WOEISME! Shingles!

Let me say it again, WOE IS ME!

I’m sure you noticed that last Friday’s post was a lonely quote. Let me explain:

On the previous Monday, I began experiencing a dull pressure on the inside of my left knee. Tuesday, there was swelling, and the dull pressure increased to sharp intermittent pains. Assuming it to be SCI-related nerve firings but wanting to be safe, I called to report it to my doctor. His nurse informed me that their computers were down, but she would give him my message.

He called Wednesday urging me to go to the emergency room without delay. He called in orders for a bilateral venous ultrasound to rule out the possibility of a deep blood clot. Meanwhile, the sharp pains had turned into intermittent shocks of fire and progressed up my thigh and down my knee–unlike SCI nerve pain. Also, there were two angry patches, one on the top of my knee and the other on the inside of my upper thigh, near a recent cat scratch. Hmmm.

Upon admittance, I reiterated my growing symptoms and pointed out the curious rash. Seeming to have plugs in their ears, the nurses made notes and the technicians rotely performed the ultrasound (thankfully, no blood clot), wrote out a prescription for pain/inflammation, and dismissed me. In my typical fashion, I didn’t fill the prescription.

After a miserable night, I went to First Care, a privately owned emergency medical facility. Although my left leg was now  numb, it hurt to the touch, and there were two more big red patches—like separated twins—one on either side of my knee, then a third one on my left calf.

This time, the doctor listened, joked, examined, and re-examined my cat scratches. His diagnosis: cat scratch fever.  He wrote out a prescription for an antibiotic and topical ointment.

Finally! I felt like this doctor knew what he was talking about. I took a couple of Bufferin for the pain, confident that the antibiotic would kick in within 24 to 36 hours. It was Thursday afternoon.

By Saturday, the intermittent burning shocks ran down both sides of my knee and on down behind my ankle. The patches had multiplied with painful blister-like eruptions inside the angry inflammations, and I stopped the prescribed ointment because it heightened the pain! I had to keep my skirt hem off my left leg. Due to a new symptom of back pain, I was propped up in bed by 5:00 p.m.

My sister came over, took pictures on her iPhone, and sent them to her sister-in-law, now on ER doctor. She thought it looked like shingles. After one more round of emailing pictures to a doctor specializing in shingles, it was confirmed: shingles!

At 11:00 p.m. and at my protest, my sister picked up four written prescriptions—an anti-viral, an anti-inflammatory, a pain pill for viral pain, and another pain pill. Again, they’re unfilled.

I was past the “72 hours after the rash appears” for the vaccine and some medications, so I chose a natural approach. I’M NOT RECOMMENDING THIS, but I’m only five days in, after a four-day-delay, bathing these dozen islands of rashes in a selection of Young Living’s Essential oils.

I’ve had two straight nights of restful sleep without pain spasms, the blisters are drying up and their encircling red patches have disappeared. Rash pain is mild. I could wear my skirt over my leg today without pain chills from its touch, though I prefer it off that leg. I’m still experiencing some back pain, the occasional headache, chills, and stomach aches–all symptomatic.

I am SO-O-O grateful it’s only on one leg. Countless times, I’ve thought of Job who suffered with boils over his entire body! After the emotional stress of all his servants, livestock, and family being killed and his home destroyed, I wonder if the boils were shingles. He had them from the top of his head to the soles of his feet! I can’t imagine the pain.

I’ll have an update next week.

Have you any experience with shingles?

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