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Chicken pox


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#1 Sweet

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 09:41 AM

Hi,
Just found out both my grand daughters have chickenpox! I'm supposed to be visiting them next week. I had chickenpox as a child, and the only drug I'm on is Plaquenil, some call it immunosuppressant, some don't. I called my rheumatologist and he said I should stay away from them. I explained the situation to his MA and she said "Well just don't' touch the spots". I don't believe chickenpox is only spread by touch for crying out loud. My primary care physician just called and he thought I'd be OK.

Thoughts? Experience?
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
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#2 Peggy

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 10:11 AM

I had chicken pox too but then as an adult I got shingles..................which flares up as a result of dormant chicken pox. Shingles can affect different areas of the body and my involvment was in the upper portion, meaning my face/head. It was terrible and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I don't know if you would be prone to maybe get shingles but I do know that our immune system is so involved that we have nothing to fight off any type of germ/disease/ailment so I can see why he would tell you to stay away. Your immune system is so compromised I can only imagine what this could do to you and I can imagine it wouldn't be good. I know it would be hard to have to cancel but I don't think you have any choice really. You have to make sure you take care of you! I wish you good luck on this decision as I know it will be hard for you.

Warm hugs,

Peggy

#3 Margaret

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 12:10 PM

Oh, Pamela....what a major bummer!!! But.......if they have them now and you aren't leaving till Monday, I would check up on the 'contagious' period. Isn't it the time before they pop out? I know that both my boys had pox marks on when we moved/flew to LA and they weren't considered contagious. I hope it works out for you. Where is it.........Australia or New Zealand?

Take care, Everyone.
Margaret

#4 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 12:24 PM

Hello Sweet

From your photo I never would have realised you hand grandchildren. Both Peggy and Margaret make valid points, find out the contageous period then base the decision on what is best for you.

I have no experience with this other than my husband had shingles and was off work for months.

Take care.

Amanda
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#5 janey

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 12:27 PM

Sweet,
Ditto to Margaret's comment - what a major bummer!!!!! I'm sure it's just as much a bummer for the girls as it is for you. I'm sure they want to be well when you get there. Please have a good discussion with you doctor. When my husband got shingles a while back, the first question the doctor asked was "Have you been around a kid with chicken pox?" Apparently it's the same virus. Well, he had been, so that's what the doctor attributed it to. Oh, and by the way, I don't think he touched the spots. :)

I did find this article on Chicken Pox and Shingles from the University of Maryland Medical Center. It's got some good information, probably not what you want to hear, but I know you like to be informed. Here's an excerpt:

Reactivation of the Virus as Shingles (Herpes Zoster). The major long-term complication of varicella is the later reactivation of the herpes zoster virus and the development of shingles. Shingles occurs in about 20% of people who have had chickenpox.

If you scroll down, it talks about high risk candidates.

If you plan on being there for quite a while, maybe do your site-seeing first, then the family visiting. I know you enough to know that NOT going is NOT an option! It wouldn't be for me. :) Everything's going to work out fine. Can't wait to hear all about it and see some more beautiful pictures of the girls.

Big Hugs,
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#6 Sheryl

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 12:53 PM

Pamela, go on your trip. Get a shingles shot first. In fact you can get it and your flu shot at the same time, if you are up to it. That way you are totally protected. You should not get chicken pox again since they would both be fever free and the spots should be starting to dry up. Call your doctor and get the shingles shot and you won't have any worries or issues. Have a fun and safe trip. I will be thinking about you. Enjoy yourself and live it up if you can with those kids.
Strength and Warmth,
Sheryl

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#7 barefut

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 03:21 PM

Dear Sweet ~

Both my boys had the chicken pox, one right after the other just 2 months after my sclero diagnosis.

It was a Saturday, I was having shortness of breath and called the on call pulmonary doctor at Virginia Mason. I explained my recent sclero diagnosis and me being on Cellcept and even though I had already had Chicken Pox too, he wanted me to come in to make sure I didn't have a lung infection.

1/2 day and many tests later I was sent home just fine. He consulted with his buddies and said since I had already had the pox, there was no reason to worry about that.

Relax and enjoy your visit. (a shingles vac is a good idea)

Love ya

#8 canon

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 06:07 PM

Hi Pamela,

This is a major decision. Emmm! If it were me I would throw caution to the wind and probably be ok. Then again now that I'm grown up, as of last week, I would read up on things. I believe the vaccine is live, the flu vaccine is not. There is a difference in susseptability to the live vaccines. Plaquenil is considered to be an immunosuppressant. At one time the weeping sores and virus shedding was considered air borne then it wasn't and last check it was I believe airborne again.

About 12 or 13 years ago when so many things physically were happening, I developed shingles. They made me very sick and they were quite painful' During the course of that year I was diagnosed and treated as having shingles 5 times. It sounds wacky but my immune system was wacky and obviously it too was a bad year. After the 5th time a doctor put me on zovirax prophylactically and never got them again and that pain never came back.

Hope this helps alittle.

Judy
A happy heart is good medicine.

#9 canon

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 06:14 PM

Pamela,

It must be too late for me to be up typing and trying to think. Chicken pox is airborne, shingles is iffy again. The girls have chicken pox. I would still read up. Of course we are out in the public anyway and who knows what we breath in everyday. They have not told us we need to be in a bubble.

Judy
A happy heart is good medicine.

#10 Buttons

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 08:58 PM

Poor you Sweet, what a bummer for you. I'd go with what margaret said. I had Chicken Pox as a young kid but managed to get Shingles in my mid thirties due to teaching in a school where lots if children dropped like flies with Chicken pox, it was not very nice at all!
Hope all sorts itself out. Take Care

jensue

#11 Cheryle

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 05:03 AM

Do NOT get the Shingles vaccine if your are on Immunosuppresants!! It is a live virus. Are you sure Placquenil is an Immumosuppresant? I didn't think it was.

If you've had Chicken Pox, you should be fine, as you have already been exposed. Once you have had the Pox, you can develop shingles in the future when you are under stress or have an illness.

#12 Sweet

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 06:25 AM

Oh my dear sweet friends, you guys are the best!!! I appreciate all the input and great information. I'm just going to go and worry about everything else later in the event it even is a problem.

Love you guys!!!
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#13 Snowbird

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 11:30 AM

Hope you have the best trip ever Sweet!! Safe travels and enjoy!
Sending good wishes your way!

#14 canon

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 04:58 PM

Pamela,

Have a wonderful trip and time!!

Judy
A happy heart is good medicine.

#15 Sweet

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 08:12 AM

Oh and Margaret, it's New Zealand!
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
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