Our Child's Experience With Shingles

~ Posted on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 12:05 PM ~

I'm sorry it has been a while since I last posted about myself and/or my family. It has been quite a whirlwind busy busy busy life with this Covid lockdown and lifting up and online and homeschooling and all sorts of activities.

What I wanted to write about today is our child's experience with shingles. Yes, I'm not bluffing or joking. A child's experience with shingles. OUR child. Our 10 year old girl.

Prior to this, my knowledge about shingles are:

1. It happens if you have had chicken pox before.

2. It happens to older people like 50s above.

 

Btw, you may, like us, wonder what causes shingles in our child? I mean, a child?!!! According to this website:

Shingles in children is not common. A child is more at risk for shingles if either of these are true:

- They had chickenpox before age 1 (Nope, our girl had her chicken pox at 8 years old)

- The child’s mother had chickenpox very late in pregnancy. (Nope, I had my chicken pox at 12 years old) 

- The child has a weak immune system from a health condition or certain treatments such as cancer therapy. (Nope, our girl is healthy and fine prior to this, the only thing I can think of is her prolonged breastmilk jaundice for 2 months that's all) 

- Children who get the chickenpox vaccine still have a small risk for shingles. But it may be a lower risk than after a chickenpox infection. And the symptoms may be less severe. (Our girl had her MMR jab at 2 years old which included chicken pox vaccine)

 

So really, I still don't know why it happened to our girl. Anyway, back to sharing our experience. It started somewhere near 10/11 November 2021 when my girl complained to me the back of her neck feels pain, kinda bumpy. I touched and tried to feel for any pimples (there's none), checking if there's any rash or bites (both also none) and hence, dismissed it as ingrown pimple at that time since she's active like normal.

Then on 13 Nov 2021, just as my husband and I were planning to make a quick trip for a picnic on the beach an hour car ride away, she came to me telling me her neck feels more pain now. I checked and see red marks at the back of her neck. It's kinda look like those mosquito bites that make you scratch and scratch. I don't feel easy by now and checked around and noticed some tiny blisters on her right arm. A quick Google search points to SHINGLES. Why I think so? It is because she had her chicken pox 2 years ago. And you can't get chicken pox TWICE in your life. Things progressed quite quickly from then on.

 Shingles in Children

Above pictures showing you 2 days timelapse on how the red marks progressed to blisters behind her neck and spreads to right arm, right shoulder and front right chest. We texted our GP with her symptoms and pictures and was confirmed it was shingles because:

- it is a painful rash that develops on one side of the face or body (in her case, it is her right side from behind the neck, to right shoulder and upper right arm)

fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over (it looks similar to those you have in chicken pox)

- the blisters are localised at behind her neck, to right shoulder and upper right arm and not everywhere in her body like how chicken pox would be

- she had her chicken pox 2 years back

Shingles in Children

Above close up picture of her blisters on her right arm.

Now as we are not a small family, of course one of my concerns is will it affect the rest of her siblings (age between 3 to 12)?


** GOOD NEWS:

1. Shingles is NOT contagious, but the varicella-zoster virus that causes it can be spread to another person who hasn’t had chickenpox, and they could develop the disease. You can’t get shingles from someone with shingles, but you can get chickenpox if you have never had any chicken pox in your life.

2. The varicella-zoster virus is spread when someone comes into contact with an oozing blister. It’s not contagious if the blisters are covered or have formed scabs.

3. We don't have any old folks staying with us so less 1 thing to worry about (old folks = low immunity and risk of getting) and there's no pregnant lady in our house.

4. Other than the minor loss of appetite, pain on blisters area and itch when scabbing, our girl does not have any other symptoms stated on most websites about shingles (such as fever, headaches, chills, nausea)


** BAD NEWS:

1. It is quite concerning to see a child getting shingles. Like I mentioned before, heck even our pead doctor said the same thing. It seems the shingles patients are getting younger and younger.

2. There’s no cure for shingles, but treating it as soon as possible can help prevent complications and speed up your recovery.

** Note: Pead mentioned to us that it is extremely important she is not to scratch her blisters and touched her face AND especially EYES as it can cause infection to her eyes and cause blindness!

 

Medicines we were prescribed (for reference in case you are researching on this topic)

1. ANTAMIN (Allersin-F) Tabs 4mg (this is antihistamine for the itch and allergy and to take twice a day)

2. REMAFEN Tabs 50mg (this is anti inflammation to take twice a day)

3. ACYLETE 400mg Tabs (this is antiviral treatment which needs to be completed like antibiotic course, to take 4 times a day)

Shingles in Children

 

What we could have done better?

1. Ideally, you should be treated within 72 hours of developing symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe medications to ease symptoms and shorten the length of the infection. The pead told me that if we had brought her in on the first day itself, she would be on her recovery phase already. (we brought her in to see pead on day 4 after rash appeared)

2. NOT to use acyclovir cream to apply on the blisters. We used acyclovir cream when our children had chicken pox 2 years ago. It helped to speed up and heal their blisters. I thought this round, it would be the same and from day 1 itself, I dutifully applied the cream on her blisters using cotton buds around 3 times daily. But according to our pead, shingles is virus attacking the nerves internally and the acyclovir cream is not effective against shingles. Her words, not mine. I did stop applying the cream on my girl and noticed her blisters dried up and some are scabbing within 2 days BUT there are new blisters popping up as well.


It is now day 7 from the first onset of the rash behind her neck. She is recovering slowly, she feels pain and itchy when her medicines wears off. She feels thirstier and sometimes lack the appetite to eat (but still forces herself to munch on something). I made sure to provide lots of snacks and drinks for her and also allow longer period of screen time for her (with moderate breaks in between screen time) so that she gets something to distract herself when the medicines wears off. I noticed she's happier when she gets screen time so I'm allowing it for this phase of course, anything to make her pain and discomfort as less as possible.

