Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chicken pox

It's a three-day weekend with tomorrow being Malaysia's 52nd year of independence. This weekend also marks the end of the one-week school holiday. For ACE, the one-week holiday felt longer since Caitlin was already out of school for about 10 days before school closed due to the suspension of the Year 1 classes two weeks ago because of widespread viral fever among the kids. Then last week, one case of H1N1 flu was confirmed and we decided to keep her out of school as the school did not get the green light from the Ministry of Education to close.

Last Thursday, we went to Port Dickson for a night and a day, then we proceeded to my parents place in Seremban for the weekend to celebrate my dad's 70th birthday together with mum, younger brother and his family.

This Thursday, I noticed a small red spot on C's neck and a few on her arm and back when she complained of itchiness. My first thought was "either mosquito bite or chicken pox". The chicken pox virus has been going around these few weeks so that's what made me suspicious. I checked for fever but none. I made an 'unsure' conclusion it could be mosquito bites since our place has quite a lot of mosquitoes. I continued to monitor the next day to see if more spots developed. A few more appeared, still no fever and thoughts about chicken pox resurfaced. We decided to take her to the doctor for confirmation.

Based on my personal experience of chicken pox, the rashes spread rather rapidly, you'd feel pretty sick with fever, itchiness and even sore throat when the rashes form inside your mouth and throat. But for Caitlin, except for relatively few rashes, she was still very much her usual self. When I was 16 and had chicken pox, my entire body, face, scalp, everywhere was covered with those itchy, unsightly weeping bumps. I felt like it was the end of the world and I'd be scarred for life, depressed for being quarantined in my room for an entire week because I got it on Chinese New Year's eve. What a bummer then, missing out on all the visiting (less angpow!), CNY food and goodies.

The doctor confirmed chicken pox and said that it's because she had already been vaccinated for the disease that the rashes are not proliferating and fever is not present. He prescribed calamine lotion and anti-itch oral medication and suggested we feed her coconut water. He mentioned anti-viral meds but since they only act to suppress the condition, we (him and us) concurred to best let the condition run its course and manage it.

So, C has been like 'normal' apart from the occasional itchiness. Currently in the contagious stage, we're keeping her away from others as much as we can. A playdate and visit from two of my old classmates tomorrow has been cancelled much to her and her playdate and the three of us mamas' disappointment. And to avoid infecting her cousins, we won't be able to join family for dinner in Klang tonight.

She'll probably have to skip school for a few days when school reopens on Tuesday i.e. further extending her 'holiday'.

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