Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Slowly, But Surely.......

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?
Me: No.

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?
Me: No!

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.

Carlo: What?
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?

The bastard!

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:


froggy said...

So glad you are on the mend.

I dragged The Engineer out of the guest bedroom this morning to deal with puppy pandemonium that surrounds breakfast. I think I am on the upswing with this cold. That is what I'm telling myself.

Cubby said...

You're cute when you're in agony.

Get well soon :-)

mistress maddie said...

Again, it sounds just terrible honey! The Boy-toy got it twice from being very,very stressed out! He said the pain was something he never experienced before! It seemed like a long recovery because of the separation of the chance of catching it. He even ended up with a scar from one of them. But I'm so glad to hear your doing much better, I was thinking about ya girl!

mistress maddie said...

And from what you were telling of I thought it might be shingles! Sucks, just sucks!

Sean said...

What good news, I'm so glad you healing and that you'll be back to blogging at full strength soon. BTW - it is typical for shingles to only be on one side of the body.

Anonymous said...

Ohhh...I do hope you get well soon. If I even get sniffle, I panic. Even thought I know it's just a cold coming, I loathe being sick.

This past Sunday I swear I had food poisoning from the restaurant we ate at the night before. I couldn't keep food down, had the runs (not to be crude) and had the shakes and shivers for two days. It was a little scary. I was achy as if the flu were coming on. So, I hit it head-on...Nyquil, sleep, sleep, sleep, and stay outta my way. It worked. I felt so much better today.

Kyle said...

Very good news Bob; glad you are finally on the mend. Take care of yourself and don't worry about blogging. Fuck it in fact, just focus on getting better.

Anonymous said...

Get well soon. Shingles must suck something fierce.

I was vaccinated for pretty much everything as a kid, and I keep my Td vaccinations up to date too.

But I rarely get anything beyond the sniffles.

It freaks people out. Everyone around me can be sick and I don't catch it.

What they don't know is I'm a frequent hand washer. But I doubt that is all of it.

Mark in DE said...

So sorry for what you've been through, but so happy that you are finally on the mend. Sending you 'comfort' and joy.

Mike said...

Nasty, nasty shingles. Sorry you've been down and out...and glad you are feeling better. Put away the Clorox, baby...Christmas is coming!

R.J. said...

Shingles are definitely nasty. Glad you're getting better. Get your rest and hang in there. It will be all over soon.

Joy said...

Keep taking care of yourself. Glad you're on meds that are helping. Shingles suck!

Ken Monteith said...

I'm not sure I would put much stock in the 'can't get it again' school, especially as I have had shingles twice: once on the scalp and once the entire length of the back of one leg.

I think I have heard that you can't have them in the same place twice...

Stan in NH said...

Bob, sorry I am a little late with this. Glad you are feeling better, and I am sorry you had to go through it. My mom had shingles. Not pretty! Just heal fast. And have comfort drinks for the holidays.
My best holiday greetings to you and Carlos. :)

mrpeenee said...

Oh honey, I'm so sorry. I've always heard how dreadful shingles are. Is. Whatever. Also, I understand they almost always appear on only one side of your spine. Also, I think Valium is supposed to help.

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

a sigh of relief Bob!!
Please continue to be better~


Kevin said...

eek! the shingles are never good, lest they be on the roof!

feel better soon, and Merry Christmas! xo

Buck said...

You poor thing! The moment I beganreading this I knew it was shingles because I went through the exact same thing about 3 years ago - - and in the same exact place you had it (side of the face, head, etc) The pain IS horrible and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
And my worst enemy are the Republican bastards who prevent healthcare for everyone. If only THEY could have shingles and have to sit in a public hospital emergency room for eight hours waiting for care. . .

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Ouch Man, glad you have Carlos to take care of you, when you let him :o) Welcome back and feel better.