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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Mingling with Shingles

Whenever I’d thought about shingles (the illness, not the chalet-style roof tiles), I’d picture Albert Steptoe and his raggedy, grubby, fingerless gloves. I thought it was an older person’s disease; the type of older person who was a rag and bone man and lived in festering filth and had various, named rats as pets.

The nurse from the medical practice just rang and said that according to the results of the swab, that excruciating pain in my neck, head and ear and the itchy rash across the right side my chest, neck and back is most definitely the result of the shingles virus.

Enter… filthy, old, festering woman.

I cried when the nurse told me on the phone because my head was hurting so badly at the time. I cried when I walked in the door yesterday after work because I’d been barely surviving a living hell, all day. I’d take some painkillers and they’d dull the unbearably vicious stabbing for an hour, but then I have to wait for three more hours before I could take any more.

I cried again last night because even three glasses of red wine and two Mersyndols couldn’t completely settle the rogue ganglion of nerves on my right upper torso.

I’m actually conversing with the pain… abusing it in fact. “Fudge off!” I yell at it every time I get a particularly brutal spasm. “Fudge off, ashmole! Nobody asked you to chime in!”

Scotto just came home with some ointment.

I’m spreading ointment on my shingles. How attractive does that sound, Harold?

The ointment contains capsaicin which works by burning the nerve endings and somehow tricking them into not hurting. The trouble is I can’t put it on my scalp because of that stuff on my scalp called hair. Oh bugger it. I’m rubbing it in anyway. But the label says it will take four weeks to work anyway. I’ll be in the nut house by then for sure.

It could be worse, I know. I could have a tummy bug. There’s nothing worse than feeling nauseous. Or I could have the flu. I hate having a fever and that feeling of not being able to breathe. Or I could have something terminal.

What’s a bit of vice-like agony between friends, eh?

You can get a needle to prevent shingles.

If I’d only known about it.

Anyone who’s had chicken pox can develop shingles and it’s especially likely if you’re over 50 years of age. My advice is to go and have the vaccine because it’s a bloody horrible thing.

Plus, I just found a new red lump on my chin. Soon it will creep insidiously onto my face and people will think I have leprosy or just plain old school sores.

Things ain’t cooking in my kitchen, a strange affliction has come over me (told you I was going nuts).

Feel free to send flowers.

Have you ever had shingles or do you know someone who had them and survived?