Chicken Pox and Shingles

28 Aug


Judy Wills

I don’t believe I had the chicken pox when I was a child – at least I don’t remember having it.  

Credit Pixabay

Measles (German measles), yes, and strep throat a LOT…but not chicken pox.  My brother, Bill thinks he had chicken pox – and the mumps – as a child.  He also said: “Oh yes, and I also had shingles as an adult. Terrible disease!”

Credit Pixabay

I know that my husband Fred, had chicken pox, because there is a “chicken pox pit” in each of his face cheeks.  It must have been a really bad case of it, poor thing.  I must admit – I don’t even “see” them anymore.  

When our Karen was a little thing, chicken pox ran rampant through the church.  I had hoped she would get it (is that a terrible thing for a mother to wish for?), and get that particular childhood disease behind her.  But she never did – until she was 14 years old!  Sorry Karen – I know that embarrasses you, but it’s good for this story. She was quite embarrassed back then, as well.  Because she knew of the “pits” in Fred’s face, she made sure she didn’t scratch any blisters on her face.  But she said there was one in her hair that she scratched a lot!

Our Janet was exposed to chicken pox when she was five-years-old, and came down with a fairly light case of it.  I picked her up, held her right in front of her daddy’s face, and said, “do you want holes in your face, like Daddy has?”  She replied no, so I told her to NEVER to scratch any of the blisters on her face!!  And she didn’t.

Janet, age 5

Well, either she and I were exposed at the same time, or I caught the virus from her, because at the same time she had chicken pox, I had a light case of shingles!  I say “light” because it manifested itself on my back in a patch about the size of a silver dollar!

Credit Google Search – Eisenhower Silver Dollar

Lots of blisters, and all that goes along with chicken pox/shingles, and it was not a lot of fun!  However, from what I’ve heard from other people,  I am very grateful for my “light” case!  An interesting footnote to my “light” case – that “patch” on my back is still “numb” – even after all these years.  I guess it killed the nerve endings in that spot.  Amazing.

I remember when Fred’s mother had a case of shingles.  It landed in her face, nearly reaching her eye.  I’m told that, if it gets in the eye, it can cause blindness.  We were grateful that it did not reach her eye!  I’ve heard so many horrible stories about shingles.  It is not a friendly disease!

Later, when I was going through chemo for breast cancer, my doctor was almost in a panic that I hadn’t had either the pneumonia shot or the shingles shot.  She said it would be a “disaster” if I were to get either disease while going through chemo!  So I was given both of those shots.

I guess that’s a good thing, because when our grandtwins were about one year old, we made a trip to Virginia to visit with the family.  One evening Janet and Tom went out – a rare date since the twins arrived – and Fred and I kept the twins.  They had both been fussy most of the day, and Connor was crying so hard and consistently, that I grabbed him up, settled us both in the recliner, and let him sleep on my chest.  When Janet and Tom returned the next morning and got a look at the twins, we realized they had “spots” all over them.  Sure enough – it was chicken pox!  So glad I had taken that shingles shot!  We never really determined where the twins picked up the virus, except they had been at the YMCA taking swimming lessons.  It’s possible, I guess.

Well, the latest info on shingles (which they keep saying that at our age we REALLY need that shot!) is that they have developed a new – and better – shingles shot, but it is a two shot procedure.  We’ve taken the first one, but haven’t been informed as to when we need the second one.  Seems a bit hap-hazard to me, hm?

I’m also told that the shingles/chicken pox virus remains in the body for a lifetime.  Now THAT’s a scary thought!

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

One Response to “Chicken Pox and Shingles”

  1. divoran09 August 28, 2022 at 12:00 pm #

    My brother and I had them and stayed home for a week or so. We weren’t hurting, so we enjoyed playing the time away.


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