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?

 

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Angpow Story - Tetris Game

~ Posted on Monday, January 28, 2019 at 12:26 AM ~

I have been sharing some of my favorite angpow pieces on an angpow collectors group in Facebook and some members have been telling me to continue sharing my memorable stories and so I thought, why not write it down, that way, our kiddos can read about it when they grow up next time, eh?

For those of you who are not familiar or never heard of the words 'Angpow' (also known as 'ang pau', 'ang pao', 'angpau'), here is a quick definition:

Angpow = Red Packet (filled with cash inside) given during festivals

So for today's angpow story, it comes from this piece of lovely angpow:

Angpow

Today's story is about this KitKat angpow which has the Tetris design look.

I remembered when I was in my early teens (mid 90s), my late dad bought a video game console and it came with hundreds of games. One of my favourite games to play is of course the Tetris game. I would sit and try to crack the game, trying to score higher and higher and break each record every time.

What's more memorable was the option for dual player mode and I remembered playing this game with my late mum as well. I remembered watching my late mum sitting engrossed with the game, trying to BREAK my high score lol. So so memorable sight to cherish forever.

Looking at this angpow reminded me of these childhood times...

 

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Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose

~ Posted on Friday, August 17, 2018 at 11:52 AM ~

Argghhh.... the inevitable has happened... no matter how I tried to deny and pretend it will pass... Was told by my gynae to start 2 weeks self-monitoring of my blood glucose and he will revert back 2 weeks after that to see whether I needed insulin from hereon until I give birth to our 5th kiddo.

I have previously wrote about Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose a few years back, which turned out fine after 2 weeks monitoring. So hopefully I will achieve the same this time. As I still have my glucometer and all the rest of the stuff, hubby made a quick trip to our local pharmacy to change the glucometer's battery and get a new bottle of test strips (where you drip your blood onto the strip to get reading from the glucometer) as the previous unused batch already expired in 2014.

Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose

I find it harder this round to cut down my sugary stuff intake. I get snappish and cranky and even had a short bout of depression during the high/low sugar spike phase. I'm very grateful that hubby is very commited and involved in helping me through this phase. He's making salads for my breakfast and making sure I'm cutting down my sugar and carbo intake.

Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose

Results so far for 2 days are okay, within the normal limit except on day 1 when I whacked extra portion for breakfast and my results spiked up to 8.7 exactly 2 hours after breakfast. Scary!!!!

Gynae suggested within these 2 weeks to do at least 2 complete days of monitoring - means, to self-prick finger and test blood glucose level before and 2 hours after every main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and 1 final round before bedtime (which I didn't do oopss)


** 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.
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