I just hope it doesn't happen to yours and if it really does, that this sharing of mine can help a bit and that there is other children experiencing what your child is experiencing and it is not life threatening as it might seem. Do read up more on shingles:

- Shingles (Herpes Zoster) in Children

- How can you care for your child at home?

 

** Note: I have disabled the commenting feature on my blog engine thanks to all the spammers who happily spam my blog every day. If you wish to ask me any questions, you can find me at my Facebook page (I'm there almost every day) or just drop me an email if you wish to maintain some anonymity.

Guide to Transporting Your Pet

~ Posted on Sunday, September 6, 2020 at 10:33 AM ~

Planning to move house across the country and you want to know how to prepare your furry friend for the move?  Pets are family and moving with them across the country can be an adventure.  How well they transition during the moving experience is extremely important. Moving long distance requires a lot of thought and planning, not just for your belongings, but for the well being of all family members.

As pets have an instinctive fear of new environment, pet owners want to help them adjust quickly. Pre-planning for the transfer of your pet, as well as for your household goods, should start as soon as you know you are going to move.  A long distance move can be a stressful time for anyone, pets included. If you are moving to a new city or state, you are likely to be worried about your pet's wellbeing. Do not let this cause additional stress.

Do scroll down for some tips on moving with our pet safely and make it an enjoyable experience.

 

Laws and regulations

Be sure you understand all rules and regulations related to animals for your new state, city, apartment complex, etc.  Health certificate from a veterinarian is required in several states as well as up-to-date vaccinations.  Certain breed is ban too so you will need to be aware of that. Exotic pets, reptiles and rodents may have additional requirements.

 

Schedule a vet visit

Bring your pets to the veterinarian for a general health checkup and to get the necessary documentation, vaccinations or medication.  Ask your vet for recommendations for a peaceful travel if your pet gets motion sickness or extreme anxiety in the car.

 

Ground Transportation for Pets

If you are unable to drive your pet to your new home on your moving day, you can use a ground transportation service. This service is typically more expensive than the other options but you can expect your animal family member to receive top-quality care and attention.

 

Choosing the right moving service

When there are pets involved, it is important to think about the moving service you use. Depending on the service you choose, your furry member may travel alone or with animals. All ground transportation services offer a fast and safe ride.  Finding the right shipping company for moving your pet should not be difficult with Shiply, an online shipping platform.  Shiply has a range of rated pet transport services that can send personalized quotes for your job and allows you to make comparison in one place.

To choose the best ground transportation for moving with pets across country, remember to find out if the companies provide insurance or you will need to purchase it, ensure that the business is properly licensed, and do research the company online.

 

The Cost Of Pet Transport

The cost of moving your pet can are based on a variety of factors such as distance, pet size, timing,  location for pick-up and delivery as well as the time of the year. These services can be costly, but if a pet is a cherished part of your family, no effort or expense should be spared to ensure that your pet is comfortable and safely transported to your new home.

How to Clean Your Electric Bicycle

~ Posted on Friday, August 28, 2020 at 2:47 PM ~

Electric Bicycle

How to Clean Your Electric Bicycle

During the current pandemic, it is crucial to maintain clean and healthy environments. You wash your hands and sanitize your home, but how often do you think about cleaning electric bikes? COVID-19 is a mysterious illness, but the one thing that remains consistent is that regular washing can prevent infection. Therefore, to limit the risk of bicycle contamination, consider washing your bicycle. The process is straightforward, but it does require some equipment and caution.

 

Equipment and Tool Needs

Before you dive into cleaning your bike, make sure you have all the necessary tools. When washing a women electric bike or a men's bicycle, you will need at least eight items.


1.    Dish soap

2.    Sponges

3.    Shop rags

4.    Garden hose

5.    Two buckets

6.    Scrub brushes

7.    Bottle brushes

8.    Soft, square head brush

Beyond the above tools, you may find the addition of a bike stand, chain keeper and degreaser useful. The stand is especially helpful, but it is also expensive, so you can make do without.


The 3 Don'ts

Whether you ride some of the best electric tricycles for adults or depend on an affordable hybrid, there are certain practices that you should not use or rely on when washing your bike. First, do not use abrasive sponges or brushes on your frame because they will scratch the finish, which can result in rust. Second, do not mix rags, buckets or tools. Using the same rag you used on your drivetrain will only cover the frame in grease. Finally, as tempting as it is to use a pressure washer to speed up the cleaning process, do not. High-pressure systems can force water and debris into your bikes bearing and sensitive components, which will lead to degradation.


The Process

Now that you have all the tools ready, it is time to dive into the washing of your bicycle. The process involves three distinct steps, and depending on your experience, you may finish washing your bike in about 15 to 30 minutes.
1.    Setup: Before you can start washing your bike, you first need to fill your two buckets with soap and water. Make sure to add a generous amount of soap. You will then need to mount your bike to the optional stand or find a way to prop the bike up for the wash. Then, remove the wheels and use the chain keeper to maintain tension. Finally, lay out your tools near you for easy access.
2.    Wash: To wash the bike, you want to focus on four sections: the chain, drivetrain, frame and wheels. It is best to use a degreaser on the chain, spraying it and letting it sit for ten minutes before rinsing. Then, use the first bucket of water and a stiff-bristled brush to clean the drivetrain. Finally, use a soft sponge to thoroughly coat the frame and wheels with the soap mixture from the second bucket. Get every nook before rinsing.
3.    Finish: To finish the wash, dry everything, and reattach all components. Also, lube the chains and give it a few cranks to ensure it is working.
Cleaning your bike, like cleaning everything else in the current pandemic, is crucial. If you would like more information about washing or sanitizing your bike, contact a local shop.