“It’s time to get up. It’s 7:00 o’clock. Get up!” shouted my stepfather. As children, my sister and I were never allowed to stay in bed late on Saturday mornings. We had to get out of bed, eat breakfast before it got cold, and do our chores before watching cartoons. Which one is your favorite? Got more than one? I do!
Oh, don’t you remember those days of yore? Some of those cartoons I had completely forgotten about, but loved to watch. I wouldn’t mind a collection of them on DVD to show to my grandchildren. They would get a kick out of them. 🙂
On a more serious note. Late last year I would have given anything to get out of bed at any time of the day, on any day of the week, without pain. Those days were some of the worst in my adult life. For six months I suffered with shingles and the condition known as postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a common complication. I don’t know why the virus re-emerged but I was under a lot of stress and didn’t get a lot of sleep at the time.
Shingles, sometimes called herpes zoster, is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. According to the cdc.gov website:
After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays in the body in a dormant (inactive) state. For reasons that are not fully known, the virus can reactivate years later, causing shingles. Herpes zoster is not caused by the same virus that causes genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease.
If you’ve had chickenpox you could be 1 out of 3 people in the United States to develop shingles. If you’re over 50 years of age, your risk increases. CDC states there is a vaccine licensed for persons 60 years and older. However, just this past March, the FDA approved Zostavax for persons 50 to 59 years of age. For prevention, it’s a little too late for me. It is still recommended to get the vaccine even if you’ve had an outbreak of shingles, just to lessen your chances of getting another one. I’m putting the vaccine on my to-do list since I’m in the 50 to 59 age group. I’ve never suffered so much pain and agony in my life.
I first noticed sharp pains in the middle of my chest for a couple of days. Tingling in the middle of my back followed. Then the rash appeared where the tingling was moving in a band to the left side of my body to the front. At this point I went to the dermatologist. She prescribed antiviral and pain medication. For effective treatment, I should have started the medicine two days before. I filled the prescription, bought a bottle of water and took the medicine before leaving the pharmacy parking lot. I couldn’t wait any longer. I had a long painful course to endure.
Learn about shingles. Be prepared. Get a collection of old cartoons to watch. I could have used some hearty laughs to ease my pain.