August 21, 2013

Shingles --Eeeeeek!

My dear friends,

I wanted to share with you something I discovered just as a fluke.  I have the Shingles!  I starting having the itchies last Friday and Saturday, and Sunday developed a severe pain in my back near the spine.  As usual, I did what I usually do, and just ignored my body talking to me.  By Monday, I had a little itchy rash on my torso near my breast and thought, well maybe I should get it looked at.  I showed my husband and he thought the same thing.  I googled skin rashes and saw that my symptoms most related to those of Shingles.  I went to the doctor today and relayed my symptoms and he confirmed my fears... Shingles!!!

It's really strange because I never had Chicken Pox as a child.  I thought I had totally dodged the bullet on that childhood illness only to have it sneak up on me later in life.  After having bloodwork done during my last pregnancy, the doctor said I had been "exposed", and I told my mom, but she said I'd never had the chicken pox as a kid.  Weird, huh? 

What causes shingles? 

 Shingles occurs when the virus that causes chickenpox starts up again in your body. After you get better from chickenpox, the virus "sleeps" (is dormant) in your nerve roots. In some people, it stays dormant forever. In others, the virus "wakes up" when disease, stress, or aging weakens the immune system. Some medicines may trigger the virus to wake up and cause a shingles rash. It is not clear why this happens. But after the virus becomes active again, it can only cause shingles, not chickenpox.

So the bad thing about this is that Shingles are painful!  Not only does my skin itch, but it hurts to the touch.  Plus, I have to be careful, now, of who I am around because if that person never had chicken pox, they could contract it from me.  Although my son has had the chicken pox vaccine, I am afraid I might give it him, so I can't have any direct contact with him.  waaaa!!!  Let me tell you, this ain't fun. I feel like I have the perverbial "kooties"!


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