So you were wondering how my week without a computer went, right? Well, here’s a few ideas:
- I enjoyed how I was able to relax. I wasn’t stressing over the constant clamour of the internet.
- I wasn’t very productive. I didn’t do much writing. The computer is where I compose most of my short writing, or at least where I edit it.
- I didn’t miss the computer’s power of entertainment. I had the radio and a hefty supply of good (and not good) books.
But this is all academic really because I’ve spent most of the last two weeks in bed, with grown up chicken pox.
I might as well make this post useful, so if you’ve got chicken pox, here’s what to expect:
Days -4 to 0
- A developing fever and a sore throat. You’ll think you’re getting a cold. Little do you know what the universe has in store for you: two weeks of ugly.
- You are now highly contagious, but you aren’t aware of that so you give it to all your mates. They’ll thank you in 10-20 days’ time.
- Discover funny little knobs behind head. Think that’s odd.
- Feel feverish.
- Feel sick.
- Collapse on floor in a faint.
- Wake up sweating, inside washing basket. Wonder how you got there.
- Discover the first pustule.
- Pustules multiply, popping up before your very eyes.
- A strange weight on your chest makes you paranoid that you’ve also developed pneumonia. Keep an eye on that.
- You indulge in lots and lots of sleeping.
- Pustules spread to legs, arms, back, face, and multiply on chest and everywhere.
- A few spots are slightly itchy. Not compulsively itchy, just a slight throb, a feeling of bulge that is tempting to check out. Don’t.
- Headaches persist through the day.
- Hard to sleep at night due to discomfort of the pustules.
- The weight on the chest, the sore throat and the headaches might have eased a little.
- Neck still aches though and you’ve lost your appetite.
- Pustules are multiplying and itching at a low level, but just enough to make you constantly aware of them.
- You try to have a shower to clean up a little, but can’t really do much actual cleaning because of vast number of pustules on your scalp. Your hair is matted. You consider dreadlocks.
- Notice that some have burst and some are starting to scab.
- Your face is burning and you think you might have accidentally burst a pustule in your ear. But it could just have been general grossness as you are now the ugliest you’ve been since you came out of your mother covered in blood.
- No chance of sleep because your face is covered with exploding volcanoes. The night is the worst time for sleeping. Get some in the morning.
- Fever seems to alternate with itching.
- Sleep in the day. Read. Twiddle thumbs. Listen to radio.
- Get the shivers before going to bed.
- Have heavy dreams, exhausting, fever and wake up with a headache and the sweats.
- On the plus side: the itching is almost gone.
- Feel ill some of the day.
- Appetite definitely back as you eat a six-egg omelette with sauerkraut and ketchup (because that’s all you’ve got left in the cupboard).
- Scared to believe that you have no new spots.
- Try a bath with bicarbonate of soda – yeah!
- Have best night’s sleep since Day 0. Still wake up three times for some sweats, but feel fine. Start enjoying the sweat.
- You dare to hope that you’re over the worst.
- Tired with a headache all morning and afternoon.
- The pustules have mostly crusted over and are beginning to fall off, or get rubbed off.
- You feel bored and lazy. This lassitude is now your biggest enemy.
- You’re not contagious any more, but you still feel disinclined to go out in public in daylight.
- Worst of the scabs are falling off all over the place. Gross.
- Your first day of full-on activity, like a normal person.
- You’re still a bit ugly, though.
- The worst of the scabs leaves a crater in your cheek.
- The face ones seem to develop and fall off faster than the chest ones.
- Could pass for a slightly uglier version of yourself. People stop screaming when they see your face.
- Just a few marks on your face that could be dry skin or normal spots.
- Your chest still looks like leprosy. Don’t show anyone.
- Still some itching against your clothes.
And still it goes on. Apparently chicken pox marks can take months to fully vanish – and, of course, some of them will scar you for life.