Relief at last
It’s four weeks now.
I actually thought it was three weeks, though it felt like ten so it shows how my perception of time has gone arseways.
Anyway, it’s four weeks since I was officially diagnosed with Shingles.
If any of you have had a dose of this wondrous ailment then you have my sympathies. If you haven’t then I hope you never have the pleasure. It’s a bugger and that’s putting it very mildly.
It’s easing off now. I am no longer driving myself mad with the scratching and am managing to go the day without swallowing fistfuls of pain killers [which didn’t have any effect anyway]. I still have the odd itch on the back of my neck but scratching it doesn’t feel like I have set that whole area on fire.
The lurgy basically has three parts – the itching, the pain and the fatigue.
The itching is a pain because scratching an itch is instinctive, but scratching a small tickle will set the whole area off and make things ten times worse. They tell you not to scratch but that is nigh on impossible so you spend your time scratching and then cursing yourself for doing it. Night-time is is bad because I would scratch in my sleep and would wake up with the bed looking like I had been munching crisps all night. Not a pleasant sight.
The pain is a pain because it’s not normal. Usually it feels like your veins are suddenly filled with molten lead so the whole area feels like it’s on fire. Other times it just feels like a massive throbbing hangover, but only on one side. It’s not normal because pain killers don’t work. I know because I tried in vast quantities. I was prescribed a special one which works well and it removed the pain but did fuck all for the itch.
The fatigue is a pain because you just feel like all the energy has been drained out of a tap on your big toe. Talk about being knackered!
It’s nearly all gone now. As I type, I have a bit of a pain [in the neck] but little itching. The fatigue is still there in abundance but there’s little I can do about that. It’s a good excuse for not doing stuff though.
So starting today I am going to attempt to return my life to some semblance of normality.
I think I’ll start by going down to the village for coffee.
Good deal and all that! Glad to see that you’re on the mend finally and not having to go the long haul with that stuff. Be interesting to hear what your doc says about this. That is if you ever plan on seeing him in the near future?
Don’t forget to take Penny with you when you go for the cup of coffee otherwise she might miss her chicken bits and blame you for it.
What my Doc says about what? If you mean the link with the vaccine then I haven’t mentioned it to him [yet].
Of course Penny got her chicken. Even better, the Old Gang of regulars was back together for the first time this year. There’s hope for the world yet.
Well, I actually meant about things easing off to the point of being almost gone. That is if you haven’t mentioned it yet. And I had forgotten about the vaccine question altogether but I’ve found that forgetting seems to be a whole lot easier these days. That’s kind of bad considering I was always a bit absent-minded to begin with. A sure sign of (closet?) genius they’ve always told me but if it is, it’s still somewhere in the back of the closet.
Happy to hear you are on the mend sir.
Slowly. But I’m getting there.
hi grandad just to wish you well,long time since i lastcontacted you but still read your blogs every day.next month i am 83 but honestly i have been lucky health wise .i can now recieve rte podcasts on the tv which are much appericated .my travelling home days are now a thing of the past however the fear of being shot as a tourist by your good self no longer keeps me awake at night.thank you for all the enjoyment your blogs have given .cheers to you and your wife.best wishes from melbourne eamonn
Welcome back Eamonn [after two years – I checked!]. Sadly I think my days hunting tourists are over. It’s a combination of lack of agility and a distinct lack of tourists. I just send any I find up to the Bogs to get lost – less energetic but just as much fun.
Good to hear you’re getting better.
I had shingles about 7 years ago. It was nothing like as bad as you describe, maybe I got off lightly. I discovered the rash as I was getting ready for bed at about 11 o’clock at night so my wife took me to the hospital. I saw a doctor almost immediately who told me he thought it was herpes zoster (and I thought “how the fuck did I get herpes!?”) and prescribed some medication: cream and painkillers if I remember correctly, and we went back home where I looked up herpes zoster on Wikipedia. The next day I went back to the hospital and saw a specialist who confirmed it was herpes zoster and asked me to show the rash to his students. So I got to display my finely honed torso to a classroom full of young medical students.
All this happened in China. I couldn’t help comparing my experience to what would have happened in our own NHS. The Envy Of The World™ doesn’t fare well in the comparison.
Glad to learn you’re OK again, Grandad. The saga of your own Shingles attack makes mine very small beer in comparison.
I had it my sixties, waking in the early hours with an agonising stitch in my side every night. I’d have to get up and self-medicate with aspirin and strong, sweet tea laced with whisky – well, more like half and half, just to cool down the tea, you’ll understand – then I’d go back to bed and sleep like a babe.
After a week of this, I thought I’d best see a doctor. Prepared to be told I had cancer of the liver or summat worse, I was surprised when this breezy young bloke (why did all doctors start to look about nineteen?) after glancing at my bare midriff, told me I had Shingles, pointing out a ring of tiny red spots around my waist which I’d never noticed. He gave me a prescription, the pharmacist gave me the tiniest glass bottle I’d ever seen, with an equally tiny brush, and told me to dab it on the spots four times a day, which soon saw it off.
In short, my attack of Shingles was a bit of anti-climax being brought up on tales of horrifying pain lasting weeks. But I suppose I was lucky. (Or, one could attribute it, as I do, to a lifetime of temperance, honest hard work, and pure thoughts.)
Take Acyclovir. It does help. Herpes viruses are awful things. Sorry to hear about this complaint.
Thanks for the suggestion. I’m reluctant to mention it to Doc as he’ll suspect I have been at the Interweb again. He doesn’t like to think that I know more than him!
So glad you’re on the mend! Keep going!
Younger daught got it when she was just eight, and I’ll never forget the ‘scent’ of the meds, and her wandering around holding her little dress away from the marks!
Is coffee in the village strong enough, they’re open at midday…
Welcome Michael! Coffee in the village comes in two strengths – single or double shot. I’m not really a coffee drinker so I usually get the single as the double can make my head spin for a while. They privately call the single shot “without bullets” which makes sense. They’re open all day until five [Summer] or four [Winter].
As far as I know shingles is indeed caused by the Herpes zoster virus that can lie dormant for years until for one or the other reason your immune system isn’t completely up to its task – as, for example, after a jab that seems to reduce T-cells for a few weeks at least.
You should now be utterly immune against THE virus (cross immunity) and probably were before the jab – already immune people seem to suffer worse side effects from the jab than those not already immune. Why no one first tests on already existing immunity before jabbing is beyond me.