Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Pox

The past few days have sucked in the OliRue household.

L, out of nowhere, came down with a case of shingles -- which, if you don't know, is essentially a limited -- but extra painful -- reemergence of the chicken pox. And, of course, I have never had the chicken pox, and it's super-double-plus ungood to get it while you're pregnant.

I feel horribly for my husband. Not only is he uncomfortable and in pain, but we're sleeping in separate rooms so that he doesn't infect me and the baby. (We have walkie-talkies, but they really only serve to pick up taxicab radios.)

There is, however, a little bit of situational irony in the whole thing, courtesy of my neurotic mother.

For some reason, my mother was obsessed with making sure I had the chicken pox. My siblings both had it, and I didn't catch it. Then, whenever neighbors or cousins or friends or friends-of-friends -- or the kids of people she kind of knew -- came down with it, she would take me over to their houses to catch it.

It never worked.

When I was in high school, I had friends that came down with it a second time. When I was in college, my roommate and one of my suitemates had it. Still, I never caught it.

For years, whenever I would plan anything significant, or whenever I had any major event on the horizon, my mother would always qualify it with " . . . unless you wind up getting the chicken pox."

Eventually, I just assumed I was immune. My working theory was that I had it when I was very little, and my mom -- busy with two other small kids -- thought it was just a rash. But when I first got pregnant, the doctor ran my bloodwork and told me that I was not immune, but then said that it wasn't really anything to worry about nowadays -- the majority of kids are immunized, and most adults have already had it. Then she said that she'd arrange for me to get immunized after I have the baby.

And so, of course, we're here, hoping I don't catch the goddamn chicken pox from my husband, in the last week of my second trimester.

Fingers crossed.


  1. Pox parties are all the rage now. There was even a woman selling lollipops that her infected kids had licked. Be grateful she didn't exist when you were a kid!  

  2. Tell L I feel his pain -- 4 cases of Chicken Pox, and a case of Shingles... no immunity whatsoever.  We send our love, and are sure all 3 of you will be fine.  <3

  3. Hey, remember when you got chicken pox for the second time when we were in high school (or was it during winter break in college?), and my mom let (or perhaps insisted?) you spend the day with me?  Ha ha.