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Chicken pox in adults?

(22 Posts)
Fran1 Tue 14-Jun-05 08:24:02

Has anyone had chicken pox as adults?

My dp has caught it from dd despite already having it in his childhood. The doctor wasn't surprised apparently this is becoming more common to have it more than once.

Any advice from experienced sufferers?

DP has had it over a week now, and he really goes up and down, from being able to walk around and just complaining of spots hurting, to being bedridden, sweating and drifting in and out of consciousness.
I'm not exaggerating when i say there is not a centremetre of skin on him that doesn't have a spot. there are even millions in his mouth and down his throat.

The doctor hasn't seen him, only diagnosed over the phone and recommended two lots of painkillers. Dp is off his food so is literally survivingon a cocktail of painkillers and i'm giving him diarlyte too as hes not eating. Over the weekend dp felt so bad he rang nhs direct, and they said get the GP out but he wouldn't come.
DP tried to ring surgery to speak to GP yesterday but it was constantly engaged during the one hour you can ring.
I'm thinking of ringing the surgery today when it opens and insisting the GP comes out to see him what do you think?

By the way the things we are trying are

bicarb of soda in bath
calamine lotion - although doesn't seem to help.
lots of water to drink.

Any other suggestions! please i'm frightened how ill he is!

Satine Tue 14-Jun-05 08:27:17

Blimey, Fran, your poor DH sounds as though he's really suffering. Have you considered taking him to A & E? I don't mean that I think he's that bad but if that's the only way he'll see a doctor, it might be worth it, if you can physically get him there. I just can't believe how hard you're finding it to get your GP to come out! Really appalling.

QueenFlounce Tue 14-Jun-05 08:27:56

Fran1 - Gawd thats a severe case! Get him some antihistamines too... like Piriton or Clarytin. That will sort out the itching!

But I'd get him to see a Doctor too, just be checked out.

Usually the worst of the symptoms are over once the spots scab over.

Fran1 Tue 14-Jun-05 08:30:19

Thanks you too. I know thats normally the case but many of his spots have scabbed and he is still really ill, not just with itching (in fact that hasn't been a big problem for him) it's more the illness he feels with the rest of his body.

merryberry Tue 14-Jun-05 09:01:06

I had it at 21 and suffered like your DH and got through with careful home nursing (thanks mum!).

But I had a male secretary who had it at age 41 and was off work for 5 weeks: it is so much more severe with age I think. My sec's chest got involved - the poor poor man had spots in his mouth and throat and ?lungs! and got a bacterial chest infection on top of the virus.

The nursing you describe you're giving him is spot on - fluids, salt and sugar replacement therapy. Keep him cool and clean, keep the room dark and keep the bedlinen changed at least every other day. Try and be aware of how much he is peeing: he should pee a couple of times of day - it will be dark and smelly as he's ill, but if that stops as well then you really need to insist on medical advice.

You should insist you get a doctor out to check him if he stays as poorly as you describe. His chest should be checked, and someone with an expert eye needs to look at his hydration levels. Consider taking DH's temperature every 4 hours so you have an objective measure of how long he has been ill for at what temp.

I wish you both well, it's sounds awful, I hope he turns a corner soon and is more comfy. Lots of love, an ex-nurse and adult chickenpox survivor!

Fran1 Tue 14-Jun-05 09:05:56

Thanks merry berry, i am now going insane as i have been ringing the docs emergency number with noone answering and then at 9am they put a message on to say they are now closed ring surgery. The surgery has a message to say they are closed ring the emergency number ! arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhh!!

merryberry Tue 14-Jun-05 09:15:24

That's a stunt my new GP surgeery pulls as well!!

Can you or a neighbour/friend/relative go and doorstep the surgery? to get a GP to call you?

When this is over you should write a formal letter describing your problems with accessing the service they are obliged to provide and asking for an explanation of how this situation will be improved in future. CC it to the local primary care trust who pay the GPs for their services.

ninah Tue 14-Jun-05 09:41:52

YOu need the docs fran
My dp just had it badly age 47, the doc prescribed some pills to stop it turning into shingles.
Apart from that you are doing all the correct things. Try Eurax lotion instead of calamine. And Piriton.

blossom2 Tue 14-Jun-05 09:44:32

Fran1, my DH caught chickenpox when he was 32 years old!!!

