My first time with chicken pox was far different from my second time. The first time was akin to a poison ivy rash, my skin being spattered all over with red spots that itched like crazy. I had a runny nose, a fever, and a headache. Basically it was not too much different than having a common cold at the same time as having a poison ivy rash. When it was gone it was gone, and left no scars, no discolorations, and no joint pains.
My second time covered every inch of my body, both inside and out, with what appeared more like third degree burns rather than a rash, and the flue-like symptoms were far more severe and debilitating. I was, for the first and only time in my life, completely immobilized. It stayed with me for nearly 3 weeks, and when it left, it left my skin scarred, my joints forever aching, and me never able to run again as a result of the damage down to the lining of my lungs. My second bout with chicken pox, was nothing like my first, and the symptoms were so dissimilar that I would never have recognized it as being the same illness twice..
When I was 13, I had contracted chicken pox. I had what the doctor called an internal form of chicken pox, meaning that it had spread to the inside of my mouth and gone down into my lungs, which I was not aware chicken pox could even do, before it happened to me. I could not eat, nor breath. I was told by my doctor all sorts of details about chicken pox that I had no idea existed. Like most people I just thought it was some normal thing that all kids get, and it wasn't something to worry about. According to my doctor chicken pox, in young children is usually harmless, however, chicken pox in teens and young adults was often fatal, and people who got chicken pox multiple times, were at a high risk, because if you get it twice, that means there is something wrong with your immune system, which caused you to not become immune to it the first time. My doctor said it is so rare for a person to get it a second time, that most doctors, will misdiagnose it until it is too late, because they don't even think to look for chicken pox if your record says you've already had it.
I had never heard of an internal form of chicken pox before, nor had I ever heard of anyone getting it a second time, nor did I know before than, that chicken pox was a commonly fatal disease. While my doctor was telling me all of this, though, I didn't really care, because all I knew was that my insides were hurting like hell, and that the skin on my tongue and inside my mouth was covered with huge bleeding boils and blisters. He said that these huge sores on my face and inside my mouth, were also inside my lungs, which was why I was having such great difficulty breathing.
The first time I had chicken pox, I was all covered with tiny red spots, like painful pimples, but this second time, wasn't like that at all. This second time there were no little red spots, only huge boils, some of which were over an inch in diameter. They covered every single inch of my body, even on the top of my head and on the soles of my feet. Most of the worst boils were on my face, hands, and legs, however, resulting in not not being able to speak, write, or walk. I developed a 106* fever, and constant vomiting and diarrhea. My skin turned a horrid mustard yellow and caked with dried puss. The boils burst open at the slightest touch, even just my cloths rubbing against my skin would cause them to break open and start bleeding all over the place. It was the most painful experience of my entire life. Even 20 years later I still wake up screaming in pain just from the nightmare of it.
The doctor told me that this was typical of a second time outbreak of chicken pox.
I couldn't talk. I couldn't eat. I could barely breath. Every inch of my body was covered with boils and blisters, even the soles of my feet so I could not walk. I was shedding my skin like a snake, and the lining of my mouth was shedding too. I felt like I had died and my body had started rotting. I spent 3 weeks on a totally liquid diet, drinking everything through a straw because I could not open my mouth, and required medication to allow the swelling to go down in my lungs enough so I could breath. It was the only time in my entire life, when I was completely immobilized and became unable to get to the barn to feed my roosters. Oddly, the roosters, who were left out lose and unfed during my bed rest, found me, some came in the house and took roost on my headboard, while others, spent the night in the window box outside of my room. This was odd, because the barn in which these roosters lived, was an acre away from the house. The fact that they found me and came to the house and stayed by my room during that time, has amazed me to this day. No one ever did find out how the roosters found the house, how they found my room, or how they got into the house to stay in my room while I was bedridden. I have never been able to explain it, nor could my equally puzzled parents. The only explanation I was ever able to come up with, was that Etiole had to have gathered up the roosters and brought them to the house.
My bout with chicken pox, odd as this may sound, was one of the last times in my life when I was truly happy. If you know the timing of the murder trials soon to enter into my life, you'll understand. My best friend stayed by my side the whole time. It was this event with chicken pox, that bonded me and my best friend so very close together. I had only met him about a year prior in the spring of 1989. When I had chicken pox in 1990, he never once left my side. We became inseparable from that day forth. Our friendship had lasted just three short years. On August 21, 1991, he was the same friend, along with four others, who would be murdered in a blood bath that left their bodied chopped up and thrown around, by a crazed murderer, who had slaughtered them, for the plain and simple pleasure of wanting to watch some one die. I was with him when he died. His murder and the subsequent murder trial, forever changed my life.
Back to the chicken pox. When it was finally gone, I thought it was over. Than my doctor told me something else: I was told that because this was my second time having chicken pox, that I should quarantine myself from all contact with any one suspected of having chicken pox for the rest of my life, because I was one of the rare individuals who did not develop an immunity to chicken pox the first time I had gotten it. He pointed out the difference between my mild first bout of chicken pox and my severe second bout with it, and than warned, that each time I got it, it would be worse than the time before it, that this was the nature of chicken pox and why it was considered to be such a dangerous disease in individuals, like myself, who were not immune to it. The doctor said that the older I got the more deadly chicken pox would be for me, and that each time I contracted it, it would be worse than the last time I had it. He said that my lack of an immunity to chicken pox was a very serious condition, one that I must not under any circumstance take lightly. He said it could not be overstated how much I needed to understand how serious a matter this was. He warned me repeatedly, that I should avoid not only people who had chicken pox, but also anyone who had had recent contact with someone with chicken pox, because even if they did not catch it themselves, they could still carry it to me. He warned that my contact with young children who could catch chicken pox or who had not yet had chicken pox, should be limited and that I was to avoid contact with all small children as much as I could for the rest of my life. If anything was going to kill me, he was sure it would be chicken pox.
Basically he did a very good job of scaring the hell out of me. Of course, my 3 weeks of agony and suffering, did a good job at scaring me too, because the last thing I wanted was to go through that again, let alone a worse version of that. Chicken pox, because my worst nightmare and my ever morbid dreaded fear. Since my second round of chicken pox, my contact with Humans has been very limited at best, and my avoidance of small children of the "chicken pox age" can be described as bordering on extreme paranoia. It was around this time that I also took to avoiding contact with anyone appearing to even have a slight cold for fear that they may have chicken pox.
Why did I suddenly decide to write this down? Because in a few weeks it will be the 20th anniversary, since my second round of chicken pox, and thankfully in those 20 years, I have never had to fight off a third round and I intent to keep it that way.