Friday, June 1, 2012

Official Diagnosis: Shingles Suck

So, it turns out that when I asked the doctors for a translation at the hospital for what they said my affliction was, they told me Chicken Pox.  But according to Dr. Linda (aka: my Mom), whose diagnostic skills are akin to those of Dr. Gregory House, it turns out that my symptoms are much closer to Shingles, which makes a lot more sense, since Shingles are often brought about when you are under extreme duress. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more stressed in my entire life than in those few days before our move and consequently when the Shingles developed.  Shingles and Chicken Pox are closely related and the medicine I’m taking for it actually says it treats both.  Go figure.

When my skin started to get irritated, I honestly thought it was just because my bras were too small an all the moving around from packing and getting ready to move just caused too much friction.  I don’t think we’ve mentioned this on the blog yet, but I’m about 5 months pregnant (Yay! The pregnancy was going great, until this), so my normal clothes including my bras are quite tight these days.  I figured the solution was to just not wear a bra for a few days and the sore spots would heal, but instead they got worse.  By the time I walked into the ER it was obvious this was some kind if virus … a very, very painful virus. 

Shingles feel like you have deep bruises all over the afflicted area that are constantly being pushed on.  In addition, there are frequent bursts of acute pain, like you’re being zapped at random with electric shocks.  Sometimes it feels like my skin is on fire. It is constant pain and it is terrible.  Oh, and your skin bubbles up into little blisters and looks like skin of a recently plucked chicken.  Gross.  I’m super thankful it’s not on my face.

After a miserable, nearly sleepless long weekend, on Tuesday morning I set out to go to the nearest Doctor’s office, which I had researched online at Bryan’s office on Sunday afternoon since we had no Internet connection at our apartment yet.  I walked over to the Doctor’s office at 7:30 a.m., right when it opened, only to find that the entire office was closed for vacation until next Monday. They had thankfully put the names and addresses of two other local doctors on the sign and I recognized the streets, so I headed for the nearest one.  The second Doctor’s office that I went to didn’t open until 9.  It was here, standing in front of this doctor’s office an hour and a half before it opens and 5 days into excruciating pain where I started to cry.   I cursed the hospital under my breath for not having any medication and tried to pull myself together before arriving at the third doctor’s office of the day.  This one was open and I’m not quite sure if they actually take walk-in appointments or not, but the receptionist saw that I was in pretty bad shape (and I was prepared to cause a scene if they wouldn’t see me immediately, so maybe she saw the “crazy” in my eyes) and I got in.  The doctor prescribed a topical cream but I can’t take the normal strong antibiotics because I’m pregnant.  She said that in about a week the blisters should go away, but the pain could remain for a really long time. Great.

Hopefully in a week or two we’ll be able to post good news that the blisters are gone and the pain has gone away or at least lessened.  As Bryan said in the last post … it can only get better.


Lisa Rogers said...

Oh my Dana! I hope you get better soon. You guys sound like you've had quite a May! Let's hope June turns around and it's nice and chilled out for you 3 (I mean, 4)! Congrats, by the way!!

Cheryl Bennett said...

First congrats on being pregnant! Second, I had shingles one time and it is more horrible than words can convey and the reason is that the little blisters actually attack your nerves and I think we can understand that nerve pain is the worst. Lyrica was the only thing that I took that enabled me to function normally, although I slept for the first three days until I got used to it. You probably can't take Lyrica while being pregnant, but it is an amazing drug, not a narcotic, but a drug that affects your nerve receptors (or something like that.) Anyway, if you are still in pain, it wouldn't hurt to ask about it. I hope you feel better soon. Cheryl Bennett