Five Angry Spots

It’s a glorious April Day. March seems long ago, and that’s a good thing, as a very bad thing dominated my March. This is a cautionary tale.

Mid March on a normal weekend Sunday I awoke to a feeling of slight sensitivity on my left torso. I checked and saw no marks or rash. I carried on with my day while the sensitivity increased somewhat, but still no telltale physical signs of danger, and the discomfort was merely annoying.

Early on the following Monday morning – 3:00am – I am awoken by the dreadful pain on my left side, but still there is no rash; nevertheless, I am alarmed, not to mention tired. Could this be Shingles? I went to work and was able to teach my morning class with the assistance of Advil, and then off to the doctor. Yes, he thought I had Shingles, though still I had no marks on my skin. I was on the anti viral medication by 11:00am.

A day or so later I had a tiny circle of five spots on my abdomen; those spots – small and few – were the only physical evidence that I would have of a raging pain that made laying down excruciating and daytime life manageable only with medication. Several awful nights in which my left side and back were a blazing, angry, zone of pain were followed by a steady reduction of discomfort until, roughly three weeks later, I was blessedly pain free. My spots remained – gradually fading – my reminder of a dreadful interlude that was not made any easier by the requisition form I had on my desk for the Shingles Vaccine. I had every intention of getting the shot – soon, but NOT SOON ENOUGH.

I had a virulent case of chicken pox as a child; I know many people who have had Shingles and Suffered; therefore, I was going to get the shot, but I was in no hurry as I’m only in my mid fifties. Well, my bad. I was fortunate in that I was quickly diagnosed, promptly put on medication, and thus ended up with a mild case, but avoiding the malady altogether is best – so take heed. That is my cautionary tale.

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