Kaylee and the Chicken Pox

by Chrystal Johnson on October 18, 2010

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If you follow me on facebook or Twitter, you probably know that Kaylee came down with the chicken pox last Friday (10 days ago). It was a bit of a surprise because we weren’t aware she had been exposed. But, in a way, we were happy that she contracted chicken pox now, so we can get it out of the way while she’s still young.

Taking care of her on top of working has been a handful—which is why I didn’t get any blog posts out last week. She has wanted to nurse and be held a lot, and has been whining more than normal due to the itching (poor baby), but overall she has been a real trooper.

Kaylee is all smiles, even with the chicken pox

She is still mostly all smiles and is happy to just crawl around and play with her sister a lot of the time. That surprised me. She hasn’t liked the fact that we’ve kept socks or gloves on her hands all of the time to keep her from scratching though. I’m just happy she’s still too young to take them off. It will probably be a different story with Zoë.

Oatmeal baths have been a fun activity for Kaylee. And calamine lotion seems to be helping with the itching while also helping to dry the chicken pox out. I also made a broth of carrots and cilantro on the advice of an older Chinese woman at Kmart. Kaylee liked drinking that, but I’m not sure how much it helped.

She’s healing very nicely everywhere except in her diaper area. I think that’s going to take a bit longer than everything else to heal, even with giving her naked baby time and keeping a clean diaper on her as much as possible. I think pretty much all of her pox have scabbed over, so she isn’t contagious anymore, but we’re still keeping her at home to be sure—and keeping Zoë at home in case she’s contagious.

Now we wait to see if Zoë gets the chicken pox. I’d love to get it out of the way for her too. The incubation period is typically 10-21 days, so we should hopefully know by this weekend if she’s going to get it.

One question I wasn’t expecting to answer repeatedly is, “Didn’t she get the vaccine for chicken pox? My kids did.”

(1) She’s only 8 months old (it’s not given until 12 months) and (2) I don’t see a need to vaccinate for such a mild childhood illness. I would much rather give her the opportunity to build natural, lifelong immunity. And no, Zoë is not vaccinated for chicken pox either. Honestly, the chicken pox wasn’t that much harder than her having a bad cold. Maybe it’s because she is so young.

There are inherent flaws with all vaccines, but the chicken pox vaccine in particular is one that I believe has the potential to cause much more harm than good. It does not provide lifelong immunity. A booster is required 5 years after the initial dose. And, there is no long-term data available on the duration of protection offered by the second dose of varicella vaccine.

So, for all anyone knows, that second dose could wear off 5 years later and you wouldn’t know it. I would personally much rather my children have chicken pox while they’re young than put them at risk of contracting it as an adult (when it can be much more serious).

There is an interesting study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that goes into more depth and detail on the subject: Loss of Vaccine-Induced Immunity to Varicella Over Time. Check it out if you want to learn more.

And that’s not even getting into the ingredients in the varicella vaccine like human albumin, MSG, cow serum, human diploid cells and more.

Of course, everyone is entitled to their own decision. But our decision for our family is to trust in our immune systems and not taint our bodies with harmful ingredients whenever possible. And, after going through the chicken pox with Kaylee and seeing just how mild it was for her, I am happy that is the decision we made.

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