Shingle Bells, Shingle Bells

Did I mention that I have shingles? So fun, right?  I woke up on Christmas morning with some sort of irritation on my back. It was on my left side, right about at the bra line. It hurt and itched, but not outrageously so. I had done a few work-outs the previous week and even managed to sweat, so I thought maybe one of my sports bras had pissed off the skin on my back or something.  I handed a tube of cortisone to my daughter and asked her to slather some on my back.  The next day, I had my husband do the same thing. "I guess I have a case of the creeping epizooties," I told him. When I was a kid, this was a term my stepdad used to describe any random or unexplained rash. I am not sure if it's a real thing or not. I'm assuming not. 

Now, I guess it didn't occur to either one of them to mention that my back had actually erupted in blisters. I mean, I couldn't really see it myself because, well, it's on my back and my head faces the other direction for the most part. I figured it out after some contortions in front of the bathroom mirror.  I suspected shingles immediately, but wasn't sure. My youngest sister had it a couple months and had a pretty bad case of it. My mother suffered a bout with shingles years ago and still has lots of scars from it, so I know it can be very serious. I felt terrible for asking my husband and daughter to touch my back. Obviously, I kept my cooties to myself once I started to suspect shingles.

On Friday, I had an appointment scheduled with my dermatologist, but the catch was that I was not scheduled to see the doctor himself. I was just there for bloodwork to make sure that a recent medication change was not, you know, killing me or anything. I asked the nurse if there was any chance the doctor might be available to take a quick peek. Once I mentioned the word "blisters," she went and found him. He took one look: "Yep, shingles." He prescribed me an anti-viral medication and told me to stay away from babies, pregnant ladies, and really old people.

I started the medication a few days ago and things seem to be getting better. My back itches but I know it could have been a lot worse.  I am relieved that my daughter was vaccinated for chicken pox and that my husband contracted chicken pox as a child. Otherwise, they would both be at risk for getting chicken pox.  My brother-in-law came down with chicken pox when my sister had shingles, and he ended up in the hospital. Chicken pox in adults is no joke.

So, shingles was a little Christmas gift to me. Fa-la-la-la-la!

In other news, we had a quiet little New Year's celebration. And by "celebration," I mean we went to bed at 11:30 with an unopened bottle of champagne still in the fridge. I think my kid stayed up past midnight, though. She stayed up late every night during winter break. The other day I asked her how late she'd stayed up the night before and she said, "It's probably better if you don't know, Mom." She's been spending a lot of time with her new keyboard. She taught herself to play the chorus from "Piano Man" just by hearing it on Glee (she's been watching all the old episodes on Netflix). Teachers keep telling me that she has a "good ear." I guess she must - I certainly wouldn't be able to play a tune just from hearing it on TV.

Our new dog is settling in well.  The holiday weekend was a good time to bring our new girl home since it gave her lots of extra time with her. We only had to crate her once over the weekend, just briefly, but it was long enough for us to learn that she, um, frickin' hates the crate.  So, that will be something to work on. She is also opposed to peeing outside but again, something to work on.

Happy New Year!


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