This week is spirit week at Kevin's school and every day they do something different. Yesterday was pajama day so he wore his pj's all day! Fun! Well, today was "crazy hair day," so I thought I would give him just that--crazy hair. How do you like it?! :D
I asked him what everyone else in his class did with their hair. He said he was the only one who did anything and that they all laughed at him. I told him they were supposed to laugh because he had crazy hair and it was crazy hair day! That was the whole point! I think that made him feel a little better. (He did say that one little boy had the front of his hair painted white. Oh, and he told me the teacher had pigtails too! :) )
So we came home and later on while I was helping him with his homework, I noticed this red bump on his arm close to his elbow that looked like a fire ant bite! I asked him if he'd gotten bit today. He said no. So I looked a little closer at the spot on his arm. I said "Are you sure? Then what's this? Does it itch?" And that's when I noticed that the skin all around his elbow was completely broken out with red bumps!! I thought he'd probably put his elbow down in poison ivy or something at recess, or he'd come in contact with something and had an allergic reaction.
So I looked at his other arm and it was the same way! OK. So he'd more than likely propped his chin up on his elbows but did so in or on something strange that had broken him out. But why wasn't it itching? He then told me it hurt when he straightened out his arms but it didn't itch. Hmmmm. It wasn't there this morning.
I raised his shirt and looked at his back. Spots. Maybe 15 or so. I looked at his belly. A spot next to his bellybutton. Well, I didn't want to think what I was thinking. Surely he didn't contact something through his shirt. These bumps looked like fire ant bites with a little yellow spot in the middle. Ummm, better call the doctor.
"You might want to bring him in, but use the back entrance in case it's chickenpox."
OK.... That's not what I wanted to hear.
The doctor looked at him very closely--with gloved hands.
"I highly suspect this is chickenpox due to the look of these bumps and their location. If it weren't for the ones on his back and belly then I would believe it could be something he'd contacted. But with them on his back and belly and the pustules in the middle of the spots, it's likely chickenpox."
But he was vaccinated!! How did he get them? I thought that being vaccinated meant you didn't get the disease! NOT!
Well, here's what I found on WebMD:
"Most health organizations recommend the chickenpox vaccine. It provides about 95% protection from moderate or severe infection and 70% to 85% protection against mild infection. Occasionally people who receive the vaccine develop what is called breakthrough infection. This may occur when they are exposed to a "wild-type" chickenpox virus. But in these cases, the infection is mild, with fewer blisters and symptoms than the usual chickenpox infection. Talk with your health professional if you have questions or concerns about the vaccine.
"Some research indicates that the chance of developing a breakthrough chickenpox infection after vaccination increases with the length of time since vaccination. In one study, the effectiveness of the vaccine declined after the first year when given to children younger than 15 months. As a result of these studies, experts are debating whether a second vaccination, or booster, should be recommended for children younger than 13.
"You also can prevent chickenpox by having a shot of chickenpox antibodies soon after exposure to the virus. If you have been in contact with a person who has chickenpox and are not sure whether you are immune, talk with your health professional about whether you should have either the chickenpox vaccine or antibodies."
Kinda like when you get a flu shot but still get the flu. It doesn't stop you from getting it completely but greatly reduces your chance of getting it and may make it less severe if you do get it. So of course, Kevin falls into the percentage that breaks through!! I had it twice when I was a kid, and that was long before any vaccine was available. Since I had it twice, I figure that Kevin will have it this once since he had the vaccine. Makes sense to me.
WebMD states "Chickenpox is most contagious from 1 to 2 days before the rash appears until the blisters have dried and formed crusts. If you get a chickenpox vaccination, you are contagious only if you develop blisters. You remain contagious as long as new spots continue to develop and until all blisters have crusted over." The handout the doctor gave me states that exposure to the virus could have occured 14-16 days prior to breakout but can be from 10 to 21 days." And boy is it highly contagious!
The doctor told me that because he is taking Zyrtec and has had the vaccination, this will probably be a mild case. (Boy I hope so if we're lucky!)
I figured his croup and fever that he had weekend before last (yes, croup) was probably the precursor to his chickenpox now. Interesting looking back at it and noticing these things.
(So everyone at my sisters house this past weekend has been exposed. Just thought you all would want to know!!)
I learned a lot on WebMD. My brother points me to that site a lot. He's a pharmacist. He knows these things! :)
Now, with only 3 weeks of school left, Kevin gets chickenpox. Just his/our luck. He may be out of school for 2 weeks. Theoretically he could be. Hopefully he won't be. It's just never a good time to be sick. And we're sick of being sick.
At least he's not feeling sick...
So while he's out of school we'll make pancake puffs
in our new pancake puff pan from Granny!!!
Oh, what a crazy day!