Hello friends. It’s me. Mary. Hanging out with a case of shingles.
Last Friday I woke up with a rash on my forehead. I thought it was from wearing a fuzzy hat the night before but it didn’t disappear quickly like I expected. It itched and bothered me the whole weekend. By Saturday when it didn’t disappear I got a bit nervous. But Sunday night, I knew it was shingles.
My mom had suggested it might be shingles as soon as I showed her a picture of the rash. Don’t worry, I’ll save that image for my nearest and dearest. Needless to say, mom knows best.
I didn’t get to visit a doctor on Sunday which is a shame because the pain started on Monday. It was an intense burning all over my scalp and forehead combined with sharp, stabbing jolts of pain ranging from my eye to ear to the middle of my head. By the time I left work for my doctor’s visit I was in misery and also convinced I was going crazy. Pain is a strange thing.
On Monday I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with shingles officially. While it was a relief to know what was happening… all I really wanted was relief. Unfortunately I got steroids, an anti-viral, and tylenol. Not quite the pain relief I needed but I at least knew in a week or two the pain would go away!
So I loaded up all my medicines and headed back to work. I needed the distraction as much as possible.
The shingles came with major light sensitivity so I ended up working this whole week wearing sunglasses in my office. I’m getting new lights soon with softer, diffused light but for this week the glasses were necessary.
I also resorted to rubberbanding makeshift ice packs to my head.
I looked pretty ridiculous and my boss laughed at me, but you know what? Worth it. It gave me some relief from the constant burning pain!
After several days I’ve finally started to feel some relief to the pain. The burning is less constant. The stabs of pain are less intense. Overall I can see that in a few days, or even another week, it will finally all be over. I’m hoping since I’ve had shingles before this go round will actually be less intense and I’ll be fine by the weekend. Fingers crossed, y’all.
So I’ve had shingles twice now in my life and having shingles again has brought out so many other people that have had it! Your risk increases a lot once you are older, but I know quite a few younger people who have also had it. We are so, so lucky.
It’s the least fun thing you can imagine, which is why I was thrilled to learn there is a shingles vaccine. My doctor recommended I go get it after this experience. And you know what? I will. I’ll also recommend it to anyone that has had chicken pox and doesn’t want to ever get shingles. Because it SUCKS.
I finally see a light at the end of the tunnel, even as I feel a stabbing pain typing this. I’m just ready to be healthy again and done with the random illnesses that have plagued me starting this new year.