Me and My Shingles

Lesson for moms out there… we can’t put ourselves last.  That’s my take away.  I have been consumed with the last month of Campanile.  Emotional saying farewell to regulars, staff, people who held my children when they were babies.  The place where I met my husband.  Consumed with taking care of my husband who had to close the door on a business he birthed and nurtured for most of his adult life.  Consumed with making sure my children were not upset.  That they could say good bye, but emphasizing our core is our family.  No matter where we work or live, as long as we are together we are solid.

But, I neglected me.  I virtually stopped doing my yoga which keeps me sane.  I wasn’t taking long walks. Also, since I don’t want to cry in front of my kids, when do I let the tears flow?  A couple times I sniffled with total strangers for a sec.  But, I never had a good cry over it.  My body rebelled.  I got terrible back pain.. and then Shingles.  Now instead of being at the bar with Felix and Nick. Or talking about old movies with Garrison I hang out with Shingles.

Now instead of getting Fries after school with Vivien.  I eat with Shingles.

Now, instead of putting on make up and meeting friends at Camp, I stay in my nightgown with Shingles.

So, if you have never had it, here is the deal:  IF you ever had chicken pox (  I did when I was 2 or 3) it lives in your spine..forever.  If you get stressed and your immune system takes a dive it comes out through your spine and takes a trip on your body.  There are few paths it travels. For me it was out of my lower spine, down around my left waist to my belly button and then down toward my c section scar.  It’s red, it blisters.  At best it feels like a sunburn.  At worst there are shooting pains that go up my back and down my legs. I can’t lie on my left side.  I beg my kids to not hug me around the waist.

I had the pain a week before the rash appeared.  I had gone to a chiropractor for my bad back and he said I might have a hernia.  Two days later I went back.  “My back is better, but look.”  I showed him some red smudges.

“You have shingles.” he said.  That afternoon I went to my GP.  He concurred.  I like getting my back adjusted, but sometimes chiropractors and their alternative, no vaccine, blah, blah ways can bug.  In this case he was in sync with my MD.  This was brought on by stress.

In addition to the closing we also have a relative who has an addiction issue.  I can’t say more except it makes me CRAZY. Breathe.  Trying to distance myself for the time being.  Shingles is a companion, because when I have any stress, even a door slamming, I feel it in my body in the normal way and then it shoots through the path of the rash on a speed train of pain. Bonus stress!

Doctors said I should meditate.  I took that to mean, go to bed and watch home remodeling shows.  Thank goodness my husband is home now.  He has been a big help.

I caught it early enough so I can tell it’s clearing.  I feel for people with chronic conditions that cause them pain.  Because if I have to I can rally, and look fine, but it’s tough and it’s draining. I’m jacked up on meds.  Which I blame for getting the times wrong for soccer.  Kind of bad the coach shows up half way through the game.  I flashed the parents my red waist, “Sorry, I have shingles!”

So, everyone… take care of yourself. Really.

I still need to cry.

9 thoughts on “Me and My Shingles

  1. I miss seeing all of your family and very blessed to hang out with all of you from time to time. I keep you & your family in my prayers and send positive thoughts your way. I too just started to remind myself that no matter how much I love my job & need to work to help provide for my family, I need to take care of myself otherwise I can’t take of them… Please take care of yourself and know I’m just a phone call away to help you with anything you need….
    XOXO love you all!
    Crystal B

  2. Daphne–thanks for sharing this. I have been running myself ragged too. And I don’t have kids or a husband who had to close the doors on his lifelong passion! Just me and a job. But still–no yoga. No me time. Just stress. Thank you for the reminder we all need to FIND the time. I’m sorry for your pain, and know that your humor and bright ability to make others laugh, will somehow bring relief. (I hope –anyway) Seems so many people our age are experiencing this now? Stupid chicken pox!

  3. So sorry, Daphne. I remember my grandma getting those and the pain being intolerable. It was all over her scalp, too. Ugh. Have yourself those good cries now, take care of you, get well, heal. Love to you… xo

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