Tales Of An Expectant Dad: Week 26

urlOn November 5th 2012, my wife gave birth to our first child. During the pregnancy I decided that I would write about the experience. Every week since I have documented all of the events that took place throughout this time, along with my thoughts on them. Now that I can confirm that our baby is happy and healthy, I will share those thoughts with you.

Week 26 – From Pups to Shingles

Guys, you should all be alerted to the new task I am slowly taking on. I’m not thrilled about it, but it’s just something I have to do now.

I’m dressing my wife.

She is at a point now where bending down to take off or pull up her pants is not always possible. Aches and pains and the baby just don’t let it happen. So I do it. It’s kind of like dressing an adult sized baby, only without most of the fussing.

The other developing issue is a series of rashes on the side of Jess’ stomach that at first we thought were mosquito bites. Then they got bigger, and odd looking, and most concerning more painful. Jessica is pretty quick to jump to conclusions, but after I got a look at it a few days later, even I’ll admit something did not look right.

Being Jess, she typically went to the internet looking for something that matched her condition. Since you can find anything on the internet if you look hard enough, she discovered a description of an issue that fit her condition and mainly affected pregnant people. It is called puppp and it is not as cute as it sounds. It stands for pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy and it is essentially a rash that itches like hell and bothers you until the pregnancy is over. On the bright side it has no long term effects and treatment is mostly just putting cream on it until it eventually gets better. That would be all fine and good, but the pain became so severe that she needed to call the doctor to set up an appointment and make sure it wasn’t something more.

The midwife takes the call, and Jessica’s description of her ailment immediately made her consider an option neither of us wouldn’t have thought of. Shingles. We get referred to a dermatologist who, after initially being booked, makes room for us in his schedule on the description of Jess’ condition alone. This can’t be a good thing. She goes the next morning and confirmed what we suspected. “Classic case of the shingles.” That’s exactly what he said after seeming looking at her for two seconds. A prescription pill and cream later and Jess is out.

On a side note, Jess originally filled the prescription at Walgreens. While the doctor was not covered them, Jess was a member of their prescription plan which gives a nice discount. After the discount, she had to pay $210 dollars! Faster than you can say “pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy” she was off to CVS, which covered the doctor and cost her $10 for the same prescription.

What are shingles you might ask? Shingles are a painful series of rashes that blister and look gross and hurt like hell whenever anything touches them. It totally sucks and Jess is having a really hard time with it. The whole thing stems from the chicken pox. Once you have the chicken pox, they remain in your body as a dormant virus. Your immune system keeps you from getting the chicken pox again, but as you get older or become extremely ill, your immune system weakens and the virus returns as shingles. This is most common in people over 60 years old.

So this means my wife, who isn’t even 30 yet, has the health of someone more than twice her age. Her grandmother had the shingles just a year ago or so. It gets even weirder than that. Jess had the chicken pox not once, but twice! Now she has shingles! Essentially the same virus that is only supposed to affect her once, is now making its third trip around her body. Fortunately taking the medicine should start taking effect after a week and she should be pretty much back to normal in 3 weeks. Then again she’s had chicken pox twice so what do I know.

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