Monday, July 14, 2008

Wherein I complain at length about my health

So, three or four years ago, I was diagnosed with gout. Yeah, that weird inflammatory condition you get if you're a 50-year old man who eats too many cream sauces and drinks too much beer. At 29, about a month after having run a half-marathon, a doctor looked me in the face and said I had gout. Turns out he mis-diagnosed me, but not after I took a regimen of pills that knocked me out for 3-4 hours each time I took one. But even after all that, I was profoundly relieved to find I'd been mis-diagnosed. How could I have gout?

Sunday, I found myself in urgent care near my parents' house because I was getting freaked out by what I thought was a spider bite. Except within four days, it had spread so it looked like a spider walked across my belly to my back, taking bites as he walked. Bites that were getting kind of...hurty. I was going to be in Chicago for two more days and it was clear my strategy of lifting my shirt and asking my sister, "hey, does this look like a bug bite to you?" wasn't helping. Turns out, I have shingles. Yep, shingles. The emergency room doc said that they're seeing cases in a lot more people these days. But I still had - and am still having - kind of the same reaction I had to the gout diagnosis. How could I get shingles? Who the hell gets shingles?

Turns out, pretty much anybody can get shingles. It just happens, it's the chicken pox virus, pretty much anyone can get it, blah blah blah. Basically the viral version of crappy luck. But still. That didn't make me feel any less weird when I had to call friends to cancel plans because of my shingles. And it's not gonna help when I have to go to work tomorrow to explain why I'm leaving early after being gone for four days (follow-up doctor's appointment! For the shingles!). Oh, right, and two weeks ago I was knocked flat with a respiratory infection and missed a full week of work then too. But now? I have shingles, so I'm gonna be MIA for a little bit again. Hey, sorry about that.

In a few months I'll think it's totally funny that I had shingles. But right now? It's uncomfortable and frustrating and I just can't find the funny in it.

5 comments:

McTodds said...

J - I am so sorry to hear you have shingles. But you are very lucky not to have had thyroid issues.

I had shingles too. Hurt like hell and the steroids they treated me with made me crazy. After you get over the shingles you can get a vaccine.
I was told by one doctor that after you have had shingles once you are more likely to get it again; although, I have never had a relapse. I have known a couple people who have gotten it. The reason I know they got the vaccine is that you can't be around pregnant women for 2 weeks after getting the vaccine - so if there are pregos in your office you can expect more time off ...

Charlie said...

Shingles. Jesus. That completely sucks Jeannie. I'm sorry. If there's anything I can do to help out, give me a call (sorry I couldn't get you at the airport yesterday).

jnadra said...

Good God Woman, buy a new body!! Seriously though, I'm really sorry to hear about the shingles, that SUCKS. Big time. Have you looked into checking on how your immune system is doing?

slaydog26 said...

So you don't know me but Ariel sent me a link to your post. I have shingles too. I also just bought a house. I am also waaaaay too young and un-Wilford-Brimley-like to have them. I just had them like two weeks ago and then they healed and now rather than sit in submission in my spine like they're supposed to, they are turning up again and they hurt way worse this time. It's total crap.

MintyJ said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry you got shingles again. That sucks.