Well, I have both eyes almost fully open today, which feels monumental, after being one-eyed since last week, and half-eyed for a few days. Typing is easier, but still not quite easy, so blogging will be sporadic I imagine.
Here's the deal:
It started with a headache that felt like sinus pain.
Carlos, Do you want to see the doctor?
Then as the headache began to go away--and I pay attention to theses things because I rarely get headaches, I usually, give them--I noticed a red splotch on my forehead and down the bridge of my nose that hurt.
Carlos: Do you want to see the doctor?
I thought, Hmmm, sinus infection? I took Tylenol; didn't help. Sinus meds? No good. But then it looked like it was going away and so I relaxed a litter. Then, on Friday morning I woke up, and my right eye was swollen almost shut and the rash seemed to have spread across my eyebrow and right side of my forehead.
Me: I want to see the doctor.
So, off we went, and the doctor said it seemed like Adult Impetigo, which is a form of staph, but relatively minor and treatable. Prescriptions were given for antibiotics and lotions for rashes, and home I went. On Saturday, however, the rash was worse, spreading all over the right side of my forehead, and around my right eye. To top it off, now the left eye was swelling. Carlos and I monitored it--it had been less than twenty-four hours since I began the meds--and I washed it and lotioned it, and medicated it, and rested, to no avail. Luckily, I think for us, because of what we'd soon learn, I had been sleeping on the couch for a couple of nights because I was constantly getting up and didn't want to bother Carlos; that was good.
On Monday morning my blood work came back and it was discovered to be shingles. This is a form of Herpes, a form of Chickenpox, and really quite awful. The skin blisters and hurts and feels likes it burning and there is a great deal of pain. Now, I am a drama queen, no denying, but this pain was unreal, because it was constant. I was snapping at Carlos because he would do the most horrendous things like saying, How do you feel? and Can I get you something?
But, without knowing it was Shingles, my sleeping on the couch was a good thing, because Shingles is quite contagious, especially for someone like Carlos who's never had Chickenpox. So, I moved into the guest room and guest bathroom, and we are keeping ourselves as distant as possible. Carlos new name is Clorox because everything I touch he bleaches within seconds of me leaving.
Think I'm kidding? Tuxedo is now completely whitye.
No lie. Okay, so, as you can see, my sense of humor, or sense of the absurd has returned.
The new meds, an antiviral and Prednisone, have helped endlessly. The swelling is going down, the rash has stopped spreading--though oddly enough it only spread onto the right side of my forehead, eye and a little into my scalp.
The remnants, though, are these awful black scabs, but I keep them clean and dry, and use fresh sheets and towels every single day, as well as completely washing any clothing, day-to-day.
I am happy to say I am on the mend. I feel ten-times better than I've felt in days, though I am not quite 100% yet. It may take another week or so for the rash and blistering to be gone, and then, from what I've read, and been told by Doctor Carlos, Shingles affects your nerves so there will be some flashes of nerve pain for a while.
That's the bad news. the good news is that, in almost all cases, once you have Shingles, you don't get it again. Which thrills me no end, because I.Don't.Like.This.
I hate the pain.
I hate the, no matter how lovely it might sound, "honey-colored" pus.
I hate the scabs. The blisters. The puffiness. The pain.
Did I mention the pain?
And, while I am good at it, I also hate feeling sorry for myself. In fact, in talking with my Dad last night, feeling a wee bit better, I said something or other about how it could have been worse, and then he agreed, reminding me--because we all need to be reminded, especially this time of year--how badly other people have it.
And that helped.
To think, that if this is my big worry....fucking Shingles....when I have access to medical care and people who love me, and a partner who loves me and cares for me, doesn't kick my ass out when I start bitching about being asked if I'm okay, well, if that's my biggest complaint, then I should just shut up and sing.
Or, shut up and let Leann Rimes sing.
Nice segue, huh?
I saw this at Towleroad, and I'm sure it's been everywhere, but it's Leann Rimes singing "The Rose" with the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles at their holiday concert. She dedicated the song to those wonderful beautiful, young LGBTQ men and women we've lost through bullying and suicide. See, I thought I had it bad, but I have someone there for me. I have a helluva a lot of someones there for me.
I don't need to ask for help. It's there before I form the words.
I don't need to ask for acceptance. It was given all along.
I don't need to ask for love. I've always had it.
So, enough feeling sorry for myself.
I'll shut up, and let Leann sing: