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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nothing funny about shingles

I was diagnosed with shingles on Tuesday, and have tried to come up with something funny to say about the experience, but have lost my grin. I waited an hour to set up a same-day appointment after we first saw the blister rash (the dear husband was the first to diagnose it, so I was only going for a second opinion). The PA that I met with later that morning prescribed an antiviral med, and offered pain medication later if I need it. The reason I was so hot on getting the antiviral medicine is to try to keep down the postherpetic neuralgia that follows shingles - they say that your best chance to fight this is by getting medicine within the first 72 hours. Since I already wear enough neuralgia to share with a neighborhood, keeping more at bay is a big deal to me.
Lucky for me, I don't do paper hanging for a living (the rash is on the upper chest by my right arm). But wearing clothes is an issue - yet required for my job, imagine that. Having plain white t-shirt between me and outer clothes has been a big help, keeping the rougher fabric away from the rash.
I know that anyone with cancer or other diseases that affect the immune system have a higher chance of developing shingles, so this wasn't a total surprise. Just a big disappointment, another pain to deal with, and not how I wanted to face the holidays. I work hard to be just as reliable and vital at work as before the cancer came, and hate it whenever something comes up to remind the bosses that I am 'damaged goods'.
For more information about shingles, including photos in case you need to check out your own rashes, check out MedlinePlus:


Dee said...

I completely agree with you - having garden variety earaches and colds is no fun after or while you're in treatment for cancer. It's salt in the wound. A total PITA. Who wants it during the holidays? Girls just wanna have fun . .. just rest up as much as you can and while you take pride in your work, give yourself permission to chill out and enjoy your holidays!

Jeanne said...

Hey, sweetie, no way are you "damaged goods," although I know what you mean.

I've had shingles as well, once before my cancer and once after--when we were all freaked out (my doctor and me both) thinking it might be some nasty cancer recurrence in my skin.

I was glad to learn that it was "just" shingles, although they can be pretty awful. Glad to hear that you got a quick diagnosis and quick treatment.

Take good care of yourself. I'm snoozing in front of the fire today--I think I did too much yesterday.

Daria said...

I'm sorry you got shingles ... it really sucks that we have to deal with all these other ailments after cancer.

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