Friday, July 19, 2013

Day 131 Another Plan benefit: emotional resilience

The last couple of days I haven't been feeling great. I've had a pain in my head or rather in my scalp, an odd pulsing pain that lasts a few seconds, fades out, and comes back some minutes later. No other symptoms. After a couple of days, I checked in with my friend Susan, a retired nurse. She looked at me and said, "Sounds like shingles."

As you may know, shingles is a recurrence of the chicken pox virus in adulthood. It causes a lot of pain, itching, lesions, and misery. I had the shingles vaccine in 2006 but it's only about 50% effective and in 2010, I had a bout of shingles. It was only mildly miserable (poor sleep from the pulsing pain and some amazing deep itching that scratching wouldn't touch) and I wasn't sick with it. Some people get very ill.

I went to the doctor yesterday afternoon and he acknowledged that it might be shingles as the pain fits the right parameters and he could rule out everything else that was obvious (migraine, tumor, stroke, injury). He prescribed antivirals, which help mitigate the severity of the recurrence and is pretty harmless if I don't have it.

Here's the point of the story: I wasn't freaked out when Susan suggested it might be shingles. I didn't go to a doom-and-gloom place or begin anticipating misery or feel put upon. Oh well, I thought, that's going to be inconvenient and perhaps unpleasant. I watched myself have a calm accepting attitude. No big drama, no self-pity. Just an okay, well, let's see what happens. I think this must be another benefit of the serotonin that I flood my system with in green juice, salads, and a ton of cooked vegetables every day.

No comments: