A pox upon…

Yup.  That’s right.  A week before his vaccination, scheduled late on purpose (because mama, with her compromised immune system, couldn’t hack it during chemo) but carefully within the appropriate window, my littlest one has come down with … 

The Chicken Pox.

Do kids even still get chicken pox?

I didn’t think so, what with the widespread vaccinations (they’re even required for school in our county), the medical advances, and just the 2008 of it all, but apparently kids still do.

Apparently, I say.

Last night, at bathtime, Little Bear had an innocuous pimple-looking bump on his tummy.  By bedtime, thirty minutes later, more had popped up, spreading to his back.  As the hours of the night wore on, him in my arms, they spread to cover his face, scalp, and shoulders.  Tonight I’m sure he will be a massive red welt of baby, itchy and crying, desparate to be soothed in that most old-fashioned of remedies, a cornstarch bath.

And we will bathe him.  Over and over, as long as it helps him, and then cover him with calamine lotion and kisses, for we have all had the chicken pox (or been vaccinated, in Widget’s case), and it’s all about making baby comfortable right now.

As much as I hate that my baby is sick, I am ever so grateful that I am here to care for him and to comfort him.  And I will do that again as he wakes.


36 Responses to A pox upon…

  1. Robin says:

    Poor sweetie. I hope his case isn’t too bad and he recovers quickly. Luckily he’s young enough that he won’t remember it later.

    You’ll have to have his immunity tested later, children (i.e. mine) who get chicken pox at around 1 year of age or younger often don’t get immunity from it.

    Still, better now that at 32 and pregnant, like I had them. That I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

  2. Laure says:

    Please, be very careful and talk to your doctor about your baby’s chicken pox. My daughter, then 6y.o., got a very bad case of shingles after chemo and during radiotherapy, despite her immune capacity being better than a few weeks before. (she had caught chicken pox 2 years before becoming sick)
    OK, not the same age and not the same cancer(neuroblastoma), but you may benefit from a prophylactic treatment of acyclovir / ganacyclovir while your baby is sick.

  3. Margaret R. says:

    One of mine had chicken pox AFTER being vaccinated, as did dozens of kids in his grade at school. (The CDC was dispatched to determine if our children had gotten a bad batch of vaccine, but I never heard the results.) Benadryl was a big help for my grade-schooler, though I hear it can wire babies up sometimes. Sure hope Little Bear feels better soon!

  4. Marianne says:

    Do people not have chicken pox parties anymore? I remember my parents practically forcing my brother and I to snuggle when he got them, so that I would, too!

  5. AWWWW!! Poor baby. My 8 year old just had her 2nd Chicken Pox shot this past week and was not a happy camper…

  6. Alison says:

    Poor little guy! They are the WORST! Lots of calamine and Aveeno makes a great oatmeal bath that should help, too!
    At least now he gets to avoid the shot…although I think I would have taken the shot!

    Good luck!

  7. margaret says:

    I would have prefered my girls catching chicken pox as opposed to getting a vaccine.

    And you know what, kinds need a booster shot of the vaccine before entering school (or a catch up in middle school if they are already in the school system) as one booster doesn’t work and kids were still catching chicken pox. I found that out when I took my four year old in for a preschool physical.

  8. Katherine says:

    Aw poor kid. In the fall I got shingles of all things while I was breastfeeding the tree-hugger. Thankfully the pox never materialized as I was assured they certainly would. Hang in there!

  9. delilah says:

    Poor little guy! Hope he’s feeling better soon.

  10. christine says:

    poor little guy. i actually know a few kids who have gotten it recently.

  11. Julie says:

    My son had chicken pox at 11m and actually handled it quite well- I think being too little to really itch helped. My 3 year old (who had been vaxx’d) got them too but it was quite mild for her.

    Hang in there and I hope it goes smoothly for you all.
    Back to lurking,

  12. spacemom says:

    Are you sure it is chicken pox? My daughter developed a viral rash that sounds similar. I would check with the ped to be sure…

  13. Nancy says:

    “I am ever so grateful that I am here to care for him and to comfort him” …

    Amen to that!

    Aveeno Oatmeal baths really help too!

  14. Susan K says:

    Watch Widget too! The vacinine is not 100% and kids get the pox even after having it – though usually a much reduced case I gather.

    And mum and dad take care too – shingles is no fun!

    Poor little guy. I am SO GLAD you are able to be there for him.


  15. Robin says:

    At least he won’t need the shot now!

  16. JHS says:

    Hi Susan:

    My oldest had chicken pox at 3 months. He was COVERED because I never had them as a child & had no immunity to pass on. Poor kid . . . but the good thing was that he was too young to scratch, so had no scars. We used the Aveeno oatmeal soap and it is wonderful. I just bathed him over and over and over . . .

    How did he get them so young? From me. I got them at the age of 30 and have never, ever been so sick.

    Better to get it over with while you’re young!!

    Hang in there!

    I’m so happy about your ongoing recovery & ability to mother your beautiful boys. I read all of your posts via Bloglines, even though I rarely comment. I’m here, sending out vibes, prayers and affirmations to the universe on your behalf with every word you write.


