Well, its official. I finally got my long overdued chicken pox. Yeah yeah, I know I should’ve gotten it earlier, so that it won’t be so severe. But hey, I’m not going to put up an advert to ask people with chicken pox to approach me am I?
It so happens this is the first time I was in close quarters with somebody with chicken pox.
Well, the reason I’m blogging about this is that I can’t sleep coz it hurts & itch so much to share some of my horrid experience with the world and some do’s and don’ts that I think will prevent from making it worse.
IMPORTANT NOTE :
I am NOT a trained medical professional and all the opinions below are strictly my own. Follow my advise at your own risk.
1) Don’t blame the wrong people.
Lets do some wikipeding :-
Chickenpox is a highly contagious illness caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV). It generally begins with spots appearing in two or three waves, mainly on the body and head rather than the hands and becoming itchy raw pockmarks, small open sores which heal mostly without scarring.
Chickenpox has a 10-21 day incubation period and is spread easily through aerosolized droplets from the nasopharynx of ill individuals or through direct contact with secretions from the rash. Following primary infection there is usually lifelong protective immunity from further episodes of chickenpox.
So you see, the desease would only be infectious until the rashes started to appear. So if you get the pox with a friend or colleague, and both of you starts having the symptoms about the same time. Most likely somebody else gave it to you both.
So don’t blame the one that fall sick first. Unless he/she came in contact with you with a body full of rashes or still subsiding 10-21 days before your symptoms show.
2) Don’t think its just a fever / headache / rash / huge pimple
To those who haven’t got the pox yet, I think they should always be on the look out when little bit of the symptoms starts showing.
IT HELPS A LOT WHEN YOU TREAT IT EARLIER.
Some precurring symptoms that I’ve went through :-
- Fever with HUGE HUGE headache
- Your head feels very hot and about to explode.
- Recurring fever.
- Huge painful pimple/appearing (in my case around my head & neck).
- The headache won’t go away. So is the feeling of very-hot-ness.
If you have most of those symptoms showing, you should be on alert and check out for any new formation of sores/pimples, especially those that appear to be reddish in color.
3) Don’t wait
If you can see sores and rashes appearing (in places you would never imagine) it is probably the start of the first wave of the chickenpox attack.
You will easily see the distintive sores with water pockets at the middle.
Get to the doctor, or your parents if you’re a minor, IMMEDIATELY. They will know what to do.
4) Do some basic grooming
If you feel like you’re going to get the pox, its best to go cut your hair first if you have the chance. It makes a lot of different, believe me, when the sores starts to come out on your scalp.
Cut your finger nails/toe nails. You want to be able to scratch lightly when you couldn’t take the itch, and not wounding the sores.
5) Don’t wear tight clothings
Need I explain anymore?
You’ll feel so uncomfortable you wish you could walk around naked.
6) Don’t skip your meds
I know its tempting to think that its getting a lot better after your meds during the first few days, because the medicine had killed the virusses right?
Like most viral deseases, it won’t get better until your body has developed the antibody for it. In the case of chicken pox, the body will build up the immunity against the virus. And it takes at least 4-5 days do that.
So expect a second or third wave (if you’re so unlucky) of the pox appearing.
The meds that doctors gave will suppress it, and treat your symptoms (ie. fever, pain, itchiness), but not cure it. That part is left to your body’s immune system. And it takes time.
Put on lots of calamine lotion, don’t be shy to get another bottle from the doctor. It will help cool you down and kill bacterias on your skin that will cause infection.
7) Don’t sleep with thick blanket
The moment I cover myself with my blanket, I knew something was wrong.
Basically you will feel the rashes all over your body dancing and jumping together. Not a good feeling.
And if you slept in it. I can assure you next day you’ll wake up with lots more rashes.
If you’re really cold, try to get one of those bath towels. They should be quite thin and can provide some insulation.
8 ) Don’t scratch
I know its hard. Believe me I know.
But trust me if you scratch it until it’s burst. You will feel pain, not itch. And you’ll leave with scars.
So, don’t scratch.
9) Drink more cooling drinks
Well the most commonly recommended drinks that people would recommend you would be coconut water.
Get the one that’s pure, not diluted and no sugar. Straight from the coconut.
10) Maintain good hygiene
It is important to maintain good hygiene and daily cleaning of skin with warm water to avoid secondary bacterial infection. [source]
11) Grit your teeth and pray to God that it will be over soon
It is a spiritual battle. If it’s not itchy its painful, if it’s not painful its itchy. There’s no other way around it.
This is the time you’ll need the Lord’s strength to get you through this.
12) Get the vaccine
I know, it’s a bit too late for that.
BUT, what you can do is to tell those who don’t know about it to go and get the vaccine. And I’m sure with your horrifying experience, you will have little problem convincing them.
So, that about it. I hope anyone who reads this have a rough idea what to do and what not to do during your episode.
To those who are suffering like me, I feel all of you out there. And my prayers are with you.