Last night, in the middle of one of the most difficult LDoN (Lost Dungeons of Norath) that Kevin and I have ever done, the phone rang.
It was after ten o’clock and the area code was 304 (New Jersey). Wrong number, I figured, but answered it anyway.
“Hi, KT,” said a familiar voice. “This is Greg. I have two kinds of bad news. The kind that affects me and the kind that affects you and me.”
“So… what’s the news that affects me?”
“I have the chicken pox,” he said. “So I’ve exposed Jessica to the chicken pox.”
He’d been over on Thursday night and I’d noticed that he was rather spotty, but Greg has pretty bad skin even under the best of circumstances – eczema and something else – so I’d assumed that he was just having a bad outbreak of it. I mean, it’s awfully rude to say to someone with a skin condition “Wow, you look just awful pizza-like, did you know?” That’s what he thought, as well (that it was bad eczema, not that he looked pizza-like. Well, he migth have thought that, but he didn’t tell me if he did.) so hadn’t worried about what else it might be.
“Shit,” says I. “Oh, shit, shit.”
Kevin, playing on the computer less than 2 feet away: “What’s up?”
Cellphone with a low battery: “BEEP!”
“So what else happened?” I ask him.
“Well, I’m in the hospital.”
“SHIT! Greg!” I originally thought he was in the hospital for complications from the chicken pox.
“And, well, what do you normally think of when it’s me in the hospital?”
“You had another seizure?” A few years ago, Greg had a couple of completely unexplained and never diagnosed as anything seizures. He takes medication now and hasn’t had one for a few years, but it’s sort of scary because no one has any idea what caused them or if he’ll ever have another one.
“No.” He paused, then admitted, “I was in a car accident.”
“Oh, FUCK. Are you ok?”
Kevin: (rather insistent now) WHAT?
Cellphone: (also rather insistent) BEEP!!
On the screen in EQ there are four mobs attacking the party and I’m running low on mana.
Brain: fuck, jessica is only 7 months old and chicken pox is particularly bad in young babies and complications and now I’m worried and and and…
Greg says something I didn’t hear at all. In attempting to clear up the EQ problem, I forgot that I was asking him a question and attempt to explain why I’m so distracted.
Cellphone: BEEEP FUCKING BEEP ALREADY!
I scramble off the phone with Greg without ever actually asking him if he was injured in the car accident or what happened or anything like that. I vaguely notice that he seems a bit upset (I admit, I would be, too) but was massively distracted and I didn’t pay it much heed, but did promise to call JD and Rob and let them know, in case they’ve never had chicken pox either.
Kevin: “WHAT HAPPENED?”
I explain the situation to Kevin, who also reacts with a string of impressive swear words followed by: “Damn, he’s 30 years old. How the hell does a 30-year-old with a double handful of brothers and sisters NOT have had chicken pox before??”
I admit to having no clue.
After the LDoN (boy, was that a bitch and a half. We finished with only 7 minutes to spare, nearly got killed at least twice and 90% of the mobs were casters…. yuck!) I called a nurse on the nuse-help hotline and talked with her for a little while. She said she believed that getting the chicken pox vaccine within 48 hours of exposure would still prevent the illness. (Of course this happens on a Friday night when doctor’s offices are closed and will be closed all weekend)
In the morning, I call my pediatrician. Forgot that the office is moving this weekend and is not open until Tuesday at the earliest. Shit. I tried calling their answering service to see if I could page the doctor. Their Automated Voice Mail had me push a lot of buttons and I ended up at the Department of Defense. WAAAAAAAAAAAY wrong number. (Ok, is it bad that when I heard “Department of Defense” I got a cold chill all through my stomach?)
I call around the Urgent Care centers and find a nurse to talk to there. She says it’s 72 hours after exposure, but she’s not sure if an infant under the age of one year can have the injection, but she’ll talk to the doctor and have him give me a call back.
After a while, I get a call back from the doctor. Unfortunately, while chicken pox is most dangerous to adults over 20 and infants under 1 year, the injection is also dangerous to infants under one year. So, no injection for Jess!
The incubation period for chicken pox is 10-21 days, so it’ll be a while before we know if she caught it from her exposure…