About Me

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Douglas, Alaska, United States
I have lived in Alaska since 1978, having come to Juneau as a Jesuit Volunteer. I fell in love with Alaska and now live on Douglas Island with my husband and two dogs.

Friday, June 7, 2013

I'm All A-Tingle...

...and not in a good way.

Yesterday, I noticed that my back was kind of itching.  I kept rubbing against the sofa cushion, because it was in a place that I couldn't reach.  I finally took off my bra because I thought it was a tag or something that was irritating me.  I even ordered two new bras, because this was my favorite and most comfortable one, and I thought it was wearing out.

When I went to bed, I noticed that the itching had turned to a sensation of prickling, like somebody was sticking me with a pin about every 90 seconds.

It was driving me crazy, and I was tossing and turning.  I finally fell asleep.  This morning, I got up and noticed that the prickling sensation was still there (and getting worse).

I went downtown for First Friday Eucharistic Adoration and I found it very hard to concentrate on the Sacred Heart of Jesus because the discomfort was giving me fits.

After Adoration, and before Mass, I asked Charles to check my back (of course we went into the restroom).  He said there were about three little red bumps in a line.

I called my doctor immediately because I suspected shingles.    I was right.

So now I am taking a week long course of antiviral meds.  I am only contagious to people with compromised immune systems, newborn babies and individuals who have not had chicken pox (which, because many people choose not to immunize their children is a larger number than you might think).  I am not trying to start a debate here, but people who have chicken pox are more likely to develop shingles later in life.  Those who have been immunized against chicken pox can't get shingles.

I am not as miserable as Charles was when he had shingles.  As a matter of fact, I am not feeling too bad at all - just upset that I didn't get to go to the First Friday Art Walk and the Friday Night Concert at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center (I missed music! I missed food trucks!  I missed fresh locally grown produce!)

So instead, I stayed home and watched Seinfeld DVDs and the Friday night news magazines on TV.

So, the lessons in this story are:

  • Immunize your children against chicken pox, so they won't get shingles later in life.
  • Get immunized against shingles.  It lowers the chance of developing shingles by 50%, and if you do develop the disease, it will be a mild case.
  • Marry a man like Charles, who, when he picked up my prescription, also bought me a Almond Joy to cheer me up.



  1. Oh Paula, I am sorry. Mark had a mild case a few years ago; he was uncomfortable, but not in horrible pain. May you find only discomfort that passes quickly.

    I love that while you missed the Friday night activities, you found some joy in both your TV and your candy bar. What a good man Charles is!

    Healing prayers from here!!!

    1. Thanks Fran! This looks like a very mild case, so the prayers must be working.

  2. You have my prayers too. I have heard it can be a beast to deal with, so glad to read that it looks like a mild case.

    Please keep us updated on your progress. Big (gentle) hugs.

  3. My prayers for a quick and complete recovery. I had the shingle shot at New Years and am so grateful that I did. I will look for a man with Charles fine qualities. He is a honey! Take good care.

  4. Well Charles is already taken and I don't think you're going to let him lose!
    My daughter had shingles and it was painful more towards the end, than the beginning. I hope you don't suffer much with yours PAULA.


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