A tribute to The Shingles

The shingles is potentially a really huge-ass blessing. Now hear me out on this, Internets. The past three days of sitting home all day (and staying up most of the night) has left me a little bit introspective, if not delirious, and there are actually some good things, nay, some great things I'm learning about myself through the shingles. I'm still in the midst of some of those lessons, but what I have for you today is "Little Ms. Notetaker's Top 10 Hottest Things About Shingles."

Number 10: It's not lymphoma. There was a period of 12 hours when my paranoid little mind was convinced that I was showing the symptoms of lymphoma. I knew I was being paranoid, but I still went there, because the mind loves it some worst-case scenario drama. Thankfully, it's just the shingles. Thank you, shingles... and WebMD, not so much.

Number 9: Nakedness. Almost everything annoys my sensitive skin right now. It's all prickly and tickly. Really the only cure is nakedness. Unfortunately, the properties right next to mine were built within sneezing distance of all of my main floor windows which doesn't allow for much nakedness, but that's okay because it leads me to number eight.

Number 8: Wearing your shirt like you did in the summers of your childhood. You know, like this:

When you can't be naked, wouldn't you like to be like this? Of course you would.

Number 7: Scratch marks. There are certain places I can scratch and certain places are off limits. So when one of those off limits places starts itching, I vigorously scratch some other part of my body, hoping to play some Vulcan mind trick on myself. It doesn't really work, but that hasn't stopped me from continuing to do it.

Number 6: Constant bed head. Bed head like that slightly tousled slightly greasy look; you know the one, like I just stepped out of the pages of Vogue, only I didn't. I just got up off the couch to be upright so I could take another mega dose of Vitamin C.

Number 5: Memoirs of a Geisha. In case you have a thing for ladies of the orient, in particular their kimonos and obis, a girl with the shingles is the girl for you. I've found that when all else fails, nothing soothes the itching more than swaddling myself with a blanket. If I wrap it as tight as I can around my abdomen, I'm offered a few minutes of temporary relief. And if you happen to have a thing for Geishas dressed in fleece Strawberry Shortcake blankets, well, then have I got the girl for you.

Number 4: Tweety bird. After my first visit to the doctor, I got a healthy dose of vitamin B12 injected into my rear. When I went to take a shower the next day, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and had a minor panic attack that the shingles had spread to my derriere and had taken the form of a very dark circle. Oh, wait. It's just a tweety bird band-aid from the doctor. As you were, LMNT.

Number 3: A year's worth of date movies all in three days. Movies viewed: 13 and counting.

Number 2: Not having to cook. Oh. My. Gracious. This is pretty close to being number one. I have been blessed with some phenomenal people in my life and they have coordinated meal deliveries. Being able to nurse myself back to health with yummy and nutritious food (yummy and nutritious food that I didn't have to make for myself) is beyond amazing. Unbelievable amounts of gratitude for my good Italian friend, for whom making sure people are well fed is top priority. Coach A mobilized the lovely ladies and their meals-on-wheels initiative. My itchy, but satiated belly thanks you.

Number 1: Knowing that I will probably (hopefully) never have the shingles again. Enough said.


Professional Back Scratcher needed. Apply within.

Internets, I have the shingles. The shingles! Shingles are NOT fun. No way, no how. What is fun, however, is self-medicating your shingles with frozen custard. What is also fun? Calling shingles "the shingles."

So, yeah. The shingles. Apparently LMNT is not immune to the diseases most commonly associated with those in their advanced years like shingles and pneumonia. What's next? Becoming a bad tipper? Slow driving? Beating down the door to the Golden Corral at 4:45 for the sunsetter's special?

Note to self: Relax.

If you're not in advanced age, shingles is usually caused by an extremely weakened immune system or from stress. When I went to see my doctor today, she asked me if I was really stressed out. I don't think so. I mean I'm always in a heightened state of high-strungedness, but I'm not any more stressed out than usual. I don't think it's work; if anything is stressing me out, it's all of life's extra-curricular activities, like: will I make it to the soccer game on time, do we have enough women to play in our flag football game, and can I assemble a team for a mini-golf charity event? Internets, apparently the adult co-rec activities in which I participate have caused a viral herpes outbreak on my back (a big fat you're welcome to all the 12-year-olds trapped inside of you that chuckled their way through that sentence).

So, sports are bad and the shingles are worse.

It started out as a rash on my back, not necessarily itchy but noticably present. Then there were the random bruise like pains in my groin and running down my rib cage. Something did not seem right, so last night I took to the web to feed my hypochondria through trusty website diagnosis. Shingles seemed an obvious choice. And actually there were several other somewhat obscure and fatal choices that to my brain seemed quite possible, nay probable, so I spent the better part of the night stressing out about the fact that I'd be lucky to be awake in the morning because I'd probably be consumed whole by the flesh-eating disease currently devouring my back. Remember the part about stress causing the shingles? Yeah, I don't think I was helping my own cause. Oh and looking at pictures of shingles on skin on the Internets (skinternets)? That didn't help my cause either.

So, I'm gonna try to get all zen, but it's a really hard state to achieve when I'm simultaneously prickling with the sensation that all the scratching in the world won't relieve this itch, and writhing from the pain of someone having kicked my ribcage into oblivion, and the back pain, and the swollen lymph nodes, and the rash, and the uncontrollable urge to strap anything colder than room temperature onto my lower back. Oh, and not to mention the doctor's recommendation to take 6 grams of vitamin C each day. You might think that's not a lot, but 6 grams is actually 12 normal doses of vitamin C. Count them (like you would if you were going to the ladybug picnic): 12 pills! And, by the way, that much vitamin C wreaks havoc on your intestines. But I'm going to be all zen about this as my body is trying to tell me something, and if I don't listen I think the vitamin C will smack me in the face, pull my hair, and threaten a swirly until I start listening.