This is a progress report.
I still have ’em or it or however one refers to shingles.
We are now in Week Four. Today is Day 23.
At the beginning, there were just some red marks and very little discomfort. People told me stories of themselves or their relatives and how excruciating their pain had been.
That was the word they used.
I smiled and said, “Well, maybe I have a very mild case, or maybe we started the treatment in time, but I have very little pain.”
Boy, was I wrong. I spoke too soon.
The red marks got redder and more fiery and spread until they made a solid band about three inches wide that wrapped around me from my navel to my spine, and as the band grew, so did the pain. I presume I am now in the latter stages, as the fiery red has faded into purplish and the individual pustules or whatever they are have begun to dry and form crusts. The pain, however, continues to worsen. It seems to have worked its way inward.
I have good days and bad days. Most of the nights are bad.
I don’t want to be a wuss or a big crybaby, but let me tell you something: This is not fun.
Nurse Ellie is urging me to take more acetaminaphen (Tylenol) than I want to, and more of the Neurontin (generic equivalent: gabapentin) than the doctor originally prescribed, which was one pill in the morning, one in the afternoon, and two at bedtime. To be fair, they’re the lowest dosage made (100 mg) and the doc said I could take more if I needed them. I have started taking two every time. It actually comes in various sizes up to 800 mg. Also, our pastor, who used to be a pharmacist, said that if I took that much Tylenol for a year it might damage my liver, but a month of it would not.
I just don’t like to take pills, but Nurse Ellie says, “Then you must not be hurting that bad.” So I take the pills.
Still, sometimes the pain is like fire, whooshing in when I least expect it. Other times it’s a steady ache I’m always conscious of. Sometimes it tingles. Sometimes it itches. So far I have managed not to do any scratching. It’s just odd to me that as the disease winds down, the pain has not decreased.
I’ll tell you what it is.
Sorry, atheist readers (I know who you are), but I must now preach a little Christian sermon, mostly to myself:
I know enough Latin to know that ex and crucis mean “out of the cross.” In other words, it’s a bit like being crucified.
I haven’t had nails driven into my flesh yet.
Jesus suffered far worse on the cross than I am suffering at the moment with my light affliction* and He will help me get through this.
End of sermon.
Nurse Ellie also says, “Old age ain't for sissies or wimps,” and she’s right.
I will try to write no more about shingles,
But I’m not promising anything.
* “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (II Corinthians 4:16-19, KJV)