It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We were expecting 18 for dinner.
  1. Denial: I have stress zits
    I noticed in the shower that I had four or five zits on my scalp. Wow, I thought. I must be really stressed out.
  2. More Denial: I have hives
    The "zits" started to appear on my face and neck. I reclassified them as hives and vowed to relax more deeply.
  3. Still More Denial: I need medical relief for my hives.
    I went to the urgent care center. Several people took turns coming in and staring at my hives. "I guess take Benedryl?" said the last one. (My SIL, who is a doctor, told me I had to forgive them. "No one sees adults with chicken pox anymore.")
  4. The Pinnacle of Denial: I must go to the ER at 3 in the morning to get relief from my hives
    I didn't itch, but it felt like every nerve in my body wanted to leap out of my skin. I couldn't sleep. I wanted to run around the block for relief. Finally, at 3 am, I announced that I was driving myself to the ER. My husband did not try to stop me.
  5. Anger: The Admitting Nurse tells me I have chicken pox. She is clearly an idiot.
    So what if I had started to itch like crazy. I don't care about the picture of chicken pox you've Googled to show me. I did not drive over here at 3 in the morning to be diagnosed by the admitting nurse. You will show me to a doctor.
  6. Shock: The ER doctor tells me I have chicken pox. I am speechless.
    The admitting nurse wouldn't even let me in the ER. "There are sick people in there!" She puts me in a weird medical cube and makes the doctor come to me. He takes one look at me and says "yep, you have chicken pox." He then DRAWS ME A PICTURE of the "classic tear drop on a rose petal." As if I do not have thousands of these examples now all over my body. Thank you for the drawing.
  7. Hysteria: Upon returning home at 4 am, I announce that I have chicken pox. We collapse upon the kitchen floor in hysterics.
    We have over $200 worth of food in the refrigerator. He has polished the silver. There are borrowed chairs and china in the basement.
  8. More Denial: I cook half the meal.
    Powerful drugs plus adrenaline kick in. I make all of the sides that can be made ahead. I cook for hours before collapsing in the bed.
  9. Bargaining: Everyone cancels.
    I was the only one who hadn't had the pox or been vaccinated. I thought the non-elderly or ones with adult children would come and help my poor husband. Then I thought they would move it to someone else's house. All but my BIL agree to come. I am livid.
  10. Depression: I look like this.
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  11. Acceptance: Scab shedding is secretly fun.
    It's like the end of a thousand zits. Which is how this all began. And now I can look forward to shingles with the rest of you people.