Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sh is for Shingles (Insert Scratch Here)

I'm back after a little absence from my blog.  And boy do I have a story for you. 

Around three Wednesdays ago I discovered what I thought were four mysterious insect bites on my upper right arm.  They were in a perfectly straight line and had formed into some nasty looking welts. It looked like a bug or spider had crawled into my sleeve and stung me again and again.  On Thursday they were still there and itched like crazy.  On Friday I started feeling like I was coming down with the flu and was still itching.  By Saturday morning I had two more bites, all in the same area of my right arm, but the welts were getting more painful.  Kind of like someone was sticking needles into my arm when I least expected it.  I told my husband about it and we immediately began a Google search for "spider bites."  We searched until we found a picture that looked just like my arm.  That is when my husband turned to me and said, "Honey it looks like a case of Shingles to me."  Nah.....couldn't be I thought.  That's a condition that you usually get after you are old enough to collect Social Security.  I didn't want to take off work on Monday to go to the doctor, so I made an appointment to our HMO's Urgent Care Facility.  And I felt silly doing so.

Six hours later, after a full examination, two steroid shots, a prescription for the world's largest blue pill and a doctor's order to stay home from school for one whole week....the diagnosis of Shingles was confirmed.    When I told the Urgent Care physician that I was a Kindergarten Teacher he laughed and said, "Now THAT might be the stress that brought on your Shingles."  For one moment I felt validated.   And then sighed deeply and went back to my scratching. And thus began the longest and most uncomfortable week I have had since a bout with Kidney Stones about ten years ago.

I am much better now and no longer contagious.  I went back to school this week and got LOTS of hugs and a great big card from my Kinders.  My doctor wants to boost my immune system a little bit and that sounds good to me.  The End. (Insert single scratch here).

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