Friday, February 09, 2007

A Pox on our House

One of the tough decisions parents need to work through is the myriad of vaccinations that young tykes are given. There are so many questions -- are they worth it? Do they work? Could they harm my little one? Most choose to follow the advice of doctors, and proceed with the hopes that the "immunity armor" will pay off.

A recent addition to the army of vaccines is one for varicella -- that fantastic virus that causes chicken pox. Vampboy had it, as did many of this friends. As, perhaps, your young one did as well.

Given my day today, let me share with you some little known facts about the chicken pox vaccine. Whereas the polio vaccine prevents people from getting polio, the chicken pox vaccine does not -- in many kids, the vaccine simply prevents the severity of a chicken pox outbreak.
Remembering my own experience (I think I swam in a tub full of calamine lotion for about a week), I would normally be quite pleased at the concept ofVampboy not facing the "terrible itch".

Then again,"normally" is a word that has been stricken from my vocabulary. See, having a vaccine that doesn't prevent chicken pox entirely isn't very comforting when you are the parent of animmuno-compromised cancer patient. Which, I am.

And, you're little one gets chicken pox. Which mine might have.

I say "might" because the doctor's aren't actually sure that's what's going on. Granted, one of his dear friends he got a chance to hang out with during the "chemo vacation" came down with a mild case about a week ago, but the timing of the play date leading to exposure and outbreak doesn't totally add up. Even so, whenVampmommy noticed the rash on Vampboy's backside this morning, she quickly took the reigns and had him shuttled into quarantine at the clinic -- which turned into our first admission to the hospital since well before Thanksgiving.

Testing that detects chicken pox came back "inconclusive". To complicate matters further, the typical sores seen with "CP" look different in kids that are vaccinated -- and even more so for kids undergoing chemotherapy. So, on top of spending a night away from home for the first time in awhile, our little one has had the distinct pleasure of having about a dozen doctors, nurses and specialists staring at his bottom for the better part of the day.

Tomorrow will arrive with more bum-looking, and depending on whether things progress or improve they will hopefully arrive at a conclusion as to what's going on. Until then, we wait and pray that it's just a rash. Feel free to google the impact of chicken pox on kids undergoing
chemotherapy if you wish -- but trust me when I say it can potentially make my anti-itch bath time look like a relaxing wash of Jean Nate Bath Splash.

1 comment:

Heather said...

As I said in Holy Cross Hospital last night in Silver Spring, MD, I am a big fan of swearing in the hospital. It sort of sums up the experience in a way that genteel vocabulary does not.

I would swear in my comment but I know that you have good standards for civility in your public discourse. Just know that I am swearing on your behalf, here in the mid-atlantic.

Love,
Heather