Tuesday, July 8

It's the shingles

All right, so we might as well call this post, "Day Four: Shingles Watch."
Yes, you read that right: I've developed a lovely case of the shingles ... and not the roof kind either. (But you get a picture of the roof kind, just because the body kind is ugly.)
It all started on Thursday, when I found an itchy bump on the back of my head, right inside the hairline at the base of my skull. Friday, I found another bump, and it was even itchier. Saturday, more of the same, but a bit more achy. Sunday morning, I officially woke up with several, about five, large bumps in a cluster, that itched like mad and made the whole bottom quadrant of my skull ache. This, Brian and I decided, was a matter for a doctor. Well, Sunday isn't the best day to find a doctor, so I ended up at a very nice urgent care center, where a very nice physician's assistant diagnosed me with shingles, and gave me a couple very nice prescriptions. (Read more about shingles, click here.) So I'm rolling with the Valtrex three times a day for 10 days, and she gave me some Vicodin for the pain ... after the kid's asleep (when Syd's awake, I take Advil .. to keep myself quick).
At any rate, I've got an affliction that's making me feel icky and dirty, as well as itchy and achy, and oh my goodness, did you know that the damn things might ooze? Okay, for those of you who may not know, shingles is a chickenpox virus, which usually hits the elder of us, but can be brought on by intense stress or, like for me, no good reason but to piss me off. The virus manifests into blisters, bumps, redness and rashes on only one side of the body, and can take weeks to fully disappear. What I've got are the large itchy bumps that are at my skull, but also, irritatingly, seem to be traveling over to my ear. On the good side though, I think the initial bumps are finally shrinking.
Thankfully, both Brian and Sydney have been vaccinated, though apparently, I'm not contagious if my bumps/blisters aren't oozing. Can I just say, yuck? Problem: the bumps are right where Syd holds my neck when I'm carrying her. And they hurt to the touch. And they're on my scalp, so the ooze will go straight into my hair when/if it decides to appear. Now, I'm hoping that, since I caught this disgusting irritation early enough, the Valtrex will get to work quick and proper reducing all the symptoms and stuff, and make it all go away faster. Quite frankly, I'd just be happy to know that there won't be any ooze.
But right now, my bumps itch like crazy, I've taken a Vicodin so I can relax and get rid of the achyness, and I'm pissed that there's a big, red bump on the back of my ear, convincing me that yes, this shit is spreading over my entire head and I will soon be nothing but a big, red bump with ooze.

p.s. Creepy side note: Shingles is adult chickenpox. I had chickenpox when I was three, and ruined the country's bicentennial celebration for Mom and Daddy because I was sick. That weekend was exactly 32 years ago this past weekend. Weird, huh? Chickenpox hit me on the same weekend, over the same dates, only separated by 32 years. It won't catch me unaware again ... when I'm 67, I'll be ready.


Jil said...

I Googled my son's symptoms because we're waiting for the results of his lab test I wanted to know. I found your posting and now that I've read it I believe shingles is exactly what he has. He's 17 years old and in pain. He got an antibiotic yesterday but is so uncomfortable and just not himself. His bumps aren't oozing yet, and the most unfortunate part of it all is that he's a high school wrestler and can't wrestle now until he is all cleared up with his symptoms.

I didn't look at the date that you posted this, but hope that it didn't last too long and you're much better now.

Thank you for sharing your information. I always thought shingles showed on the back waistline.


Lori said...

I am on day 33 of the shingles. On my head. I am 45andthis thing afflicted me for no other reason than to piss me off too. I have been to the doc twice. He says I have a very severe case. Nice, right? Mine are all inside my hair but the gouges are intensely painful. Mine started with red circles that burned and bumps like you described. It felt like a chemical burn. I didn't go to the doc right away because I had been cleaning madly inside cupboards, mop boards and the like and figured I had just bumped my head and then touched it with the Clorox that I was using. Finally the burn got me to the doc. Started the valtrex right away, and maybe it did help, who knows? But here I am barely feeling human. At least I am no longer sitting on the couch drooling on myself in a medicated haze ala mental patient.

Some advice...ice packs! My husband and I had just been to an event where we happened to win this huge ice pack. It has literally saved my life. But it has been so hot here in Michigan some days that it starts dripping and I need something else for relief. My husband came home from work one day and was asking what I wanted for dinner (he has been nothing but great) and I reached up to the top of my head and grabbed the frozen package, looked at it, and said "apparently Birds Eye" as I tossed him the repurposed frozen entree.

Hopefully you won't suffer as long as I have, or did, honestly, I didn't even look at the date. I hope I am not like a decade late to the party. That would suck lol.

I am taking lyrica just started it and it does work, but it seems to take forever to fully kick in.

Ryan said...

wow, thanks for sharing. super gross, but I've had worse :)