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I'm a Roof!



So, another overdue update.

My actual last day at work was the 15th; I took various forms of leave for the week of the 22nd.

And I had a hard time being productive. Partly the sudden change of being off work, and partly having to cope with the changes coming up. Unfortunately, instead of "coping" very much, I opted to spend my time reading. I couldn't even do anything productive, because reading is the only thing that occupies enough of my brain to push the rest out.

What I didn't realize is that the stress was still there, underneath. So, in typical body fashion, my body showed me, instead. Early in the week, I noticed a small patch of what seemed like eczema along the part line of my hair, but thought little of it because I often get eczema there. Then it spread to my forehead. Then it got to my eye, having stayed on the left side of my head throughout.

I resisted going to a doctor. The ex was big on doctors. She'd go to the emergency room repeatedly for anxiety attacks, believed she had any number of difficult to diagnose but undeniably painful afflictions, always of the type where "we know you have pain but can't find any reason for it." Later in the marriage, she would insist that I also get treated, because in her mind, I must have been the source and therefore functioning as a carrier.

Anyway, I put it off too late on Friday to find someone to look at it, but then Friday night was pretty rough, with pain and the uncertainty of what was causing it. So I finally went to an urgent-care place on Saturday, which sent me along to the hospital emergency room, where they diagnosed shingles. So if my head becomes a roof, I'll be ready, though now I think I'd prefer thatch ...

They recommended a specialist, who actually saw me in his office Saturday evening. He didn't think there was significant involvement with the eye surface (which can be serious), so I'm on anti-viral meds and an anti-microbial ointment for the eye to keep it from getting a secondary infection. I'll supposedly stop being infectious when the sores scab over, which I'm hoping will be by Thanksgiving.

Apparently, shingles outbreaks can be triggered by stress, but what they don't tell you is that they're also a cause of stress. For one thing, it looks like I've been cursed by a right-handed wizard (because only the left side got hit.) I've got scabby patches all over my (rather expansive) forehead, my eye is puffy and red and partly closed, and it feels like my skin is trying to crawl away.

On the bright side (because that seemed to mostly be whine-focused), I know what it is, I'm being treated appropriately for it, and hopefully it'll be at least better before the move itself.

In the long run, maybe it will teach me something about the dangers of holding things inside and to stop hiding from the signals my body (and my feelings) are sending me.


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Mark man...let me understand...you took off of work from a stressful job and is was stressful? You've been hanging around me too long! :-)

I recommend you see the best roofer you can find! ;-)

You know why they're called shingles? Because having it makes you want to jump off the roof :D

THIS is not good. Hope the meds work quickly and it doesn't spread. Do you have mittens you can wear so you don't scratch the sores?

Are you feeling tired from this as well?

Take care and please listen to your body...it's quite smart, you know.

FYI everyone...invest in the shingles vaccine!

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I'm actually pretty good at not scratching (from cold sores and poison ivy, that I also react to.) I have to dab occasionally, though ...

I'm being careful, Beth. (Now, anyway.) I went to an opthalmology specialist who came in at 7pm on a Saturday, and he thought the eye was doing okay. It's pretty much covering the top left quadrant of my face.

But Acyclovir and some preventative Erythromycin are both on my schedule (I stopped at a pharmacy last night), along with enough Motrin to keep me sane. I refused the percs they offered me; I might take narcotics when I'm dying of cancer, but not yet.

Will definitely be getting vaccinated as soon as possible after this clears up.

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Awwwwwwww :( that is sad :(

I am so sorry you're sick! I don't know what shingles is but it sounds sucky! I just hope you feel better soon. And try not to stress cause you're right where you're supposed to be and believe it or not God has a plan for you and I bet it's a good one, beyond your dreams. Cause you're a good person and when you do good things good things happen :) :)

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Well, day 2: I've gone off the Motrin, and not too uncomfortable. My eye is still puffy and red and gummy at times, but I can blink it clear and function. So I'm getting better, though I'm still a fright to look at. {And as my brother said, that's over and above my baseline.} Most places seem dry and trying to scab, so that's good. I'm trying to get started on my packing ...

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Good healing, Mark. Phew.

Hope your eyes are clear and you're not tired from this for your move. And, I hope the weather doesn't interfere with your travel plans.

Sending positive energy your way :)

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Day 4: Had some discomfort in my eye, so I made a quick appointment with the opthalmologist I went to before. Good thing I did, too: the inflammation had caused my intraocular pressure to almost double. So he quickly put me on steroid anti-inflammatories (including a periorbital injection right in the office.) So, more meds to make sure I take throughout the day. But, another good save.

Basically, the shingles are on their way out, but my own immune reaction is making things difficult, now. Again, though, at least I know how to proceed.

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Good call, Mark! A periorbital injection? Sounds painful! Are your eyes well enough to drive?

Wishing you a safe trip if you go and rest if you have to postpone because of your roofing problem or the nor'easter.

Be safe and well.

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