Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chickenpox at age 39

Came home late from work yesterday (8PM) and took off my dress shirt to find my chest and back peppered with what looked like bug bites. As I took my bath, I remembered two unfortunate facts:

1. My mother-in-law came down with a mild case of shingles over New Year's, and shingles are a form of chickenpox.
2. I've never had chickenpox in my life.

By this morning the sores were covering just about every inch of my chest and back and were creeping up my neck and down my arms and legs, so off to the clinic it was. "You think you have...chickenpox? At your age?" said the doctor, flanked by two nurses. In reply I took off my shirt. Dan says the reaction from the nurses was like something from the Exorcist--they drew back in horror and he half-expected them to cross themselves. "Oh, yes, that's chickenpox" said the doctor. She gave me some ointment and anti-virus medicine and sent me home to quarantine.

Chickenpox tends to much worse when contracted as an adult--I kind of hope so, because I certainly wouldn't wish this on any child. I don't have a fever, but the sores are everywhere, including places like the inside of my mouth and, well, other places the sun don't shine. They don't hurt, but the itching is unbearable, and I can get very little done because a good portion of my mind must always be on focusing and making sure I don't scratch. It's surprising how much mental energy simply not scratching your body can take!

Well, a new experience. Chickenpox in a post-Bush world. I can take it, I think.

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