It all started as a fever, a runny nose, and an extreme crankiness which we attributed to teething. The fever lasted three nights and two days. On the third night, the fever subsided and I noticed a single telltale water-filled blister just above our Little Dragon’s upper lip. And immediately, I knew that it was chicken pox.
The following day, more of those water-filled blisters started popping up all over his pudgy body and I immediately took him to the nearest clinic, where he was given Zovirax, paracetamol and calamine lotion. On the same day, I bought a young coconut (buko in Tagalog, kelapa muda in Malay) from the supermarket’s chilled section and coaxed Little Dragon into drinking the water, because Malay old folks always say that it would make the spots come out faster (and effectively shorten the entire duration of the patient’s misery because, once all the spots are out, only then can they start drying up).
More of the red, angry water-filled blisters came out in the next few days, but not that much, had he not been given Zovirax from the start. I’m no doctor but I do know that chicken pox is caused by a virus and viral infections are incurable, so I’ve always thought of Zovirax as more of alleviating the symptoms rather than ‘curing’ the actual condition.
The paracetamol is for pain and fever; the calamine is to relieve the itch. I did apply some virgin coconut oil (VCO) to the blisters to help speed up the healing process and ward off any bacterial infection that may cause scarring. And I allowed my Little Dragon to have the occasional ice cream to soothe his mouth and throat, where chickenpox ulcers can also occur.
Chicken pox has got to be the most miserable illness that a child has to go through in a lifetime — the pain, the itch, plus the added misery of being
imprisoned quarantined at home. (Take the word of a woman who had it only when she was about 23 or 24 years old!) I’m only thankful that my five other children all had chicken pox already when they were small in two separate occasions, and one after another instead of at one go.
And on those nights when sleep was elusive because Little Dragon kept crying from the pain and itch, I sought strength from the thought that Prophet Job (Malay/Arabic: Ayyub) had far worse sores than these that lasted for many, many years. I am also thankful that we had the fever before the blisters came out. Praise be to God, he is almost well now, with the blisters starting to dry up already.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR MOTHERS:
If your child has water-filled blisters on the palms and/or feet ONLY and nowhere else, it might be a case of Hand, Foot, And Mouth Disease (HFMD). It is less serious but equally easily transmittable to other children. Either way, please take your child to the doctor immediately.