Adults contract chicken pox, too. It was hard for me to believe it until it happened to me. I’m on the 11th day of living with the varicella virus, and I hope to part with it in the next seven days. What started as an annoying bout of on and off fever on a less busy Wednesday at work turned to this after 12 hours. My immune system was severely compromised. It was just a matter of time. My succession of mostly sleep-deprived nights and one life concern that bothered me extremely [not about my lovelife, ha-ha] caused this. No surprises.
Anyway, I called in sick on what I will now call Day 1, and consulted a doctor because five spots appeared in different parts of my body and they were not pimples. Long story short, herpes zoster/shingles. Then the let’s-get-you-out-of-here fast talk: paracetamol for fever, loratadine for itchiness, ascorbic acid. It’s a virus so since they’re out, might as well let them all out. Then I was out the door. I knew there’s something vital missing there but I can be stupid and unassertive like that sometimes. Plus I found her very encouraging [not].
Fever Pitch. Day 2 was when fever recurred more frequently and the spots multiplied. I didn’t argue when my mother said it’s chicken pox because I’ve never had it [complete with the usual, You were never sickly until you threw your life away when you started working blah blah blah.] Day 3 was met with the mother of the nastiest of fevers in the history of my life. I was delirious and fever was not lower than 40 degrees for about 7 hours. I realized I needed my mother more than ever because I’m (was!) a sheltered, irresponsible human being.
Constellation of Welts. Use your imagination…and there goes your meal. I don’t blame you. It’s the most disgusting day. It’s Day 4, when we went to my Mom’s doctor a few streets down and was prescribed Zovirax to supposedly temper the eruptions. I got in the medication game too late, apparently, so Zovirax was useful only to dry up the spots easily and relieve itchiness. It may be too late but I think they worked wonders. Why wouldn’t they: for 150 pesos a pop, 4x a day, they should. If our HMO won’t reimburse my 7-day Zovirax intake, I will really throw a fit. Not kidding.
Cilantro seeds. One homeopathic remedy that also worked wonders was bathing in water with boiled cilantro seeds. I was unable to bathe completely for the first 4 days but I applied wet towel soaked in water with cilantro seeds every 4 hours. Just be careful not to puncture the welts. The ones that unfortunately did dried up easily because of these magic seeds. They also said it will prevent deep scars after. It smells odd at first but you’ll get used to it.
Comfort Zone. If it was uncomfortable physically, it also was emotionally. I’m a drama queen when I want it, so there. I did not even read a book until the 4th day — it was that horrible a time. I watched and watched TV shows but since I was also napping most of the time, it was pretty unentertaining. They say this chunk of time not working is a good time to re-assess your life. But darnit, I’m feeling uglier than my usual and I am spotted. It’s hard to get the good vibes going, so I survived with the familiar. And by that I meant rewatching the entire season 1 of The Newsroom [I can challenge anyone to a game of "What's the next line..."; try me.] and the back to back episodes of Friends and TMZ twice a day. Some friends with plenty of time on their hands tried to entice me with The Men Who Built America episodes but nooooo…Khloe and Lamar were more interesting!
It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over. Fast forward to Day 9. I was feeling very normal except when I look at myself in the mirror. But then again, new maturity levels when I turned thirty, right? So yeah, they don’t matter as much. They will disappear, maybe leave some scar or two as souvenir. The downside — it’s more contagious than the first 8 days combined! Coincidentally, I had urges to go back to the office. It was selfish, I know. So I didn’t. I’ve been away for 21 days at most and this is the only time I missed being in the office so bad. I went to a new doctor on Day 10 and as expected, I was not cleared to go back to work, not even to expose my spotty self to the public [especially pregnant women and children, she stressed]. I must have looked eager and bubbly for she repeated “Don’t go to work tomorrow!” four-repeat-four times during our 15 minute consultation. She also said if it’s up to her, she will indicate two more weeks in my new medical certificate, but she told me to come back in seven days and see what happens. I’m pretty confident everything would have dried up and plenty of scars would have disappeared, with great thanks to cilantro seeds, Contractubex [which is also insansely expensive for a 10 mg- tube, what the holy frock] and more rest.
So hopefully, it’s just one week to go until everything in my life goes back to normal. These times are best spent resting and revamping my immune system. I don’t regret not having accomplished much, except maybe think about a tiny bit about the future of my career, what with a new friend pimping me highly to their international organization. Other than that, it’s just rest, rest, and rest. Pox happens. I may have missed much but there’s a reason why I did and I’m going to leave it at that. See you in a few days, mortals.