Shingles On Point.
My last post was about keeping up with everyone and blogging more. That obviously didn’t happen. Thanks shingles. Appreciate that.
I haven’t wanted to talk to anyone. Not one person. I haven’t wanted to read anything, watch anything, eat anything, DO ANYTHING. After a few Doctor’s appointments and a visit to the Emergency Room I’m finally feelin’ myself again. It’s a WIP (Work In Process).
I’ll elaborate on what shingles are, etc. It’s pretty common for people older than 55 but sometimes attacks people younger IF they’ve had chicken pox before the virus is still in your body “hiding” as one doctor explained to me. It’s waiting for your immune system to crash…..crash meaning to be at it’s lowest weak point and then attacks. Or, you could be stressed beyond measure. The shingles will attack your body if either of these low immune system or high stress situations come up or the combination.
When they attacked my body I had no idea what was happening to me. Symptoms were two huge lumps aching and throbbing in my neck. One on each side which after googling I found those were my lymph nodes. Loves, I’m so shortsighted when it comes to medical terminology. I have to google everything to figure out what could possibly be wrong with me or to find out what certain medical words mean when friends or family are diagnosed with something so that I can understand what it is and what they’re going through.
To make a long story short after the lymph nodes calmed down a very ugly rash showed up. This rash was on the right side of my face, deep into my ear canal, all over the right side of the front of my neck and wrapped around the back of it and up through the right side of my scalp. Strangely to me everything was on one side, my right side. First it was itchiness and a deep red. I had to refrain from scratching it. The itchiness was comparable to the chicken pox or poison ivy. Within a day it turned into itching and a feeling like someone had a very sharp knife and using the tip of that knife to constantly stab your face, ear, neck and scalp. It was a throbbing, aching, itching and crippling
feeling. At times the stabbing was deeper, stronger and faster. The pain was excruciatingly miserable. It was enough to put me in a fetal position, crying and praying for my life to end. I cannot tell you how horribly painful this is. It took several attempts to find something to relieve this cruel pain.
The doctors finally found something that helped ease the pain a little for me which is hydrocodone. But that still didn’t take all of the pain away. I wanted something to soothe the pain in my ear, face, neck and head. My neighbor brought me three filets of fresh aloe vera. He’s always using natural things and has tons of these huge aloe plants in his house. Cutting off a few pieces I would rub that plant on my face, in the ear, my neck and scalp and let me tell you, it was heavenly. Like an orgasm heavenly. If you ever get hit with the shingles I want you to know the aloe works wonders. Not the store bought kind for sunburns, the real aloe plant. It helps with the scarring as well.
Shingles or as I like to call it, “Satan’s Spit” can last weeks, months, and years. It can fade away but when you get stressed out or that low immune system it appears again. If you get a shot for it, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gone forever. When it appears again due to the stress/low immune system it won’t be as horrible as the first time is what the Doctor’s explained to me.
I normally have a high tolerance for pain. Example: Having my hysterectomy and being cut open with 30 stitches. With that incision I didn’t even take anything for pain. I hate taking prescription pain medication. I will occasionally take Tylenol and Ibuprofen from time to time. But I just never wanted to take the pain prescriptions because I’ve been afraid I would become addicted or something. But when I went to the emergency room I would’ve taken anything they wanted to give me. They gave me a shot of Percocet and steroids. The Percocet put me out of my misery for 24 hours. Needless to say I was so grateful for it.
I only take the hydrocodone at night if I’m in pain, not during the day because I am trying to work when I can. I work from home sometimes and occasionally I feel up to going into the office. I close my office door and hang a sign on it “I have shingles, enter at your own risk. You have been warned.” The question about this being contagious comes up often so I’m sharing with you information from healthline
which will break it down for you.
Are you bored yet reading this? I hate medical stuff like this but I’m posting this for an important reason. I don’t want any of you to endure this pain. This is why I wanted to share my experience with you and to help you prevent it if I can through my story. How can you prevent it? If you’ve had chicken pox and you’re over 55 get in your car now and get to the Doctor and get your shingles vaccination. You’re welcome. Avoid this pain and embarrassment if you can. Some people get the shingles on their abdomen, or under their breasts, on their back, rib cage, etc. I have it on my face where it’s obviously visible and people are staring at me and wondering what’s wrong with me I’m sure. I feel lucky, in fact, fortunate that it’s on my face and not on the abdomen, back, under my breasts because it hurts terribly just to touch it or to even lay my head on a pillow. I can’t even imagine having to wear clothing on top of the shingles. It has to be completely torturous.
If you’re younger than 55 how can you prevent “Satan’s Spit”? Stay healthy. Take care of yourself by taking Vitamin D to keep your immune system up. I recently picked up some Emergen-C Immune Gummies
If you’re dieting or have a healthy eating routine, having one of these is like a special treat. It honestly tastes like a sugar coated gummy. Plus, you get three a day. That’s what’s up!!!
I’m begging you loves, do not stress out. “How is that even possible with everything I have going on right now?” Train your mind to think “Is anyone or anything on fire? Is this brain surgery? Is whatever you’re stressing over worth the shingles, a stroke or a heart attack? I think not. Before this happened to me I would stress over things like people not pulling their weight in my office or the same continued errors happening when people have been corrected multiple times. Co-workers not giving a **** about their work or the customers best interest. Now that I look back I think Really? You’re not even a manager or a supervisor so what other people do here is not your problem. You cannot control what others do. I need to focus on myself and stop stressing over irrelevant issues. I think everyone is guilty of stressing over things we have no control over. Get your mind right and center your thoughts on what you can do and also think positive. I’ve found what works for me recently is listening to music. Music can set my mood and keep me relaxed while working. I plan on putting together my playlist for you in the next post. Maybe you’re able to put in some earbuds at work and listen to soothing music, if so maybe I can play DJ with you and you enjoy some of my beats?
Below I’ve included pictures of the stages of my shingles. I think visually you might get the importance of taking care of yourself and decompressing. It’s humiliating for me to post these pictures because it’s NOT pretty. I apologize in advance for the quality of these photo’s. I never said I was a photographer, just saying. But, if it will grab your attention and help any of you realize how important your wellbeing is then it’s worth it to me.
Thanks for stopping by and reading. I hope you’re all doing fantastically well.
Stage 1 – I normally have pretty clear skin and my ear does not normally look like this large nor this red……Ick.
Stage 2 – That’s Aveeno soothing bath treatment on my face. I was desperate and mixed it with some cold water and applied it. It felt OK but once it hardened it was hard to remove. I do not recommend doing this. The blackish grey around my eye is from crying. 😦
Stage 3 – This is when it was at it’s worst. Satan’s spit was raging on this day and my face was and neck were on fire. My ear was throbbing. Pure misery.
Stage 4 – A little better after the shots at the Emergency Room
Stage 5 – At this point I was feelin’ myself because I could actually see a huge difference and had taken a hydrocodone an hour earlier so I was feeling pretty good.
Stage 6 – Today’s picture. Much much better and feels like I’m heading in the right direction and healing.