  17. ~JJ! says:

    Oh man, that sucks.

    I hope it is a mild case and goes away quickly….

  18. Kolleen says:

    That sucks! My little guy had it last year, we found that calmine lotion, while good when wet, was twice as itchy when dry. He found a tepid bath with baking soda in it helped much more! Good luck 🙂

  19. Jessica says:

    Oh @#$%, that’s what I would have said, but you St. WH of TP are so positive and beautific about caring for a chicken poxed kid that I can’t stand it. I may not have been your girlfriend during primo bring over the lasagne time, but I will be doing that now. Love you!

  20. Haven’t read the other responses (Boo is home and wreaking havoc!) but I just want to say that most kids I know that have had the vaccination have actually got Chicken Pox. But not that bad a dose. So don’t beat yourself up about it.

    My girls got chicken pox at the same time. Discovered after traveling 12 hours to attend my MIL funeral. We gave them an antihistamine to quiet them down (OK’d by a doctor!! ) and it had the benefit of reducing the itch as well as helping them sleep and be comfortable. Give it a try babe and thank goodness it was now and not a few months back!

    Hugs and smootches. CP sucks.

  21. You amaze me. Only you could have such a great attitude about the Chicken Pox.

  22. Stimey says:

    I can’t even imagine how to calm a super-itchy baby. Best of luck to you. See you in two weeks! 🙂

  23. hotfessional says:

    Chicken Pox. How wonderful. How normal. And Mommy gets to make it better. Oatmeal baths. Tell him to “press”, not “scratch”. Lots of kisses. And hugs. And cuddly jammies.

  24. Elizabeth says:

    Check with your pediatrician — we delayed the vaccine due to concerns about immunity in adulthood, but our ped said if our son did get chicken pox, to bring him in. She said if they get the vaccine within 24-48 hours of it showing up, it reduces the severity of the case. I don’t have any experience to know if it’s true or not, but you might check it out.

  25. Gerbil says:

    btw, Aveeno makes a cream that’s about 100 times better than calamine. Hope he gets a mild case & is over it quickly.

  26. Oh, I am so glad that you are able to care for him, too, WM… ‘Cause NO ONE can coddle a sick little one like his very own M-O-double-M-Y.

    Thinking of you this week, and hoping that it isn’t TOO terribly uncomfortable for that poor wee man… They say that “the earlier the better” if one has to have chicken pox. I hope the case isn’t too severe!!

    Lots of love to you and yours– CGF xoxo

  27. Karen says:

    Poor little one – my husband got it a few years ago and promptly gave it to my 3. One of the times I was glad I had it when I was little.

  28. clairej says:

    please please go to your doctor with this one. my baby had chicken pox just a few weeks after I finished my chemo+r/t treatment and I ended up with shingles. antiviral medication is available and we were both placed on it immediately.
    /shrugs back to relieve memory of shingles/

  29. Sarah S. says:

    Poor little baby! Get some aveeno oatmeal bath. It works like a dream!
    Kids are actually getting chicken pox in Middle School and Highschool now. The vaccine does not last forever. Just watch widget too he just might get a couple.
    We had a bit of a trauma yesterday too my youngest ended up with 4 stiches yesterday! UG

  30. I remember when I had chicken pox when I was young and all the kids in the neighborhood were sort of tossed together so we could all just get it and get it over with. A chicken pox party! It was August though, and its hard to be that itchy and have it be hot outside.

    Good luck with Little Bear, and maybe Widget can catch it and get it over with too!

  31. Ella says:

    Oh I sympathise. I had all three with it last year and they were miserable (we don’t have a vaccination here).

    Hope he feels a lot better soon!

  32. Maggie, dammit says:

    Mmmm. This line?

    “As much as I hate that my baby is sick, I am ever so grateful that I am here to care for him and to comfort him. ”

    Will be running through my head the next time I’m sick or my kiddos are sick. Thank you again.

  33. giftofgreen says:

    And he didn’t get it while you were doing chemo and you’re immune system was at its lowest! What a considerate little guy! 🙂

  34. Bubba's Sis says:

    I am 38 years old and have never had the chicken pox. When I was pregnant with Daughter they tested me to see if I had the immunity and I do not. I get nervous every spring!!!

    I know, I know – I should have the vaccine. I’m kinda scared that will give me the pox. Have they tried it on adults??

  35. whymommy says:

    Bubba’s Sis … I have no idea! Worth a call to the doctor, though!

    Thanks for all the well-wishes. We’re on Day 4, now, and he is doing GREAT.

  36. SuzyQatHome says:

    Kids STILL get the chicken pox. One family in our homeschool group doesn’t vaccinate and both kids came down with a bad case the afternoon after we last met. Needless to say 6 other kids who have been immunized (4 of whom also got the booster) had light cases also. Luckily, Rho, who hasn’t had his booster, was with my mom that day!

    I haven’t ever been able to figure out the requirements for this vaccine though. I mean seriously, it is really inconvenient as a parent, but is it life threatening?

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