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Nothing funny about shingles

Posted Dec 17 2009 12:00am
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: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/shingles.html
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