Monday, April 26, 2010

Itch, Scratch, Itch…

I’m feeling rather old and tired.  It is 7:30 at night and I can’t keep my eyes open.  This pattern is a repeat of last week where I swear I was in bed by 8:00 every night.  It started with a small rash, you know, the kind where your bra rubs you the wrong way on a hot day?  Unless you’re a guy, and then I guess you’ll have to imagine something else.  Anyway, I woke up one day and there were little bumps all over the rash.  Go to the store, get some cream to sooth the little bumps.  Go again looking for something better to help with the itch.

I worked all week, and finished off the week by cleaning out old files in a dusty, dirty plant basement, sneezing, coughing and hacking all day.  The only good part of that day was that I had a co-worker helping who is a quilter, and we starated our weekend early by visiting our favorite quilting store (part of our reward for doing the crummy job) near the plant.  Ahh, the weekend and I don't have to wear a bra...  The real fun begins.   Damn, someone is sticking sharp needles in my skin all hours of the day and night!! Too late to go to the Dr., unless I want to spend hours in urgent care on a weekend.  Wake up Sunday morning with 8-10 red bumps on my arms, chest, face and legs.  Uh oh, something is wrong, so I resolve to call the Dr. first thing on Monday.

I get to work and call the Dr. and get an appointment.  I check on my co-worker, and she tells me she has a rash on her face!  She calls the Dr. and gets an immediate appointment.    She calls after she sees the Dr. and tells me she has shingles.  I go to the Dr. and I have shingles too.  I'm told I had shingles as a baby and the virus can lie dormant in your body until your immune system is compromised.  With 2 colds in 6 weeks, I guess my system was compromised.  Both Dr.’s tell us we are not contagious.  Doesn’t sound right to me.  I feel like Typhoid Mary…

The Dr. says there is not much they can do for me because the most effective treatment needs to be started in 48 hours, and I had this longer than that.  On the good side, it is starting to heal and there are far fewer sharp needle pains.  Lesson learned.  Don’t wait to go to the doctor!  Now if I can just get this itching all over my body to stop I’d be in good shape.  Benadryl is my new best friend, and it does a good job of helping me sleep too!  I'm sleepy so I guess I’m off to go to bed.  Hope tomorrow will be a better day.


  1. Oh my dear! I had a bout with shingles a year or so ago and it came upon me after I had had a bad cold. I think the "compromised immune system" theory is correct.
    Hope you feel better soon.

  2. Oh dear. You are contagious to someone who has never had chicken pox. Our nurses had to have a positive history of chicken pox or titer to care for shingles patients.

    I heard this one on NPR for skin itching from mosquito bites: crush antacid tablets (tums, maalox), mix with a little baking soda and water then slather on your skin. It's supposed to be more gentle to the skin than calomine lotion.

    Try extra vitamin c and l-lysine supplement to kick your immune system in the butt. It sounds odd that two of you contracted the same disease at the same time. Very odd.

    Get some rest, Karen. Now you have a reason to go to bed early (though your body knew you had one before you did).

  3. Oh, if it's not yet past your bedtime:

  4. Oh my. I hate to hear that. Hope it goes away soon! Just enjoy the Benedryl rest!!! ;)

  5. Yucky - hope you feel better real soon.

  6. My Mom had them a few years ago and it was a bad case of them, yours sounds sort of mild. I had a mild case of them too not too long ago, they are not fun and take a long time to go away. Hope you feel better soon.

  7. Oh dear! I hope you make a speedy recovery!

  8. Hope you're all better by now. I know the aches and tiredness can last a long time.


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