Monday, February 9, 2015

My Torturous and Weird experiences with the Measles, Mumps and Chicken Pox.

When I was a kid, they didn’t have the MMR combination vaccine. I guess this gives away my age (50yrs.) I remember my mother taking me to get the mumps vaccine. It's most memorable because of the way my brother carried on. When we got there, they only had one vaccine left and they decided to give it to my brother, despite his protests.

However, I didn’t have to go back for the vaccine because a few days later I had the Mumps. It was a mild case, however, my father also got the Mumps. Unfortunately, we think he may have become sterile because after that my parents were unable to have any more children. I also have a theory that my brother became contagious after the vaccine and it was no coincidence that we got the Mumps at the same time. Either that or I caught it in the doctor's office.

I also had a Measles vaccine, but it didn’t work. When they came out with the vaccine, they were using dead viruses instead of weakened ones, which they later discovered did not work. So when I was in 3rd grade I came down with the measles and after a few days, spiked a 105F fever. I was a healthy kid with no other condition. Once I got on penicillin, I started to improve, but if it wasn’t for that I would have been in serious trouble. I mainly remember being too weak to walk, delirious and counting by tens over and over again. I also missed 2 weeks of school.

For some reason, I didn’t get the chicken pox until I was about 26 years old. I worked for a school district and we had a meeting at a high school. Two weeks later, I’m breaking out in spots. At the peak of breaking out, I was up all night dabbing calamine lotion in vain. Next thing I know my entire head (including my face) was solid in chicken pox. Let’s just say I couldn’t leave the house. My face was swollen for about twenty-four hours. People were saying I was going to get them in more delicate spot. Fortunately, I was spared that horror. However, I had one on my tongue and some others on the inside of my mouth by my lips. Then eventually when it was going away I found out first hand why it’s so hard for kids not to scratch. I missed one week of work.

After that ordeal, I found out that there is a high risk of complications in adults who get chicken pox. I also discovered that there was a new medication to shorten the duration of chicken pox, but it has to be taken early. My doctor didn’t know about it, which was really unimpressive.

Also I have relatives and others in my family history who either lost children or have had children born deaf because of Measles, Rubella and Diphtheria.

So, obviously I’m in favor of getting the vaccines (unless there is a medical reason or previous reactions.) Don’t we have an obligation to keep others who are too young or too sick safe? I’m sure many parents have thought they don’t need to vaccinate since many of the diseases appear to be gone. Yet, in these last few months we all know measles is coming back. I'm very grateful for vaccines and that my children don't have to go through having these viruses. 


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I remember getting vaccines for something when I was young, but not sure what. I did go through chicken pox when I was young. It was awful, but I'm glad I didn't endure it as an adult. Sounds like your experience was ten times worse.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I think the problem with our country is that we have gotten too complacent with our privilege. In Africa, mothers will walk miles carrying their children on dirt roads to get vaccines for their babies because they know these diseases kill. This whole measles thing has been a great wake up call. I just hope polio does not come back. Good grief...polio is such a scourge.

Botanist said...

I remember getting a number of vaccinations as a child. However I still went down with measles and mumps in my early years. No harm done, luckily. Chicken pox in adults can get really nasty, so I think you were very fortunate.

What makes me angry about today's world is the blatant misinformation that gets circulated about vaccines. It gets so much much airtime in the media because it makes news. It also does untold damage to people's health. Grrr.

Pat Dilloway said...

I had chicken pox once but it wasn't that serious. People who are against vaccines are dumb.