I Don’t Feel Like Chicken Pox Tonight

I suppose a fall had to come some time.

Alec has come down very unexpectedly with the chicken pox, and the two people he spends the most time with in my family – my mum and I – are the ones who haven’t had it yet.

Yesterday my mum and I went on a frustrating trek to get post-exposure treatment for ourselves, where all but one of the doctors we went to weren’t aware that there was even such a thing as post-exposure prophylaxis for chicken-pox. (We knew this because my uncle used to work at the Communicable Disease Centre.)

Finally, in a clinic near work I found a doctor who was aware that vaccination could be used, but wasn’t sure about antiviral medication. I gave him the relevant materials which my uncle had emailed us, and after studying them he decided that the best treatment for me would be antivirals, although for someone with my level and time of exposure to the virus there’s no guarantee anything will work. Meanwhile, my uncle had decided that the best treatment for my mum would be vaccination. And then they found out that aborted foetuses are used in the vaccine, so she now refuses to take it, and will just wait and see if she gets the disease.

I’m worried about Alec, who is alone in his flat with no one around to check on him, and cut off from his job-seeking because he doesn’t have Internet access. I don’t want my mum to get chicken pox because she’s 62 and I’m worried about complications (which can be pretty bad for adults). I don’t want to get chicken pox because for the first time in a while I was actually planning to not have a shitty birthday this year, and now the uncertainty of it all means I can’t really plan anything until it will possibly be too late to plan anything. Also, any disruption in my pupillage may fuck up my trip to England in June and attendance at Tamara’s wedding. Also, there is the trifling matter of the entire swing dance camp Alec may have infected over the weekend, including two pregnant women and a 91-year-old. It’s possible they’re already immune, but he called the studio to warn them anyway.

Obviously there are bigger problems in the world than these, but that doesn’t make them any more fun to deal with right now. Which is why I could only manage a wry laugh when I found a new link to my site from sockparade this morning, with this commentary:

Found by a pal when looking for Ayn Rand quotes. She doesn’t refer to herself as Supergirl or anything, that’s just what we called her until we knew her name was Michelle. She’s been to more countries and done more great things in her life than I could even think up. She has a ridiculously huge knowledge base of good music and good reads which makes anyone a cool cat in my book. Why do people from Singapore have such interesting lives? She doesn’t write as consistenly as Dooce but read this and you’ll be hooked.

I’m extremely flattered by the kind words, but I can’t say I’m feeling that super right now. :(


  1. Hi Michelle,

    Oh dear – so sorry to hear about Alec and everything else. Hope all turns out well!

  2. Sorry abt Alec!

    I’ve got this mild chicken pox which lasted only 2 days in 1996. My doctor said there’s a chance I may get it a second time, but so far so good.

    Hope Alec’s feeling better.

  3. There are only so many ways to say “oh dear I’m sorry”, but even if they all sound the same, the feeling is no less genuine.

    I’m with ya, Mich. Be defiantly positive!

  4. Hey, my mum had chicken pox when she was 8 months preggers with Sonia… think it’s great that you’ve notified the studio.

    I wouldn’t think too much about getting it [how did Alec?] – you seem to have taken the steps you can. It’s a waiting game for now – good luck avoiding it though.


    “Why do people from Singapore have such interesting lives?”

    Now, that’s an interesting concept…

  5. We have no idea how he got it, but apart from random transmission while in public, it’s possible that he got it from one of the kids at Riding For The Disabled, where he volunteers.

    Not thinking about it is easier said than done, I’m afraid. Because I don’t know if or when I will be contagious, I don’t even know if I can go out. And at home, I don’t even want to go near my mum, since it’s still possible that she may avoid infection from Alec but get it from me.

    So, I’m still very much :( – but thank you to everyone who’s left comments here or called me. You, sockparade, and my new green shoes are the only things cheering me up today.

  6. awww…a pox on chicken pox! be well Alec! itchy itchy scratchy scratchy up and down my backy wacky…ok that was mean! ;p just to cheer u two up!

  7. oooh. *virtual hug*

    when i had chicken pox my mum bathed me in water that had been used to soak pomelo skins, ostensibly to soothe the skin. (of the chicken pox sufferer.) dunno if it works but u could try. or then again, was it oatmeal baths that worked best?

    don’t worry, i think if u dun get it after 10days you’re considered clear?

    hang in there! *hands comforting verse — Psalm 9:9*

  8. Michelle,

    sorry for you and Alec, send my best wishes and comiserations to Alec and tell him I told him to get well soon.

    I’m sure you’ll look back on this some day and laugh (well, thats if Alec ever leaves he’s Howard Hughes-like seclusion)

    Again -so sorry for you-


  9. Oh dear, that’s really terrible. Hope it works out for you two and Mich, drink a lot of water and take Vitamin C. It really might help….

    I definitely agree with the comment about how you’ll look back on this and laugh ;)…did i ever tell you about the time Steve and I both had food poisoning on a 5 hour bus ride, and I threw up all over him half-way through? It sure wasn’t funny when it happened though….

  10. oh dear.

    i hope you find some silver lining in this. chicken pox sucks. and it must be hard to be apart from your other and have so many disruptions.

    take care.


  11. Aborted foetuses? Really?


    Get well soon Alec!

    And er stay well Michelle and mother and pregnant women etc.

  12. Michelle: I hadn’t intended leaving any more comments here for a while, but for some of us who dwell in this cyber space beyond your close circle of friends, and who know of you, Alec (and your Mum!), only from what gets written on syntaxfree, at times like this, it’s only too apparent that sometimes Life really Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee. I had chicken pox as a kid (and mumps, which felt worse! Alec should avoid that at all costs!), and I naturally wish Alec, a speedy recovery, and you, a gentle calming of your anxieties. I was trying to find a quote from one of the gibbering array of obscure poets who ramble around like lost souls in the back of my mind, but had to settle for Giuseppe Ungaretti stepping forth with

  13. Hey Michelle, I’m really sorry to hear about the blip. Yeah, it probably feels worse now, but it’s really just a blip, in the grander scheme of things. I’m sending all my good wishes and praying for God’s blessing and protection for the three of you.

    On a side note, people actually make things from aborted foetuses?!?! How screwed up is that?! Gross.

    Anyway, I hope to see you two back at lindy soon, feeling all well and un-poxed. *hugs*

  14. i’m not entirely sure of this, but i *think* one of the reasons some people were so against stem cell research was that scientists were using aborted and abandoned foetuses as material? or something like that. coz i remember reading one very vehement argument frm a patient who had been waiting for years to be helped by stem cell transplants, only to have it delayed because people were protesting against it. um.

  15. Hey, I hope Alec gets well soon and no one’s been infected. *crossing fingers*

    Anyway, that really is a lovely (and very apt!) description of you, so I do hope it makes you smile just that little itty bitty bit.

    Take care sweetie!

  16. Dear Girl and Alex

    Hang in there!

    Take care, will pray for you and all the best.



  17. Just in case you all didn’t already know this about yourselves, you should all know that you are lovely. That’s all. :) (The first smiling emoticon since Thursday!)

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