Saturday, October 25, 2008

Varicella in the House!

Well...It happened. Every non-vaccinating parent's nightmare: One of the diseases seems to have caught up with us. BUT...this cloud might just have a silver lining (fingers crossed!!!). You see, Landon's rash isn't the typical varicella rash (fluid-filled blisters that eventually scab over)--It looks more like flat little insect bites. It also doesn't seem to be itching!!! He's a little tired, but he's not suffering the typical chickenpox fever and horrible chickenpox misery.

Chickenpox did cross my mind as a possibility, but it didn't seem likely--I still remember my own case of chickenpox like it was yesterday and it was 1987!!! (Can you say "NIGHTMARE"??!!) It wasn't until after a blood test at the pediatrician's office confirmed it that I could really believe the diagnosis. Apparently, Landon (ironically) caught this from a vaccinated kid who happened to get a milder ("breakthrough") form of the disease. Here's the great part: The breakthrough form of the virus still offers the same lifetime immunity as the "real thing". This would not be the case if we had vaccinated him.

Pray that the virus really is just a mild form and that there are no complications further down the road.

As for you other non-vaxxers: Chickenpox party anyone? ;o)


Kim said...

Congrats!! You should be excited...I'd LOVE for my kids to get Chicken biggest fear is that because of the high rate of vaxed kids today, they won't get it and then they'll be at risk for REAL complications from it as adults. If only we lived would be party time!!! ha ha! I hope Landon makes it through okay...albeit a bit itchy:)

Sharon said...

While I feel for Landon and you & Andy, I'm with Kim on this one. Now he'll gain that immunity! And unfortunately it's not a surprise he caught it from a child who had been vaxed.

I've heard of the pox parties quite often. I've never gone so far as to say "mail me their infected this or that", but the chance for exposure in a safe manner w/ immunity is a good one. ;)

Any idea how long til he's cleared up?
Btw, I remember having chicken pox, too! John and I had it at the same time. Fun times for my mom! lol

Jennifer said...

Well, he's starting to itch today--Poor little thing! The doctor said that since we'd been noticing the red spots for 2-3 days already, he'd probably have a peak of his symptoms today, maybe tomorrow and then see everything start to clear up. We think he MIGHT have had a slight fever last night--nothing too alarming (or even noticeable), but he was definitely uncomfortable while he tried to sleep and woke up a lot. I hope its overwith soon b/c I don't want to have to think about the scary complications they list on the varicella information sites. I am glad to get this out of the way, though! Pray we don't get it (we've already had it, but there's always a slim chance, you know?) and that he gets better soon!

Kim said...

I'll definitely keep you all in my prayers! And try not to be too freaked out by the complications they warn about on those sites...remember, they have to make an illness seem dangerous to motivate people to get vaccinated. Most of us had it as kids and the worst of it was an itchy week home from school...back then people weren't all freaked out by was a simple childhood illness that all kids got at some point. Of course, there are always risks of complications, with any illness, but my bet is that most of those happen in people with compromised immune systems. It's always scary when it happens to our own children, though...we moms always fear the worst! Hang in there:)

Crystal said...

well hopefully he's not too itchy, but other than that, hey! and like everybody else said, he'll have the immunity now.

Oh and since ya asked a question, it gives me something to do now! (your comment, i will make a quick post finally after a week, LOL)

~~JennD.'J.M.J.'~* said...

Jen ~ I feel for ya, sister!
Poor Landon...but at least he's getting it "out of his system" at a young age, lol...
How well I remember my own gang ~ seven of them got it all at the same time, while I was pg with Stephen, who then got it in Kindergarten. (What a relief to know that it does not cross the placenta!)
It was a long rough road, but can you believe NO SCARS?!?
You will be in my, J.*JMJ*

Sue said...

this is one vaccine I'll probably do for Jack. Sorry he is miserable! Hope he is better to trick-or-treat.

Jennifer said...

Sue--He's actually not been miserable at all! That was the surprising thing...Not very itchy, no big fever, nothing--He's been eating the same, sleeping the same and playing during the day. He's been a little under the weather, but nothing terrible like we expected (knock on wood...) As for the vaccine, if we could go back in time, I still wouldn't give it to Landon for a few reasons: #1) 30% of kids who get the vaccine still get the pox!!! #2)The vaccine doesn't offer lifelong immunity, the "real" thing does, and #3) The vaccine has only been out for a few years (since 2004 I think? 2005?) They might start telling us its dangerous in a few years like some of the others. But please know I do not judge people who do give vaccines to their kids--its a battle every day as a parent and we are constantly researching this stuff--It never becomes "settled", you know?

Andrea said...

Isn't that the way it goes? The kid that got the vaccination gave your kid it? Yep, ooohhh how I've gotten the stare for that. You know what I want to know? If you do still have the chance of catching it even if you get the shot, what happens if your a woman and you don't? Then you have kids and they get the shot and happen to get it? THEN your pregnant and you finally catch it because you still have the possibility of catching it even if you were vaccinated? Then you're in a WORLD of hurt because your pregnant. Scares me! I would never get this shot EVER.... and even though I'm not really good on my research, my friend who is up and good on it says it's make of fetal cells? Maybe not all of it, but that's a moral issue right there.

Anyway, LOVE to have a chicken pox party. Please send us some germs in a jar. Love ya and hope he starts feeling better.

Jonathan said...

I'm a writer at Stanford Medical School doing a story about people's decisions not to vaccinate. I did a blog search for chicken pox and came upon your post. I found your comments interesting and thoughtful and was wondering if you would be open to being interviewed for the story? I am happy to provide you with more information about the article if you wish. I can be reached at e-mail at or at my office at 650-724-2459. I apologize if this was an intrusion on your privacy in any way. Thanks for considering it.
Jonathan Rabinovitz