had hundreds of spots all over my head and body. You can see my looking unhappy above. The days after they spread to my lower body and hands. The more annoying spots were on my eye lids (leaking into my eyes), ear canal, inside throat, armpit, soles of feet and on my fingertips.
This is me today (below), 7 days after the first spots appeared. It’s a lot better as at this point as the pain has subsided from the spots, now it’s a constant battle to stop from scratching all the scabbed spots leaving a scar:
At this point my 4 hourly cocktail of drugs includes anti-histamines, cocodamol and an anti-biotic. That’s what keeps me smiling (as not seen above).
In Australia, the US and Canada every child is immunised against chicken pox. If you have a kid, do everything you can to make sure they get the mild version when they are a child; you really don’t want this as an adult.