So, I thought I had gotten a spider bite or some strange insect bite on Friday. Today, when the cortisone cream and Benedryl cream were doing nothing to relieve the pain, itch and burning, I broke down and went to my doctor.
Last year, in late October and early November, I had shingles, on my neck. It’s a “nerve junction,” making it a common place to get shingles. When I walked into the doctor’s office this morning, I was still convinced it was a rash, most likely insect related. Nope, it’s shingles… again… in the exact same freakin’ spot.
The rash is worse this time. Last time it was a small spot. This time, it’s several spots in a line along my neck and turning down my back to go about two inches below my T-shirt collar running along the spine. The key to shingles is to A) not scratch your skin off, B) not place ice packs on it, and C) not tear your skin off. It hurts. It burns. It itches.
It’s really too late to start the antivirals and they didn’t help last time. My doctor gave me gabapentin for the irritation and told me that since my shirt collar was going to rub it, cover it. I left his office and immediately picked up the gabapentin and band-aids. For the record, the spots are roughly the size of a… I don’t know, they’re smaller than a dime… maybe a pencil eraser? Yeah, that’s a good analogy. However, I bought the biggest band-aids I could find because they feel like their the size of a large house.
Also, I’ve had gabapentin before, it is supposed to help with prolonged migraine pain, to break the pain cycle by doing something to the nerves. Last time, it made me sleepy. I took the pill about 30 minutes ago and it hit me like a freight train. I can hardly keep my eyes open. I’m trying to fight the urge to go take a nap. I believe it’s a losing battle. I don’t remember it making me feel like the Sandman had just dumped his entire bag of sleepy dust into my eyes last time. I’m not taking a stronger dose. Yet, this time, I just… wow… I’m soooo tired all of this sudden. I have a feeling I’ll be sleeping on the couch for a few days…
For those that don’t know, shingles is caused by the Chicken Pox virus, which happens to be a form of herpes. Most of the world has been exposed to the virus, regardless of whether they had chicken pox or not. This means the majority of the population is at risk for shingles. It’s more likely to happen when you’re older, but once reactivated, it can come and go as often as it pleases. Stress and immune system problems make it more like to have a bought of shingles. Since I have an anxiety disorder and my allergies have been bothering me for two weeks now… bring on the immune depression and the shingles. Ain’t the human body grand?