Chicken Pox

In the 1980’s everyone got chicken pox.  Some children’s parents would even send them to play with kids who had it just to get it over with.  My mom was not one of those people.  She did her best to keep me and my brother, who was three years younger, from getting in.  She was not successful though because I had already entered elementary school and, by default, was exposed anyway.

I don’t remember the chicken pox being all that bad.  I remember getting in trouble for scratching, that was a no no.  I have one scar which I beleive is from the chicken pox.  That’s pretty good considering that I was covered in them.  All I remember is being miserable, not so much sick.

My brother got the chicken pox from me.  I remember that I had a Cabbage Patch kid which I named Candy.  My mom had bought Candy and I matching night gowns.  They were satin and pink.  Very cute.  I was wearing this night gown the night my brother’s chicken pox became really bad.  His fever shot up high really fast and he started having seizures.  As far as I know that is the only time he has ever had a seizure.  Thank goodness he did not suffer from any long lasting effects.  My dad was holding my brother down and had his fingers in his mouth to keep him from swallowing his tongue.  He bit dad pretty good.  I’m not sure how he stood the pain.  He told me once that he just had it in his mind that if my brother chewed his two fingers off, he would just stick two more in.  I think they were more worried about my dad’s fingers when we got to the hospital than my brother by that point. 

Meanwhile, my mom was gathering me up for a trip to the emergency room.  I remember arguing with her that I needed to change out of my nightgown before we could go.  That did not fly and I went to the emergency room in my night gown.  I don’t know why that was such a big deal for me.  I mean, I was in elementary school, and it was a cute nightgown.  I remember my mom saying “we don’t have time, now lets go!”  Now I guess you know why they called me “Miss Pris”. 

Many of you are probably wondering why we didn’t call an ambulance.  The fact is that it would have taken an ambulance at least 20 or 30 minutes to get to us and that was precious time that we didn’t have to waste.  My parent’s could have him to the hospital by then.  That is one problem in Appalachia, at lest in the area where I grew up.  It takes a long time to get to the hospital and its really hard to find a trauma center.  They usually stabilize you at the local hospital and then transfer you to another hospital via ambulance or helicopter if you are really ill. 

My brother made it just fine.  I think that he only had one seizure and when his fever broke he was good to go.  He bounced back pretty quick as far as I can remember.  I don’t know if he remembers even having the chicken pox.  He was pretty young, probably about 3 or 4.

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