by Bobbe Vernon
Last week, my 22-month old great-grandson Carter erupted in an itchy rash, head to toe. He was miserable! And I immediately thought about measles. He had had his first measles shot, but two are required, and he is not yet old enough for the second shot. And how would such a young child contract the disease these days anyway?
Unfortunately, today, more American children are contracting mumps, measles, and rubella than they have for decades. And one reason seems to be the misguided, incorrect belief of some parents that vaccinations can cause autism.
This episode reminded me of my own experiences with measles. When I was in the seventh grade, my younger brother Stevie came down with measles. I caught it from him, and so did our mother, even though she had had measles as a child. And despite being sick, she got out of bed to scrub the entire bathroom before our beloved pediatrician Dr. Green made that house call. Even he couldn’t understand how she could have contracted the disease after having had it as a child.
A year later, Stevie contracted measles again. Dr. Green said he wouldn’t have believed it if he hadn’t seen my brother’s first case with his own eyes. At the time, I was in the eighth grade, and, as a serious student, I did not want to be quarantined with my brother. So that I wouldn’t miss school, I stayed at my Aunt Clara’s house while Stevie was ill, but Dr. Green warned, in no uncertain terms, that, if I felt that I was getting sick, I was to go straight home instead of to my aunt’s house after school. Yup, that happened! Mommy, Stevie, and I were the only people he had ever heard of who had measles more than once. I still feel guilty that his son Dicky, who sat next to me in school, caught the measles from me…
At any rate, it turned out that my great grandson Carter did not have the measles after all, and he is back at his Montessori school, where he probably contracted his itchy virus in the first place. We can now stop worrying that baby Tucker, who is one month old, will catch the measles from his big brother!
“18 months after my husband passed away, I heard about BOLLI and decided to try something new . That was in 2008, and I have been taking classes and enjoying new friends at BOLLI ever since. In the past, I have been a dressmaker, a math teacher, and, since 1976, I have been with Mary Kay Cosmetics (driving my Mary Kay pink Buick!), still not ready to stop making people feel great about themselves.”