The Nightmare Before Christmas

I had the worst nightmare before Christmas. And it happened 5 days before my year-end holiday. It ruined all my secret Christmas holiday trips with my parents and loved ones!

A week ago, I was perfectly normal. One minute, I was attending a meeting at work, the next, I was shivering with a high fever kicked in. It was a strange new experience. There was no symptoms. I had no flu, cough or sore throat. My body just shut down with this sudden high fever. I decided to stay away from work (my first MC in 2 years!) and took a day off to rest.

The next day, I went to see the doctor. He too, couldn’t provide me with any medical reason about my fever. He gave me the usual fever and pain-killer pills. He suspected a virus attack and asked me to rest for 2 more days. It wasn’t any typical fever. It came with severe headache and body-aches. I lost appetite and I had difficulties breathing. It was extremely uncomfortable and it was driving me crazy.

On the third day, I started to notice some rashes on my chest, arms and back. There were a couple of tiny red bumps near my elbow. One of them looked like a blister. Instantly, my worst fears surfaced in my mind. I was swearing and cursing in the shower room. Felicia asked me what happened, I told her my suspicion. I made a trip down to the clinic and showed the doctor the new symptom. After checking my body, he confirmed I had chicken pox.

My heart sank. The first thing I thought of was my wife and son. Like me, they never had chicken pox too. It will be devastating if the entire family was infected at the same time!

I came home and asked both of them to pack their bags. I immediately checked them into a nearby hotel for their remaining days in Hong Kong. I cancelled all our air tickets and hotel bookings. Originally, I planned a surprise 1-week Christmas vacation (for my parents, Felicia and Elkan) at Taiwan.

Having chicken pox at 40 was a humbling life experience. The books were right. Chicken pox is no small feat for adults. I sincerely urge all adults who never had chicken pox to take a chicken pox vaccination jab. Trust me, it is bearable but I wished not to experience such tortures again. The sickness took a heavy toll on my body and mind. The first three days were the worst days of my life. It was worst than what I experienced in National Service. I am extremely weak and under extreme pain. The pox spread everywhere (on my palms, in my ear and even inside my mouth). Thankfully, Tracy had chicken pox before and she took great care of me throughout this tormenting ordeal. 

It was extremely difficult for my loved ones. To avoid any contact, they cannot visit me and can only drop food/gifts by the door. Finally, after 10 days of house-arrest, my body has recovered and I managed to have a short Christmas dinner with my family and friends this evening.

It wasn’t the Christmas I have expected. Still, I appreciate this experience. It taught me the value of good health and family bonding. To my parents, wife and child – Thank you for being so patient with my sickness. Thank Felicia for dropping lovely meals by my door step. Thank Tracy for fetching me medicine, food and water 24/7. Thank Chowpo and Harshad for accompanying my parents and popping by to fill my apartment with so much warmth and sunshine. I am sure in another 2-3 days, I will be able to go out in full. On a positive note, I am finally immune, this will not come back (cross my fingers) to haunt me for a long long time. Thank you all for all the beautiful gifts and good-wishes. Looking forward to more happy moments with all of you in the coming days! Happy Poxing Day!

2 Responses to The Nightmare Before Christmas

  1. Frank says:

    Sitting in bed on possibly my day 4 of having the pox… your post is helping me mentally hahaha

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