Alright, so this one is going to be a really gross one. So if you are one of those weak ones, don’t read. You’ll be grossed out. Why am I writing this if it’s so gross? Well, I want those who are in the same situation as me to feel less awful.
I started feeling tired about last week. At first I thought I was just tired but on Tuesday, Edbert mentioned to me there’s a red spot in my back. Perhaps I just scratched myself too much I thought, so I didn’t let that bother me at all. However, on Wednesday, when I went to the washroom to just check out my back, I was SHOCKED. There’s like a big red rash on my back, only on the right side though. I was really surprised and didn’t know what it was. I thought I got a rash or a bed bug allergy or something like that from sleeping in a sleeping bag on Monday night as a part of my 338 bodystorming experience.
I quickly bought Polysporin and thoroughly pasted it on each of the rash.
On Thursday, it grew to my sides but weirdly enough, it wasn’t itchy or anything. I just slept on it. I even slept with Julian for 4 hours and completely passed out, missed my 338 meeting and my 312 class (that I was not intending to come anyways) but I still went out at night with Riri and Nisa to support Riri’s Rape Relief fundraising project at Forum in Downtown. That’s another story. But yes, I was feeling weak.
When I got home that night, I exchanged thoughts with Edbert of what the rash could be coming from. He was very concerned and I was thankful for it, but he was a bit too concerned up to the point I was irritated. He suggested anything from just an allergy, to herpes. I took a picture of it and got grossed out right away. The rash was so red and raised and it’s one of those kinds that have water inside them. Gross. Really really gross. When I ran my fingers cross it, I can feel there’s textures across my right side of the body. That’s what threw me off, why is it only my right side? I can feel that my right arm was feeling way weaker than my left as well. You know what else was shocking? I felt a little (perhaps a penny size) bump on the right side of my pelvic. My heart sunk when I found out about that bump. No, please not cancer, I prayed.
The next morning (Friday), Edbert kept telling me to go to doctor to get it check. I finally woke up at 10 and went to the doctor before going ahead to school. I waited for 40 minutes, which wasn’t too bad. The Edmonds area is definitely being improved. I can see it. They are building new gymnasium, new pool, new library, new everything and they are all so beautiful and minimalistic. When I was called in, I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. Luckily for me, the doctor was a woman. I told her about me having a rash and I showed her where they were. She nodded and said “shingles”.
Shingles? What’s that?
So, here’s a quick wiki explanation of it:
Herpes zoster (or simply zoster), commonly known as shingles and also known as zona, is a viral disease characterized by apainful skin rash with blisters in a limited area on one side of the body, often in a stripe. The initial infection with varicella zoster virus(VZV) causes the acute (short-lived) illness chickenpox which generally occurs in children and young people. Once an episode of chickenpox has resolved, the virus is not eliminated from the body but can go on to cause shingles—an illness with very different symptoms—often many years after the initial infection. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herpes_zoster)
Yeah, she asked me if I am under great stress which probably caused my immune system to be low. Well you know, I can blame school I suppose, but I haven’t really been in great stress. But yeah, shingles appear when one’s immune system is low. Horrible. She just gave me a recipe to get the medicine and I quickly nodded. I don’t like this thing lingering on my tummy. It’s gross.
So I got the medicine bla bla, went to school, did my user study with Ken for 403. Was feeling unwell still, but I have no choice but to really step it up and do the user study which includes moving and lifting stuff.
When I got home, I didn’t know how to tell my mom because I know it’ll sunk her heart. I just quickly showed her the shingles and explained to her what it is. She was surprised. Well, who wouldn’t?
Anyways, skipping through the night which I will be covering in a happier blog post, I went home feeling itchy. The itch is not a continuous one that makes you want to scratch it, but rather it’s like a poke. Or like acupuncture I suppose. It wasn’t so horrible up until when I went to sleep. Just as soon as I lay down my head, I passed out but not for long. The “acupuncture” kept poking me through the night and I woke up every 30 minutes. It was horrible. I thought to myself “well this disease came out when I didn’t have enough sleep and now it doesn’t even let me fall asleep!”. After too many tossing and turning, I finally grabbed a wet towel and comforted myself with it. It worked to a certain extent. Still though, I got that itch itch. Itch. Itch. Itch itch. ITTTCHHHH.
I woke up; took a pain killer. Tried to fall back asleep. Itch. Itch. POKEEE. Itch ITCH POKE ITCH POKKKKEEEE ITCH. Itch. Itch. IIIIIITCH.
Anyways, the point of this story is. Don’t worry about the itch. Use your mind to control over that itch and it will go away. Slightly. Don’t put wet towel on your shingles. No matter how comforting the feeling is, it’s actually bad for you. Trust me. The next day was painful as hell for me. What ultimately worked for me is just using my mind to get over the feeling, put some powder on it, drink the medicine, and…. I cheated. I took Claritin as well. I don’t know how much of a help the Claritin was, but I slept better at night after I took it.
Today is my 5th day having this textury rash on my skin and I can see them drying out. The 3rd to the 4th day was the AWFUL one. So just bear with it. It will heal. It will dry out. I’m hoping mine will dry out soon and it will all soon go away.