I had not intended to start this blog out with a series of posts on shingles, but life intervened so here we are.
It actually started out on Monday evening with the mushroom risotto. I got some King Trumpet Mushrooms at the market, along with some other, tiny mushrooms. I would love to have had morels, but I really can't afford them. Anyway, I made this risotto, which was pretty heavy on the mushrooms. Mechanical man didn't have any, because he doesn't like mushrooms.
About 15 minutes after I ate the risotto, which was really tasty BTW, I was struck with severe diarrhea, which quickly morphed into the most terrible nausea imaginable, and I spent the rest of the night riding wave after wave of nausea. I probably should have just thrown up, but I'm one of those people who will fight it tooth and nail, so I had a truly miserable night.
The next morning, I was plagued with hives and itching, which lasted a good portion of the day, but finally subsided after a couple of doses of Benedryl. Now you're probably wondering what all this has to do with shingles, but I believe that this episode, be it food poisoning or some sort of allergy, was the catalyst to lowering my immunity to allow shingles in.
On Wednesday, I was feeling mostly better, but in the afternoon, I began having terrible shoulder pain that spread up my neck and down my jaw, around my eye and to the upper part pf my head. It was a strange, tingling, weird sort of pain. I was so alarmed, I went to the urgent care.
The doctor was perplexed at the strange compilation of symptoms over the past three days, but suggested that I might be coming down with shingles, although I had no rash at all. The doctors on duty consulted, and decided to give me some steroids, telling me to come back if I developed a rash.
Thursday brought no real escalation of anything, but I took the steroids and worked on a very detailed drawing of a hamsa / evil eye hand. Mechanical man and I took the dog to the park, and I fixed supper. I had started feeling a very touch sensitive burning sort of pain on my neck in the same side and area that was giving me problems on Wednesday. I went to the bathroom and took a good look in the mirror. A few tiny rash spots. Uh oh.
I had read up on shingles earlier in the week, and the advice from Dr. Google was that the sooner you get treated with antivirals, the better off you will be in the long run. So Mechanical Man drove me back to the Urgent Care.
The doctor took a look at my neck, and some more rash springing up along the hairline on the back of my neck, and declared me officially shingled. He told me a number of things to expect, that things would get worse before they got better, etc. As he was speaking, I noticed he kept slowly backing away until he was in the corner of the room. That didn't seem like a good sign.
We left with a prescription for Valacyclovir and another for Hydrocodone to help me sleep. It wasn't like I was in terrible pain, but we sprinted to the pharmacy before they closed and picked up the goods and headed home.
By midnight, I began to get the impression that the doctor was right. This was going to get worse before it got better.