Tag Archives: chickenpox

day 3229: wherein the chickenpox turns into a trip to the hospital!

day 3229: wherein the chickenpox turns into a trip to the hospital! I.

about a week into Odin’s Rather Mundane Adventures with Chickenpox, around dinner time he suddenly and very unexpectedly complained of A Very Bad Headache which is Very Unusual for a boy who never gets headaches but not, perhaps so unusual for a boy with chickenpox. but the headache quickly turned from bad to worse and we were left perplexed at the sight of him curled up in a ball on the couch rocking back and forth in pain.

hmmmmm. probably, maybe dehydration, we thought.

we gave him a cool cloth to put on his head and some acetaminophen and then made the mistake of googling “severe headache and chickenpox”. OH MY GOD IT MIGHT BE ENCEPHALITIS. or maybe it’s just a headache. some sites say to look for other unusual behaviors. ok. while we’re looking for other unusual behaviors, he starts nodding off. and not just a little drowsy kind-of nodding off. like, suddenly asleep so hard we have a hard time waking him up. and when we do wake him up he seems a bit disoriented.

weird. and even knowing that it was probably nothing we decided it was worth a quick trip to the emergency clinic at the hospital juuuuuust to make sure we weren’t missing something.

turns out, while the clinic staff was nice, they really were not particularly enthused about seeing A Very Contagious Boy and made him wear a mask and asked that he be very conscientious about what he touched while we waited to see a doctor.

day 3229: wherein the chickenpox turns into a trip to the hospital! II.

we waited just long enough to play a game of I spy which also was just long enough for the acetaminophen to kick in which made the headache go away which combined with the adrenalin from the hospital visit meant he was pretty much back to normal. no more sleepy, sleepy!

but the doctor poked here and there and asked him a few questions and listened to his heart. “well, he’s dehydrated. his resting heart-rate is almost a 100bpm which means i could almost diagnose him with tachycardia from the dehydration. and he’s probably really overtired if he’s been getting a few hours less sleep than normal over the past week. parents often underestimate just how much more fluid and electrolytes a child needs when they’re sick over a long period of time. quite a healthy boy all things considered! drink lots of more fluid, get lots more sleep. even if he doesn’t seem sick, he’s sick and his body is working extra hard to get better!”

sigh. we felt a little foolish but, hey, better safe than sorry. and it was good reminder that even seasoned pros who spent 96 days in intensive care can be knocked off their game whole googling symptoms 🙂

day 3225: odin has chickenpox! or, hey, why isn’t he vaccinated?

day 3225: odin has chickenpox! or, hey, why isn't he vaccinated? I.

the chickenpox was going around odin’s school and after a few days of wondering why he had a slight heat rash that wouldn’t go away ( in hindsight denial is amazingly powerful ), it turns out he got it. which is actually sort-of good since we were going to vaccinate him if he didn’t come down with it this year since the risk of complications from chickenpox goes up with age.

of course, it’s a natural to ask why we didn’t get him vaccinated to begin with. we’re not anti-vaccines and he’s up-to-date on all his other vaccinations but we passed on chickenpox because it doesn’t present a realistic danger to an otherwise healthy child kid. partly it’s because we tend to balk at unnecessary interventions that merely prevent an inconvenience. and partly we believe that immune systems are complicated and have evolved to get activated in certain ways at certain times and it’s possible that not getting something like the chickenpox can have unintended consequences. for example clinically observed chickenpox is associated with a lower risk of childhood-onset multiple schlerosis. i’m certainly not saying if you choose to get your kid vaccinated that she’s going to get MS, but i do think exposure to a broad range of non-lethal and relatively low-risk things is likely, given how humans evolved, an important part of building a strong and resiliant immune system. this is an offshoot of the thinking that maybe we’ve scrubbed ourselved and our environments a little too clean:

“Increasing evidence suggests that the alarming rise in allergic and autoimmune disorders during the past few decades is at least partly attributable to our lack of exposure to microorganisms that once covered our food and us.”

thankfully, odin appears to have relatively mild symptoms. no substantial fever, no puking, no headaches, no pain.

just a bit of itching and a lot of red spots – nothing an oatmeal bath can’t cure!

day 3225: odin has chickenpox! or, hey, why isn't he vaccinated? II.

oh the modern convenience of an ipad with netflix to go along with a homemade chocolate shake while riding out chickenpox. i don’t think i could have dreamed of such luxuries when i had it 35 years ago!