He spent 2 weeks completely wiped out. First week was the worst, could not eat, slept alot and generally really ill. we took paracetmol for his temperature and made him lots of soup and fruit shakes. The second week was better but his spots were driving him mad - he spent all the time read/sleeping/sitting in the garden to keep himself cool. Byt the 3rd week, his spots had started to scab and he went back to work. it took another month before he was fully back to normal.

There is nothing I could do, but make him as comfortable as i could and let the virus work its course. He had it round about this time actually, so the heat did not help.

What annoye dme was that DD then proceed to get chickenpox at 4 months!!!

Good luck

Fran1 Tue 14-Jun-05 10:14:47

Got thru to receptionist who will pass message on to GP who may call or visit late this pm!!

She didn't even speak to GP so for all i know he'll decide not to. Now just sit and twiddle my thumbs!

merryberry Tue 14-Jun-05 19:52:54

Hope things are going well, xx

Fran1 Tue 14-Jun-05 20:16:56

Thanks merryberry,

GP rang dp this pm and said not worth coming out cos theres nothing he can do!
So thats that.

Will just pray he starts getting better soon!

thanks all!

charellie Tue 14-Jun-05 20:35:19

I have also had chicken pox twice. Once as child and then 7 years ago. I was very fotunate and only had it quite mild. Apparently if you only have mild chicken pox as a child then you can get it as an adult.

I would definitely demand that the GP visits as he has only been diagnosed over the phone and could be dehydrated. If they refuse is there any way you could get to the surgery

GeorginaA Tue 14-Jun-05 20:43:49

Fran - there is something he can do - he can prescribe antivirals (usually Acyclovir). Now surgery is closed can you try your out of hours service and see if they are more sympathetic?

Fran1 Tue 14-Jun-05 21:39:01

Thanks Georgina i had read about these but understood them to only be useful if taken at the onset of chicken pox and no good once it was established.

Let me know if you know different and i'll ring the docs again if so.

GeorginaA Tue 14-Jun-05 21:55:13

Ah good point, could be... hmm, but might still have some benefit? I know if you get hospitalized with it (with lung complications) one of the treatments is antivirals introveniously (sp?).

I personally would want someone to come out and check him, for all the reasons that everyone else has suggested. There can be complications in chickenpox (such as pneumonia) and these need to be checked for, imo.

Go with gut feeling, and don't afraid to be pushy if necessary.

Another thing to try - homeopathy. Have you got a homeopathic pharmacy near you at all? I think as he's really quite ill with it, it'd be important to speak to a properly qualified homeopath rather than try and self-prescribe, but any remedies can be used in conjunction with any medication.

Hope he's feeling better very soon.

GeorginaA Tue 14-Jun-05 22:02:39

Ah, no you're right ... within 24hrs But it does also say that it's important to diagnose chickenpox pneumonia (if present) early - so I would still push for someone to see him really.

Fran1 Tue 14-Jun-05 22:05:25

Thanks for that Georgina.

Its just comforting to have people on here that listen to me!

Its really odd he has a few moments when we think hes on the mend and no need to bother with GP and then he goes drastically down hill again.

I think i will do some more pestering tomorrow if hes still bad after another nights sleep.

He has actually spent most of the last three days and nights sleeping!

Thanks for all your help, and homeopathy could be a good route.

GeorginaA Tue 14-Jun-05 22:41:41

Update us on how he gets on, won't you?

Get lots of rest you too ... you must be exhausted looking after dd and dp!

Fran1 Wed 15-Jun-05 20:39:32

NO chance of rest! work p/t from home so every spare minute is spent working.

But today he has made a slight improvement and so we feel happy now he is on the road to recovery!

GeorginaA Wed 15-Jun-05 21:13:02

That's good Do try and get some rest though - can parents/neighbours/friends look after the kids for an hour or two so you can get a break? The last thing your family needs is for you to get so run down that you get ill too!

Thinking of you. Hope the road to recovery is a smooth one now...


merryberry Thu 16-Jun-05 08:34:06

Flying visit to say hope you're both doing OK, xx

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