Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Plague

One Friday, the fourth in February of my freshman year in high school, my mother, sister, and I swung by the local Dollar General and picked up some needed items. Normally we also picked up something to snack on, this was no exception. My treat was a bag of Pixy Stixs. I loved them, and still do. The plan was not to eat the whole bag. When I got home, I sorted them by color and ate the whole bag. So much for the plan. Seconds after I finished the last one, I was assaulted by a massive headache. It was excruciating. So much so, that it actually hurt to move my eyes. I don't know how, but I managed to fake my way through the evening, while not giving the impression to my family that my brain was about to explode. I attributed it to the Pixy Stixs and went to bed.

The next day, I found a blister of some kind on the back of my left shoulder. My mom looked at it and couldn't think of anything strange about it, just that we might want to watch it. I promptly forgot about blister until Sunday, after my shower, when I discovered another. They itched a little now. I walked out of the bathroom, wrapped in my fuzzy robe, to ask my mother about itchy blisters. We looked it up and learned about a certain illness that, while red spots are more famous, can have blisters instead. Chicken Pox. My mom had the school nurse take a look at me before classes started, Monday. The nurse was skeptical, but did confirm, after inspection, what had been suspected. I did not attend classes that day, or any other that week.

My memory of that time is fairly fuzzy. I remember walking around the house crying from the pain, my grandmother bringing movies and watching them with me, and thinking over and over that I would wish my experience on no one. Never was I so happy to return to school. Despite missing a week of lessons, I managed to maintain my A B average. I had a fair amount of scabs, some of which I remember pulling out of my hair. Trust me, the insides of your knees, where your collar rubs your skin around your neck, those blisters were no fun at all.

When we suspected it least, the plague struck again. My sister was far from pleased. I once turned on my phone after classes and received a text message from her. It detailed that I should come home soon because she was lonely and cats don't speak English. I felt awful.

Chicken Pox takes ten days to show symptoms. Using this knowledge, we learned that my sister contracted it the last day I was contagious, and I got it on a Tuesday. According to my journal from that time, it was a snow day. Mom says we had gone to Wal-Mart, but I have no definite proof or anything to disprove that statement.

As Thanksgiving approaches this year, I thank my father, God, for the well being of my family, friends, and those I do not know.

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