Monday, November 16, 2009

Chicken pox!

Well, this has been an odd fall season already for my husband and me.

First, we've both had a persistent cold that has held on for several weeks. It's no longer debilitating, but it is annoying to have to cough so much during the day, and it also makes it challenging to fall asleep at night.

Then, my husband was bit by a spider (probably a common sac spider), most likely when he was putting the cover on the air conditioner for the winter. He didn't even know it had happened until the area around the five bite marks started becoming red and inflamed. So he went to see the doctor, who immediately prescribed a heavy duty antibiotic, which not only knocked out the infection but also upset my husband's stomach. Thankfully, that was over before the next wave of illness came along...

On my birthday, my 41st birthday, November 4, I came down with chicken pox! Can you believe it? I had asked about the vaccine for chicken pox a few years ago, but I tested positive for antibodies, which was supposed to mean that I had already had a case of chicken pox, even though neither my mother nor I ever knew that I had it.

Well, that test must have been wrong, because I started getting a few red bumps on my face, and I had a terrible headache that wouldn't go away, even with massive amounts of ibuprofen. When I went to the doctor about it on November 5 he found that I also had a fever. But because I supposedly already had chicken pox, he thought that the bumps must be related to the fever, so he told me to go home and rest because I might be getting the flu.

By the morning of November 6, my husband was ready to call the doctor again, because the bumps had spread. They were all over my face, on my chest and stomach, and also on my scalp. In fact, before I saw the doctor that afternoon, I had chicken pox all over my body. They were the worst on my head, neck, and torso. They didn't itch at first, but they did hurt, especially the ones on my scalp. So the doctor prescribed an anti-viral drug and took a culture from one of the bumps, and by Monday his nurse called me to confirm that it is chicken pox. She told me to stay home until every one of those bumps either disappears or crusts over.

So that's where I've been ever since...home with various degrees of miserable-ness. The fever lasted six days. The headache lasted a week and a half, and I'm still dealing with some itching and pain. But thankfully, it's much better than it was all last week. I was able to work from home today, and that really did feel good. But I can't go back to the office until all of those bumps are either gone or crusted over. And there are still a lot of bumps that aren't at that stage yet.

On the bright side, I have many reasons to be thankful. God has provided so well for me during this trial. First of all, my family and my husband's family have all been so good to me, as have my friends at the ministry. I've had phone calls, cards, flowers, and wonderful meals, and there have been countless prayers prayed for me. Also, in the midst of all this, I've changed to a new doctor, and that's a reason to be thankful, too.

I had a great doctor before, a Christian physician, but it was really hard to get appointments with her, and I was tired of being assigned to a nurse practioner whenever I needed to see a doctor between annual exams. My new doctor is also my husband's doctor and an old classmate of his from college days. He's also a committed Christian, and he also cares for one of my best friends at the ministry. So I know that I will be in very good hands.

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