Monday, August 30, 2010

Hanging out [with] my shingles

Thursday I noticed I itched along my midriff with no signs of bug bites. That kept up until yesterday when the pain started and I suddenly had a sneaking suspicion that I was coming down with shingles, a viral outbreak of chickenpox along the nerve endings. This is a condition that only occurs in those of us who've already had chickenpox. It can be excruciatingly painful or mildly uncomfortable; it can last several weeks or long months. I'm hoping that the vaccine I got several years ago and seeing my doctor at the first sign of the rash (this morning) and taking anti-virals will help me be on the less miserable end of the spectrum. But it will be what it will be.

There's a theory that shingles comes when you're stressed. I've been deeply annoyed with Qwest phone services for days now, but I doubt that that would bring it on. If anything, it might well be the deep work I've been doing in therapy. Or maybe it's the phase of the moon or just my time to get it.

I've felt particularly irritable all day. I had to go to the store to get the anti-viral meds and it took all my resolve not to get ice cream. I'm coming down with something miserable and surely I deserve it. I know that madness lies in that direction and I didn't even let myself go into the food aisles. But pain makes me restless and I associate eating with soothing restlessness. And restlessness makes me defiant. It's harder to see the brighter side, the healthy side when I feel ill at ease.

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