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.