Things To Do When You Don’t Have A Computer #1: Get Chicken Pox

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.

Day 1

  • 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.

Day 2

  • 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.

Day 3

  • 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.

Day 4

  • 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.

Day 5

  • 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.

Day 10

  • 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.

Day 13

  • 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.

Day 16

  • 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.


What do you think?