The World's Leading Authority in Shingles

So, yeah, my kid has shingles. And why do I love you all? Because you've been trying to help me figure out what ELSE it is. Y'all? Sweet as sugah. Sadly enough, it really is shingles, and since I now know every single thing there will ever be to know about shingles*, and therefore have an excuse to be an over-bearing know-it-all in yet another field of medicine, I thought I'd tell you how you can know if your kid gets it, too. Which they won't. Because almost no kids do. Because only my freakazoid family gets these stupid, weird illnesses.

Really. How many kids do you know with conjoined toes? How many people do you know with two holes in their heart (who are still alive?) Horseshoe kidneys? Tumors on their brains and their thyroids? DOGS WITH LYME'S DISEASE? Bungholes in the middle of booty cheeks? It's a good thing we're witty.

Shingles: A kid has to have had the Chicken Pox first. Now, if you've vaccinated your kid for the CP, chances are they're never going to see the shingles in their childhood. Chances, mind you. It's extremely rare for a kid with the Chicken Pox vaccine to get shingles. Apparently, it's not rare enough. (Side note: I fought that damn vaccine tooth and nail, got bullied into giving it to her, and am now violently spitting at that moron.)

Exposure to a virus causes it. The odds are stacked really high in favour of that virus needing to be the Chicken Pox virus, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that. It can be any old virus that really gets their immune system distressed. That virus courses itself through their little body and low-and-behold! What does it find? It finds some lingering Chicken Pox anti-body (immunization or just residual from actually having the disease.) The anti-body and the virus meet. They woo. They make exchange of vow. And then, once they're all confortable and start farting in front of each other, BAM. The virus cheats on the anti-body with the neighboring nerve. She's way more edgy, and closes the door when she pees and stuff.

You can tell it's shingles and not, say, the Hand Foot Mouth thingy that a lot of you guessed 3of3 has by this: H/F/M produced little rashes around the, you guessed it, hands and mouth. And sometimes on the booty. Shingles, however, are isolated and don't seem to spread very far. They follow a nerve. They tell me it's commonly found on the chest. 3of3 has it it a nerve of her left arm. What we saw was a rash in her fingers (nerve endings, yo) that then appeared in her palm, around her elbow, and more or less in a straight line up her arm (following the path of the nerve it hit). They are large clusters of rashes that have lots of small, fluid filled blisters in them. It kind of looks like a bunch of little spider eyes looking back at you. For us, it looked like a contact burn at first, and then an allergic reaction, and then an insect bite, and then I noticed that it was hanging out around her joints. That was my first BIG clue.

The pain comes from the pressure on the nerves. The pain is quite intense.

The good news is that when children get it, the duration isn't as long and the pain is not anywhere near as intense as when an adult gets it. It still hurts, but $5 and one box of Dora band-aids plastered up her arm, and she's hangin' tough.

The other good news when kids have it is that no medications really do a dang bit of good, so unless it's in the nerves of the face or eye, they are going to send you home with a prescription for lollipops. You can give Tylenol if the pain is really bugging them, but you will NOT have to force anti-virals down their throat. Also nice is that it's not horribly contagious. If it can be covered with clothing, it's not considered non-communicable. Unless you've got a thing for licking rashes. Which, if you do, could you maybe not read my blog anymore, okay?

Oh, and one other bit of good news? The kid slept until ELEVEN today. That? Like heaven.

*You know I'm kidding, right? Because, yeah, I'm totally kidding.