Sunday, January 30, 2011

In Shock

A week ago Saturday (22nd) I was really sore from a workout the night before. But, not only did my back hurt, my skin hurt too. I kept thinking it sure was weird and maybe my mind was playing tricks on me because I couldn't see anything red or irritated looking. Then I thought perhaps all that moving around just caused some chaffing or something.
Day after day it continued to hurt on my left side and my back. Tuesday morning as I was getting in the shower I noticed there was a rash. Well that's why it hurt! Apparently it just took a few days to look like it was feeling! But then Wednesday morning it was looking worse. Some small blisters were forming on the rash. The pain was increasing around the rash and also radiating outward down my leg and up my back. The rash had also grown. It looked like a belt from my belly button around to my spine but only on my left side. During the day I'd also started feeling sick. I was was nauseous, had a headache, and was really tired. I was starting to worry that I was pregnant. I was a bit relieved to get a negative on the pregnancy test though! By the time Joel came home from work I told him I wanted to go to the doctor and see what was wrong.
So of coarse I saw the nurse first and I told her everything that was going on. She was just as stumped as I was but wrote everything down for the doctor. When the doctor came in she asked to look at the rash. She then told me I have shingles. Uh, what?! Basically as soon as the nurse told her I had a painful rash she knew that was what it was. Pretty much all my symptoms are textbook shingles. The rash, pain, flu-like symptoms with no fever etc. I was in shock. Most people who get shingles are 60+. But apparently while it is less common for a younger person to get it, it isn't impossible. Great.
So, the short version of shingles. It's caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. Anyone who has had the chicken pox carried the virus dormant in their nerves. If your immune system is weakened it can flare up as shingles. It is mildly contagious but you can't catch shingles from someone with shingles. You can catch chicken pox if you've never had it from someone with shingles. But even then you 'd have to touch the rash/blister to have a possibility to get it.
It is a very painful illness! The doctor gave an antiviral medicine but isn't a cure, just to help it clear up faster and hopefully keep it from getting too bad. On the short end it will last 2-4 weeks. On the long end, months. I read that even after the rash clears up the pain can persist. I really hope that doesn't happen! It is really hard to describe the pain. Since it is in the nerves it radiates inside the body as well as hurting on the skin. I have pain mostly on my left side but not completely. I can feel pain all the way down to my foot and up to my left hand. Occasionally on my neck too. And then on top of that I feel like I have the flu. My head pounds, I feel sick, have the chills, and am tired a lot.
But, I do feel very grateful that my case is only on my lower left side. You can also get it on the neck or face. If you get it in your eye you could have a possibility of going blind. It can also cause nasty scars. And I'd much rather have scars on my side than on my face!
Thank you everyone for your concern and offers of helping me out. I'm just taking it day by day (some are better than others).

9 comments:

heidiluxe said...

oh. my. dear. i had no idea! let me know what i can do for you. do you need cookies or brownies? what about layer cake?

Lyles said...

I'm so sorry! I hope you start feeling better soon. My mom got shingles on her face in September and some were in her eye, but luckily her vision is fine. She says it still hurts a lot and it's almost 6 months later. I hope yours doesn't last as long. Good luck!

J.Frey said...

Julie, I am so sorry! That sounds so awful! I really hope it goes away sooner than later! Keep us posted!

Ashley Bybee Stepp said...

SAD! Hope you feel better soon!

Lindsay said...

Yikes! So sorry! No fun. My 16 year old sister just had shingles too, so yeah - totally not just the oldies! Haha! Sorry though, that is NOT cool.

Shook Family said...

I knew it. Right when I started reading it I knew that was what it was. I got shingles right after I had cancer. I just thought oh great another sickness. They are so painfull. Im really sorrry you have that. Hope it goes away soon. I had to turn down a date because I had them..hehehe!

Erin and Paul Anderson said...

Oh my goodness! So sorry to hear you got shingles! My friend had it, too (on her anus).. yeah that was pretty painful for her too.
I hope your recovery is speedy. I wish I could come and help you with your kiddos. It must suck to be sick and have to try and be a mom, too. :)

jennifer a said...

Oh gosh, that just sounds terrible! I am so sorry you are dealing with this! I hope you get the short version!!

ashleyandcody said...

I have had a couple friends that have had that...no fun. I hope you start feeling better nothing worse than being that sick and taking care of a family also