Patient Comments: Chickenpox - Adult Experience

Question:Please describe your experience with being infected with chickenpox as an adult.

Comment from: SpottySue87, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 22

I'm 27 years of age and am suffering from chicken pox at the moment and I don't think I have ever experience anything like it. Here is how it started: Day 1: feeling a bit queasy, loss of appetite and head ache. Day 2: nausea but no vomiting, awful headache, shivers and body aches (almost flu like). Day 3: big bumps on my face and they didn't itch but were bothering me as more and more developed while I was at work. In the evening I noticed some on my chest and my suspicions began. Day 4: my face and head (underneath my long hair) were awfully itchy, I had a sore throat, dry cough and a very itchy vagina. I went to the doctors and he told me it was chicken pox but said it seemed mild so I must have had it before... he was so wrong. Day 5: I had a terrible night with the urge to constantly scratch, it was hot too so had a fan on all night to avoid sweating. I felt flu like again and had a load more spots. My face was smothered and my back, tummy, ears, armpits, vagina, bottom, nose, throat and mouth. This was the peak for me with more spots developing on my legs. I didn't want to get out of bed and just generally felt weak with a fever, shivers and aching body. Day 6: again, a terrible night sleep and really felt sorry for myself. Itching eased and some started to scab. Day 7: only just starting to dry up and fall off and generally feeling weak, aching body and weak feeling. The doctor seemed to think I must have had chicken pox before but how wrong he must have been. He obviously believes you can get it twice though and my parents honestly couldn't remember if I had it as a child or not. My son had caught it from nursery and recovered 3 weeks ago. So it does take time to develop. I have been taking ibuprofen, paracetamol (which never works for me anyway), bicarbonate of soda baths or oatmeal in a sock in the bath, calamine lotion, and a fan.

Comment from: SJDawn0123, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

I was 37 years old. First symptom was feeling queasy and unable to eat. When I tried to eat or drink anything, even a teaspoon of water, I dry heaved. Nothing could stay down. Constant headache 24-7 and 103 fever. This lasted for about 4 days when in my foggy state I realized I hadn"t eaten or drunk anything for 4 days and that wasn"t a good thing. I called the doctor who stated I must go to emergency room which I did. They thought I had meningitis. I got an MRI, spinal tap (ouch), etc., all negative. Mom says I had it as a child, which apparently I did not since you can"t get it twice. Finally, they diagnosed it as chicken pox. No itching and only four sores on my wrist. I was never so sick in my whole life. After that ordeal was over, I developed secondary arthritis for weeks. I couldn"t even wear shoes, only sandals due to severe swelling in feet and legs. Felt like I was 90 years old when I tried to get out of bed each morning. I don"t wish this on anyone. If you are an adult and haven"t had chicken pox, please get the shot!

Comment from: Spotty UK, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 29

I had chicken pox at age 41. Day 1, tiredness, aches in muscles and joints, and shivery that night. Day 2, I was weak and had fever all day, a few red marks on chest, that evening high fever 40.1C. Day 3, I had around 50 spots on trunk, face, scalp, and palm of hand, and a fever of 38.5C. Day 4 I was covered in spots, many blistered, some beginning to dry, I still have fever of 38.5C. I have been taking paracetamol for the fever and using Aveeno shower gel and calamine (which does help in my case). I am also wearing only light cotton and leaving skin open to air when possible to help the pox dry out. Miserable disease but could be much worse.

Comment from: serpico, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: April 16

I just had chicken pox. It lasted about a week. I first felt a little sick and sweated during the night, but didn"t think anything of it. Some small itchy blisters began to appear, and I was convinced I either had fleas or bed bugs in my house. Two days later I realized I had chicken pox. I stayed home for the next 4 days. Itchiness got worse for the next day but then disappeared very quickly. Next two days after that I had pretty severe headaches (almost as bad as my migraine headaches) but only at night. On the 7th day I felt fine.

Comment from: Rennie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 14

Two or three weeks ago my 8 year old son developed shingles (rarely seen in children). I was worried as I myself and his younger sibling haven"t had chicken pox. Four days ago the younger child too started with spots. No fever, their few spots have all but cleared. I on the other hand, suffered a day and a half with the flu like symptoms, and my whole scalp was itchy. The next day I got some red spots, and the base of my hairline had bumps and were itchy. Now to today, I am covered in over 250 spots (yes, I just about counted them all, but keeping track was making me upset). Around 50 of those are now blistering. The worst affected area is my "lady region". I have several painful pox around the delicate areas. Every few minutes I weep in uncontrollable bursts of moaning, squeals and tears. Last night I was awake for 4 hours with "her" pain. I have several in my mouth; under my tongue, inside of my cheek, back of my mouth and in my throat. My glands behind my ears and down my throat are swollen, and I just want it to end. I am so happy my kids didn"t get this bad.

Comment from: Ad, 25-34 (Patient) Published: November 27

I've had chicken pox for just over 2 weeks now (31 years old), all spots now scabbed up and slowly clearing. At the start of it I suffered headaches and aches and pains, couple days later couple of spots on the stomach, then a day or so after that I was covered (I mean covered) all over stomach, chest, back, face, arms, thighs hands and feet. I went back to the doctor as I could hardly keep myself awake, I was so lethargic and weak. The doctor said it was the worst case he had seen on an adult (spot wise). He gave me acyclovir and the spots stopped appearing a day after that and now they are dried up and slowly flaking away. Over the 2 and a bit weeks of having it, there were 3 consecutive days when I was really bad with symptoms of being tired, weak, sick feeling, fever, sore throat, severe headache and eye ache; I was itchy, irritable, confused and fuzzy. It's not a nice thing to have but hopefully just a case of waiting for spots to go now, hopefully my face clears up soon, I look a mess.


Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Chickenpox (Varicella) - Side Effects Question: Did your child experience any side effects from the chickenpox vaccine?
Chickenpox - symptoms Question: How did you first notice you or your child was infected with chickenpox?
Chickenpox - Treatment Question: What did your doctor recommend to treat chickenpox?
Chickenpox - complications Question: Did you or your child experience complications from chickenpox? What happened?
Chickenpox - prevention Question: Were you or your child vaccinated against chickenpox? Why or why not did you decide to get the vaccine?

Patient Comments are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on MedicineNet. The opinions expressed in the comments section are of the author and the author alone. MedicineNet does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Alert If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.


Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.