Monday, April 18, 2011

The Pox

I'm pretty sure it's illegal to be sick on vacation, but here we are and O has developed (of all things) the chicken pox. Yesterday morning we noticed a few little red spots, and by the evening it had developed into the full blown thing with oozy-looking blisters and all. Ick. It's making me itch just looking looking at him.

We didn't come prepared for a fever or rashes (big surprise; see previous post), so I stopped by the pharmacy this morning to get medicine. French pharmacies are great for giving advice, and we came away with three different prescriptions: one for fever, one for itching, and one for discounts at the local vineyard. O seems to be recovering a little, although he is still not presentable in public. I made the mistake of taking him with me to pick up the morning bread, and people keep veering away from us in the street. I don't remember having chicken pox myself (oh thank god) but WOW! That is a seriously nasty and contagious-looking disease. He's a cute kid, but I'm not sure when we'll be able to leave the house again without causing a village-wide panic.

Luckily, M was vaccinated against the chicken pox while she was living in the US. In the UK, the chicken pox vaccine is available but is not standard policy, so most kids still contract the virus, suffer horribly and build up immunity that way. (Not that I'm biased against their system; I'm sure it's a good life lesson or something.) I imagine that O picked it up at daycare and am honestly thankful that he has it while he's still little and easily distracted by DVDs and ice cream.

We should have elected to have him vaccinated; I'm not sure why we didn't. Because the kids have lived in three different countries (all of which have their own inoculation schedules and priorities), I've spent a lot of time trying to keep up with what vaccination happened and when (don't even get me started on the deciphering of writing month/day vs day/month) and did they get the follow-up treatment necessary. If I could do it all over again, I would keep my own records, but I've relied on the doctor/hospital charts. And that thing about doctors' handwriting? Turns out it's not a joke.

Anyway, we've come through the other side (she says, jinxing herself and preparing for a night of waking children.) That vineyard discount prescription totally works.

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