Proof of Chickenpox

Every now and then a patient visit prompts me to look back over my almost 25 years at this clinic.

Bill Maloney is applying for a job in the mental health field. He came in yesterday for an immunization update. He needed to start his Hepatitis B series, get a two-step tuberculosis test, and also needed proof that he has had chicken pox, either through a blood test or a note from a medical provider.

Bill brought his daughter, Brandy, a petite, four-year-old brunette with serious, blue eyes. She is the apple of her father’s eyes, and he calls her his miracle baby. He has chronic health problems, was in and out of the hospital as a child, and was not easy for his single mother to raise. I met Bill and his mother Sheila shortly after I came to town in 1985. Her health was poor, and Bill was orphaned in his late teens.

“I know I had the chicken pox when I was about six. I still have a scar on my leg”, he said. I turned back the pages of his chart. There, a note from 1986 in my own handwriting, but much neater than my current scribble, indeed documented that Sheila had brought little Billy to the office with a typical case of varicellae. It was with a sense of both sadness and satisfaction I pulled out my prescription pad and wrote:

“I diagnosed William Maloney with chickenpox in August, 1986.”

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