Mind you, both kids were vaccinated, and while we were aware that the vaccine is not foolproof, you tend to expect that they won't get it. How wrong we were. Josiah has it worse, with lots of spots, especially on his body and neck. Perhaps it is because it's been a while since his vaccination (He took it when he was one) and also because he started on the acyclovir (anti viral medication) only a day after his spots appeared.
Joanie, on the other hand, only has a smattering of spots (a good thing, since she would be less able to stop herself from scratching). She started on the acyclovir a few hours after her first spot and it's only been a year and a half since she took her vaccination (when she was about 2).
We should have let our kids take TWO shots of the vaccine! We were told that the second jab was optional (which it is) and that it doesn't make their protection against chicken pox foolproof either, so I decided not to bother with it. Big mistake! I think it would have made a difference at least to the number of spots/severity of the chicken pox, and perhaps Josiah wouldn't be this spotty if he had taken a second one.
Second key learning...don't dawdle on getting that chicken pox vaccination. Unfortunately, we haven't vaccinated Joash. Most people get the vaccine with the MMRV but we opted for the MMR for Joash instead because Josiah had a terrible rash after taking the MMRV, with plans to vaccinate him for chicken pox a little later. Sadly...later is too late :( While we're doing our best to keep him away from the other 2, it'll be a miracle if Joash doesn't catch chicken pox this time.
We are very thankful that Josiah only fell sick the night we returned from Langkawi. Would be a nightmare if we had to deal with this while on holiday...and wonder if we would have been barred from taking the plane? Chicken pox is a communicable disease after all.
Thankful for my aunty Cheng who showed up with a 'care package' for the kids including antelope tea and lots of ingredients to make many batches of barley/bamboo drink.
The belief is that the kids are very 'heaty', and the
heatier they are, the more pox they will express.
The drinks help to 'cool' down the kids
(was told by a friend today that drinking excessive amounts of
antelope tea could cause impotency for boys...don't know about the
science behind that, but best to drink in moderation I guess?)
On a side note to those reading this, if your child is unfortunate enough to catch chicken pox, here's what we found useful for itch control:
- Zyrtec (oral medication)
- Tea tree oil
- Aloe vera gel (we used after sun lotion)
Update - 26 June 2014
Joash caught the chicken pox exactly 2 weeks after Josiah. Poor baby has not been vaccinated and we were advised that acyclovir is not neccessary for him, so he's developed quite a number of pox on his body, face and scalp. It doesn't seem to really bother him as he's not scratching, so that's a good thing. Hopefully, it doesn't cause him too much discomfort.
Josiah and Joanie are well by now of course. Josiah recovered in a week but Joanie took longer because the chicken pox caused her eczema to flare up really badly. Her eczema was much worse than the chicken pox and even caused the skin inside her nose to peel (which led to bleeding). Luckily with tons of moisturising and nose drops, she's almost back to normal now. So watch out, if your kids have sensitive skin or eczema.
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